DAYTON EATS: Think outside of the box with these upcoming Valentine’s Day events

When it comes to Valentine’s Day advance planning is key.

Hearts and wallets will open this year with one out of every four Americans dining out on Feb.14, according to data from the National Restaurant Association.

With stiff competition for seats, now is the time to start planning if you are looking to make a plan. You can go the standard restaurant, chocolate and roses route, but there are some local events that are looking to host a celebration that’s not your standard fare. Considering options that are off the beaten path that incorporate both food or refreshments with an activity is the best of both worlds.

Here’s a look at several events that are being planned that could create a different kind of spark whether it’s a Valentine, Galentine or family night. Sometimes doing something different is the recipe for success.

Feb. 14: Lobster and Steak Food Truck Rally at Yellow Cab Tavern

This Valentine’s Day, diners can get an alternative surf and turf with lobster rolls and steak pizza at The Yellow Cab Tavern. Cousins Maine Lobster will join The Pizza Bandit in the food truck lot with their full menu of Maine lobster rolls and more alongside Yellow Cab resident truck The Pizza Bandit serving up steak pizzas from 4-9 p.m. In this cast there are no reservations needed, though customers may order ahead from both vendors on their websites at and With proximity to the Oregon District, people may walk Fifth Street afterward to look for a spot for an appetizer before or a nightcap afterward.



Feb. 14: Valentine’s Under the Stars at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Share the stars with your sweetheart at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Enjoy a romantic evening in the planetarium featuring a live show with amazing visuals set to music. A ticket includes a brand new Valentine’s show in the Caryl D. Philips Space Theater, a charcuterie spread from Boonshoft’s Eco eatery, sweet treats, champagne, a keepsake photo and a long-stem rose. There’s also an option to include your name and the name of your guest into the show. Patrons must register by 5 p.m. on Feb. 7 for inclusion. There will be a cash bar for two seatings at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Register at

Feb. 14: “Our Loved Carved Out” Couples Valentine’s Day Paint Night

Est! Est!! Est!!! is hosting a Valentine’s Day couples painting class. Each couple will get a 12x16 inch canvas that will come together to create one large painting that is an expression of your love with help and guidance from an instructor. Tickets at $90 per couple. The price does not include food or drink. Visit to reserve your spot. And when you finish you can head over to Est! Est!! Est!!! to toast one another with a fine Italian wine and dinner, provided you get that reservation in.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Feb. 14: Sweetheart Skate at RiverScape

Before treating your special someone to a special Valentine’s Day dinner, make a stop at the RiverScape Ice Rink for a magical evening of skating from 4-6 p.m. There will be a buy one, get one free admission and skate rental, plus a box of Winan’s chocolates to split on both Feb. 14 and 15 ( Admission is $7 and skate rental is $3. Keep it old school and walk over to Canal Street Tavern for video games and sandwiches and follow it up with a night cap and a couple games of pool at Southern Belle.

Feb. 12-18: Young’s Valentine’s Hot Fudge Sundae Sale

Get something extra sweet for Valentine’s Day at Young’s Hot Fudge Sundae sale happening Monday through Sunday at The Dairy Store where a one dip hot fudge sundae will only set you back $4 and a two dip sundae is just a dollar more. You choose the flavor of homemade ice cream you want and Young’s will add the hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts and cherry. Whether you are going with classic vanilla, sea salt caramel, black walnut, the chocolate on chocolate on chocolate flavor extravaganza that is their cow patty (double dark chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips, chocolate cookie pieces and chocolate covered toffee) or any of their other flavors, you can’t go wrong. With plenty of great Yellow Springs restaurants close by and plenty to do and see, this is a fun stop to interject into your celebrations.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water, including menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and food adventures.

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