Season of Love
Fresh ideas for Valentine's Day
by Jill McCloskey

Cupid’s done his job—now it’s your turn. This year, instead of falling into the old dinner-and-a-box-of-chocolates routine, rethink your idea of romance, and celebrate the 14th in style. Here are some fresh suggestions for spending the day (or weekend) with your sweetheart.

Culinary Retreat at Normandy Farm
Head to Blue Bell for an all-inclusive culinary experience that will leave any foodie love struck. At the Normandy Farm Hotel, you’ll spend Friday evening drinking fine wine, nibbling on appetizers and enjoying a delicious four- or five-course meal—all while learning the tricks of the culinary trade from celebrity chef Jim Coleman and his team of top-notch chefs. When you’re good and full, take advantage of the hotel’s lavish overnight accommodations in one of the cozy guest rooms. $249 per couple. Normandy Farm Hotel, Rt. 202 & Morris Rd., Blue Bell, 215-616-8108,

Rendezvous for two at Toppers Spa/Salon Bucks County
Take a couple’s massage to the next level at Toppers Spa/Salon in Newtown, where you’ll share an unforgettable connection with your lover during the Rendezvous for Two. During your session, you’ll lie face-to-face with your partner as you enjoy Swedish massage techniques used to ease tension and promote total body relaxation. You’ll walk out of your session feeling calmed and soothed—and even more in love. Toppers Spa/Salon, Newtown Shopping Center, 50 West Rd., Newtown, 215-860-5200,

New Hope and Ivyland Railroad dinner train
Depart from beautiful New Hope on a romantic two-hour train ride to Buckingham Valley on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. During the trip, you’ll enjoy a delicious three-course meal and champagne toast with the one you love. The “First Class” dinner trip is $131 per person for a private table for two. New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, 32 W. Bridge St., New Hope, 215-862-2332,

Dancing Lessons at La Luna
Whether you’re a dancing queen or a novice, dancing lessons at La Luna Dance Studio in Bensalem are the perfect way to spice up your 14th. You and your partner will get individualized coaching from a trained instructor in the dance style of your choosing. For a romantic classic, try ballroom, or be adventurous and opt for an upbeat swing or a sensual salsa. Private lessons are $65 to $95 for an hour session. La Luna Dance Studio, 4610 Bensalem Blvd., Bensalem, 215-638-0418,

Hot air balloon ride through Montgomery County
Experience Montgomery County like you’ve never done before—soaring through the air with your sweetheart in a private hot air balloon. On your Valentine’s flight, you’ll take off in Saint Peters and take in the scenic views of Valley Forge and quaint villages. Pack a camera and some warm clothes, snuggle up to your mate, and get ready for a ride that you’ll never forget. Book your flight by calling 1-800-763-5987. U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team, Saint Peters Launch Site, 141 Hopewell Rd., Elverson,

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
Nothing will add a twist to your Valentine’s Day like an evening of murder, thrills and fine food at the Cock ’n Bull Restaurant in Peddler’s Village. Enjoy a full-course dinner while trying to figure out who the killer is during the whodunit mystery performance. The show begins at 7:15 p.m., but arrive early to explore the beautiful Peddler’s Village. Murder Mystery Dinner Theater at Cock ’n Bull Restaurant, Peddler’s Village, Lahaska, 215-794-4000,

Jill McCloskey is a freelance writer in Newtown.