This year, treat your loved one to an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day that focuses on togetherness, instead of lots of stuff. There’s even an idea for those who are not celebrating the day. Either way, you’ll support local farmers, restaurants, gardens, parks, orchestras, the zoo and even Goodwill.

1. Kiss & Tail at the K.C. Zoo

The Kansas City Zoo is turning up the heat with its Valentine’s Kiss and Tail night on Saturday, February 10. How do animals attract a mate and what happens when it’s time to get romantic? See their courtship rituals played out through a new show by The Living Room Theatre. Organizers say it’s guaranteed to make you laugh, and probably blush. This adults-only event begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and live music by Calvin Arsenia. Tickets are $40 each for Friends of the Zoo and $50 each for the public. The zoo is located at 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO. Purchase advance tickets at the Kansas City Zoo.

Or share the love by adopting a zoo animal. To purchase a Valentine Adoption Package, visit the K.C. Zoo to see the package options. Orders must to be placed by Thursday, February 8 to receive a certificate by Valentine’s Day.

2. Treat your date to a day of orchids at Powell Gardens

Celebrate a love for plants with this special orchid greenhouse workshop at Powell Gardens. In this three-hour We Love Orchids session, participants will learn about basic orchid care, several easy orchids to grow, orchid fertilizing, and how and why to repot orchids.

The workshop is from 9 a.m. – Noon on Thursday, February 15. Participants will be repotting orchids from Powell Gardens’ collections to gain professional-level expertise. Everyone will receive a small orchid start to take home.

The class fee is $35. To register, go to Powell Gardens. The garden is located at 1609 N.W. U.S. Highway 50, Kingsville, MO.

3. Lock your love on Old Red Bridge

Give your honey a personalized padlock to proclaim your unbreakable and everlasting love. Yes, it’s a “thing,” but it supports a Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department effort.

The parks department is encouraging couples to “lock your love” by placing padlocks on the historic Old Red Bridge in Minor Park.  The old bridge is adjacent to the new bridge located on Red Bridge Road between Holmes and Blue River roads in south Kansas City.

K.C. Parks receives a portion of the proceeds for each personalized lock purchased at Lock-Itz. Include “I LOVE KC Parks!” in the notes section when you order. Locks from Lovelocks can be purchased at the Minor Park Golf Course Pro Shop, 11215 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO.

The original Old Red Bridge was built in 1859 and was painted red, hence the origin of “Red Bridge.” It was dismantled in 1892, and the wood was recycled into barns by local farmers. A steel bridge, called a “tin” bridge, also painted red, replaced it.  A third bridge was built in 1932 during the depression.

In 2013, the parks department repurposed the Old Red Bridge as the Love Locks Bridge. More than 3,500 locks have been placed on the bridge since opening in February of 2013. A parks department representative said the bridge can easily handle the weight of the locks and the promotion helps keep lovebirds from tossing their locks into the water below. The bridge is also a popular wedding location.

4. Eat, drink and enjoy Valentine Serenades

Join fellow music lovers for the Valentine Serenades to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra strings.

The evening will feature J.S. Bach’s Coffee Cantata performed by soloists Suzanne Anderson, Joshua Lawlor and Frank Fleschner. The event includes appetizers, cocktails and three-course dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 13 at Californos event space., 4124 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, MO.

Tickets are $75 and can be purchased at K.C. Chamber Orchestra.

5. Enjoy togetherness at a local winery or organic restaurant

Kansas City has a great selection of wonderful wineries, breweries and restaurants that feature local and organic food and beverages. Here’s a list of local wineries and breweries that Greenability compiled for New Year’s Eve celebrations. For restaurants that feature locally grown, organic and free-range menu options, check out the list compiled by the Kansas City Food Circle.

6. Dump (recycle) your ex’s stuff

Here’s the eco-friendly event for those who don’t want to celebrate the day of love. Join the folks at Goodwill who are encouraging you to “Dump your ex’s stuff.” The Goodwill campaign will accept donated items that remind their former owners of failed romances. It was started in 2017, and appears to now be an annual clothing and goods drive to help provide for families in need in the Kansas City area.

Find a donation location at Goodwill, and recycle and repurpose on Valentine’s Day.

Photo: Jason / CC