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Valentine's events for the hearts and minds of L.A.

Tried and true events meet non-traditional activities in the L.A. area.

February 10, 2011|By Ramie Becker, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Valentine's Day is a high-pressure holiday, no matter what your relationship status says. Venerated or vilified, the date is packed with events; L.A. seems to be overflowing with innovative ways to make the entire weekend a lovefest. Whether you're spending this Valentine's Day indulging a loved one or being self-indulgent, there's a meal, mixer, dance, date night or gondola ride for you. Dig in, it's time to feel the love.

Thursday

Lucha Va Voom: My Kinky Valentine. Valentine's Day threatens to overwhelm us all with a gooey mess of lovey-dovey, but Lucha Va Voom will wipe your eyeballs clean of all that. Los Angeles' infamous Mexican wrestling/burlesque/comedy troupe is back with a twisted ode to love, sex, violence and spandex. Mayan Theatre, 1038 S. Hill St. 8 p.m. $35. (213) 746-4674. luchavavoom.com.

Valentine's Day at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. Voted by Los Angeles Downtown Magazine as the city's most romantic hotel, the gilded 'n' gorgeous Biltmore Hotel is pulling out all the stops. For a truly glamorous evening out, choose between pan-Asian dishes at Sai Sai or classic Italian fare at Smeraldi's. Or, escape for the whole weekend with its "vintage romance" hotel package including a decadent, in-room dessert, brunch for two, and late check-out. MiIlennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave. (213) 624-1011. http://www.millenniumhotels.com.

Bourbon and Brassieres: A Men's Shopping Event. Gents, here's your chance to make Valentine's Day shopping extra painless. Head over to Jenette Bras on Melrose for some bourbon tasting and expert advice on gifts for her, including bras, French stockings, garter belts and negligees. Jenette Bras, 4308 Melrose Ave. Thurs. and Fri., 6-8 p.m. Free. (323) 665-7490. http://www.jenettebras.com.

Friday

Gondola Getaways. It doesn't get much more over-the-top romantic than a gondola ride. Whisk your heartthrob off his or her feet with Gondola Getaways, offering private cruises on authentic Venetian boats around Naples Island (Long Beach) complete with roses, antipasti or chocolate-covered strawberries, and a framed photograph. Excursions available through Tuesday. 5437 E. Ocean Blvd. $100-$140 per couple. (562) 433-9595; http://www.gondolagetawayinc.com.

Romancing the Screen at Aero Theatre. Relive the silver screen's most passionate moments as the Aero and American Cinematheque show romantic classics all weekend long: "The Princess Bride" and "The Notebook" on Friday, "Gone With the Wind" on Saturday, "Casablanca" and "Double Indemnity" on Sunday, and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" on Monday. Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave. 7:30 p.m. $11 general admission, $9 children, students, seniors, $7 American Cinematheque members. (323) 466-FILM; http://www.americancinematheque.com.

Anti-Valentine's Day at Vroman's Hastings Ranch. If you're tired of all the fuss over Valentine's Day, Vroman's has a humorous alternative: wine, cheese, and a mummified Barbie and Ken on a night to spurn Cupid and his arrows. Enter your worst Valentine's Day horror story for a chance to win a prize. Vroman's Hastings Ranch, 3729 E Foothill Blvd., Pasadena. 6 p.m. Free. (626) 351-0828; http://www.vromansbookstore.com.

LearnAboutWine's Valentine Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Tasting. Here's a chance to expand your palate and impress your date. Educational and indulgent, the expert connoisseurs over at LearnAboutWine are putting together a sumptuous soiree during which patrons will sample five different cheeses, five chocolates and 10 different varieties of wine. Loft 218, 530 Molino St. No. 218. Fri. and Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 6 p.m.; Mon 7:30 p.m. $69, $100 for two. (310) 451-7600; http://www.learnaboutwine.com.

Saturday

Valentine's Sweetheart Dance, Catalina Island Ballroom. Catalina Island is the perfect mini-getaway from the city. Dance the night away in the beautiful Art Deco Casino Ballroom, with live music by Ace of Hearts, plus a decadent "Death By Chocolate" dessert bar. The Casino Ballroom, Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. 9 p.m. $25. http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com.

Naked at the Getty Scavenger Hunt. This is a chance for adults to go on a humorous, mind-tingling search for nudity at the Getty Center. Participants don't need to know anything about art or the museum, or nudity, to solve the hunt's tricky questions — just an inquisitive mind. Organized by Watson Adventures. 1200 Getty Center Drive. Sat. 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sun. 1 p.m. $24.50. (866) 811-4111; http://watsonadventures.com/schedule_la.html.

Valentine's Day in 3-D at Kidspace. It's going to be "LOVE in 3-D" all weekend long! Get the kids ready for Valentine's Day by coming to Kidspace and making 3-D pop-up greeting cards, creating your own "love bugs," making heart-shaped soap and Valentine's Day bracelets — plus chocolate tasting in the Harvest Corner. Kidspace Children's Museum, 480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m- 5 p.m. $10. (626) 449-9144; http://www.kidspacemuseum.org.

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