Love Letters to be delivered by a modern day Pony Express, San Antonio B-Cycle. Photo by Lauren Shultz.
Love Letters to be delivered by a modern day Pony Express, San Antonio B-Cycle. Photo by Lauren Shultz.

Whether you and your loved one share a passion for film, literature, history, art, food, music or – if nothing else – puppies or tequila, The Rivard Report has ten fun and free (or cheap) things to do with your Valentine this weekend.

Movies by Moonlight

On Friday at 7 p.m. Movies by Moonlight in Travis Park will present a Valentine’s Day-themed outdoor screening of Sleepless in Seattle. The 1993 romantic classic stars Tom Hanks as a recently widowed man whose son tries to find him a partner (the lovely Meg Ryan). There will be food trucks, cocktails and music starting at 6 p.m. 301 East Travis St.

The San Antonio Museum of Art

SAMA is hosting a “Love Art” party, which is free with Museum admission Friday night. There will be a brief tour highlighting certain pieces from 5:30-6 p.m., followed by a party in the courtyard with food and “love-potion cocktails” from the Esquire Tavern, and live music by The Midtown Jazz Quartet.

SAMA's Art Parties have become popular among Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. Photo by Steven Starnes.
SAMA’s Art Parties have become popular among Baby Boomers and Millennials alike. Photo by Steven Starnes.

For a more mellow Valentine’s Day on Saturday, the museum will host a meditation class in the Japanese Gallery from 10:15-11 a.m., free with Museum admission.

The Pearl Farmers Market

Treat your loved one to fresh produce at the Pearl Farmers Market. While the vegetables aren’t free, the live music and food samples are. Enjoy a languid morning walking arm-in-arm through the bustling stalls, sharing samples of local chocolate and strawberries. Open every Saturday until 1 p.m.

The Mission Reach

The Rose Window illuminated for guests at Mission San José. Photo by Robert Rivard.
The Rose Window illuminated for guests at Mission San José. Photo by Robert Rivard.

Bike, walk, kayak, or drive (if you must) the Mission Trail, an extension of the San Antonio River. Mission San José, “the queen of the missions,” is remarkable for its grandeur; the magnificent church was recently renovated, and the grounds are extensive. Some of the smaller and lesser-visited missions are ideal for a romantic jaunt. Mission Concepción, completed in 1755, is a gem of a structure with a carved limestone façade and vaulted rooms with the remnants of colorful frescos. Click here for a map of the trail.

My Furry Valentine

San Antonio Pets Alive! (SAPA!) is hosting a Valentine’s Day special on Saturday and Sunday, with treats for dogs and humans, a Puppy Kissing Booth, and low adoption fees. Although the event itself is free, all proceeds from extras go to the puppies. If you’ve been thinking about adopting a dog or cat, the event is a great way to both give and receive a little more love in your life.

Participating locations include SAPA! at ACS, 4710 Highway 151, Building 1; The Cattery at 9107 Marbach Road #109; Paul Jolly Center for Pet Adoptions at 210 Tuleta Drive, across the street from the Zoo; and Petco Adoption Center, 6001 NW Loop 410 #103.

Animal Care Services is also hosting an event: their “The One” Valentines Adoption “paw”ty, which runs from Friday to Sunday, featuring low adoption rates for adult dogs and cats.

A cat and a puppy during a rescue. Photo courtesy of Animal Care Services.
A cat and a puppy during a rescue. Photo courtesy of Animal Care Services.

Love Central Library Day

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday the Central Library, 600 Soledad Street, will host a variety of activities, including music, film screenings, crafts, food trucks and book sales. There will be a display of Victorian Valentines, historic Scottish Country Dancing from 3-4 p.m., and a Romance Readers’ Party from 3-5 p.m.

Mardi Gras River Parade and Festival

While it’s not exactly intimate, the free Mardi Gras River Parade promises to be a great deal of fun. There will be live music on the Arneson Stage from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. while La Villita will host a festival of food (including classic Cajun gumbo and jambalaya), art and more. The parade itself takes place from 3-5 p.m., leaving you plenty of time for a romantic dinner on the Riverwalk after you’ve been showered with beaded necklaces.

Dozens of river barges filled with costumed bead-tossers pass by crowds of revelers for the 2013 Mardi Gras River Parade. Photo by Iris Dimmick
Dozens of river barges filled with costumed bead-tossers pass by crowds of revelers for the 2013 Mardi Gras River Parade. Photo by Iris Dimmick. Credit: Iris Dimmick / San Antonio Report

Tequila Tasting at La Fogata

If you’re looking for a twist on the usual Valentine’s champagne and flowers, look no further than La Fogata, 2427 Vance Jackson Rd. It’s hosting a free tequila tasting from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, featuring Sauza Blue tequila. The romantic restaurant with its verdant patios will have several Valentine’s Day specials (although these aren’t free). Between tequila and Mexican food, you can expect your night to be spicy in more ways than one.

The Brooklynite

An untraditional choice, the Brooklynite’s second annual Anti-Valentine’s Day Party may be just the thing for you and your loved one if you prefer cocktails and rants about the commercialization of holidays to five course dinners and rose petals (just make sure your partner really feels the same way you do). Entry is free, with R&B music by DJ Steven Lee Moya. The party goes from 9 p.m.-1 a.m., with a special price on Whiskey Kisses (that’s a drink). 516 Brooklyn Avenue.

Gallista Gallery

At 6 p.m. on Saturday, the Gallista Gallery, 1913 S Flores St., will host “La Marilyn Con Safos: A Marilyn Monroe Inspired Art Show.” Free and open to all ages, the show will feature the work of 19 artists. There will be live music by Los Indigenauts, a poetry circle, games, and food provided by Lone Star BBQ.

The Gallista Gallery, "Welcome to the other side of the tracks." Photo courtesy of gallistagallery.com.
The Gallista Gallery, “Welcome to the other side of the tracks.” Photo courtesy of gallistagallery.com.

Bonus Valentine

If this holiday has snuck up on you this year, there is still time to head over to the Briscoe Western Art Museum, 210 W. Market St., and write a love letter to that special someone. They have art, poetry, and other literature on hand to inspire. Your letter will then be delivered by volunteers on San Antonio B-Cycles – like a modern day Pony Express. Click here to download the B-Cycle delivery range map to see if your sweetheart’s address is within range. Otherwise, the Briscoe will use the trusty snail mail. You’d better take a long lunch, the Briscoe and Pony Express close at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Click here for more information.

For more Valentine’s Day-related events, check out Do210.com’s calendar.

*Featured/top image: Love Letters to be delivered by a modern day Pony Express, San Antonio B-Cycle. Photo by Lauren Shultz.

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Gretchen Greer

Gretchen Greer is a freelance writer and photographer, born and raised in San Antonio. She has lived in France and England, and currently divides her time between Texas, London and Burgundy. You can find...