Get creative on Valentine's Day
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, chocolates, teddy bears, roses and poems everywhere are gearing up to take the February 14 spotlight once again. Arts & Education thinks it is time to step out of the box - a little. Jamaica is the place for romance, with our rich art culture, breathtaking scenes, stunning waterfalls, rolling mountains. You can make your Valentine's Day more memorable. If your valentine loves the arts, here are a few ideas for a memorable date or a gift.
Visit an art gallery
The Biennial is currently on at the National Gallery and Devon House as well as the National Gallery West. Paintings pottery, installations, mixed media will be exhibited. There is also a gift shop at the National Gallery so you can take home a piece of the memory. School of the Visual Arts (Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts) and Olympia Gallery have also mounted exhibits. One can also take a stroll through The University of Technology Sculpture Park.
The Martha Brae River in Trelawny provides the ultimate opportunity for relaxation. Two people can sit pretty on a bamboo raft while they glide along, catching all the sights at the edges of the tropical river banks.
Put your culinary skills to the test and pack a picnic basket and head off to Castleton Gardens or to Cinchona Gardens for the day.
Love on the seas
If the live-music scene is more your style, the Lover's Rock Catamaran Cruise by Island Routes Caribbean Adventures invites visitors across the island to sail off into the sunset on a romantic cruise. Delectable appetisers and exotic cocktails will be served to the sound of classic reggae beats as the vessel makes its way along the coastline.
Take a rum tour
Appleton Rum is one of the Caribbean's best, and can be considered an aphrodisiac. Known for its iconic orange and chocolate and nutmeg notes, Appleton Rum is available at most hotels, restaurants and bars. Lovers can sip this premium rum, and even take a few duty-free bottles home for later. Couples can go on a tour together at the Appleton Estate in St Elizabeth, and see the lush environment in which the rum's main component, sugar, is grown.
See a play
Tons of laughs or some drama always make for a great date, so take your significant other to see a play. Nesta's Rock - the Jamaica Junior Theatre's 2015 Production - an original musical production inspired by the childhood of Robert Nesta Marley. This marks the official celebration of his 70th birthday. Cost: $1,500.
Music and dancing
Reggae Month Valentine Dance - This classy dance party on Valentine's Day features the acclaimed Stone Love sound system, well known locally and internationally for the ability to create fun-filled party vibes with excellent musical selections. Stone Love was the recipient of a Jamaica Reggae Industry Association 2014 Honour Award.
Selections by Mikey T and live performances by popular entertainers will help to make this event the best choice for couples and music-loving singles who want to enjoy a night of elegant dining, dancing and networking in the Reggae Village at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex. Sponsors include the Ministry of Youth and Culture, JCDC and Bess 100 FM.
Explore Devon House
Devon House stands a proud symbol of Jamaica's compelling history. In the late 19th century, its location on the corner of Trafalgar and Hope roads in Kingston was known as Millionaire's Corner.
Adjacent to the historic Devon House is a tiny courtyard filled with shopping treasures. Arts and crafts, trinkets and souvenirs can be found at the numerous shops and boutiques. Choose from a wide selection of handcrafted pieces of art and sculptures by local artisans or an array of local cooking sauces, pottery and hand-made dolls.
Among the shops found there are Things Jamaica, Wassi Art, Rum Roast and Royals, Reve Jewellery, Norma's on the Terrace restaurant, the Grogge Shoppe, Bin 26 wine bar, Chocolate Dreams and Cooyah Rootz Wear. No trip to Devon House would be complete without sampling the delectable Devon House I-Scream.
Located in the resort town of Ocho Rios, Jamaica Wassi Art has been described as "an unexpected treasure chest of unusual pottery that absolutely delights collectors and visitors". You can watch as young, talented Jamaican artists mold clay into creations that are unique, beautiful and inherently cultural. Items available for purchase include plates, jars, vases, candle holders, tumblers and sculptures to name a few. Each creation is an experience of human spirit poured into fire and earth to create a cherished island treasure worth taking home to your living room.