Valentine's events offer something to love for everyone

Valentine’s Day is approaching and romantic offerings scheduled around the holiday abound in La Cañada.

Descanso Gardens, Lanterman House and La Cañada Presbyterian Church are all offering several ways for the community to get in the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Descanso is hosting a members-only cooking class from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, which will instruct people on how to create a three-course Valentine’s Day dinner, for $60. A companion planting course will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m., followed by a tour of the gardens ($20 general admission, $10 for members).

The garden’s “Tram Tour of Love” will be chugging along Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m. The ride includes two glasses of champagne or cider ($35 per couple, $20 per member couple).

Advance registration is required for each event. Reservations can be made by calling Descanso Garden’s visitor center at (818) 949-7980.

“Love Is In the Aire,” the Lanterman House’s Valentine’s Day concert, will be held Sunday afternoon in the ballroom of the former Lanterman estate. Singers Teresa Parente (soprano) and Michael Shaughnessy (baritone) and accompanist Lance Merrill will provide the evening’s soundtrack of Lanterman-era songs from 1890 to about 1950.

A tour of the Lanterman House, tea and champagne, accompanied by music from a La Cañada High School string quartet, will be provided before the concert at 1 p.m.

“This is how we like to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The Lanterman family loved music and they loved entertaining, so it all sort of fits in. It’s a nice Valentine’s Day event,” said Melissa Patton, the Lanterman House’s executive director.

Lanterman House is located at 4420 Encinas Drive. Reservations can be made by calling the museum at (818) 790-1421. Admission for the champagne tea, concert and tour is $35.

La Cañada Presbyterian Church is also putting on a concert of classic love songs, performed by the Jack Lantz Big Band on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary.

The band, founded in 1981 and composed of 16 musicians and a singer, will play the classics of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George and Ira Gershwin and Rogers and Hammerstein.

Tickets are $15 and are available in advance at the church office, located at 626 Foothill Blvd., at the door, or from Lori MacDonald, who can be reached at (626) 794-1522.

Valentine’s Day productions will continue at La Cañada Presbyterian after the holiday ends, when the church’s drama ministry kicks off its 2011 showcase with the Off-Broadway musical, “The Last Five Years.”

“The Last Five Years” explores the relationship of a young novelist, Jamie, and his aspiring-actress wife, Cathy, played by church members Andrew Pratt and Tina Tong. The production seeks to capture the emotional conflicts of sustaining a modern relationship — while highlighting the power of love — as the couple’s feelings for each other transform from infatuation to dissolution amidst their personal struggles and successes.

“For us, because we’re a multi-generational church, it’s an opportunity for people of all ages who are in love to come out and enjoy themselves,” said Camille Tucker, the church’s director of communications.

Performances will be held on Feb. 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and on Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. The suggested ticket donation is $15. Call the church’s drama program at (818) 790-6758 ext. 340 to reserve tickets. For more information visit

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