This year, skip the imported roses and treat your loved one to an eco-friendly Valentine’s Day with a locally crafted gift from a pop-up shop, a cupid cooking class, Kiss & Tail at the K.C. Zoo or a homemade, heart-shaped meal.

1. Valentine Pop-Up

Take your honey to the Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair Valentine Pop-Up to meet local artists who create handmade, upcycled, repurposed, recycled and vintage gifts. Shop and enjoy food and drink from local restaurants and craft bars from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday, February 9 at ParlorKC, 1707 Locust St., Kansas City, MO. For more information, visit the Valentine Pop-Up at Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair.

2. Cupid in the Kitchen

Get expert tips on creating a three-course romantic dinner for two at a Cupids in the Kitchen cooking class hosted by chef Renee Kelly. Participants will learn how to make arugula and roasted asparagus salad with burrata, beef medallion with mushrooms and cognac cream and chocolate mousse cake from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13 at Portfolio Kitchen & Home, 215 W. Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO. The cost is $75 per person. For tickets, visit Renee Kelly Cooking Class.

3. 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 9. 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 drinks.

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 take the kids to the zoo from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 to learn to learn how animals find love in the animal kingdom and make your favorite animal a special valentine. For more information, visit the K.C. Zoo. 

4. Lock your love on Old Red Bridge

Proclaim your unbreakable and everlasting love by taking your sweetheart to the historic Old Red Bridge in Minor Park to “lock your love” with a personalized padlock between February 14 – 16.

The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department is encouraging couples to place padlocks on the bridge, which is adjacent to the new bridge 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 Great 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 2013. A parks department representative said the bridge can easily handle the weight of the locks and helps keep lovebirds from tossing their locks into the water below. The bridge is also a popular wedding location.

5. Make it heart shaped

Create a family dinner that’s all heart-shaped. Have fun finding locally sourced ingredients and test your creativity with heart-shaped entrees and desserts like: eggs in a heart-cutout toast, pizza, cheese, pancakes, cookies, cake, cinnamon twists, cereal treats, jelly hearts or a fruit fondue. We even found a heart-shaped sausage asparagus pie!

6. Celebrate at a local restaurant or winery

Enjoy togetherness at a local winery or organic restaurant. Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery has a Valentine’s Day pairing of wine, chocolate and live music for $15 from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Thursday, February 14. This eco-friendly, family-owned winery is located at 16905 Jowler Creek Road, Platte City, MO. Almost every city has a list of local restaurants that can be found online or through Yelp. In Kansas City, find a great selection of eateries featuring local and organic food and beverages on a list compiled by the Kansas City Food Circle.