Top 5 tips for a geeky Valentine's Day

February 12, 2014|By Elliott Serrano | For RedEye

Hey nerds! Elliott Serrano here, your Redeye resident geek expert, with a warning...

It's coming.

That day that is as inevitable as a crashing meteorite in a movie starring Bruce Willis; and for some, as dreaded as a walk to Mordor.  You know what day I’m talking about, right? St. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and with it comes no small amount of anxiety among geek guys as they cry out “I don’t know what to do for my Valentine this year!”

It can be especially tough if you’re dating a geeky gal/guy and want to come up with something that appeals to their nerdier side.

Well, fear not my friends! This week I thought I'd have my fellow "geek dating" columnist, Kate Kotler (@adorkablegrrl), offer you her five best suggestions for geeky Valentines gifts and dates. And while she does give her suggestions from the female point-of-view, some of these tips can work just as well for gals trying to please their geek guy.

(You can also check out my gallery of Valentine's Day Gifts for the Geek Guy posted above!)

Take it away Kate!:

Thanks Elliott! These Top 5 Tips for a Geeky Valentine’s Day are pulled from actual dates and gifts I’ve received over the years. Really, anything can be turned into a geeky date/gift if you’re passionate enough about it. In the course of my adult life, I pretty much have exclusively dated geeks. (And, eventually married one! Yay!):

Geeky Valentine's Dates:

  1. A museum followed by dinner somewhere special: As a super nerd, I love learning about weird and obscure topics. One of the best dates I ever went on was to the Art Institute, where my date led me around by the hand - taking me to each of my favorite exhibits (for reference: the miniature rooms, Sunday on the Island of la Grande Jatte and the Chagall windows), where he asked me questions about why each was my favorite. He then showed me his favorites and explained why he loved them so much. Afterwards, he took me to dinner at my favorite sushi restaurant. I was blown away by the thought and consideration he put into planning this date. (This was an anniversary date, not a Valentine’s Date - just to clarify.)

  2. Geeky bar or cafe: Chicago is host to a bunch of really specific geeky recreation destinations. If you’re just getting to know someone and you want a low pressure Valentine’s Day date, it would be a great idea to hit up The Emporium Bar-cade, Geek Bar Chicago or The Wormhole for coffee or libations. If you’re not in Chicago, most big cities have geeky themed destination bars, cafes and restaurants (I hear Brooklyn has a Doctor Who themed bar… um, MUST VISIT) - get thee to the Googlemobile and search them out. If you can’t find anything suitable in your city? Either: Road trip! Or, grab coffee from a S-bux and visit your local comic book shop!

  3. Molecular gastronomy: Which in Chicago is better known as “dinner at Moto or Graham Elliott.” For those not familiar, molecular gastronomy is where science intersects with food. It is weird and whimsical and wonderful and very very tasty. Eating at Moto or GE does require a fair amount of cash and advance planning - but these are once in a lifetime experiences that will blow your date’s socks off.

  • Cooking or tasting classes: On that note, yet a little more interactive - one-shot cooking or tasting classes are a great way to do dinner and drinks in a low pressure atmosphere where you’re interacting with a group and with your date. You can take classes on everything from whisky/wine/beer tasting -to- sushi making -to- cupcake decorating -to- full blown cookery courses. Best bet? Check out The Chopping Block Chicago for more information.

  • Private cosplay: Do I need to explain this one? Let’s just say, if you prefer something more intimate, why not plan a special meal at home and follow it up with a marathon of your favorite show/movie, then follow THAT up with some private cosplay of your favorite characters. (TBH - this is probs what the hubz and I will do on Friday… a weird night where The Doctor meets Princess Leia… oh my oh my!)
  • Geeky Valentine’s Day Gifts:

    Here are the best things I’ve received or given...

    • The Complete Star Wars Soundtrack -- I gave this to my college boyfriend one Valentine's Day and he still talks about how awesome a gift it was. He is now married with a kid and his wife (who is one of my besties) even agrees that I knocked it out of the park with that one. Conversely, he gave me the Star Wars Encyclopedia and a dozen red roses… so he’s no slouch, either.

    • Erotic comics -- A guy I dated for a while back in SF gave me mint condition, rare erotic comics from the 50s one Valentines day. We had a lot of fun reading them together.

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