Valentine fun

Valentine fun

Love is a many spendid thing. Love is a like a fragile orchid, just waiting to be plucked.


Alright, if you are like me maybe poetry is not one of your greatest strengths. So, if you are looking for a way to impress your little piece of man or woman candy without any regrets later here are some ideas not just for Valentine's, but for any of the other 364 days.

Love on a Shoestring ... Love American Style

 Dinner and a movie may be a little cliché, but not if you go out on the town to a 50's style drive-in and to a Drive-in movie. So for those on a budget, put on your leather jacket, grease your hair back, have your sweetie put on her bobbysocks (you may have to settle for leg warmers) and tell your honey it's role-play time.

Some local drive-ins such as Jiggers Drive-in in Belmont, The Town and Country Drive-in on Wilkinson Boulevard or the South 21 on Independence or South Boulevard offer a 50s style meal with curb service, all in the comfort of your own wheels.

If you're like me and don't have the luxury of a "fine ride," a drive-in doesn't exactly work (at least not during daylight hours), so there are carry-out options. Zack's Hamburgers on South Boulevard, Price's Chicken Coop on Camden Road, The Penguin on Commonwealth Avenue and Thomas Avenue or Bubba's Barbecue on Sunset Road all offer good eating at a price that want leave you in debt.

A complete list of Drive-ins nation-wide can be found at

By Sea, By Rail, By Air

The Catawba Queen and The Catawba Belle are riverboats operated out of the Queens Landing complex that offer an unusual dining experience.Catawba Queen and The Catawba Belle are riverboats to have Valentine fun , NC While trolling the waters of Lake Norman, dinner is served with the option of prime rib or shrimp. The upstairs is a full dance floor and balcony where you can watch the waters of the Lake glimmer in the moonlight. This is the closest thing you can get to "The Love Boat" here in Charlotte. Of course there is no Charo, but you may be able to call the bartender Isaac if you ask him nice. More info will be found at:

A trip to the  North Carolina Transportation Museum brings the romance of yesteryear. Picture a scene from Casablanca as you and your love head out on a steam locomotive for parts unknown from Barber Junction, a restored passenger station built in 1898. Or just gaze deeply into each other's eyes as you grab a bite at the local soda counter. More info: link

Balloons Over Charlotte for Valentine fun Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon. That's what you and your honey have to look forward to with a balloon ride from Balloons Over Charlotte. Rise above the clouds to a height of 1000 feet and have a look at Charlotte with nothing but a basket beneath your feet. Enjoy a champagne toast as you float above the trees, admiring the Charlotte skyline. More info:

Dining In or Out

Whether you're looking for a place to dine out or some helpful hints on how to cook everything from duck to cuddlefish at home, check out our very own Food Around North Carolina. You can sample recipes from the best of the best culinary creations in the Charlotte area. A different chef with signature recipes in each area, plus whips up all sorts of creations to help you entertain.

Give a Little

Give a selfless gift to your sweetie: volunteer or give to a worthy cause. Spend time together feeding the homeless, tutoring a child, being a friend to the elderly, helping the disabled, or organizing clothing and food for families. If you would rather give of your resources, make a gift in your "little love muffin's" name.

  • Hands On Charlotte recruits volunteers and then leads them in community service projects, like the Special Olympics, pet therapy or Bingo night for seniors, adult literacy programs, and clean up projects, just to name a few.
  • Speaking of getting your hands dirty, Habitat Charlotte the local affiliate for the international Habitat for Humanity organization offers a variety of other ways to give your time as an individual as well as a group.
  • Here are a few other ways to give your time our resources:
  • A Child's Place  is a place to help homeless and at risk kids maintain a stable school environment.
  • Joshua's Farm offers children and adults with disabilities therapy through fun activities like horseback riding, animal interaction, sensory gardens and accessible nature trails.
  • Second Harvest Foodbank of Metrolina's goal  is to feed hungry people and distribute food through partner agencies.
  • Loaves and Fishes supplies groceries and support to people in crisis.


Feed The Animal!

No, not your significant other! Now you too can go where the deer and the antelope play. And the water buffalo and the camels, and the elk, and the Watusi cows, and the rhino, and the giraffes.

The Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, NC is home to over 400 animals from around the world. The animals come right up to you, hoping for food, as you travel the three mile safari path in your own car, or on a horse drawn wagon. No need to worry about these animals. They receive great care and a lot of respect from owner Henry Hampton, his family and staff.

And the name Lazy 5? When Henry opened up to the public in 1993 there were five in the family : Henry, his wife and their three children. And when asked about his line of work Henry always joked, "I'm too lazy to work and to scared to steal." Another child was born in 1993, but changing the name to the Lazy 6 "is just too much trouble," Henry says.

The Lazy 5 is on Highway 150 between Mooresville and Salisbury about an hour's drive from Charlotte. They're open 9 until 1 hour before sunset Monday through Saturday and 1 until 1 hour before sunset on Sunday. For directions, rates and other information, call 704-663-5100.

Where's the Beef?

Nothing cements a relationship like a good piece of beef. Dinner with a delicious piece of meat and a good bottle of wine speaks romance without any further elaboration, and there are many excellent places to go for a good steak in the Charlotte area.

The Beef and Bottle on South Boulevard has been there for years but, is often overlooked. From the street it doesn't look like much but, you'll notice when you pull through the parking lot in the rear, that many of the cars are BMW's, Mercedes and Lexus. When you step inside, you are instantly taken to another place, where the mood and the atmosphere are very refined. You can almost picture Barry White himself walking in the door.

Love Knows No Bounds

Keep in mind that regardless of the place, price, or time, love blossoms with only one thing necessary ... romance. Your Valentine's Day doesn't have to be filled with red roses and Godiva chocolate; with the right approach, you could share an Cola and a Moonpie.

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