Cupid’s Arrow Points Downtown for Valentine’s Day

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Jesse Cox and Preston Harris enjoy the ice and one another at Crown Center. (Photo by Brian McTavish)

By Brian McTavish

A key to a successful Valentine’s Day date? Location (lub-dub). Location (lub-dub). Location (lub-dub).

It’s why the beating heart of downtown Kansas City will prove an especially attractive destination for couples with Cupid on their minds – from first-date flirters to veteran sweethearts still celebrating the cherub’s true aim.

Certainly, there are abundant dining and entertainment options to set the stage for a great downtown date. But why stop there?

Check out these other downtown destinations that may not be automatically associated with sweet romance, but could put the cherry on top of your Valentine’s sundae. Two spoons, please.

My Darling, My Axe Thrower

Nothing says “I love you” quite like saying it with a hatchet in your hand. The playful ambiguity of hurling hand axes with the human you have a thing for can be alluring in itself at Blade & Timber.

And, this week, couples will have the option of tossing their sharp blades at heart-shaped targets. Love can hurt, but c’mon! Mixed messages aside, here’s a chance to show that special someone why you make the cut. Or not.

Blade & Timber, 1101 Mulberry St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20 per person (advance registration suggested, walk-ins welcome).

We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Love is a riddle. Can you solve it?

First, find out if you’re clever enough to crack the code at Breakout KC, where 10 different escape rooms challenge the hearts and minds (OK, mostly minds) of those bold enough to enter, digest the clues and do their levelheaded best to discover the way out in 60 minutes or less.

You might also learn whether the person you’re crazy about can remain calm under pressure or you have to pick up the brainteasing slack. If both of you go to pieces, consider it a bonding experience. For good luck, try Room 13!

Breakout KC, 114 W. Third St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $30 a person (advance registration).

The skyline view from Liberty Memorial is a heart throb for any romantic.

Take Your Breaths Away

The breathtaking view from atop the Liberty Memorial Tower at the National World War I Museum offers lovers and other candidates for primetime cuddling the chance to take in the downtown skyline in superb fashion.

Couples may well wonder how many hearts are beating as one amid the steel and concrete expanse before them, in addition to their own smitten tickers 217 feet straight up in the air. Feeling lightheaded? Good.

Liberty Memorial Tower, 100 W. 26th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tower admission: $5 (last trip to the top leaves at 4:15 p.m.).

Fall into Each Other’s Arms

Ice skating can be slippery business and a fine reason to hang on extra tight to your date while navigating the Crown Center Ice Terrace, Kansas City’s only outdoor public skating rink.

Don’t know how to skate? Then consider yourself the luckiest, because the lousier you and/or your date are at staying upright on the ice, the better the experience – if you follow. Let’s just say there’s no better excuse to hold hands.

Crown Center Ice Terrace, 2425 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $7, skate rental $3.

Where There’s a Will…

Those with eyes for each other can use them to excellent effect at the Kansas City Public Library – Central Branch. Sure, couples may have plenty of adoring words of their own to share with one another, but expert help never hurts.

So get in the stacks and take turns tenderly whisper-reading from the love sonnets of the great William Shakespeare, for dreamy starters. “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” Oh, do go on!

Kansas City Public Library – Central Branch, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Mo.

Christopher Elbow chocolates are a romantic delight to the eye as they are delicious. (Photo by Brian McTavish)

Something Sweet?

As if that’s even a question when contemplating Valentine’s Day! While there are many candy shops, there is only one Christopher Elbow Chocolates, a definite downtown destination for giving sweets to the sweet.

The lights are kept low, except where the handmade gourmet chocolates are displayed like dazzling gems. Might making just the right scrumptious selection lead to a different sort of gem on a left ring finger someday? Just asking. Now get going on the answer.

Christopher Elbow Chocolates, 1819 McGee Street, Kansas City, Mo.

Paint with Passion

What does love look like? Create your own darling picture of it at Art Experience, where special “Be My Valentine” painting classes this week will invite kind-and-caring twosomes to express on canvas their deepest feelings for each other. Or maybe for their dog or cat. Well, it’s a start.

Art Experience at the MOD Gallery, 1809 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $28-$45 per person (registration required).

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