Valentine's Day is like New Year's Eve: romance for amateurs. That's not to say your sweetheart doesn't deserve that bouquet you snagged from the grocery store. And an expensive dinner at a fancy restaurant is nothing to scoff at, either.

But c'mon, this is just a Hallmark holiday. If you must go out on Valentine's weekend (or the actual day, which is Tuesday), I have a suggestion. Think outside the heart-shaped box.

These options will make you think of love -- sometimes in unexpected ways.

Best of Midwest Burlesk

Get your blood pumping with this cavalcade of scantily clad dancers, aerialists, comedians and drag performers at the Ritz Theater. Tickets are selling fast.

I Heart U.K.

Brit's Pub teams with Transmission's Jake Rudh for "I Heart U.K.," a dance party brimming with Bowie, Brit-pop and all things English.

Black-Hearted Beer Dinner

Blackbird (in south Minneapolis) says even "the darkest, hardest hearts will flutter" for this beer dinner dedicated to black IPAs, porters and stouts.

Shot Through the Heart

Here's a party for the brokenhearted (or people who want to celebrate ironically). The picturesque James J. Hill library is the backdrop for a dance party dedicated to cantankerous love affairs. With "Fatal Attraction" playing on a big screen, DJ Jonathan Ackerman will provide the beats and partygoers will munch on breakup-themed bites.

  • 7-11 p.m. Tue. 2/14
  • 80 W. 4th St., St. Paul
  • $15
  • 651-265-5428

Mike Birbiglia's 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend'

The New York-based comedian takes over the Guthrie's Wurtele Thrust Stage for a one-man monologue on V-Day Eve. As the title suggests, Birbiglia takes the audience on a fumbling journey through a love life (his) in disrepair. There are lessons to be had here. Bring your honey and listen up.

Cupid Is Stupid

Moto-i's third annual V-Day party invites singles to an anti-snugglefest. Drown your sorrows in $3 sake (all day), splurge on a prix-fixe menu, check out the Geisha Gallery art opening and strum away the pain during open-mike night at 10 p.m.

Eli's East: No reservations

This crafty new restaurant on E. Hennepin doesn't require that you and your sweetie have a reservation. The mood is casual but candlelit. The menu is classic comfort food with a twist. And the drinks are made with care.

Sweets at Town Hall Brewery

Three words: Chocolate Cherry Stout. A keg of this deliciousness will be released at 5 p.m. at the Seven Corners brewpub on Valentine's Day.

'The Vow' in V.I.P.

Obvious, I know. But don't pass up this package deal at the MOA multiplex. Go see the new Rachel McAdams/Channing Tatum Kleenex-waster, "The Vow," and get the following for $30: two VIP movie tickets, two drinks (wine or beer), one large popcorn and a movie poster.

  • Available after 5 p.m. Fri.-Tue. 2/10-14
  • Mall of America, fourth floor
  • 952-883-8900

Ono Aloha at Psycho Suzi's

A six-pack and a pizza. Sound like romance to you? If so, then Suzi's is the place for you. For $30, you get all that plus the scintillating sounds of Savannah Smith's ukulele in the upstairs Shangri-La lounge.

  • 5-11 p.m. Tue. 214
  • 1900 NE. Marshall St., Mpls
  • Limited reservations
  • 612-788-9069