4 Valentine’s Gift Ideas that Are More Creative than Flowers or Chocolate

DIY brew kits, make-your-own chocolate classes, international culinary immersions and more.

japanese cooking class today with @leagueofkitchen

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Chocolate making class at Raaka Chocolate

Why give your Valentine chocolates when you can give a veritable fishing rod for chocolates? Red Hook’s own Raaka chocolate makers offer courses in the art of the confection, from bean to bae. For those who don’t care to DIY, Raaka also gives tours of their Brooklyn Wonka factory. —Carrington Morris

Beginner’s brewing kit

Give a man a beer, he drinks for a day… you can figure out the rest. This Valentine’s Day, give your beer buff sweetheart the tools for brewing empowerment, with this First Time Brewers Kit from Brooklyn Brewshop. And for those with a little more experience, you can give kits for brewing grapefruit honey ale, jalapeño saison or even a hard cider kit. —Jesse Hirsch

Romeo and Juliet, live

For all you Valentines that want to celebrate with a bang (no pun intended), head to Supercinema at the McKittrick Hotel (home of Noir Sleep No More) on Saturday, February 13. From the website: “For one night only, enter as characters inspired by some of the greatest films of all time. We’re celebrating Baz Luhrman’s retelling of the classic love story Romeo + Juliet. Experience the film like never before with a night of dancing, live performances and an open bar.” This is sure to be a sultry Valentine’s Day bash, so don’t miss it if you’re up for a night to remember. —Alexandra Milak

Learn about a new cuisine from the people who know it best

Ask any chef or eager cook who their inspiration is and there’s a good chance they’ll say their grandma. Around the world, older generations are authorities on culinary tradition and lucky for us New Yorkers, League of Kitchens works to connect curious students to nearby immigrants—many of whom are grandmas—who teach traditional techniques in their homes. I had the privilege of taking a five-hour Japanese cooking class with Aiko (not sure if she is a grandma, actually) this past weekend and left with a better understanding of ingredients and technique, as well as a detailed booklet of recipes and three Tupperware containers full of leftovers. There was a couple in my class who seemed to have a ball, and partner or not, there’s a good chance you would, too. —Ariel Lauren Wilson

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