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Valentine's Day in New Orleans

2012 Valentine's Day

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It won't be hard to find a romantic destination in New Orleans on Valentine's Day 2012. And as far as I can tell, there are no Mardi Gras parades that night. So traffic and Carnival chaos won't keep you from getting to the French Quarter, Uptown or other city neighborhoods.

If you're thinking about a quick wedding, getting married by a judge on Valentine's Day can be a unique ceremony locally. There are also a couple of special Valentine night riverboat cruises scheduled for February 14, 2012. And starting February 14th, you can enter a local sweepstakes for a wedding on-line. I'll keep checking for special events and offerings on Valentine's Day in New Orleans 2012 and add them to this list, so check back

Get Married

Photo © N. Ann Nungesser
Of course, February 14th is the perfect day to head to the courthouse and get married. And at least two local marrying judges go all out to make Valentine's Day Weddings extra special. The Gretna Historical Society arranges the Gretna Green Blacksmith Shop weddings, conducted by Judge Vernon J. Wilty, III, with unique ceremony and traditions. Algiers Love Judge K.K. Norman has been holding festive personalized weddings on Valentines Day for years.

Check out the romantic details and requirements. These are popular Valentine's Day venues, so contact your choice to make plans as soon as possible. BTW, here's how to get a marriage license for the big day.

Jazz & Sonnets: Valentine's Day Concert at the Mint

Here's a romantic Valentine's Day option that combines Jazz and Shakespeare. The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will perform Duke Ellington’s “Such Sweet Thunder” at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on February 14, 2012, at the New Orleans Mint Performing Arts Center, 400 Esplanade Avenue, New Orleans.

For the first time, the Jazz Orchestra conducted by Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown. Special guests will read Shakespearean love sonnets between each song.

Creole Queen Paddleboat Dinner River Cruise

The Paddlewheeler Creole Queen offers a special romantic Mississippi River boat cruise, with dinner, on Valentine's Day evening. Patrons are asked to "please dress to impress" for the occasion.

The evening includes an upscale buffet menu also meant to impress that and music from a DJ who will be happy to take special requests. There's an open call brands bar and complimentary champagne upon boarding the boat.

Steamboat Natchez Dinner River Cruise

The Steamboat Natchez, another Mississippi River paddlewheeler, offers a night of dancing, dining, and romance on the river for Valentine's Day night. The evening includes a dinner buffet, music by a local DJ, reserved seating, and a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, aka champagne, that comes with a commemorative glass as a souvenir of the night. Reservations are recommended. Valentine's Day is the kick off of the Steamboat Natchez annual "Tie the Knot" wedding Giveaway Sweepstakes with a prize package for one lucky couple of more than $5000. Check out the Steamboat Natchez Facebook page for more starting on February 14th. Total prize package for one lucky couple values more than $5,000. Although you don't have to take a Natchez boat cruise to enter their annual romantic sweepstakes, you just have to be engaged to be married. But you could multi-task and celebrate Valentine's Day on the steamboat cruise, pop the question, get engaged, and enter the sweepstakes, all on February 14th. On February 14, 2012 the Steamboat NATCHEZ will kick off its second annual “Tie the Knot “ Wedding Giveaway Sweepstakes on its Facebook page. Valued at more than $5,000, the prize package for one lucky engaged couple includes a beautiful wedding and a reception on the Steamboat NATCHEZ. “A person’s wedding is one of the most important days of their life,” says Adrienne Thomas, director of marketing and public relations for the New Orleans Steamboat Company. “We are proud that the NATCHEZ has been a part of this special day for so many couples and we can’t wait to show our appreciation by making one lucky couple’s dream come true with our wedding giveaway.” For the complete list of sweepstakes guidelines and to enter the swee

Kids Critter Cinema (& Valentine Babysitting for Parents)

Need a place for the kids to enjoy Valentine's Day while you go out to dinner. The Louisiana SPCA comes to the rescue. There's a special Valentine's Critter Cinema on Feb. 14, 2012, for kids at the SPCA's headquarters in Algiers.

Kids age 5-10 years old enjoy a G-rated movies, pizza, popcorn, and cuddly dogs and kittens. It's $25 and pre-registration is required. Call 504-762-3314 or email: stephanie@la-spca.org for more information.

These Critter Cinema events are also held every month on the second Friday of the month. So, there's also a Critter Cinema on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

Rhino Pre-Valentine's Day Kid Craft & Discussion

Rhino Gallery in the downtown Canal Place , holds its first Second Saturday kids event in its new space which is still in Canal Place on Feb., 11, 2012, 11 am - 2 pm, at the Rhino Gallery. RHINO artists, metalsmith Cathy Cooper and silk painter Kathleen Grumich, will lead the Valentine themed workshop which is open to children of all ages. For reservations or information, call the gallery at 504-523-7945

Traditional Romantic Options in New Orleans

The many romantic venues of New Orleans are perfect for Valentine's Day dates: dinner at any of the countless New Orleans restaurants, drinks at an atmospheric lounge or hip craft cocktail bar, strolling in the French Quarter, maybe just a a heart-shaped bakery King Cake and coffee, etc. If the weather cooperates, anything outside, such as an atmosphere patio or courtyard, ratchets up the romantic factor.

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