published Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Make plans now to get your valentine's attention

Cupid appears to have come down with a bad case of the love bug this year.

Instead of confining his Valentine's pursuits to a single spot on the calendar, he's aimed his arrow at multiple days spanning two weekends. Here are a few highlights. Find more ways to impress your sweetheart at

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    “Love Chef” Jernard Wells will offer samples and advice from his book “88 Ways to Her Heart: Cooking for Lovers From the Kitchen to the Bedroom” on Saturday at Barnes & Noble.

FEB. 7

Heart and soul cooking: Chattanooga's "Love Chef," Jernard Wells, offers advice, creates samples and signs copies of his book, "88 Ways to Her Heart: Cooking for Lovers From the Kitchen to the Bedroom," 5-7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd. 423-893-0186.

FEB. 8

* Love retreat: This daylong session (noon-5 p.m.) at the Well Nest in East Ridge includes breath work, gentle movement, guided meditations and healing circles, all inspired by the mysteries of love, followed by social time with wine and chocolate around the fire pit (until 6 p.m.). Bring an afternoon snack and wear comfortable clothing. Cost is $99 (add $49 for second person). Register with either of the facilitators: Dr. Rick Pimental-Habib at or John Westbrook at

* Sunset cruise: The Tennessee Aquarium invites lovebirds to go overboard on its own "Love Boat," the River Gorge Explorer, with a Valentine Sunset Cruise into the Grand Canyon of Tennessee from 2 to 5 p.m. A naturalist will point out wildlife as you munch on complimentary appetizers (cash bar for wine, beer and soft drinks). If you want to pop the question, renew your vows or even tie the knot, give the hosts a heads-up at registration and bring the license and witness. Tickets are $36 for member adults, $30 member children; $41 and $34 for nonmembers. 423-262-0695.

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    Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad during the Broadway run of “Romeo and Juliet.”

FEB. 8-9, 13-15

* Valentine Dinner Trains: Reservations are highly recommended for these popular excursions at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Trains leave at 5:30 p.m. each night from Grand Junction Station, 4119 Cromwell Road, plus at 8 p.m. on Feb. 14-15. A four-course meal is served (beef, chicken, fish or vegetarian entrees) while the train travels through urban Chattanooga. Tickets: $150 to $160 per couple. 423-894-8028,

FEB. 9

* Parent/child painting class: An instructor will provide step-by-step guidance to help each of you create a canvas of holiday-themed candy hearts. Doors open at 1:45 p.m., and the session is from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Spirited Art, 1925 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 115. Cost is $45 for the duo; add a third painter (child or adult) for an extra $20 (all materials provided). RSVP to Find out more at or 423-531-6278.

FEB. 13

* Hearts & Hops: This second annual event at River Gallery, 400 E. Second St., will offer extended shopping hours to find handcrafted gifts for your valentine, such as jewelry, paintings, sculpture or wearables. From 5 to 7 p.m., Tony's Pasta will provide shoppers with savory chicken wings, along with brews from its new craft beer menu. Find out more at or 423-265-5033.

* Uncensored: Tennessee Aquarium After Hours: This adults-only event, set for 7 to 10 p.m. in the River Journey lobby and Seahorse Gallery, explores courtship behaviors of the resident critters without the awkwardness of having the kids in tow. Included are a wacky costume photo booth (bring your smartphone), animal presentations and chances to win silly prizes. Admission price of $15 for members, $30 for nonmembers includes one drink ticket (must be 21 or older; valid ID required). Nonmember tickets also include a pass to return for a tour. For reservations, call the Aquarium, 1 Broad St., at 423-267-3474 or visit

FEB. 14

* Broken Hearts Ball: This evening of drinks, hors d'oeuvres, music and dancing at Stratton Hall, 3146 Broad St., includes a photo booth for take-home souvenirs plus contests for worst breakup lines and best forever stories. Events start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. Proceeds go to the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults' Rape Crisis Center. Register at For more information, call 423-697-3838.

* Date Night painting class: The evening includes step-by-step instruction to complete two candy hearts paintings (one for each of you), plus prizes, food and wine, 6:30-9 p.m. at Spirited Art, 1925 Gunbarrel Road, Suite 115. Cost is $70 per couple. RSVP to Find out more at or 423-531-6278.

* Flower Fest: Orders are due no later than Wednesday, Feb. 12, at (You will receive a confirmation email within 24 hours.) Flowers will be ready for pickup between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Valentine's Day at the First Things First office, 620 Lindsay St., Suite 100. Cost is $15 for a basic arrangement of tulips in a decorative vase with a signature card, $25 for a deluxe arrangement. Call 423-267-5383 for more information.

* Singing (men) Valentines: The Choo Choo Chorus of the Barbershop Harmony Society will sing love songs and deliver gifts of a long-stem rose, box of candy and Valentine card inscribed with your message on Valentine's Day. Prices begin at $50. To arrange a time, call 423-265-7464 or visit

FEB. 14-15

* Singing (women) Valentines: The Scenic City Chorus of Sweet Adelines is hiring out its a cappella quartets on Valentine's weekend. Cost is $20 for a phoned serenade, $30 for video delivery, $40 for an in-person visit with a two- to three-hour time window, $50 for an in-person visit at a specific time. To order, email, call 423-400-0462 or pay via PayPal at Checks must be received by Monday, Feb. 10.

FEB. 16-19

* Broadway's "Romeo and Juliet": Swoon over Shakespeare's tragic love story -- or male lead Orlando Bloom -- in this stage production that was filmed for broadcast to movie theaters. Two-time Tony Award nominee Condola Rashad plays Juliet. It will be screened at the Majestic 12 and Northgate 14 in Chattanooga, as well as Carmike 12 in Dalton, Ga. Get showtimes at

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