Celebrate your sweetheart with music, theater, dancing

Happy Valentines Day Whatcom County! Someone used rocks, shells and flowers to create two hearts at Marine Park in 2014.
Happy Valentines Day Whatcom County! Someone used rocks, shells and flowers to create two hearts at Marine Park in 2014. The Bellingham Herald

Flowers and chocolate seem to be the traditional ways to honor your sweetheart, but here are a few not-so-conventional ideas for a weekend of romance and fun.

▪ Bellingham Circus Guild presents its sixth Valentine’s Day event, “My Circus Valentine,” featuring performances by guild artists and special guests at the Cirque Lab, 1401 Sixth St. Early shows, at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, are family-friendly; the 9 p.m. cabaret shows those evenings are for ages 21 and older. Doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.

Tickets are $20 adults, $10 children, at Brown Paper Tickets. The “Sweetheart Deal” for the 9 p.m. shows are cash only, sold in pairs, and cost $25 each with beer or wine; or $27 each with cocktails. Details: MyCircusValentine@gmail.com, Facebook and bellinghamcircusguild.com (search events).

▪ The Upfront Theatre, 1208 Bay St., presents “Cupid’s Arrow: An Improvised Dating Game” at 8 and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 27. Inspired by the classic 1960s and ’70s show “The Dating Game,” the Upfront actors have their contestant choosing from three characters inspired by audience suggestions. Audience members not only get to witness the choosing, but can see the date play out on stage. Tickets are $10 advance, $12 at the door. Reserve at 360-733-8855, https://theupfront.com/.

▪ Hearts, Wine & Chocolate, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at BelleWood Acres Distilling & Event Center, 6140 Guide Meridian, south of Lynden, features a chocolate fountain, artist exhibits and door prizes, plus music by swing-and-jazz group the Mark Kelly Quartet, with optional dancing. Tickets are $30 at 360-318-7720, bellewoodfarms.com.

▪ The Swing Connection Big Band hosts its annual Valentine’s Day Dance from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Crystal Ballroom of Leopold Residence Hotel, 1224 Cornwall Ave. The band will back six soloists chosen from two Bellingham Sings’ vocal ensembles, Whatcom Sound Jazz Singers and Allegra Women’s Ensemble. Admission is by donation. Details: 360-714-0054, http://swingconnection.org.

▪ Terrorize your lover on Valentine’s Day? Victorians saw it as the best way to grab your honey’s hand and not get in trouble with all of those etiquette rules. Join the fun at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Whatcom County Territorial Courthouse, 1308 E St., as members of Bellingham Storytellers Guild spin tales of terror. It’s a ticketed event, with $5 tickets only at Village Books. No tickets will be sold at the door. Hosted by Whatcom County Historical Society. Details: 360-393-6782 and Facebook.

▪ Whether you’re a single or duo, you can come to Rumba Northwest’s Valentine’s salsa dance Saturday at Bell Tower Studios, 1430 N. Garden St. Doors open 8 p.m. Warm up with a beginning salsa lesson, then groove to DJ Antonio’s mix of Latin rhythms until 11 p.m. Admission: $10 general, $7 students. Details: 360-595-7369, 360-594-2360, rumbanorthwest@gmail.com, http://rumbanorthwest.com/.

Margaret Bikman: 360-715-2273, @bhamentertainme