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. 15 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).
Stargaze Away or Watch Bald Eagles Soar
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. 1 & 28, 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.
Bald eagles from the north make Fort Collins their winter home. They spend nights in communal roosts in cottonwood trees at Fossil Creek Reservoir Natural Area. Drop-in to visit with the volunteer Master Naturalists who are stationed at the viewing pier Fridays and Saturday afternoons, now through Feb. 15. Learn about the eagles’ natural history and view them through spotting scopes and binoculars. Free, no registration required.
Bundle up for a self-guided walking tour of some of Fort Collins best art galleries. Multiple galleries display new showings and open their doors for the tour, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 7. 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. 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 and includes 13 shows, highlighted by a performance on Valentine's Day by Ozomatli. Take a look at Washington's concert calendar to see all the upcoming shows.
The Aggie Theatre has a boatload of shows coming up in February, highlighted by Shakedown Street (Feb 7), Devotchka (Feb 14), Jerrod Niemann (Feb 19), and G. Love & Special Sauce (Feb 28).
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. Six free shows are on tap for February. Check out their calendar to see what nights work for you.
Calling All Foodies
If your loved one fancies himself or herself a foodie, check out the Fort Collins Foodie Walk together on Feb. 21. 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. 15 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).