It's about time to start planning your special night — Valentine's Day is getting close. A night with your special someone can come in all shapes and sizes, from giving chocolates as a gift then going to dinner or taking a quiet walk. 

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Start planning your visit by ordering chocolate and picking a restaurant, then put together a weekend getaway if you're looking to travel. We've listed some options to help get the process started.

Treat Yourself to a Valentine's Day Package 

Some area hotels and businesses are making Valentine's Day planning a little easier. 

Aloft South Bend: The Date Night Package includes a corner room, $50 dining credit to LaSalle Grill, two cocktails from the WXYZ Lounge in the hotel and parking at the hotel. Book online or call 574-288-8000. 

DoubleTree by Hilton South Bend: Romance Package includes breakfast for two at Baker's Bar & Grille, a bottle of champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries. Contact the hotel directly at 574-234-2000 to book.

Baker's Bar & Grille inside the DoubleTree is offering a Sweetheart Dinner for 2 package for the weekend as well. Couples can enjoy a three-course dinner from a special menu for $35 and receive a complementary glass of wine.

Hilton Garden Inn: The Couples Package includes deluxe accommodations for two guests, chocolate-covered strawberries and champaign in the room, $50 dinner credit to on-site restaurant Bistro 933, breakfast and a 1 p.m. late checkout.

Inn at Saint Mary's: Valentine's Package includes deluxe room accommodations, a bottle of champagne, a box of chocolates or chocolate-covered strawberries, $50 gift certificate for dinner at Bistro 933, full breakfast. 

Pick Up South Bend Chocolate

Can you even do Valentine’s Day without chocolates? South Bend Chocolate Co. rolls out several products just for the holiday: Cupid Crunch, Valentine Pretzels, Hugs Pretzels, 4-Piece Turtle Valentines, 4-piece Cherry Blossoms, 5-piece Valentine and more. Of course, the classic heart-shaped box of chocolates is available too.

Fine Dining in The Bend 

If you're comfortable dining out, restaurants around The Bend remain open.Many area restaurants offer special menus just for the holiday. We put together a list of 10 ideas for Valentine's Day dinner spots to get your planning started.

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Grab Dinner To-Go 

Although restaurants in The Bend remain open for indoor dining, carryout and/or delivery are still available at your favorite places. You can choose from the lists above or start browsing your options. Make sure to contact the restaurant directly for menus, ordering options and hours.

Take a Walk Around Notre Dame

Few places in The Bend offer a more tranquil setting for a post-Valentine’s Day dinner walk. All the beautiful Notre Dame landmarks are worth your time. But if you can only choose one, we’d recommend a visit to the Grotto. Its candles always radiate peace, perhaps more so after snowfall during winter.

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Date Night on Ice

Looking for something more active to do on Valentine’s Day? Visit Howard Park in South Bend to skate along its ice trail or Merrifield Park in Mishawaka for a more traditional rink. Both are open at reduced capacity and with coronavirus guidelines in place, like required mask wearing. A word to the wise: Reservations at Howard Park need to be made online in advance, so plan ahead.

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Drink Local 

Craft beer enthusiasts, wine lovers and whiskey aficionados can all find great options for a night out (or in). You can sip around in person or support breweries, wineries and distilleries by grabbing a bottle or growler for home. 

Get Your Game On 

The Bend's biggest entertainment destination, Four Winds Casino South Bend, offers an all-encompassing experience. Dine at one of its five restaurants — Copper Rock Steakhouse offers fine dining and Kankakee Grille features rustic cuisine — then head to the gaming floor or poker room for a night of thrills.

Head Outside for a Winter Hike

Outdoor enthusiasts might be looking for a reason to head outside for a serene winter hike. Head to St. Patrick's County Park or Potato Creek State Park for miles of trails and scenery. Depending on the weather, you might be able to cross country ski or snowshoe too.

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Turn it into a Trip: Stay in The Bend

Ready to put several of these options together for a complete Valentine’s Day weekend? You’ll probably want a place to stay. Some of our hotels and bed and breakfasts are offering discounts during winter that might fit your itinerary.