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No reservations: Have an unexpected Valentine

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Join the Stoplight Party in The Black Swan at Omni Hotel Houston. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
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Visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau
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News_Sarah_No Reservations_River Oaks Chamber Orchestra_in concert
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Whether you're single and ready to mingle or just not into fancy, multi-course dinners, that doesn't mean you should spend Valentine's Day on the couch. Whether it's a sweet hotel package, a party in an unexpected location or an Asian celebration, get ready to celebrate love – or just loving life.

Need to get away from the world? Have a weekend of romantic seclusion with the Hyatt Regency Houston's Grand Amour Package. Starting with a limo ride from your house to one of Hyatt's dual-level Grand Suites, the package also includes an in-room couples massage, a $500 gift card to I W Marks, an in-suite dinner from Shula's Steak House with a bottle of Dom Perignon, two bottles of matched wine, cordials and triple-dipped strawberries for dessert, all served by a butler. The next morning, wake up to a dozen red roses and breakfast in bed with mimosas or Bloody Marys. Trust us, the world will still be there when you get back. Package available Feb. 12-14, $2,010.

All the single ladies (and some single fellas, too) will be heading to the Four Seasons Houston for the Single's Mingle with live entertainment and signature cocktails in the lobby lounge, coinciding with a special "HeART and Soul" collection of artwork from Koelsch Gallery displayed around the hotel.

Ah, college, when being single – or in a relationship – could change in the course of one party. Go back to those heady days with the Stoplight Party in The Black Swan at Omni Hotel Houston. Wear green if you're available, red if you're taken and yellow if your relationship status is somewhere in the middle. Admission is $10.

For a classically elegant V-Day, take in a Valentine's concert by the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra at The Houstonian, while enjoying a private dinner in Houstonian's Juniper Room, with optional childcare. Or leave the kiddies at home altogether and splurge on one of The Houstonian's luxe romantic room packages.

Who needs candlelight and a white tablecloth when you can have a roaring fire and a blanket on the floor? Get the best of both worlds with Bistro Don Camillo's keepsake picnic basket, stuffed with foie gras mousse and croutons, a large loaf-shaped assortment of petite sandwiches with various fillings, the chef’s selection of cheeses, chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate, red velvet cake for two, Valentine’s Day china, a scented candle, two champagne flutes, a bottle of champagne and a Bistro-monogrammed throw blanket. Orders must be in by Friday and picked up Saturday.

Another tasty option for a DIY holiday are the at-home dinner for two packages offered by Dessert Gallery in conjunction with Stone Kitchen Catering. Choose from dinners like beef wellington, parmesan-and almond-crusted chicken, cannelloni and portobello mushroom caps, served with a salad, sides and a dessert sampler. Pick-up can be arranged Friday and Sunday, but all orders must be made three days before pick-up.

Stimulate mind, body and heart at Houston Museum of Natural Science's Love Bugs bash on Feb. 12, where you can salsa the night away to the tunes of Grupo Ka-Che between nibbles and cocktails and take a stroll with your love bug through the tropical splendor of the Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Win a date and help a good cause at the My Pink Valentine party on Thursday, Feb. 11 at Ei8ht. Bid on eligible bachelors and bachelorettes (they come with fantasy dates like a private sailing lesson, private sommelier-led wine tasting and a helicopter ride to Austin for dinner and back) and in addition to having your Valentine's plans all sewn up, all proceeds go to the Pink Door Foundation, which provides support and career opportunities to single, divorced and widowed cancer survivors.

Fall in love with Houston by joining the Greater Houston Preservation Alliance's walking tour of the Heights on Sunday among some of the area's most beautiful Victorians and early-20th century architecture. Tour starts at 2 p.m. at Cohen Plaza (Heights Boulevard at 11th Street); tickets are $10.

If Valentine's Day makes you want to say "Bah Humbug," commiserate with fellow unlucky-in-lovers at Block 7 Wine Co., where Aurora Picture Show is screening "It's Not You, It's Me," a collection of short films that show love as more battlefield than bed of roses.

And don't forget, Feb. 14 isn't just a day of love: this year it's also the Lunar New Year. Put on some red and celebrate at the Chinese Community Center Year of the Tiger Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 13, where festivities will include a ceremony with Annise Parker and other officials, a performance by the Houston Grand Opera, an acrobatic magic show, dragon and lion dances and cultural exhibitions including origami and calligraphy.

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