Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! Whether you’re booed up with Bae or rolling solo, here are nine ways to celebrate.
Lemon Pound Cake, Bonbonerie Opera Crème and Orange Cream Ale. Yes, those are beers, and they will be among the more than 350 varieties of craft brews at Cincy Beerfest this weekend. Head to the Duke Energy Convention Center on Friday and Saturday to taste to your heart’s content. (And remember: Don’t drink and drive!)
7:30-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday. (Doors open at 6:30 for early admission.) Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown. General admission: $45 advance, $55 day of; early admission: $55 advance, $65 day of; connoisseur tickets: $95, advance only. www.cincybeerfest.com
Cincinnati Ballet’s ‘Cinderella’
The Cincinnati Ballet is staging its production of “Cinderella” at the Aronoff this weekend. You already know the story; now imagine it with powerful dancers, gloriously colorful costumes -- and evil “stepsisters” portrayed by two hilarious men who threaten to steal the show.
8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Procter & Gamble Hall, Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut St., Downtown. $32 and up. 513-621-5282; www.cballet.org
CAC Goes Free
This weekend, the Contemporary Arts Center becomes free for all. Starting Saturday, the CAC will end its admission fees, thanks to a $75,000 gift from the Johnson Foundation and $150,000 from a newly formed CAC patron group, “The 50.” Sounds like the perfect time for a visit, especially since a new exhibit “Passage,” is opening with a free party Friday night. “Passage” showcases the work of Korean-American artist Do Ho Suh, who creates life-size fabric replicas of houses in which he has lived.
- “Do Ho Suh: Passage” opening party: 8-11 p.m. Friday. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. 6th St., Downtown. Free. www.contemporaryartscenter.org
Free Admission Weekend: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Special activities planned. For a full schedule, visit the CAC’s website.
Valentine’s Weekend Celebration with Kathy Wade
If you’ve not heard the glory of Kathy Wade’s voice, Friday is a good time to experience it. The jazz singer will perform with pianist Phil DeGreg, bassist Mike Sharfe and drummer Art Gore at Live at the Ludlow Garage. Expect to hear a romantic set of love songs, perfect for snuggling with someone special.
8:15 p.m. Friday. Live at the Ludlow Garage, 342 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. Tickets: $15-$35. http://liveattheludlowgarage.com
Cincy Prohibition 2016
Dress up all dapper — or as flappers — and go to the Cincy Prohibition 2016 speakeasy party at the Woodward Theater on Saturday. Cincy Brass will provide the music.
8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday. The Woodward Theater, 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine. $15. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Nashville Hot Grand Opening
We’ve tried the hot chicken (watch the video!) and it is fantastic. So we must urge you to try it, too. This weekend, new restaurant Nashville Hot will celebrate its official grand opening in Crescent Springs on Saturday. Diners will receive free cobbler and ice cream with their meal. (And yes, it’s technically already open for business if you just can’t wait to get your mouths around that cayenne pepper-infused fried chicken.) Reminder: Watch out for that Level 4 Nashville Hot -- it’s a scorcher.
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday. 564 Buttermilk Pike, Crescent Springs. www.nashvillehot.com
My Furry Valentine
I can never resist cute animals in need. This weekend, animal rescues and shelters from across the region are teaming up for My Furry Valentine, a huge animal adoption event. The goal is to find homes for hundreds of animals, and Valentine’s Day weekend would be a great time to bring home a new four-legged friend. There also will be live entertainment, games, a photo booth and prizes, too.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sharonville Convention Center, 11355 Chester Road. Get vouchers for free admission at all Greater Cincinnati UDF locations. Early bird admission: $15 per adult. (Children under 17 are free with an adult). myfurryvalentine.com
Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Festival
If you love cheese like I love cheese, you will hightail it to Fairfield this weekend for Jungle Jim’s annual Big Cheese Festival. There are more than 1,400 varieties to sample in Jungle Jim’s Cheese Shop, charcuterie and olives to pair them with and beer and wine to wash them all down. Unfortunately, Saturday tickets are already sold out, but Sunday tickets are still available.
Noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (Saturday tickets sold out.) Jungle Jim’s, Oscar Event Center, 5440 Dixie Highway, Fairfield. www.junglejims.com/bigcheesefest
Brunch Your Heart Out
There is a good chance that with Valentine's Day falling on a Sunday, your romantic evening out might happen the night before. That is where Taft's Ale House comes in. The craft brewery is hosting a "Brunch Your Heart Out" party on Valentine's Day. It’s a wear-your-PJs affair, all while eating, drinking, playing games and winning prizes.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Taft’s Ale House, 1429 Race St., Over-the-Rhine. For more details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Bonus: Northside is hosting a Valentine's Eve edition of its monthly Second Saturday. There are too many fun things happening for me to list 'em all, so check out the full event lineup for Second Saturday here.