7 alternative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Las Vegas

Who decided that chocolates should be a Valentine’s Day tradition? Or roses? Or, even, diamonds and trips to romantic locales where lovers can hold hands and stare dreamily off into the distance?

Nothing wrong with any of that, of course. Old habits die hard, even if such classic traditions have begun to feel a bit cliched.

But creativity doesn’t have to die on Valentine’s Day. Here, we offer a few twists on holiday standards that, if nothing else, will let your beloved know that being involved with you might be strange sometimes but it’ll never be 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 — along with a hanger-on and a horribly unlucky garage mechanic — were lined up against a brick wall in a Chicago garage and shot to death by rival mobsters.

And you think you’ve endured some lousy Valentine’s Days.

Anyway, 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.

Anybody can be romantic on a beach at sunset, but it takes a truly special couple to eke romance out of a mob massacre artifact.

Traditional: Giving your sweetie freshly cut roses

Alternative: Giving your sweetie flowers that aren’t dying

Handing your sweetheart a dozen flowery corpses is a pretty strange way, metaphorically speaking, to celebrate a relationship. 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.

Ed Alvarado, assistant manager at Star Nursery, 8170 W. Charleston Blvd., hasn’t noticed that lovers buying each other cactuses for Valentine’s Day has become a thing. But he said the nursery does sell arrangements of living plants in decorative bowls.

“The bowls have different types of flowers in them, and they put a little heart piece in to show it’s for Valentine’s Day,” he said. “That’s actually made through some of our vendors, and (there’s) a variety.”

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. So give your bae a gem that’s a bit more affordable. Las Vegas is packed with souvenir shops that carry all sorts of cool gems and stones, and a turquoise ring 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 sweetie 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: A box of chocolates

Alternative: A box of meaningful candy

Here’s the message a basic box of chocolates sends to your beloved: “I was at the drugstore to buy Band-Aids and saw that it’s Valentine’s Day. Here’s a box of chocolates.”

Pathetic. Instead, give your special someone candy that not only satisfies his or her sweet tooth, but jogs memories of a time when the most stressful relationship anybody ever dealt with was puppy love for a classmate on the other side of the room.

Chuckles. Sour Patch Kids. Atomic FireBalls. Bit-O-Honey. Candy cigarettes. Marshmallow ice cream cones. Jujubes. All are among the retro candies found at Rocket Fizz, 9410 W. Sahara Ave., No. 120. Presenting your beloved with a beloved childhood candy will melt his or her heart, just because you remembered.

At least until the sugar high subsides. Then you’re on your own.

Traditional: Getting married in a wedding chapel

Alternative: Getting married with Cirque du Soleil’s “Zumanity”

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 are routine, a “Zumanity” wedding pushes the nuptial envelope.

The “experience” — a word that seems accurate in several 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.

Prices begin at $3,500, but (cough) you only get married once, right?

Traditional: Enjoying an earthbound view

Alternative: Sighing way up high

Know what else Feb. 14 is? It’s National Ferris Wheel Day, and the High Roller Observation Wheel at The Linq offers acrophobia-free lovers 550-foot-high Valentine’s Day packages ranging from $725 to $1,475 that include such touches as Champagne, sweets and romantic music.

Traditional: Symbolically giving your heart to another

Alternative: Literally giving your heart to another

People always talk at Valentine’s Day of giving their hearts to someone. Why not do it for real this holiday by making sure you and your sweetheart are registered organ donors?

Feb. 14, appropriately enough, also is National Organ Donor Day. If you’re looking to express your love to someone else on Valentine’s Day, this is the way to do it. For information, visit the Nevada Donor Network web page at nvdonor.org.

Contact John Przybys at jprzybys@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0280. Follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

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