There’s nothing wrong with roses or diamonds or trips to romantic locales for Valentine’s Day. Traditions die hard, even if they can begin to feel a bit, well, cliched.
But creativity doesn’t have to die on Valentine’s Day. Here are a half-dozen twists on the romantic standards that, if nothing else, will let your beloved know that being involved with you may be strange but never boring.
Traditional: Holding hands while admiring a romantic sunset
Alternative: Holding hands while admiring a brick wall in front of which some hapless mopes had their worst Valentine’s Day ever.
In 1929, five mobsters, a hanger-on and one horribly unlucky garage mechanic were lined up against a brick wall in a Chicago garage and shot to death by rival mobsters.
The garage was torn down in 1967 and, long story short, some of the bricks from that wall have been reassembled in downtown Las Vegas at the Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave., where it can serve as a memorable backdrop for a Valentine’s Day selfie.
Traditional: Giving your sweetie freshly cut roses
Alternative: Giving your sweetie flowers that aren’t going to die in a couple of days
Handing your sweetheart a dozen flowery corpses is a strange way to celebrate a relationship, metaphorically speaking. Instead, give your beloved some greenery that’s as alive and thriving and beautiful as your relationship.
Seriously. Explain it that way and he or she will be absolutely touched.
Area garden shops offer a slew of live plants suitable for Valentine’s Day giving. Or, check out any souvenir store in town and odds are you’ll even find a cute but hardy little cactus for your sweetie.
Traditional: An expensive rock
Alternative: A less-expensive rock
Sure, diamonds are a girl’s best friend forever, or whatever, but gifting your sweetie with one isn’t cheap. On the other hand, Las Vegas is packed with souvenir shops that carry all sorts of cool gems and stones, and a turquoise necklace or even an eye-catching geode will yield great glitter for a portion of the price.
Pro tip: When you present your Valentine’s Day gem, explain to your beloved that just as time has turned the rock into something beautiful and long-lasting, it’ll do the same for your relationship. You’re welcome.
Traditional: Getting married in a wedding chapel
So you’ve decided to tie the knot on Valentine’s Day. Congratulations, and good thinking, because you’ll never forget your anniversary. But in a town where even Elvis weddings have become routine, a “Zumanity” wedding pushes the nuptial envelope.
The “experience” — a word that seems accurate in so many ways — at New York-New York includes Edie, the show’s “Mistress of Sensuality,” performing the ceremony in the Zumanity Theatre Lobby and an escort down the aisle by two “Zumanity” performers.
Packages (www.cirquedusoleil.com/usa/las-vegas/zumanity/premium-experience/weddings) begin at $3,500, but (wink) you only get married once, right?
Traditional: Tying the knot on terra firma
Alternative: Exchanging vows way up high
Feb. 14 also happens to be National Ferris Wheel Day, so why not tie the knot on Valentine’s Day on the on the High Roller Observation Wheel at The Linq?
The Valentine’s Day deluxe wedding package — for $1,275 (daytime wedding) or $1,475 (nighttime wedding) — the couple and up to 15 guests can enjoy a private cabin for 30 minutes. The package includes one flute of champagne per guest, a half-dozen red roses, the wedding officiant’s services, a souvenir photo and a dozen chocolate-covered cheesecake pops.
Traditional: Symbolically giving your heart to another
Alternative: Literally giving your heart to another
Feb. 14 also is National Organ Donor Day, and if you’re really looking to express your love to someone else on Valentine’s Day, registering as organ donors is a great way to do it. Visit the Nevada Donor Network at nvdonor.org.
A previous version of this story was published on Feb. 9, 2018