The countdown to Valentine's Day is on, and if you don't want to celebrate at the same over-crowded restaurant that you go to all year long, check out these 5 fun Valentine's events going on in Rockford this weekend from Rockfordbuzz.com.

  1. The Royal Blue Ball - A benefit for local cancer research put on by Brovember Inc.; Saturday, February 13 from 6 to 11 p.m. at Giovanni's. This Mardi Gras themed event will feature great music and lots of fun. Tickets are selling fast, so get them in advance here.
  2. Art & Bottle - An evening of wine and painting hosted by Piano Tunes Academy; Saturday, February 13 from 6 to 8 p.m. Bring a bottle of wine, or drink of your choice, and have fun creating a masterpiece to take home with you. Art supplies and snacks are provided. $20 per person, or $30 per couple. Get more info here.
  3. Irish Rose Brunch - Everybody loves a delicious brunch on a Sunday morning, and the Irish Rose Saloon offers a fabulous one all day on Sundays. (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) Drink specials included Mimosas, Irish Coffees and Bloody Mary's. It's a great way to kick off a day full of love!
  4. Gateway Parks at Alpine Hills - If your Valentine is more adventurous, take them to Alpine Hills for a snowfilled day of fun. Alpine Hills offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing (weather permitting) and at $10 per Rockford resident, it's a pretty cheap date too!
  5. Hoppy Valentine's Day - The Olympic Tavern in Rockford is hosting a very hoppy Valentine's celebration this Friday and Saturday with a special V-day menu, and fabulous beer and wine selections to match your food choice.

Here's one last thing to add to your V-Day to-do list; share the gift of love by giving blood at the 21st annual "Q98.5 Straight from the Heart Blood Drive" with the Rock River Valley Blood Center this Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lou Bachrodt Automall by the Cherryvale Mall. We've got some really cool prizes, and plenty of love to go around for everyone who stops by to donate. Hope to see you soon!