Portland, OR

7 Great Ideas to Celebrate Valentine's Day in Portland This Year

Rose Bak


Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

It’s hard to believe, but Valentine’s Day 2021 is only a week away.

Portland and its suburbs are still under pandemic closures, but you can still find something fun to do with your sweetheart. Valentine’s Day coming on the weekend also increases your options for creating a special day for the person who matters most.

Here are some things you can do to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Portland:

Romantic Dinner and a Movie

Despite the fact that many beloved Portland restaurants have closed over the last year (we’ll miss you Pok Pok) there are still a plethora of great restaurants around town to help give you a special Valentine’s dinner.

Sure, you’re sick of doing take-out, but you can make it almost as nice as going out to a restaurant. Pick up something yummy from a local favorite. Here are some restaurants that have Valentine’s Day specials.

When you get home, instead of eating in front of the TV and staring at Netflix, set the table. Put down a tablecloth, the one you save for Christmas and other big holidays. Put the food into serving bowls instead of eating them from the carton. Bring out the nice dishes and Grandma’s silverware. Use cloth napkins instead of torn-off paper towels. Light some candles and turn on some romantic music. Then enjoy a nice romantic dinner.

After dinner, do something together. Dance. Watch a movie you both enjoy. Play a board game. Do some couple’s yoga.

Portland Winter Lights Festival

The annual Winter Lights Festival has been re-tooled but still promises an incredible free event. The Lights Festival includes nearly 200 public art installations, live performances, and workshops.

The event leaves its traditional Portland waterfront location and expands to events and art installations throughout the event. You can check out a downloadable map of festival locations on the Winter Lights Festival webpage.

Lovestruck Drive-In

Head on out to Washington Square Mall for a “Lovestruck Drive-In”. This COVID-safe event includes admission to two romantic comedies, dinner for two and dessert brought right to your car, and a bottle of Willamette Valley Vineyards wine to bring home.

My Muddy Valentine

If you and your loved one are active, you might want to go for a little run before your carry-out romantic dinner. My Muddy Valentine, the super-popular annual obstacle course race, is offering both in-person and virtual 5k and 10k races at Lee Farms in Tualatin. Check out their website for registration and an explanation of how they plan to keep people safe.


Volksfest, the Mt. Angel Celebration of Sausage, coincides with Valentine’s weekend. The event is significantly scaled-down due to the pandemic, but there are still many local businesses participating. Support the small businesses of Mt. Angel, get some yummy German food, listen to music, and give your significant other a weekend to remember.

Celebrate Chinese New Year Too

You can get two holidays for the price of one by spending your Valentine’s Day at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. The folks at the Chinese Garden have been working hard to create a New Year’s celebration that keeps the spirit of the event while maintaining social distancing and COVID protocols. You can celebrate the arrival of the Year of the Ox with individual guided tours of the garden, scavenger hunts, and more.

Romantic Weekend Away

If you’re dying to get out of your house, consider a weekend get-away. You can get a nice weekend hotel package around the state, including downtown Portland, at the Coast, and in Bend. Try to get a room with a view, and order your carry-out or room service menu to your hotel room.

Home rental agencies like Airbnb and VRBO also have a wide variety of get-away options and guarantee your rental will be clean, sanitized, and COVID-safe.

Once you get to your location, enjoy some outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, biking, or walking.

Have a great Valentine’s Day Portland!

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Rose Bak is a freelance writer who lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and special needs dogs. She writes on a variety of topics including local news, homelessness, poverty, relationships, yoga, and aging. She is also a published author of romantic fiction. For more of Rose's work, visit her website at rosebakenterprises.com or follow her on social media @AuthorRoseBak.

Portland, OR

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