It’s not too late to save Valentine’s face

It’s almost Valentine’s Day! We’re hoping you’ve chilled the champagne, made reservations at your favorite romantic bistro, hired the stunt pilot to write words of love in the sky, and selected and ordered the just-right shade of red roses weeks ago.

However, for those who are just now realizing that Thursday is Valentine’s Day with a sinking feeling, not to worry. We’ve come up with last-minute ideas for procrastinators. Here are five ways to save your life, love and relationship on a Valentine’s Day you’ve forgotten to prepare for.

1. Attend the ballet.

It’s hard to beat the romance and elegance of the ballet, and it just so happens that the Atlanta Ballet has a show Thursday night at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. “Dracula” may not immediately sound like a perfect fit for Valentine’s, but the Atlanta Ballet assures us that the show provides plenty of romance. Tickets start at $20; for an additional $20, you get two glasses of champagne and a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries. Show begins at 8 p.m. For tickets or information, call 404-892-3303 or visit

2. Cook dinner.

It’s probably too late to book that special table at your favorite restaurant, but what about cooking dinner? Even if you’re not the next Emeril Lagasse, you can handle potato-crusted salmon, steamed artichokes with butter, and fresh apple crisp. The website Mr. Food’s Test Kitchen has these and other easy recipes with help through each step. That’s easy even for a beginner. Stop at the store on the way home to pick up the ingredients and pretend it’s a surprise you’ve been planning for months.

3. Spend the evening with great art.

The relationship between Frida Kahlo and her husband, painter Diego Rivera, is one of the most famous in all of art history. You can explore its romantic ups and downs at the exhibition “Frida & Diego,” opening Thursday at the High Museum of Art. “They never wavered in their support of each other as artists,” David Brenneman, the High’s director of collections and exhibitions, points out about the artistic couple’s famously troubled relationship. “That really is quite poignant and touching.” The festive opening includes live Mexican music, salsa dancing, and a couples photo booth. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-4444, The special Valentine’s Night opening party begins at 6 p.m.

4. Make some pottery or paint a canvas.

Like writing a poem, this one should be carefully deployed. If you’re already in trouble with your significant other, an ugly vase or a lousy poem won’t dig you out of a hole, but if you can manage something heartfelt, it just might do the trick on a forgotten Valentine’s Day. Sip & Stroke in Johns Creek gives you the option of decorating a piece of pre-made pottery (stencils available for the art-impaired) or painting a picture with a teacher’s help while sipping on your favorite bottle of wine (BYOB). Grab some buddies and create your own class. 8465 Holcomb Bridge Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek. Walk-in hours, noon to 6 p.m. Painting class, 7 p.m. 770-641-9833,

At Wired & Fired, a coffee shop and “pottery playhouse,” you can have a cappuccino while you glaze a pre-made piece of pottery, inscribing it on the bottom with a personal and romantic message. Wired & Fired, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Valentine’s Day at 1000 Marietta St., Suite 104, Atlanta. 404-885-1024,

5. Write a love poem.

So you’re not Shakespeare, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a pen and piece of paper and write your emotions for that special someone. The website Poetry America has straight-forward advice about how to get started: find a comfortable, quiet spot and then just try to let loose and put down what you feel. There is no one specific rule to writing a love poem as long as the result is uniquely you. Avoid starting with the words “Roses are red, violets are blue.” It’s been done.

6. Try martinis and a movie.

An action movie at the cineplex probably won’t cut it for Valentine’s Day, but if you can talk your love into waiting until Friday, you can have cocktails, music and nibbles before the Imax film “Flight of the Butterflies.” The movie shows at 8 and 10 p.m., but doors are open from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-929-6300,