Valentine's Day is just around the corner and there's plenty to do on the Peninsula whether or not you're feeling like celebrating the holiday. Dress up for parties, enjoy live music in a cozy cabin setting, or show your love for the earth by joining in a plant-a-thon. Check out a few options below. 

Story Slam! A Competition of Storytelling

Thursday, February 9, 5:30pm

National Steinbeck Center, Salinas

Free

“Sweet Thursdays” are the day to head to the National Steinbeck Center for a new series of performances, lectures, and more. This week go to share a five-minute story or just listen to others, with the chance to win prizes for your tale. All are welcome to share. 

(Photo courtesy of barnimages.com)

Blush 4 Valentine’s Party

Thursday, February 9, 7:30pm - 2am

Cibo Ristorante Italiano, Monterey

$30-$60

Pink is the theme for this party inclusive of couples, singles, and friends alike. Show off your best blush-colored apparel, hit the dance floor, and grab a bite to eat; party host MADDOX and DJ Tuxedo Boombox will ensure an entertaining evening. 

Live Music: Fellow Pynins

Friday, February 10, 7-10pm

Henry Miller Memorial Library, Big Sur

$0-$10

Carpool down from the peninsula for a candle-lit night of folk tunes. Duo Dani Aubert and Van Ornum return from an eight-month tour of Europe with new stories and songs to share. They’ll play the clawhammer, banjo, and bouzouki in addition to mandolin and guitar. 

(Photo courtesy of makinamekawa.com)

Valentine’s Burlesque Show

Friday, February 10, Saturday, February 11, and Tuesday, February 14, 8pm

Paper Wing Theater, Monterey

$20 (18+)

A disco-themed Valentine’s burlesque show will surely liven up your dinner-date plans this weekend. Join the Roller Girls for live music and dancing Friday, Saturday, or Tuesday.

Free Tours at Ed Ricketts’ Lab

Saturday, February 11, 9am-3:30pm

Pacific Biological Laboratories, Monterey

Free

Be sure to schedule a reservation for a tour of this historical peninsula landmark. Docents will share the history of the building where marine biologist Ed Ricketts produced research on the ocean life of the California coast, along with tales of Ricketts’ friendship with John Steinbeck and the building’s role as a meeting spot for the founders of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Five hour-long tour times are available throughout the day. 

(Photo courtesy of walkmonterey.com)

Native Species Planting at Fort Ord

Saturday, February 11, 10am-1pm

Fort Ord National Monument, Marina

Free

Want to use your green thumb for a good cause? Conservation group Return of the Natives heads to Fort Ord this weekend for a native species plant-a-thon. Tools and snacks will be provided. 

Book Sale at Marina Library

Saturday, February 11, 10am-4pm

Sunday, February 12, 11am-3pm

Marina Public Library

Browse books and listen to music as you support the library this weekend. The Monterey Peninsula Gospel Community Choir will perform on Saturday, with the Monterey Songwriter Showcase on Sunday. 

Choreographer’s Showcase at SpectorDance

Saturday, February 11, 8pm

Sunday, February 12, 2pm

SpectorDance, Marina

$15-$20

For dance enthusiasts of all kinds, artists from the Monterey Peninsula, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Berlin will perform work from choreographers Mary Carbonara and Mariah Steele, among others. Ballet, hip hop, contemporary, and modern dance will all be part of the program

32nd Annual Together With Love Run/Walk

Sunday, February 12, 7:30am

Lovers Point Park

$12-$42

This yearly community run supports the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, with all proceeds going to the organization. The routes loop around Pacific Grove, with options for a kids 1K, a 5K, or a 10K. What better way to start off your Sunday than exercising for a good cause?