Lovely, lively Valentine’s Day array features Magic Gardens, nature … and axes

Last-minute choices for Valentine’s Day ﹘ and “Galantine’s Day” ﹘ an African-American film festival in Delaware, and wildlife on display in this week’s “Things To Do.”

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Boyz II Men members, from left, Wanya Morris, Nathan Vanderpool, Shawn Stockman and Mike McCary pose for a photo

File photo: Boyz II Men members, from left, Wanya Morris, Nathan Vanderpool, Shawn Stockman and Mike McCary pose at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 25, 1993. (AP Photo/Julie Markes)

Love is in the air, as it always is when we celebrate Valentine’s Day. Check out our choices for last-minute options, including Jack Hanna, Erykah Badu and Boyz II Men this weekend, You can also pick up some ink and get ideas for sprucing up your abode as two big conventions set up shop in the Delaware Valley.

Sweetheart Skate
BlueCross River Rink Winterfest
121 N. Columbus Blvd.
Feb. 14; 7-11 p.m.

If you’re stuck for a last-minute Valentine’s Day option, try a skate night. Hour-and-a-half skating sessions start at 7 and 9 p.m. and include admission, skate rental, flowers, chocolate and a photo of you and your loved one. That doesn’t have to be your significant other. Bring a good friend, your child, or anyone else, as long as they can skate ﹘ or at least hang on to the wall without falling! Additional food and drink are available for purchase.  DJ Lady FX will provide what should be some  appropriate holiday selections.

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens Valentine’s Day tours
1020 S. St.
Feb. 14;  6:30 and 8 p.m.

Magic Gardens creator Isaiah Zagar and his wife, Julia, host this  candlelight tour of the famed home of mosaic art in Philly. Not only will they share details about the creation of the space, which includes galleries and a labyrinth, they’ll also tell their own decades-long love story. Reservations are required, and the tour is open to those 21 and older.

Bury The Hatchet
1931 Olney Ave., Cherry Hill, New Jersey (also locations in Philadelphia, Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and Toms River, New Jersey)
Feb. 14; 12:15-9:15 p.m.
$39.99 for two hours

You may never have considered the Canadian pastime of  ax-throwing as an option for a night out before, but Valentine’s Day is a great time for it. If you’ve ever thought about putting an ex’s face on a dartboard and aiming small missiles at it, think of this as a slightly more extreme version.

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It could also be a first-date Valentine choice, because assessing one’s skill at throwing potentially lethal objects is one surefire way to vet a potential future husband or wife. We kid, we kid! “Galantine’s Day” and “Palentine’s Day” celebrants can use the evening to release some tension in response to all those couples who will inevitably oversaturate social media displaying their perfect relationship.

Nature Explorers: Nature Valentines  
Brandywine Creek State Park, 41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington, Delaware
Feb. 14; 9:30 a.m.

Here’s one for the little ones – moms and dads can bring their toddlers (2-4 years old) to the park to learn about how animals celebrate Valentine’s Day. We like to think that animals have their own love stories. If they do, you and your child can learn more about nature’s creatures in a beautiful setting.

Valentine’s cruises
Feb. 14 and 16; 7-9:30 p.m.
Feb. 16-17, noon-2 p.m.
Departs from Penn’s Landing
$89.99-$159.99; children under 12 starting at $74.90; no charge for children 3 and under

If a Valentine’s Day family sail is your thing, this one welcomes kids. If your Valentine can wait until Saturday, a bottomless mimosa brunch is part of the offering. Cruises are climate-controlled and upgrades, including commemorative photos and upscale cocktails are available when registering online. You can also indicate that you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary, which may mean a special acknowledgment.

The Academy of Vocal Arts Winter Recital
Helen Corning Walden Theater, 1920 Spruce St., Philadelphia
Feb. 14; 7:30 p.m.

Brahms, Britten, Weill and Korngold may not be household names in every household. If not, AVA’s Winter Recital is offering an introduction. Selections from each of these musicians will be part of the program led by maestro Christofer Macatsoris and pianist Richard A. Raub along with some of Philly’s most accomplished classical vocalists.

Sweet Pairings
What Am I Drinking?!, 28 Summit Grove Ave., Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Feb. 16; 7-8:30 p.m.

Sweet delights are on the menu at the female-owned wine education studio What Am I Drinking?! You can learn about chocolate and wine pairings ﹘ and sample same ﹘ with handmade chocolate provided by The Sweet Trading Company.

Rehoboth Beach African American Film Festival
Cinema Art Theater, 17701 Dartmouth Drive, Lewes, Delaware
Feb. 15-17

Four films with African-American themes will be screened over the holiday weekend as Black History Month continues. Organizers of the second annual festival hope to use film to foster more understanding of African-American culture. One of the films highlighted this year is a documentary on religious leader Father Divine, who created the International Peace Mission Movement and once owned the Divine Lorraine Hotel on North Broad Street. (Although the sign remains, the building was sold in 2000.)  Members of his congregation still reside at his former mansion in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, and continue to follow his teachings.

Philadelphia Home and Garden Show
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center
100 Station Ave., Oaks, Pennsylvania

Home décor on your mind ahead of the spring cleaning season? Well, all the inspiration you need is out at the Philadelphia Home Show. Explore kitchen renovations, swimming pool installations, gazebo and deck construction just in time to get to work before summer backyard barbeques. Former “Trading Spaces” personality Ty Pennington will be on hand as well as John Loecke and Jason Oliver of the interior design firm Madcap Cottage.

Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention
Pennsylvania Convention Center
131 N. Broad St.
Feb. 15-17
$22-$45; kids 12 and under free

If tattooing was once a subculture, now it’s mainstream and almost everyone has, or knows someone who has, one or more tattoos. If you’re curious or want to add to the ink you have already, dozens of vendors will be at your service. Musician Yelawolf, who has his share of ink, as well as reality TV stars from the tattoo reality shows “Ink Master” and “Black Ink Crew” will make guest appearances as well. A pinup contest and after-parties are among the other highlights.

Boyz II Men – 25th Anniversary of II
The Met
858 N. Broad St., Philadelphia
Feb. 16; 8 p.m.

Twenty-five years ago this summer, Boyz II Men released their third studio album,” II”. It ultimately sold 12 million copies, ushering in a new generation of Philadelphia soul superiority previously led by homegrown acts Teddy Pendergrass and Patti LaBelle, along with Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International label.

Although the group wasn’t particularly enthusiastic about the release of “I’ll Make Love To You” as the first single, it topped the record set by their previous hit “End of the Road” spending 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.

Erykah Badu w/ Busta Rhymes
Boardwalk Hall
2301 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Feb. 16; 8 p.m.

Singer/songwriter Erykah Badu was a staple of the neo-soul sound of the ‘90s with hits “On and On,” “Next Lifetime” and “Bag Lady” ﹘ and her instant classic breakup song “Tyrone.” Through her Twitter account @fatbellybella, Badu has also evolved into one of soul music’s elder stateswomen, sometimes with controversial results. But there’s little controversy about her strong body of work and the eclectic mark she’s made on contemporary music. She’s joined by hip-hop icon Busta Rhymes whose kinetic style has influenced countless others.

Jack Hanna Into the Wild Live
Keswick Theater
291 N. Keswick Ave., Glenside, Pennsylvania
Feb. 17; 3 p.m.

If you’ve ever watched late night or early morning TV, you’ve seen the ageless American conservationist Jack Hanna stun and surprise hosts with all manner of exotic creatures from all manner of exotic places. Hanna, now 72 and the director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, brings those creatures to the Keswick Theater for a post-Valentine’s Day event sure to please an animal-loving significant other or anyone else who delights in the denizens of the wild.

Presidents Day at the Museum of the American Revolution
101 S. Third St., Philadelphia
Feb. 16-18
Free with museum admission, $13 – $21

Presidents Day observances go all the way back to 1789 when George Washington became the nation’s first president and the capital was in Philadelphia. So it’s fitting that the Museum of the American Revolution plans programming to commemorate the holiday. Via the Hamilton Was Here exhibit, visitors can try on clothing from Washington’s era, visit a recreated scene from his home and try out other interactive displays.

Enjoy some of our Valentine’s Day music picks:

Editor’s note: In the radio segment aired Feb. 14, we recommended the Winter Fountains art installation, which is no longer on display. The archived audio available here has been corrected.

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