.Virtual and Distanced Events Offer Love in the North Bay

For a holiday that celebrates togetherness, Valentine’s Day in the pandemic is going to be a socially distant affair for many in the North Bay.

Luckily, several local venues and organizations are making due with virtual offerings and to-go goodies. Here’s a few place to look for love in the North Bay this week.


Throughout the winter, Healdsburg’s open spaces and parks have been the canvas for the “Illuminations” art and light installations. One of the most popular installations, the New Year’s Light Archway by Artist Jordy Morgan, transforms this month into The Love Tunnel, a romantic and interactive community sculpture about love. At night, the tunnel will be illuminated with pink lights, paying tribute to the love shared in the community and in the world. Find the tunnel at artinhealdsburg.com.

While the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa remains closed due to the pandemic, it has been busy online with monthly drawing classes and other interactive live events. This month, the museum gets all mushy when it hosts “How to Draw Peanuts: Valentine’s Day Edition.” Cartoonist Robert W. Pope leads the online class and demonstrates how to turn the Peanuts gang into fun Valentine’s Day cards or other creative illustrations. The class meets on Thursday, Feb. 11, at 4pm. Tickets are $10 for Schulz Museum members and $15 general. Pre-registration required. Schulzmuseum.org.

Based in Sonoma County, the Paws for Love Foundation provides a lifeline to homeless pets by offering financial assistance to shelters and rescue organizations in the Western States. Each year, the nonprofit group gets the public involved with a fundraising gala. This year, the bidding goes online in the Paws For Love Virtual Silent Auction, featuring both popular returning auction items and exciting new packages. Bid in the auction from the safety of home and help at-risk animals find their “forever homes” beginning Friday, Feb. 12, at 5pm. Pawsforlove.info.

Wine and comedy always go well together when the Laugh Cellar and Charles Krug Winery team up for standup shows featuring special menus and local vino. During social distancing, the partners are presenting a new Virtual Wine & Comedy Series that kicks off this week with an online show featuring headlining comedian and broadcaster Maureen Langan on Friday, Feb. 12, at 6:30pm. Reservations includes wine delivered to you. Tickets are available at CharlesKrug.com.

Marin County–based Murphy Productions has been producing events that boast art and music in the North Bay for more than a decade. One of the group’s most successful ventures is the Sunday Salon series that continues this weekend with the seventh annual “Art of Love” Sunday Salon. Presented in collaboration with O’Hanlon Center for the Arts in Mill Valley, the online salon showcase features music by Tim Hockenberry, poetry from Cruwys Brown, photography of Paris from Lila Sparks-Daniels and more on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 5pm. $5–$20. Ohanloncenter.org.

Each February, the creative folks who participate in the Sonoma Writers Workshop come together to riff on Valentine’s Day in a poetry spectacular that usually takes place at Bump Wine Cellars in Sonoma. With social distancing still in effect, this year’s version of “Kiss and Tell: Confessions of the Heart” goes online and features writers including Jonah Raskin and Carol Allison and host (and this paper’s editor) Daedalus Howell, who will share their thoughts and feelings on Valentine’s Day, Sunday, Feb. 14, at 7pm. Free. Get the Zoom link at [email protected].

Gifts & Goodies

East Washington Place, Petaluma’s latest shopping and dining center, is helping spread the love this holiday with a contest for a Valentine’s Day Gift Package to share with a loved one. The contest, open to those 18 and older, ends on February 10th. One winner will be randomly selected and notified via email on Feb. 11. Enter the contest for free at Eastwashingtonplace.com.

Sonoma County staples Bear Republic Brewing Company and Volo Chocolate are combining their flavors for a special Valentine’s Day beer and chocolate gift box. Available online now, the gift set features Bear Republic’s Baba Yaga chocolate stour in cans and Brown Porter in bottles paired with 3 different chocolates, two small tasting glasses, and a bottle opener. Order online at bearrepublic.com.

As it does every holiday, Left Bank Brasserie in Larkspur will be celebrating Valentine’s Day 2021 by offering special prix fixe menus available for on-premise outdoor dining as well as pick up and delivery. The special selection of French culinary offerings will be available alongside a selection of Champagne and sparkling wines, as well as cocktails, will also be available for pickup and delivery. Find the menus and reserve brunch or dinner delights at LeftBank.com.

Two of Healdsburg’s signature spots, Spoonbar and The Rooftop at Harmon Guest House, have reopened and are offering decadent dining experiences throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, February 12-14. The menu at Spoonbar includes delicious holiday additions to the restaurant’s a la carte menu, and Spoonbar will also offer a three-course to-go menu available for pick-up Saturday, Feb. 13 and 14. Harmon Guest House is also featuring a special holiday Bubbles and Bites menu throughout the weekend. Spoonbar.com / Harmonguesthouse.com.

Nestled in the Russian River Valley, Bricoleur Vineyards is hosting a Valentine’s Weekend Tasting Special Menu featuring four of their wines along with expertly paired seasonal bites by Executive Chef Shane McAnelly. The special will be available for outdoor dining from Friday, Feb. 12, to Monday, Feb. 15. For those who are stating home this weekend, McAnelly is also hosting a virtual culinary class on Feb. 13 at 5pm as part of the “All You Need is Love” bundle which is available for pick-up–and local delivery on Feb. 13 from 11am-2pm, with options for groups of 2 people and 4 people. Spots are limited, so reserve your spot at Bricoleurvineyards.com.

Located at the gateway to Napa Valley, The Meritage Resort and Spa and its neighboring Vista Collina Resort are looking forward to welcoming guests and valley residents to celebrate Valentine’s Day with an exquisite Valentine’s Day menu, outdoor activities and special room packages. Families will enjoy the Valentine’s Children’s Cookies Decorating on Feb. 13 at 9am and Tea Parties on Feb. 14 at 11am. Romantic couples will want to take advantage of the “Love, Napa” package featuring Champagne, Valentine’s dinner for two, spa services and more. There is also a “Galentine’s” package, wellness offerings and more at Meritagecollection.com.

Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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