'Tis the season for buying loved ones chocolate in heart-shaped boxes. However, if you're looking for more creative ways to celebrate love, in all its forms, then you are in luck. From a lovingly-prepared meal, to a benefit for a children's hospital, there are plenty of options to open your heart and have some fun this weekend! (And get the chocolates, too...you know you want to.)
Where & when: Zebu Forno in Freehold, Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Why you should go: St. Jude's Children's Hospital does noble work, treating and researching some of the most devastating diseases facing children. This benefit will provide an opportunity for visitors to donate to the cause, while also enjoying some excellent music. The line-up includes: The Vinyls, Cara Salamando, Breathing Blue, We, The Children, Skylines & Valour, and Houses & Homes.
What it will cost: Entry is free, but donations will be collected.
Where & when: Mumford's Culinary Center in Tinton Falls, Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Reservations can be made for a time between 5 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. on Saturday and Monday, and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday.
Why you should go: This is an opportunity to enjoy a five-course meal at one of the area's finest culinary institutes. It should not be missed! Take a peek at the menu here.
What it will cost: Tickets are $65 per person (gratuity not included). Be sure to make your reservations today.
Where & when: Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Why you should go: The United Families of African Descent hosts this fundraiser each year to fund two $500 scholarships, which will be awarded to deserving students from the Freehold Regional High School District. In addition to helping students get a good education, the event includes a four-course meal, dinner, dancing and a cash bar.
What it will cost: Tickets $45 per person
Where & when: United Methodist Church of Red Bank, Sunday, at both 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services
Why you should go: Reverend Fletcher Harper is the Executive Director of GreenFaith, an interfaith coalition for the environment. The organization works to provide education and action to help solve environmental issues, using a religious approach. If you are interested in finding out how the religious community is working to help the environment, then this event is for you. The Reverend will be available afterward for questions.
What it will cost: Nothing
Where & when: The Community YMCA in Red Bank, Sunday, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Why you should go: Show your heart you love it and help some other hearts in the process! Bring family and friends to learn ways to be good to your heart. You'll be able to get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked, learn more about nutrition and fitness, try some of the YMCA's fitness classes, and much more. You will also have the opportunity to donate blood to the American Red Cross.
What it will cost: Nothing