Forget flowers and fattening chocolates, give the gift of entertainment this Valentine’s Day.
Present your lover with a ticket for an experience, night out at the theatre or even a pampering session at a spa - something they’ll never forget.
If cash is tight, then why not make plans for a romantic walk to one of the many scenic venues around Huddersfield?
To help you plan the perfect romantic date, we've put together 10 ideas for ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in and around town.
Romance with Romeo and Juliet
The 400-year-old Shakespeare play is perhaps one of the most famous romantic stories in the world – even if it does have a tragic ending - and is perfect for culture (and cultured) lovers. The West Yorkshire Playhouse production of Romeo and Juliet, set in a modern-day city, opens on Friday, March 3, but tickets are on sale now (wyp.org.uk or 0113 2137700). Pop two tickets, from £13.50 to £30 each, inside a card. If you absolutely HAVE to go to the theatre on the big day itself then the Leeds-based Playhouse is currently staging Pygmalion, which also contains a love story, from tomorrow until Saturday, February 25. Ticket details as before.
Take a trip down musical memory lane
The iconic Seventies band Smokie (formerly Smokey) – with one of the original members still in place – brings its trademark sound and singles, such as Living Next Door to Alice, If You Think You Know How To Love Me, and Lay Back in the Arms of Someone, to The Victoria Theatre, Halifax, on Friday, February 17. Two tickets for nostalgic rockers will cost £57. Details from victoriatheatre.co.uk or 01422 351158.
Share a laugh together
Book seats for The Original Theatre Company’s production of the comedy Invincible at the Lawrence Batley Theatre (from Thursday, February 16, until Saturday, February 18). This highly-rated play is by Torben Betts, often described as one of the most exciting playwrights to emerge since Alan Ayckbourn. It’s about a recession-hit family that moves from London to a small town in the North of England and attempts to strike up a friendship with the neighbours. Tickets are £10 to £18 from thelbt.org.uk or 01484 430528.
Do something different - try opera
Opera North has just launched its new version of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (not to be confused with the works of the English pop singer). Humperdinck’s score for the fairy tale was composed in 1890 and includes themes from traditional German folk songs. The dark and dramatic story has been given a modern day, digital-age twist. The opera can be seen at Leeds Grand until February 25. Tickets are from £18.75 to £55 from operanorth.co.uk or 0844 848 2700.
Take a scenic selfie
Plan a bracing walk to one of Holmfirth artist Ashley Jackson’s Framing the Landscape sites. There are two in the Huddersfield area - Wessenden on Marsden Moor and Holme Moss. For details of how to find the sites visit framingthelandscape.co.uk and don’t forget to pack a camera and selfie stick for a romantic double portrait using the permanent fixed ‘frames’ erected to highlight the natural beauty of the locations.
Walk the Wuthering Heights
It’s most likely that Emily Bronte set her famous romantic novel Wuthering Heights near Haworth in West Yorkshire, the small town where she spent most of her relatively short life. What could be more romantic than a trip to the moors near the Bronte parsonage. While you’re there visit a new exhibition of writings, drawings and possessions from the Parsonage Museum curated by Huddersfield poet Simon Armitage. Admission is £8.50 for adults. For details of Bronte moorland walks visit wuthering-heights.co.uk
For him: a night of real ale
The Huddersfield area is awash with micro breweries and real ale establishments. Take him out for a pint or two and offer to drive. To find a real ale pub near you visit the Camra website, huddscamra.org.uk, which lists a trail of establishments in Huddersfield town centre. Alternatively, book a meal at a country pub - the Dusty Miller in Mirfield, for example (famed for its Sunday lunches), has a three-course Valentine’s menu at £49.95 per couple (For February 10, 11 and 14), including a bottle of wine. Another Dusty Miller, this time in Longwood, promises real ale brewed in nearby Milnsbridge and pulled in the cosy olde world pub.
For her: a day of pampering
We’ve got five spas in the our area, all of which offer treatment packages for couples. For instance, from Monday to Saturday, February 13 to 18, the Titanic Spa in Linthwaite is offering a Valentine package including overnight stay, dinner, breakfast, lunch, use of the spa facilities, massage for two, and a private session in the mud chamber for between £159 and £199 per person (titanicspa.com). Eastthorpe Hall near Mirfield has a Chill and Chocolate day spa offer for February for £165 (eastthorpe.co.uk). See also alexandrahouse.org.uk, thepottingshedspa.co.uk and koko-beauty.co.uk
For the whole family
No baby-sitters for Valentine’s Day? Then why not enjoy an evening out together en famille? Cirque du Hilarious is a madcap comedy show by father and son Clive Webb and Danny Adams that promises fun for all ages. It’s at the Leeds City Varieties on Tuesday, February 14. Tickets are £17.60 from cityvarieties.co.uk
Enjoy a West End treat
An eclectic mix of songs from West End musical, pop and opera – that’s the promise from The Opera Boys, appearing at the Theatre Royal, Wakefield, for one night only, on Tuesday, February 14. The Boys are a group of singers with West End pedigrees that deliver vocal harmonies to stunning effect. Tickets are from £15 to £18 from theatreroyalwakefield.co.uk, 01924 211311.