[Editor's note: This story has been updated for 2018]
We've rounded up five spots in and around Dallas that seem to have been made for romance. While they're all places you can go any time, be sure to call ahead as some might already be booked for Valentine's Day weekend.
Make like a tourist in Venice and cuddle during a gondola ride on Lake Carolyn and through the Mandalay Canal in Irving. Gondoliers sing or play romantic music, and couples are encouraged to kiss under every bridge. Regular prices start at $140 for a one-hour cruise for two guests with chocolates and sparkling cider or Italian sparkling mineral water. The week of Valentine's Day and holiday time slots have different pricing. Gift certificates are available for all the types of cruises offered (types include dessert, breakfast, appetizer and more). Reservations are required. Check the website for details on boarding locations, which are in Irving. 972-506-8037. irving.gondola.com.
Sing & Swing at Sons of Hermann Hall
If it's Wednesday night, it's time for Sing & Swing at Sons of Hermann Hall. The Deep Ellum venue, which opened in 1911, is romantic in an old-timey but not upscale way, with a ballroom upstairs and a bar downstairs. The Wednesday-night fun includes swing dance lessons and plenty of chances to kick up your heels from 8 p.m. to midnight in the ballroom and karaoke in the bar from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. Singer-songwriter Max Stalling will also host his 15th annual dance and concert on Feb. 10 at 8:30 p.m. ($20 general admission). Doors open Wednesdays at 7 p.m. 3414 Elm St, Dallas. sonsofhermann.com.
The folks at Reunion Tower say there's about one proposal there per day, with a decided uptick around Valentine's Day. A 68-second wedding has taken place in the elevator, and someone once popped the question via a banner attached to an airplane circling the tower. From Feb. 9 to 18, a "Put Your Love on Top" Valentine package is being offered. The inclusive couples package includes, a private elevator ride to Reunion's GeO-Deck where you can check out the views of Dallas, one printed digital photo and frame, a champagne toast and souvenir flutes. Check the website for pricing and special add-ons. 300 Reunion Blvd. E., Dallas. reuniontower.com.
Central Market Cooking School
If you think there's nothing sweeter than cooking with your sweetie, this one's for you. The Dallas Lovers Lane (of course), Plano, Fort Worth and Southlake locations all offer classes for a wide variety of interests. The classes can be social or intimate, depending on whether you like chatting with strangers. Pick a hands-on class so you can help cook instead of just sit and watch. There are lots of options, including ones with a full dinner at the end and wine throughout. At Dallas Lovers Lane, Plano, Fort Worth and Southlake Central Market locations. Reservations are required at centralmarket.com/cooking-school.
Admission is $5 at the arboretum through Feb. 23, so you can plan a romantic outing without breaking the bank. You might have to bundle up a bit, but a little chill might be all the more reason to hold hands or cuddle. You can also take your own food and drink for a picnic.
The folks at the arboretum point out that there's a spot at A Woman's Garden called the Pulpit that is heart-shaped with vines and a view of White Rock Lake. On Feb. 14, parking is free after 5 p.m. There will be two food trucks on site and a free screening of Beauty and the Beast (2017) at 6:30 p.m. And if you hold off on a visit until late February, you might spot some early spring blooms. Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Dallas Arboretum, 8525 Garland Road, Dallas. $5 general admission through Feb. 26, free for kids 2 and younger. 214-515-6615. dallasarboretum.org.
Sarah Blaskovich, Brentney Hamilton and Norma Cavazos contributed to this report.