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. 

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.

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 

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.

Catch a Show

Get ahead of the Valentine's Day crowd by grabbing tickets to a show at one of The Bend's theaters:

  • Joe De Gregorio Trio - Merrimans' Playhouse, Feb. 9
  • La Cage aux Folles - South Bend Civic Theatre, Feb. 9-11
  • A Tribute to Motown - Leighton Concert Hall, Feb. 10
  • Discover Mahler's Symphony No. 5 - Morris Performing Arts Center, Feb. 10
  • Kalamazoo - South Bend Civic Theater, Feb. 14-18

Date Night on Ice

Looking for something more active to do on Valentine’s Day? Book some time at Howard Park in South Bend to skate along its ice trail or Ironworks Ice Rink in Mishawaka. A word to the wise: It's best to make reservations at Howard Park in advance.

Howard Park is hosting a Taylor Swift-themed DJ Skate Night on Feb. 9 for the siwfties out there.


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.

RELATED CONTENT: 5 Places for a Winter Walk 

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.

RELATED CONTENT: 6 Places for a Winter Hike