Like choosing a new fling, most of us can be very picky about how we spend Valentine’s Day. Some like to go all out, with arms full of box-store chocolates and teddy bears, while others like to pretend it doesn’t exist. I get it. So for this roundup, I looked far and wide for ways to satisfy as many moods as possible. Check back soon for a list of V-Day dining options from Josh Can’t Cook‘s Josh Schonewolf.Â
I WANT TO SPEND MY MONEY ON SOMETHING WORTHWHILE: Action AIDS kicks off its eighth-annual Red Ribbon Campaign with a little star power. Fashion designer and Project Runway All Stars winner Mondo Guerra will mingle with guests at Fashion in Action and unveil a T-shirt he designed for the 23rd anniversary of Dining Out for Life. Fans of Project Runway will remember Guerra’s emotional revelation that he has HIV in season 8, so I”m sure the night will hold a special place in his heart. Upscale cocktails and nibbles will be provided by St. Germain and Square 1682. 6-8 p.m., $50, Hotel Palomar, 117 S. 17th St.
I WANT TO GET MARRIED: Unfortunately, there’s not Â much I can do to help you there, but you may be happy to learn your options aren’t completely nil. Marry Me Philadelphia is hosting a mass marriage ceremony at the Piazza for couples looking to tie the knot on Valentine’s Day. Ordained minister Colleen McDermott will officiate the marriages â€” which will actually be legit for heteros â€” and she’s welcoming gay couples to make it as official as possible with a civil union. The ceremony concludes with a reception at the spiffy new French-inspired cocktail lounge Emmannuelle and a dance party with DJ Too Tuff. 8 p.m., $100, Emmannuelle, the Piazza, 1051 N. Hancock St.
MY DOG IS MY VALENTINE: Slap a little doggie tux on that pooch and escort him to the Puppy Love Valentine’s Party. The soiree benefits Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA), and includes “acoustic love songs” by the Jon Hagen Band, comfort food from Smokin’ Betty’s and Devils Alley, and desserts by Passyunk’s Miss Goody Cupcake. PSPCA will also be hosting a puppy adoption booth for those of you who show up “single.” 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., $40, 23rd Street Armory, 22 23rd St.
IM IN LOVE AND I WANT TO SING ABOUT IT!: Sing Your Life is hosting an evening of karaoke to benefit this summer’s Phreak N Queer Art and Music Festival. Brush up on your favorite love songs and let those amorous notes fly.Â 8 p.m., $5 (includes free drink), Tabu Lounge and Sports Bar, 200 South 12th St.
I JUST BROKE UP WITH SOMEONE AND I’M DAMNED PISSED: First Person Arts’ StorySlam: Ex-Files has become a Valentine’s Day tradition â€” so much so, in fact, that they’ve added an extra show to this year’s slate. G Philly recommends the second, which is hosted by gay writer/comedian R. Eric Thomas. He’ll be joined by Shmitten Kitten’s Anna Goldfarb, who will read from her new book, Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through. And of course, a whole host of Philly storytellers will keep the entertainment going as they share a variety of Â tales about being dumped. 7:30 p.m. (Martha Cooney hosts) and 9:30 p.m. (R. Eric Thomas hosts), $14, World CafĂ© Live, 3025 Walnut St.
I HEART NEW YORK: If you’re itching to get out of Philly, CitySightseeing is hosting a romantic three-hour Â gay cruise around the Manhattan Harbor. On board the “floating dance party,” there will be a chocolate-and-wine tasting, and high-end hors dâ€™oeuvres and cocktails will be flowing all night. Just make sure your date isn’t prone to seasickness before you go surprise him/her with this one. 7 p.m., $149, Pier 78 on the Hudson River.
I WANT TO BE DEFIANT AND CELEBRATE ON FEB. 15: This one takes place the day after Valentine’s Day, for those who refuse to indulge Hallmark’s dirty scheme to sell millions of cards on Feb. 14. A gaggle of LGBTQers â€” including gay artists George Alley and Toby Celery (aka Phillip Moore) and queer instillation wunderkindÂ Joy Mariama Smith â€” curated Cupid is Dead Broke, a musical evening to benefit the multimedia Collage Festival in May. The slate is full of queer performance art and tunes from acts like Murmuration, 2nd Opinion, ex. by v. and Glitter. Fri., Feb. 15, 9 p.m., $10, El Bar, 1356 N. Front St.