Chocolate and Humphrey Bogart -- dancing to drum circles -- Brooklyn comedians and live singers -- when you think about it, what's not to like?

Valentine's Day takes a lot of flack. People think it's put on. Single people say don't rub it in, and couples feel pressured. But there are other ways to look at it.

At this latitude, February spends a lot of time cold and dark, and we often spend the evenings inside by the fire (or heater, or tea pot). One of winter's pleasures is quiet time, with a book and a mug, or a project, a friend to talk to.

But by now, two months into winter, it's easy to get into the habit of staying in. So we have a holiday that says: Come on out.

And because of the holiday, anyone looking for a friendly place to spend an evening, or good music, a long drink (hot or cold), movie (old or new), break dancing, live opera -- has a lot of choices. So we offer some ideas.

Whether you choose to take a friend to dinner, or split a dollar's worth of local chocolate -- whether you kick back with reggae or chamber music -- whether you spend time with your kids or your brother or your partner or a cup of coffee and a good book -- we wish you good company this weekend!