Take Ten: for your Valentine

AC HOTEL, MADISON PHOTO

The month of love has arrived, and for some of us it will look remarkable different this year.

Our tolerance level for an in-restaurant meal or romantic overnight getaway is all over the map, thanks to the pandemic, but hopefully these options contain a little something that works for you – or gives you a new idea about how or where to celebrate.

Back to Nature, Winter Edition, Dodgeville: Spend 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 13 at Bethel Horizons, on 548 acres next to Governor Dodge State Park, for all things outdoors: ice fishing, snowshoeing, bird watching, sledding, building igloos and snowmen. Tickets to the family-friendly event are $12 per person. Pre-register: Space is limited. bethelhorizons.org

Candlelight hikes, Saukville: Gone, because of Covid-19, are events by candlelight at state parks but lesser traveled destinations are hosting something similar. Count Riveredge Nature Center, north of Milwaukee, among them. The 379-acre refuge in Ozaukee County offers candlelight hikes – strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis – from 4:30-8 p.m. on Fridays in February. Pre-registration recommended. Call before making the trip because weather affects these gatherings. Or plan a daytime excursion. There is a trail fee. riveredgenaturecenter.org

Fire and Ice Weekend, Sturgeon Bay: Much of this annual festival on Feb. 12-14 happens outdoors. Think snow and ice sculpting. Fireworks on the bay. Candlelight hiking (at 125-acre Big Creek Nature Preserve). Help create a park full of snowmen, if conditions are right. Yuk-it-up headliner Charlie “Manitowoc Minute” Berens performs at a virtual event that also has a silent auction. sturgeonbay.net

J. Henry and Sons, Dane: Sip award-winning, small-batch bourbon on the farm where the key ingredient – an heirloom red corn – is grown and the liquor ages in barrels. Small-group tours and tastings end in a comfortable, converted farmhouse near Madison. Linger with a craft cocktail afterward. Reservations required. jhenryandsons.com

Lodge Kohler, Green Bay: Next to Lambeau Field is boutique lodging with outdoor, see-through domes for dining and spa services, a part of the Titletown development. Book a dome for “Apps, Taps and Toes” for two, $99 per person; that means pedicures, a flight of cocktails and appetizer to share. Or pay $104 per couple for a day of steamy spa lounging indoors, the hotel pool, taste of champagne and chocolates. lodgekohler.com

Madison Mini-cation: Nineteen lodging outlets in the capital city are offering getaway packages from Feb. 12 to April 12. Examples: game night getaways, beer and cheese tastings, ice fishing intros. Visit Feb. 12 to March 7 and, weather permitting, an additional diversion is Winter is Alive, a winter carnival with large-scale art installations outdoors and live-streamed entertainment. Much of this happens on Madison’s frozen lakes. visitmadison.com, winterisalive.org

Milwaukee Food Tours, Milwaukee: Splurge on a themed box of locally produced goodies for Valentine’s Day (or Galentine’s, to treat a special friend). Choices pamper chocolate lovers to people who appreciate breakfast in bed. At the high end: Heart Poppin’ Love for $240, six pounds of Milwaukee-made chocolates in a two-foot-wide box. Any Valentine’s package includes access to a virtual tour called Milwaukee’s Greatest Love Stories. Prices include shipping. milwaukeefoodtours.com

Milwaukee Pretzel Company, Milwaukee: Add tasty twists and nibbles with a gift pack of soft, heart-shaped pretzels that each weigh up to one pound and are reminiscent of Bavarian fare. Add nacho cheese and Nutella dips for savory and sweet dunking. Or buy a jar of Sprecher Root Beer Mustard. Pretzel prices start at $10, plus shipping (free on orders of $25 or more). milwaukeepretzel.com

Walker House, Mineral Point: Truly private dining – in a room with restroom all to yourselves – continues. Coming Feb. 13 is a six-course meal for $35 per person, served at 5 and 7 p.m. with candles and low lights. Skittish about eating in? Then save $5 and pick up the same meal for heating at home. Or make it an overnight in quiet but scenic and historic Mineral Point, home to unique lodging options. (A $25 per person meal on Feb. 14 begins with croissants, ends with a peach pasty and includes 14 ounces of lasagna in the middle. For pickup only.) thewalkerhouse.org

Wisconsin Love: OK, shameless plug. One curated offering at Wisco Boxes is a $125 gift box for the Valentine who is a supper club fan: It includes my Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook, for inspiration to make a special meal that is based on our proud culinary history and heritage. Lots of other gift box themes too: cheese to bloody Marys. wiscoboxes.com