Arts & Life, Events

72 Hours in Long Beach: Valentine’s Day Weekend

“Seal” it with a kiss at the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Valentine’s Night Dive

Friday

This Friday, the Aquarium of the Pacific will be holding its annual Valentine’s Night Dive, offering live music, art, food trucks, DJs and more fun activities. This Valentine’s Day will be the 10-year anniversary of The Aquarium of the Pacific’s annual Night Dive.

“Night Dive came in 10 years ago for adults to experience the aquarium at night where there are no kids around,” said Sean Devereaux, director of volunteer engagement at the Aquarium of the Pacific.

The Valentine’s Night Dive will have a rosé bar and local bands are set to play all night long to kick off this Valentine’s Day weekend. 

Exclusive food vendors will be serving at the event, including Coastal Coffee & Desserts, Cocina Fresca, The Tropic Truck, Slammin’ Sliders and The Deli Doctor.

“[The event] is an opportunity to bring an adult audience to the aquarium,” Devereaux said.

Art, music and culture are three themes that will be featured during the Valentine’s Night Dive event. 

“We will have a stage with two performers outside of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s Honda Blue Cavern along with live muralists,” Devereaux said. “We really activate the space at night but it is more than a party.” 

Multiple Night Dives are held on special occasions all year long by the Aquarium of the Pacific. 

Admission is for adults only with valid ID (18+). Tickets can be bought online or in-person for $19.95. However, Aquarium of the Pacific members get in free“Valentine’s Night Dive” will be held from  7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on 100 Aquarium Way.

Find your match at Ashley’s Bar on Fourth’s “Be My Valentine Bash”

Friday

Still looking for a date? Ashley’s Bar on Fourth will be hosting a speed dating event Friday in honor of Valentine’s Day weekend.

The event will help date-seekers find someone they would be interested in getting to further know. Each participant will be provided with a scorecard for the evening by the event host. Then, every five to six minutes, men will rotate from table to table while the women stay seated. 

Throughout the evening, participants will fill their scorecard with individuals they would like to meet again. After a full rotation, participants return a completed card to the host at the end of the night.

Ashley’s Bar staff will then calculate the results and email participants the following day with their matches. The rest of the story is up to the participant.

Be My Valentine Bash begins at 8 p.m. at 1731 E Fourth Street. Participants must be 21 or older with valid ID to enter. Entry is free. Alcohol, food and drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

Grab a four-course love story with your “Vintage Valentine” at The Queen Mary

Saturday

The Queen Mary will host “My Vintage Valentine,” a burlesque themed dinner show, Saturday evening.

The dinner show will consist of a four-course meal followed by entertainment featuring burlesque dancers, French Cancan dancers and acrobats.

Dinner will be served during the show where a new act appears on stage after each meal course to “create the perfect romantic setting as the entertainment dazzles from the stage,” according to a press release.

“My Vintage Valentine” offers two seating times; the first at 6:00 p.m. and second at 9:00 p.m. Seating is first come, first served.

The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Hwy. Doors open for seating at 5:30 p.m. where guests will have the opportunity to buy drinks before the first show. Tickets start at $275 per couple.

Jazz like there’s no tomorrow at the Long Beach Jazz and Blues Festival

Saturday

The Aquarium of the Pacific will host the Long Beach Jazz and Blues Festival Saturday. 

The Long Beach Blues Society is collaborating with the Aquarium, with four Long Beach-based jazz and blues bands including: 

  • Emcee Big Llou Johnson 
  • Bernie Pearl feat. Sonny Green and THEE Blues Man 
  • Al Williams Jazz Society feat. Barbara Morrison 
  • Alvin Hayes Jr. 
  • New Blues Revolution

The live shows will be held inside the modern Honda Pacific Visions Theater. The theater holds over 300 stadium-style seats with an open view for all performances.

The Long Beach Jazz Festival will take place in the Aquarium of the Pacific at 100 Aquarium Way from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. However, the aquarium will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets start at $40 and include all-day aquarium admission. 

Throw beads at the Long Beach Mardi Gras Festival

Saturday

The annual Long Beach Mardi Gras Festival will take over Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor Saturday.

“Our Mardi Gras this year is different than previous years,” said Claudia Ayala, Shoreline Village’s assistant manager and Long Beach State alumna. “We are partnering with Suffrage 100.” 

Shoreline Village will be partnering with the Suffrage 100 circle for the festival.  The year’s Mardi Gras festival will be celebrating the Long Beach Suffrage Centennial, marking the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.  

The highlight of the festival is the Mardi Gras parade that will include live music, bead throws, novelty acts and other activities for all ages to enjoy. California Sen. Lena Gonzalez will serve as the grand marshal.

“We wanted to do something more women-oriented,” Ayala said. “There will be no king and queen to lead the parade, but our grand marshal with ‘suffragettes’ following.”

To help give back to the community, Ayala said that Shoreline Village makes an effort to bring in community groups and nonprofits for events. During the parade, attendees can expect to see parade leaders carrying authentic women’s protest posters. 

“With this parade, we highly encourage and support women to be leaders,” Ayala said.

A live entertainment schedule is available online on the event’s Eventbrite.

The Mardi Gras festival is a free event taking place along Shoreline Village and Rainbow Harbor in Downtown Long Beach from noon to 9 p.m. Parking is available for purchase at nearby lots (Shoreline Village, Aquarium Parking/Queensway Bay Garage, and the Pike Parking Garage). However, public transportation and ride-sharing services are advised. Shoreline Village has partnered with Ride Yellow to offer attendees a discount code for $15 credit on the first ride using code: MARDIGRAS.

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