Valentine’s Day approaches and you want to express your undying affection for the love of your life, but you’re stuck for fresh ideas. Flowers fade much too fast. Chocolate makes you fat. Jewelry and perfume seem cliché.
Don’t misunderstand; most of us girls appreciate any of the above. But there’s no better gift for guys or gals than your time and a shared, enjoyable experience you can talk about for days to come. In 2006, I received ballet tickets from Hubby for my birthday. It felt like receiving three gifts in one: the gift-wrapped tickets on my birthday, the anticipation as we awaited the day, and finally the event itself. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet interpreted Handel’s Messiah, accompanied by the symphony orchestra and the Mennonite choir. The curtain was barely up and tears were already finding their way down my cheeks, so moved was I by the beauty of it.
You can take your sweetie to a top-notch, professional performance without leaving town. Here are two options:
Roy & Rosemary will perform on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at 7:30 p.m. at the William Glesby Centre. After hearing about these world-class performers, I checked out their website and was blown away to think this dynamic piano-violin duo is coming to little ol’ Portage la Prairie! On their site, you can watch video clips and see what I mean. In addition to traditional performance, they usually do an interactive last half where audience members can request songs (from Charlie Brown to Star Wars to Beethoven to the Beatles), or even participate as new songs are created on the spot. Sounds like a fantastic experience. Tickets cost $30 and you can buy them at the Glesby Centre or online.
If you don’t mind delaying your Valentine’s date by a few days, the ManitobaTheatre Centre is bringing a production to us! On Friday February 20, at 7:30 pm, they will present a play called “Armstrong’s War” by Colleen Murphy. (You can see a video clip and read a review here.) Corporal Michael Armstrong is recuperating in a rehab hospital when he’s ambushed by an optimistic 12-year-old Girl Guide in a wheelchair. Halley’s mission is to earn her Community Service badge by reading to a wounded soldier. In spite of himself, Michael becomes engaged in their sessions and when he musters the courage to share an explosive story from his time in Afghanistan, the unlikely allies show each other how to stand tall. The play runs approximately 85 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $20 from the William Glesby Centre.
For you outdoorsy types, did you know that access to all provincial parks in Manitoba is free for the month of February? You can take advantage of this opportunity for a little snow-shoeing, snow mobiling, cross country skiing, skating, tobogganing, and more. You can even take your sweetie ice fishing at Spruce Woods provincial park from 1:00-4:00 on Valentine’s Day; all supplies are provided and no fishing license is required. For a full list of things going on at provincial parks and weekly trail grooming reports, go to www.manitobaparks.com.
As for us, we’ve offered to spend our Valentine’s Day chasing three little rascals so their parents can enjoy a night out. An excellent investment all the way around.