Valentine’s Day traditionally means flowers and candy, but not so fast. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate with the one you love.
Aside from red roses and heart shaped boxes, here are three unique ideas from King5.com contributor Caitlin Murphy to make celebrating with the your loved one extra special.
Get ready to heat things up with classes and workshops at Seattle Glassblowing Studio where even first time glass blowers can feel like Dale Chihuly in as little as 30 minutes.
“I think the best part of it is it’s an experience. You start basically with nothing and you create something,” said Seattle Glassblowing Studio Operations Manager Cyrena Stefano.
Professional glassblowing instructors work with students and teach them basic skills in the open and airy 12,000-square-foot studio. Lessons are ideal for beginners, and start with gathering glass onto the rod, and then move to adding color and finally shaping the glass with tools.
Marvel as the glowing clear glass base transforms into fluted bowls and vases of serene deep blues, glimmering coppers and vibrant shimmering yellows. Pulling and twisting the molten glass into buoyant sea floats and multidimensional paperweights is an awe-inspiring process, and it’s made all the more memorable when you share it with someone.
“The experience is just something that’s life changing and they are going to remember for the rest of their lives,” said Stefano. “Especially if you’ve done it together as like a date because it’s a special occasion for the two of you.”
Seattle Glassblowing Studio offers a range of class options. The 30-minute “Blow Your Own Glass” hands-on experience allows participants to learn simple techniques, while the six-week sessions for beginners and intermediate/advanced level students experiment with creating different shapes and complex color application.
Not only do these classes allow participants to learn new skills and do something out of the ordinary, but they also provide a chance to work together as a team.
"It really builds camaraderie and so it’s a really good way to bond,” Stefano said.
Plus, it’s fun to go home with a beautiful piece of blown glass that you handmade.
Yuan Spa Hydrotherapy Circuit
Journey to Yuan Spa on the Eastside for a trip through one of Western Washington’s only hydrotherapy circuits, and experience a completely different take on spa day.
“It’s a Chinese based spa so we focus on traditional Chinese medicine, and it is whole wellness as opposed to just pampering,” said Yuan Spa manager Sasha Sampson.
Treatments at Yuan Spa are designed to balance one’s energy, eliminate stress and reduce pain. As such, you’ll find influences and experiences from Chinese medicine like cupping , reiki and acupuncture. It is the spa’s hydrotherapy circuit, created to mimic Chinese bathing, that is the ideal treatment to experience with your loved one.
The circuit takes about an hour and allows you to relax and enjoy each other’s company as you move through the hydrotherapy together. Start with a dip in the jetted 104-degree bathing pool. Then move to the steam room where eucalyptus steam fills the air against a back drop of glistening turquoise mosaic tiles and a twinkling starry night sky. The dry heat cedar sauna is next, and finally onto the cool sea salt water pool to stimulate your circulatory system.
“We like to say here that it’s a world away but in your back yard,” said Sampson. “So it’s really so close to home but it feels like you’re on vacation.”
Sampson adds that with smartphones and tables we are all constantly plugged in these days, so relaxing with your significant other is essential.
“It’s great to get away and unplug and to be able to do that together; it helps to rekindle the spark,” she said.
Yuan offers plenty of romantic touches like roses and candlelight, plus traditional spa packages with couples treatments featuring champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. But unlike many costly spa treatments, the hydrotherapy circuit is only $39 per person and provides a lovely way to experience a spa day together.
If you are looking for a different kind of date night, then you will want to pay a visit to Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Ballard.
“It’s not your typical stuffy fine dining Valentine’s Day thing; it will be fun,” said Hot Cake’s Zara Hitner.
And how could you not have fun when former Canlis Pastry Chef and Theo Chocolate Head Chocolatier Autumn Martin is creating chocolate masterpieces and serving them along with a full bar.
“We try to do stuff that’s really rich and delicious, but also has a unique spin on it that you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” Hitner said.
Hot Cakes is famous for their dark, ooey, gooey molten chocolate cake presented piping hot on a bed of caramel sauce and next to a scoop of creamy Bluebird vanilla ice cream. There is also a take and bake version served in a mason jar that has inspired a cult-like following.
All the ingredients are organic, and innovative creations include smoked chocolate chips, colorfully wrapped Bling Blings (Hot Cakes’ version of the buttercream filled chocolate Ding Dong), s’more cookies and tall slices of whiskey chocolate cake.
Order the grilled chocolate sandwich with homemade chocolate hazelnut butter melted between two crunchy pieces of potato bread. Then indulge and dip the sandwich into the small pot of maple syrup or caramel sauce and relish the experience as it drips down the side of your hand.
And instead of making reservations at a restaurant this Valentine’s Day, belly up to the full bar and order one of Hot Cake’s velvety, “boozy shakes.” Hinter recommends the Drunken Sailor with ice cream, peanut butter, caramel and a shot of whiskey. She also has a recommendation for those who might not like things that are super sweet.
"The Laphroig and Smoked Chocolate Shake is really nice, and it’s great for the scotch-drinking men out there,” she said.
Hot Cakes features a cozy atmosphere with upbeat music and a laid-back vibe, so it’s perfect for relaxed dates or even a night out with friends.
"It’s just a good, fun environment and you can get anything you want -- dessert, alcohol, what else do you need? It’s perfect!” she added.
So why not celebrate this season with something different and add a some fire, maybe a relaxing trip through the water and something sweet to your Valentine’s Day. And since the day is all about sharing love, feel free to make it festive with your mom, sister or your best friend!
Seattle Glassblowing Studio
2227 5th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121
1032 106th Ave NE Ste 125
Bellevue WA 98004
5427 Ballard Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107