We Heart New York: Valentine’s Day Gifts & Activities

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Of all the years, this is the one to shower your family members with love. Whether you’re shopping for the perfect gift, looking for something to do together, or need an idea for a special activity, we can help! Read on for NYC-created (or inspired) Valentine’s gifts, as well cooking and craft projects that will help you support local businesses and makers. Say “I Love NY” while saying “I love you!”

Get Cooking!

photo: Taste Buds Kitchen

Taste Buds Kitchen

Make an adorable Valentine's Love Shack with Taste Buds Kitchen, either in your home or at its culinary studio in Chelsea. 

The in-person workshop, recommended for kids ages 3 to 8 is on Valentine's Day at 10 a.m. Prices start at $79 for one child and caregiver. Click here to register.

Or, order up a Love Shack ($75) to pick up or be delivered for a $20 fee. Click here to buy.

Freshmade NYC

Freshmade NYC is offering several Valentine's Day cooking projects to take part in live, via Zoom on the holiday weekend. Make valentine-inspired bagels, heart-shaped pizza or onigiri, and chocolate or yogurt-covered fruits. You provide the ingredients and tune-in to get cooking. Classes are $25 and last one hour. 

Click here for class details, dates & times!

photo: Local Roots

Local Roots Pizza Making Kit

Anyone can order in a pie but for anyone ready to take it to the next level and bake it from scratch, why not order a pizza making bundle put together by Local Roots NYC, a farm-based subscription box service? The kit features fresh pizza dough from Hawthorne Valley, New York, fresh tomato sauce from City Saucery in Brooklyn, heritage breed sausage from Stryker Farm in Pennsylvania, mozzarella sourced from Narragansett, Rhode Island, a sea salt chocolate bar from Brooklyn’s own Fine & Raw, all packaged up in a pink Local Roots tote ($48.99).

Online: localrootsnyc.com

photo: Leonelli Restaurant & Bakery

Leonelli Restaurant & Bakery

In yet another example of the creativity our restaurateurs are showing during the pandemic, Leonelli Restaurant & Bakery in NoMad has just launched kid-centric cooking kits that arrive at your door with homemade spaghetti ready to boil (plus sauce and meatballs), NYC strong cookie decorating kit, bake at home cornettos, a pipe-your-own cannolis kit and a make-your-own-hot-chocolate kit. Food fun for everyone! Get it for $90. 

Order: eats.outpost.market

photo: wellplated

The Dynamite Shop

Ready to graduate to some more advanced baking? Try The Dynamite Shop's two-day, Valentine's Day weekend layer cake workshop! Make the cake, the frosting and learn about the art and architecture of this classic dessert. Recommended for kids seven and up; workshop is $60.

Register here!

photo: TheNonchalantCook

The Nonchalant Cook

Grazing boards have long been an Instagram favorite, with drool-worthy spreads placed "just so." Create your own artful board with help from The Nonchalant Cook, which provides all the ingredients, such as three kinds of artisanal cheeses, soppressata, fresh and candied fruit, crackers, chocolate-covered strawberries and more. Plus, a link to a video where you get a step-by-step tutorial of how to assemble the board. From $110.

Online: thenonchalantcook.com

Dig In!

photo: Milk Bar

Milk Bar Red Velvet Cake & More

If the ones you love are red velvet fans, get thee to a Milk Bar, stat! The American-style bakery from chef Christina Tosi with bakery locations all over NYC is serving up some very serious RV treats for Valentine's Day. Choose from red velvet cake, red velvet truffles and even red velvet soft serve! 

Get a small cake for $32, a dozen truffles for $24, or a combo pack for $75. 

Online: milkbarstore.com

photo: Challah Dolly

Challah Dolly

Meet Dolly Meckler, New York City’s unofficial challah queen. The baker is creating chocolate raspberry loaves in honor of the holiday of love. They're baked at Partybus Bakeshop (31 Essex Street) and will be available February 12. Prices start at $10. To order your loaf, send her a DM on @ChallahDolly.

Online: instagram.com/challahdolly

photo: Arianna Tettamanzi

Maman Valentine's Treats

At the always charming Maman, chocolate is always on the menu but, from February 8-14, Maman Marche in SoHo will be transformed into a ‘love patisserie’ pop-up offering such special treats as an edible chocolate gift box (select from a mini raspberry rose cookie, mini heart Oreo and more) and Love Potion Hot Chocolate, featuring a glass heart jar filled with hot chocolate mix topped with heart-shaped marshmallows. 

237 Centre St. 
Online: mamannyc.com

photo: Momofuku

Momofoku Essentials

If you’re looking for everything you need to make your Valentine’s Day super spicy, look no further than the Momofoku Pantry Starter Kit ($52). It’s got Momofuku’s signature full line of popular products for home cooks, including Chili Crunch, Seasoned Salts and Liquids (soy sauce and tamari). 

Online: momofuku.com

photo: Counter Culture Coffee

A Strong Brew

For the mom or dad who can’t get through the day without coffee, your mornings just got better with Big Trouble, a blend by Counter Culture Coffee that’s nutty and punctuated with notes of sweet caramel. Pair a bag of these beans with a BPA-free tumbler that fits right in a cupholder and you’ll be able to ease right into tummy time. A 12-ounce bag of beans is $15.25; tumbler is $25.

Order: counterculturecoffee.com

Get Creative!

photo: Kadoodle Kids

Kadoodle Kids Kits

We’re going to be wearing masks for a while so why not make them as fun (and functional) as possible for kids? From a trio of moms comes Kadoodle Kids, a new crafts brand offering DIY mask projects. The "Be My Valentine" box set features a mask, fabric markers, glitter glue pens, heart stickers, wash-off glitter heart tattoos, Valentine's stampers and a mask pouch ($21.95). 

Order: kadoodlekids.com

photo: Once-Kids

Once-Kids City Blocks

With an 11-block set of wooden blocks inspired by our city’s inimitable skyline, the Wanderlust NYC blocks ($30) will provide lots of entertainment over the cold winter days ahead. Each set comes with a laser-engraved wooden storage box that features a chalkboard painted interior so your kids can get really creative a backdrop only they can imagine. 

Online: once-kids.com

Get Comfy!

Love-ly Throw Pillows

Sometimes you need to make a statement and have it live on your living room furniture every single day. Just ask Alexandra Ferguson, who is all about the love (we’re partial to her ‘Love Lives Here’ pillow for sure), and has been designing recycled felt pillows featuring fun and sassy phrases using die-cut letters sewn in her Brooklyn warehouse for the last 12 year. To order, visit her website or her Etsy shop. Prices start at $64.

Online: etsy.com/shop/alexandraferguson

photo: Arranging Box

Arranging Box DIY Flowers

Anyone can grab roses from a corner bodega and arrive home with a smile and a stunning dozen, but Arranging Box curates fresh blooms and help you expertly style them. Make an arrangement for your beloved, or gift them the kit if that's up their alley. All kits come with fresh flowers, a flower recipe box and step-by-step designing tutorials created by the company’s founder, a savvy floral designer who pivoted to create this company during the pandemic. $59 and up.

Online: arrangingbox.com

photo: Bolledinatura

Soaps By Bolledinatura

Our city is filled with incredibly creative people, including Carol Pincione, who has transformed one room in her Upper East Side apartment into a homemade soap creation zone. Her Valentine’s collection is brimming with heart-shaped options or gorgeous handmade soaps shaped like roses. Bonus: If you’re running behind on your gift-getting outings, Pincione offers curbside pickup and local delivery via Postmates. Gift boxes start at $34.

Order: bolledinatura.com

photo: Apotheke

Apotheke Candles

Picking a candle for the one you love isn’t easy but you can trust the artisans at Apotheke, a Brooklyn-based luxury home fragrance company that started out selling soap and candles at flea markets in Brooklyn, to create one that gives your apartment just the right feeling of calm when you need it most after a hectic day of balancing home-schooling and WFH. Opt for Rosebud Oud (white rose, peony and lily of the valley enhanced by the rich warmth of oud and musk) or keep it hotel lobby chill by lighting White Vetiver (cashmere, eucalyptus and lilac entwined with vetiver, sandalwood, amber and Cedarwood). $38.

Order: Apothekeco.com

Get Dressed!

photo: Ruth Nathan's

Ruth Nathan's Style Kit

Even though we’re largely living our best lives at home these days there’s no reason not to up our look and you can do just that with The Nate, a kit created by Ruth Nathan’s, an online purveyor in Harlem of fine fashion for the ‘urban peacock,’ that contains a mask, lapel flower (that comes in a protective tin) and your choice of bowtie—all of which look pretty darn good when worn together. Gift a family member with this kit ($140) and his or her Zoom profile will thank you. 

Online: ruthnathans.com

photo: Bird & Stone

We love the "Future is Female" cuff from Bird+Stone, an ethical jewelry company in Dumbo. We also love the fact that the company has donated over $50,000 to Planned Parenthood New York City as part of its give-back strategy. Check out Bird + Stone’s Love is Love cuff ($35) as well, which donates 100 percent of profits to The Trevor Project, supporting the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth. 

Online: birdandstone.com

photo: AYSHANY

1-2-3 Winter Kit From AYSHA NY

The 1-2-3 Winter Kit ($199) from AYSHA NY, a boutique fashion brand based in NYC’s garment district, is going to be a new fave for the mom braving cool temps on the playground. The three-piece set—choose from such colors as dusty rose, sage green, slate and cognac—will be delivered to mom in a gorgeous box packed with a luxe hat, velvety scarf and matching mask—natch!

Online: Ayshany.com

Get Weird!

Name a Bronx Zoo Cockroach

Can you love a cockroach? The Bronx Zoo says "yes!" and this Valentine’s Day you can name one of the Zoo’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches. The full package comes with a plush roach stuffed animal, candle, a printed certificate with your roach’s name and a very crawly February 14th Virtual Encounter with one—and a surprise animal guest too. From $15.

Online: bronxzoo.com

—Lambeth Hochwald



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