By Caramie Petrowsky
Forget just one day — why not celebrate love the whole month of February? In Fort Collins, there are plenty of upcoming events and activities taking place this month that are the perfect way to show your significant other — or yourself — a little love.
Beers with your Beloved
On Valentine’s Day, the Colorado Brewers’ Festival presents The Summit at Block One from 6 to 9 p.m. Sample specialty beers from winter seasonals to barrel-aged creations at this event, where tickets are limited. Tickets are $65. Visit downtownfortcollins.com to purchase.
Thrill of the Chase
Does your relationship thrive on a little light-hearted competition? Or maybe one of your 2019 resolutions was to tie up those running shoes and get going! Either way, consider penciling in the Catch Me If You Can 5K/10K race on Feb. 9 to your calendar. The annual race takes off from Red Truck Beer Co. and gives the ladies a little head start (3 minutes) for each race. Space is limited; early registration recommended at frontrangefreeze.com (Registration is $30 for the 5K and $35 for the 10K).
A Night at the Theater
Fort Collins’ Open Stage Theatre & Co presents “Steel Magnolias” at the Lincoln Center Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 16. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $27 at lctix.com. Tied up that day? Catch Japanese drum masters performing “Kodo: Evolution” on Feb. 17 at the Lincoln Center. This brand new production marks the 35th anniversary of the internationally acclaimed taiko drum performing arts ensemble.
Looking for a romantic date night that’s a little outside the typical dinner-and-a-movie box? The areas around Fort Collins offer some of the best stargazing hot spots in Colorado and city leaders are working toward dark-sky certification for all the Natural Areas, some of which are among the darkest in the county. Envision snuggling up under a blanket beneath the stars while looking for and hearing about distant planets and galaxies. On Feb. 15, join volunteers from the Northern Colorado Astronomical Society at the Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. They’ll provide telescopes and their knowledge — you just bring a blanket and a date. Meet in the parking lot off Carpenter Road at 7 p.m. Free; registration required.
Bundle up for a self-guided walking tour of some of Fort Collins best art galleries. Fifteen galleries display new showings and open their doors for the tour, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 1. While the tour takes place on the first Friday of every month, it’s especially romantic to wander through Old Town when the trees are still lit up and sparkling with festive holiday lights, and since the lights come down mid month, this is your last chance for awhile. Be sure to stop in and see an exhibit by University of Colorado Art professor Melanie Yazzie called “Mind Mapping” at the Fort Collins Museum of Art. And don't forget to stop by the new Visit Fort Collins location as we are participating in the Art Walk this year. We are located at 1 Old Town Square, Suite 107. To see a map of the participating galleries, visit https://downtownfortcollins.com/experience/itineraries/first-friday-art-walk/
Love Live Music
Did you know Fort Collins is nationally recognized as a hot spot for creative music and talented new musicians? Add a live music show to your calendar this month. If you haven’t checked out Washington’s, the area’s newest music venue, now is the time. February’s lineup is stellar: Los Lobos (Feb. 1), Los Lonely Boys (Feb. 2), Chris Robinson Brotherhood (Feb. 5), The Greyboy Allstars (Feb. 7), JJ Grey & Mofro (Feb. 9), Devotchka (Feb. 14), An Evening with Leftover Salmon ‘Stories From the Living Room’ (Feb. 16), Bob Mould Band (Feb. 25) and An Evening with North Mississippi Allstars (Feb. 28).
The Armory hosts Hot Buttered Rum (Feb. 13), Face Vocal Band (Feb. 15), Joshua Radin and Lissie (Feb. 22).
Or see Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt perform together when they land at the Lincoln Center on Feb. 9.
The very refined-yet-offbeat Magic Rat Live Music, located inside the luxury Elizabeth Hotel in Old Town, hosts big name artists and local late night jam sessions. Three free shows are on tap for Feb.: the heavy-hitting blues/funk/R&B band Roots & Rhythm Band on Feb. 2; Peruvian salsa masters Don Chicharron on Feb. 15; and the hard-to-categorize Upstate on Feb. 20.
Calling All Foodies
If your loved one fancies himself or herself a foodie, check out the Fort Collins Foodie Walk together on Feb. 15. Taking place from 5 to 8 p.m. in Old Town, you can meander into places like Nuance Chocolate, where they do a “Show and Smell” demonstrating how Nuance makes single-origin chocolate from raw cacao beans, followed by a taste of the delicious goods. Or swing into Happy Lucky’s Teahouse, which features the largest tea selection in the state. Visit http://downtownfortcollins.com/?/events/foodie-walk for the scoop on each participant and what they’re offering at February’s event.
Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Takeover: Heartbreakers
Learn all about your ticker at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery on Feb. 9 when biomedical science students from Colorado State University take museumgoers on a journey about how your ticker works. During Heartbreakers, learn about your heart at educational activity stations open to all ages. The event goes from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is included with general admission tickets to the museum ($12.50 for adults/$9.50 for seniors, students or children age 3 to 18).