Here we are, already well through winter, and (although you may wish otherwise if you're a skier) the weather is giving us the freedom to get out and enjoy many activities without worrying about driving home in the snow.
This week, there are a variety of Valentine celebrations, no matter who your sweetie is. There's a cooking and wine tasting class for couples in Bridgewater, a Valentine's party for senior citizens and a chance to hear romantic (or rockin') music.
Children's activities are included from around the area. To combine a Valentine's celebration and kids' night out, check out "Parents Night Out" for a place to let your kids bake Valentine's cookies while the grownups get some time to themselves!
Parents Night Out
When/Where: Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Kangaroo Kidz, 80 Morristown Rd, Bernardsville.
Why Go: So you can REALLY celebrate Valentine's Day a few days early, or just let your hair down at the end of the week. Back by popular demand, kids will make heart-shaped cookies to donate to the Adult Day Center of Somerset County.
Cost: $20 per child, ages 4 to 12.
Valentine's Day Party at Senior Wellness Center
When/Where: With a live musical performance by "Leonardo" to kick off the party at 10:30 a.m. on Friday at the Senior Wellness Center in Basking Ridge, 202 Mount Airy Road.
Why Go: Because you can never have too much music and romance, no matter what your age.
Cost: Free, call 908-204-3435 for lunch reservations.
'Circus Tales' at Bernards Library
Where/When: The Bernards Township Library at at 11 a.m. Saturday
Why go: Because you want to relive trips to the Big Top and enjoy the animated storytelling of Julie Pasqual, who can bring a story to life. More about Julie is on her website.
Cost: Free, no registration required.
Community Art Show
When/Where: The first Bernards Township Community Art Show will remain at the Lord Stirling Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge through Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed on Feb. 13 and 20.
Why Go: A variety of art pieces from 40 local artists — who knew we had so much talent in our own backyard?
"The Philadelphia Experiment" - Ridge High School Art Show
When/Where: Weekends, 1-4 p.m. Feb. 4 to 29, at the Farmstead Arts, 650 King George Road in Basking Ridge.
Why Go: “The Philadelphia Experiment” is the title of an art show that includes drawings, paintings, and photos by the talented art and photography students at Ridge High School. The artwork is inspired by a field trip to Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary, Reading terminal, and the surrounding area.
"I Love Horses" Valentine Introductory Ride
When/Where: Check in for introductory Western-style ride on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Lord Stirling Stable, 256 S. Maple Ave., Basking Ridge.
Why Go: Because you love horses, and this is a great chance to brush up on your riding and enjoy the trails at Lord Stirling Park, owned by Somerset County.
Cost: $35 for Somerset County residents and $45 for non-residents. Registration through Thursday at the stable, as space permits.
An Afternoon With Fr. Dennis McNally
When/Where: Sunday at 1 p.m. at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge center.
Why Go: Come and meet Father Dennis McNally, S.J., a Jesuit priest, painter, book author and Chairman of Fine Arts at Saint Josephs University in Philadelphia.
Couple Cooking Class and Wine Tasting
When/Where: Friday at 6 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy in Bridgewater.
Why Go: To watch Sous Chef Donald Colley prepare his favorite Valentine's Day dishes, while getting to be part of the demonstrations and tasting all the food that includes Chicken Francese and Bitter Sweet Chocolate Mousse.
Cost: $100 per couple.
Friday Night Movie: Drive
When/Where: Friday at 7 p.m. at the Bridgewater Township Library.
Why Go: To see "Drive," the story of a Hollywood stunt driver by day, a getaway driver by night—and who doesn't want to watch Ryan Gosling flexing his criminal muscles?
Valentine's Day Dinner Dance
When/Where: Friday at 7 p.m. at St. Ann's Church & School on Anderson Street in Raritan.
Why Go: To celebrate Valentine's Day with the Raritan Knights of Columbus with a roast beef dinner, dancing and a 50/50 raffle. All proceeds go to support scholarship and charitable programs.
Cost: $25 per person.
When/Where: Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Bradley Gardens Fire Department on Old York Road in Bridgewater.
Why Go: To support the fire company with an all-you-can-eat dinner that includes pastas, sausage, meatballs, salad and dessert.
Cost: $10 per adult, $9 for seniors, $5 for children and free for children under 5 years of age.
Meet 'President Lincoln' on his Official Birthday
When/Where: Sunday 1 p.m. at Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morristown
Why Go: You want a little history about this historical figure, and to meet the man in person.
Cost: $8 general admission
An Evening of Romance with Michael Amante
When/Where: Friday, 8 p.m. at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, Morristown
Why Go: You want to celebrate Valentines Day with your sweetie, and "The People's Tenor."
Cost: $42 to $57
All-Abilities Run from The Running Company
When/Where: Saturday, 9 a.m. from The Morristown Running Company
Why Go: You want to make friends and work out around lovely Morristown. Free bagels after the run, too!
'Ivy, a Most Unusual Plant'
When/Where: Sunday, 1 p.m. at Frelinghuysen Arboretum, Morris Township
Why Go: You want to learn about ivy from an expert, its many varieties, and maybe even buy some for your home.
Leap in the Lake
Where/When: The Hopatcong State Park in Hopatcong at 1 p.m. Saturday
Why go: Because you want to donate to help area special-needs children while leaping into a freezing cold Lake Hopatcong. Or because you want to watch others jump in the water.
Cost: Free to watch. Must donate $50 to leap.
Graffiti Art Class at Garden SK8
Where/When: Saturday, 9:30 a.m., GardenSK8, 321 Changebridge Road, Pine Brook
Why Go: Vicious Styles Crew is giving the first in a five-week series of lessons on graffiti writing.
Where/When: Sunday, 3 p.m., Pine Brook Jewish Center, 174 Changebridge Road, Montville
Why Go: Interactive bubble show.
Cost: $10 per person with registration by Friday, $15 at the door. Games and projects following the show are an additional fee.
Lifespeed NJ Plays the Blackthorn
When/Where: Thursday at 9:30 p.m. at Blackthorn Irish Restaurant & Pub, 1735 Route 46, Parsippany
Why Go: When's the last time you went out to rock out?
Cost: Free admission
Drew Rangers Kids Day
When/Where: Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Simon Forum Athletic Center, Drew University, 36 Madison Ave., in Madison.
Why Go: Kids 12 and under admitted free to Drew University's women's and men's basketball games, plus giveaways, contests, and a chance to meet the players.
Cost: Free for kids, $2 for adults.