Looking for something other than “the usual” this Valentine’s Day weekend? Celebrate the love of your life with some of these special events in Cincinnati and Columbus.
When: Feb. 12-14 — 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: The Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Cincinnati
Cost: $25 to $80
More info: (513) 977-4123 or www.cincinnatiarts.org/aronoff
The scoop: The Aronoff has decided to commemorate Valentine’s weekend with this beloved story about a beautiful servant girl who becomes a princess for a night.
Verdict: This ballet version is the one composed by legendary Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev, one of the most celebrated compositions of his long body of work.
Worth the trip? If you’re a guy looking to impress your date, an interest in ballet and high culture (or at least the illusion of it) still seems to go over well.
Shred Your Ex Night
When: 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: Metropolis, 125 Cincinnati Mills Drive, Cincinnati
More info: (513) 671-2881 or www.cincymetropolis.com
The scoop: Entertainers Jordan and DJ Sab from local KISS-FM will be on hand to help you celebrate this Valentine’s Day alternative.
Verdict: This massive New York-style nightclub contains multiple floors, each one devoted to a different theme, from country to the “Matrix” room, featuring shadowboxes and sexy silhouettes.
Worth the trip? Located just a few miles from the I-275/I-75 interchange, it is a shorter-than-usual drive to a Cincinnati destination.
Valentine’s Day Cruise
When: 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: BB Riverboats, 1 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky.
More info: (800) 581-2800 or www.bbriverboats.com
The Scoop: BB Riverboats is offering a special cruise along the Ohio River to commemorate Cupid.
Verdict: The cruise includes a buffet dinner and musical accompaniment. Couples can also purchase special packages that include roses, candy, boarding photos, a Mylar balloon, and champagne.
Worth the trip? For ambitious types that insist on doing something “different.”
MainStrasse Mardi Gras
When: 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, Feb. 12
Where: Mainstrasse Village, Covington, Ky.
Cost: $15 (advance for both days), $10 per day
More info: (859) 491-0458 or www.mainstrasse.org
The Scoop: Once again, this fashionable Covington district offers up this consolation prize if you failed to make it to New Orleans this year.
Verdict: There will be parades both days, live music from prominent local and regional bands, an entertainment tent and cajun booths. Naturally, cocktails will be plentiful.
Worth the trip? The icing on the cake? A “Dunk-A-Cop” booth.
Dark Star Orchestra
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16
Where: The Madison Theater, 728 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky.
More info: (859) 491-2444 or www.madisontheateronline.com
The scoop: The DSO is the most prolific Grateful Dead tribute band in existence.
Verdict: This band re-creates Grateful Dead shows down to the most minute detail, readily able to not only play the more than 3,000 songs in the Dead catalogue but also to play precise set lists and improvisations from every Dead era, permitting fans to “see” Dead shows from before they were born.
Worth the trip? Even people who don’t like the Dead particularly admit we all lost something when we lost Jerry, the ultimate non-celebrity celebrity.
5th Annual Laugh-A-Thon, with Sheryl Underwood
When: 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14
Where: Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St. Cincinnati
More info: (513) 639-3780 or www.livenation.com
The Scoop: Notable comedienne Sheryl Underwood will bring a few friends for a special night of Valentine’s Day laughs.
Verdict: Underwood first came to light as the first female finalist in the Miller Lite Comedy Search of 1989. Since then, she has won several comedy prizes, leading to radio and TV talk gigs and appearances in such films as “I Got The Hook Up,” “Bulworth” and “Beauty Shop.”
Worth the trip? According to several sources, she’s a diverse and seemingly contradictory package. A sexually progressive, God-fearing, staunch, black Republican woman.
Chevelle, with Sick Puppies, Janus
When: 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15
Where: Lifestyles Communities Pavilion, 405 Neil Ave., Columbus
Cost: $25 (advance), $27 (day of show)
More info: (614) 461-5483 or www.promowestlive.com
The Scoop: This popular post-grunge rock band released its fifth album, “Sci-Fi Crimes,” last August.
Verdict: Chevelle has an interesting history. Originally signed on a Christian rock label, they were subsequently thought of as a “Christian band,” leading to unintended controversy when they agreed to play Ozzfest alongside bands like Cradle of Filth.
Worth the trip? For their part, the band says their faith remains important if strictly personal. After all the labeling, they tend to label themselves as “recovering Catholics.”
World’s Toughest Rodeo
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: Nationwide Arena, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. Columbus
More info: (614) 246-2000 or www.nationwidearena.com
The scoop: Traditional rodeo fans will be entertained by the bull riding, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding and the rodeo clowns.
Verdict: Additional events include women’s barrel riding.
Worth the trip? There will be free pony rides for the kids and a post-rodeo cowboy autograph session.
A Valentine’s Rock and Roll Spectacular
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12
Where: Southern Theatre, 21 E. Main St., Columbus
More info: (614) 340-9698 or www.capa.com/columbus
The Scoop: Five Rock and Roll Hall of Famers come to the capital to revive their 1950s-60s hits for a special Valentine’s Day concert.
Verdict: The lineup includes The Flamingos, The Mystics, The Reflections, Eddie Holman, and Sonny Turner and the Platters.
Worth the trip? Valentine’s Day evokes a desire for the simplicities of young, uncomplicated love, and so this is the ideal vehicle to transport you back to a more innocent time, if you believe such tripe.