Contact: Megan Casper
National Public Relations
M. Silver Associates
Megan@msilver-pr.com Jennifer Aniskovich
on Culture & Tourism
WHO NEEDS THEM: GOING SOLO ON VALENTINE’S DAY
A Guide to Pampering Oneself in Connecticut
HARTFORD — January 17, 2006 — Valentine’s Day is when millions of people who are alone – by choice or circumstance – are made to feel a bit left out. Why should that be? Instead of moping because there’s no one to share the box of chocolates, maybe this product of the greeting card industry is actually an opportunity to laugh and learn and, most of all, to treat oneself well.
There’s Nothing Wrong with Self-Indulgence
The key to going solo on Valentine’s Day is total, guilt-free pampering. This is that rare chance to think about no one else. Country inns, B&B’s and countless day and destination spas throughout Connecticut welcome singles and groups of friends with special getaways and packages designed to rejuvenate the body and lift the spirits. Some examples:
The Mountain View Inn in Norfolk (860-542-6991) offers a Pamper Yourself getaway featuring a beautifully decorated Victorian guestroom, an hour-long massage, complimentary sherry in the afternoon, a comfy sofa before a roaring fire and sumptuous breakfast. The inn can also arrange such extras as a sleigh ride, hot air balloon trip, Champagne and chocolates and features a Ski and Stay package with nearby slopes of Mount Southington as well (860-628-0954).
Lily House Bed and Breakfast in Suffield (860-668-7931) offers a Ladies Pamper Yourself weekend package that enables a group of up to six women to take over all three guestrooms for two nights and features a Friday evening wine and cheese reception around the fireplace, a morning stretch with a yoga instructor, afternoon tea on Saturday, breakfast, snacks and beverages, chick flicks and access to the spa for massage, pedicures and manicures (charged separately). And, the Deacon Timothy Pratt B&B Inn in Old Saybrook (860-395-1229) features a Pamper Me Package that includes two nights’ accommodations with a canopied bed, fireplace and Jacuzzi tub, a candlelight breakfast and a package of royal treatment products for the body and bath.
The Westbrook Inn B&B (800-342-3162) also offers a special Swedish Spa Massage Therapy package that includes a one-hour relaxing massage in the privacy of your own guestroom for a minimal additional charge to the room rate. And, the Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic (860-739-0331) suggests the Girl’s Spa Getaway, is ideal for friends who want to avoid Valentine’s Day.
The Mystic Marriott Hotel and Spa in Groton (860-446-2600), with the only Elizabeth Arden Spa in the region as well as the highly regarded Octagon Restaurant, is another opportunity to treat oneself in style whether alone or with friends.
Laughter’s the Best Medicine
Experts say that laughing heals the heart. But don’t laugh alone; it’s very hard to feel morose in the company of hundreds of others chortling and chuckling. So, get out to the theater this Valentine’s Day. Here are some suggestions:
The Ivoryton Playhouse (860-767-7318) presents Heartaches, Heart Throbs and Hangover on February 11: the anti-Valentine’s Day event to end all. The audience is urged to come dressed in funky red and rock their little hearts out. Opening on February 9, the Seven Angels Theatre in Waterbury (203-757-4676) will present Laughter on the 23rd Floor, the Broadway hit by the genius of comedy, Neil Simon. The Spirit of Broadway Theater in Norwich (860-886-2378) offers intimate, black box theater productions of innovative, high-quality new works throughout the year. There’s also cabaret, a lively, often daring, irreverent and exciting form of less formal theater that is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face. Cabaret opportunities in Connecticut include the highly acclaimed Yale Cabaret at Yale University in New Haven (203-432-1566), the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport (203-576-1636) specializing in musical theater and the Connecticut Cabaret Theatre in Berlin (860-829-1248), offering musicals and comedy.
The Little Grey Cells
Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s decidedly eccentric detective, stimulated his little grey cells to solve the crime. This Valentine’s Day, why not activate your own, with some enriching cultural activities? Among the offerings: classical guitarist Christopher Berg will perform at the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan on February 12 at 5 p.m. (203-966-0002); the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (860-244-2999) features Tchaikovsky’s Romeo & Juliet and cellist Patrice Jackson at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford, February 14-15 (860-987-5900) and Live! Lit, One World at the Quick Center for the Arts in Fairfield, February 12 at 3 p.m. includes readings about the human experience by authors from around the world (203-254-4010).
Among the many museums in Connecticut offering inspiration and mental stimulation is the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme (860-434-5542). This National Historic Landmark is one of America’s best-known centers of Impressionism, with several galleries and changing exhibitions. And, appropriately for the occasion, the ALVA Gallery in New London (860-437-8664) opens a new exhibition, ART LOVERS, on January 28 that examines how artist partners influence, support, maybe even torment one another. Three pairs of artists – Christian Brechneff and Tim Lovejoy, Luke Gray and Dorke Poelz and Sean and Karen Kernan are featured.
Another option is an urban escape to New Haven and its many museums, theaters and fine restaurants. Starting at $130, with a $50 Parxsmart Card thrown in for extra value, packages are available for everything from live theater to Pizza, Pubs and Picasso. Visit www.visitnewhaven.com for more information.
For yet another perspective on culture, Connecticut’s two famous casino resorts, among the largest in the country, provide an all-inclusive getaway for great accommodations, entertainment, dining and fun. On February 11, the Ladies Night Out Tour comes to Foxwoods Mashantucket (800-FOXWOODS), with Urban, R&B and Hip Hop stars such as Jagged Edge, Ginuwine, Donell Jones and CASE. Nearby, at Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville (888-226-7711), Brooks & Dunn, the country’s hottest country duo perform on February 12 and Keith Sweat performs on February 11.
Off the Wall (literally) and Other Pursuits
What better inspiration than Valentine’s Day to take on a new challenge – that off-the-wall sport or activity you’ve never had the nerve to try? For those who take off-the-wall literally, there’s Go Vertical in Stamford (203-358-8767), offering the opportunity to try indoor rock climbing – 34 climbing ropes on 100 climbing routes and classes for beginners and climbers of all ages. For those who have fantasized about becoming the new Ginger Rogers, there’s Maria Fiora’s Latin and Ballroom Dance Studio in Stamford (203-353-4363). This professional instructor and national competitor offers instruction in ballroom, Latin, salsa, swing and more. No partner required. And, if you’ve ever wanted to float through the sky with the greatest of ease, it’s even possible (weather permitting) to spend Valentine’s Day in a hot air balloon over the hills and valleys of Connecticut. Log on to www.CTvisit.com to find out which ballooning companies will be up in the air this February.
Shop ’til you Drop
Today you’re unhappy? Can’t figure it out? What’s the salvation? Go shopping. Nobody ever said it better than Arthur Miller’s ancient antiques dealer in The Price. So why not? Connecticut is a shopper’s paradise; treat yourself to something very special this Valentine’s Day. Here are a few stores and boutiques with distinct personalities:
- KOLO (860-293-0624) in downtown Hartford, where scrap bookers can create albums with all the bells and whistles they desire
- Mother Earth Gallery in Brookfield (203-775-6272) for hand-crafted jewelry, nature-related gifts and decorative accessories
- New England House of Gifts in Meriden (800-NE-HOUSE), one of New England’s largest gift and toy stores
- The Other Place in Old Saybrook (860-399-5206), with pottery, ceramics and more
- United House Wrecking Co. in Stamford (203-348-5371), Connecticut’s largest collection of antiques ranging from stained glass to furniture and accessories, including architectural salvage
- Vintage Victorian in Madison (203-245-7943) for home decorating, crafts from nationally known artists and more
- The Pequot Museum Store at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum (800-411-9671) where new items include organic foods, holistic health products and traditional Native American games, and expanded consignment area with hand-made jewelry, pottery and other artistic creations by the country’s leading Native American artists
- Don’t forget about the discounted designer merchandise and name brand deals at factory outlet centers in Connecticut. Here’s the outlet shopping guide:
Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets: (860) 664-0700
Home to upscale outlets, conveniently located off I-95 in Clinton, Connecticut. Great prices, and an added bonus–no tax on apparel in Connecticut (up to $75)!
Westbrook Factory Stores/Tanger: (860) 399-8656
This premier outlet shopping center in Westbrook, Connecticut, is home to more than 65 designer outlets, where you’ll find discounts and deals on clothing, housewares and more.
Finally, for all those who, despite going solo, just can’t stay away from Valentine’s Day, there is the 2nd Annual Romantic Chocolate Festival in Willimantic (860-465-3048) February 12-13. Who says you need a partner to enjoy chocolates from around the world?
For further information about special Valentine’s Day events, activities and packages, as well as the 52 Getaways to Connecticut, restaurants, resorts, country inns, B&Bs and other places to stay in Connecticut, please call 888-CTvisit (888-288-4748) or log on at www.CTvisit.com. Connecticut offers visitors a multi-faceted wealth of attractions, historical, cultural and recreational activities, diverse and beautiful natural landscapes, parks, beaches and wilderness sure to fulfill any getaway need.
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