A Bronx Dozen

Valentine's Day goodies (Photo Credit: April Warren)

Tired of roses? This Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Ink has you covered. We’ve listed the best date spots in the borough. And if you are single this Cupid season, take a friend!

By Linda Thrasybule, April Warren, Michelle Bialeck and Semhar Woldeyesus

1. Nothing says “I love you” like a roach

Check out the exhibit  of roaches at the Bronx Zoo! The zoo has 58,000 species and with a donation on Valentine’s Day, you can name at least one of these creepy crawlers after someone you love (or hate).

2. Give bling

(Photo Credit: Linda Thrasybule)

Stop by Mary Anne’s Irish Gift Shop and peruse their collection of Claddagh rings, an Irish ring traditionally given as a token of love or worn as a wedding ring.

The distinctive design originated from an Irish fishing village of Claddagh. It features two hands holding a heart, symbolizing friendship, loyalty and love. Mary Anne’s is located 5694 Riverdale Avenue, Bronx, NY 10471. (718) 549-7660

3. Bloody valentine and vino

Donate blood at Montefiore’s Blood Bank, and then regain your strength at Patricia’s for dinner.  It’s home of the biggest wine list in the Bronx and features a menu filled with traditional Italian food.

4. Flan and flicks

Visit Conti’s,  the 90-year-old bakery at 786 Morris Park Avenue. Listen to oldies play in the background, as the smell of coffee permeates the air. Take your baked goodies and go rent the comedy Doughboys a film inspired by life behind the bakery counter.

5. Enlist the experts

Forget about homemade cards. Take your kids to the Kingsbridge Library to do Valentine’s Day inspired arts and crafts.

6. It’s not just another manic Monday

Looking for some tranquility?  Check out photography by Nat Solomon, born and raised in the Bronx.

7. Dance the night away

Brush up on your moves at Andrea’s Dance Studio. Open ballroom class from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

8. Run and relax

Run the Valentine’s Day Marathon with your loved one or with a friend this Sunday, February 13 in Van Cortlandt Park. The event is free and races include a 10K, a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon. Short distance runners are welcome.

The race starts at 10 a.m. on the main parade grounds of Van Cortlandt Park, right in front of the Tortoise and Hare statue. Then, on Monday, relax those tired muscles at Escape Salon & Wellness Spa where holiday specials include couples and hot stone massages and facials.

9. City Island

Take a winter stroll down the beach to find the most famous tree in the Bronx.Or warm up  inside one of City Island’s popular restaurants: The Lobster Box, Artie’s and Seashore. Over a roaring fire, you can watch a Hibachi chef prepare dinner for two at Ohana Japanese Hibachi Seafood and Steakhouse.            500 City Island Avenue (718) 885-0700

10. Stretch and sweat, stretch and sweat

Heat up from the bitter cold at Bronx’s Bikram Yoga Studio. 5500 Broadway,  Suite B

11. Discover the Martha in you

Make an authentic Bronx-style Italian dinner at home. First, pick up the Arthur Avenue Cookbook, and then pick up all your ingredients at the Arthur Avenue Italian Market.

12. Mix and mingle if you’re single

Join the Bronx Singles group on meetup.com. You never know, you just might meet that special someone!

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