Quick Valentine’s Day Gifts, with a California Flair – NBC Los Angeles


What there is to know

  • The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, a popular destination for couples, opens March 1
  • Several local zoos, such as The Living Desert in Palm Desert, have “Adopt-an-Animal” programs.
  • Tanaka Farms has U-Pick Wagon Tours, for strawberry lovers, on Valentine’s Day 2022

Finding flowers on your table, beautifully arranged in a pretty vase, or an adorable stuffed animal, the kind of stuffed animal that represents your favorite critter, or chocolate-covered strawberries, juicy treats that many people associate with Christmas. Love?

These are some of the sweet February 14 staples, in addition to meal specials and frilly greeting cards that are full of coos and courtesies.

But in the Golden State? So many days of the year can feel like Valentine’s Day.

California, after all, is famous for its plethora of petals in its glorious destinations, and all sorts of zoo animals that, while not exactly cuddly, are amazing in many ways.

And the strawberries? Oh yes: We truly are a strawberry-centric state, with farms offering the tasty treat in February and throughout the spring.

So if you’re looking for a way to show your devotion to your beloved, but haven’t set up the vase with flowers or the soft stuffed animals on the dining room table, rest assured: you can still host a California-themed adventure that has the Valentine’s Day vibe or support a California critter.

Online tickets are available for The Flower Fields, which opens March 1 in Carlsbad. It’s the ultra-colorful attraction that features millions of giant Tecolote buttercup blossoms in the spring, making it a great place to stroll, hand in hand, with your honey bread.

Or maybe your honey bun is obsessed with the wild world?

You can adopt an animal, “symbolically,” of course, from the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert.

This famous spot is home to Mojave Maxine, the Punxsutawney Phil of California, who predicts spring, but there are several other critters to admire, from bobcats to burrowing owls.

No, you won’t need to care for a bobcat in your own home, but you’ll receive a certificate and photo on the go, plus other fun animal perks, if you upgrade higher adoption.

And if it’s chocolate strawberries you’re looking for, head to Tanaka Farms in Irvine, where strawberry picking is now open (although you’ll want to check the up-to-date schedule, to make sure the U-Pick Wagon Ride takes place on the day you choose).

You can package the strawberries you pick at home to dip alongside your fruit lover, or you can buy them, already chocolate-covered, at the Tanaka Farms produce stand.


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