Out on the town: Visit these unique date spots around Hamilton County


Several businesses have come up with creative ways for couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Nickel Plate Express is creating a train ride experience, Blackhawk Winery is offering a wine and cheese and chocolate pairing experience and many restaurants are taking reservations.

Deanna Holt and Brett Morrow enjoy wine on the Nickel Plate Express. (Submitted photos)


Instead of sitting down for dinner in a restaurant, some couples may want to travel through the northern parts of Hamilton County while enjoying wine or beer. The Nickel Plate Express is offering several different experiences for Valentine’s Day weekend that adults and the younger members of their family can enjoy.

“It’s kind of different than going out to eat at a normal restaurant,” Director Dagny Zupin said.

On Feb. 14, the train will offer an Uncorked Express at 6 p.m. The 21-and-over event includes a 90-minute ride through the county while adults sample three wines and a cheese platter. A cash bar will be available. The train boards at Forest Park in Noblesville and travels through Cicero before returning to Forest Park. Tickets start at $40. The Uncorked Express also will be offered at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 16.

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The Nickel Plate Express offers various Valentine’s Day weekend events for adults and families.

On Feb. 15, there will be a beer and chocolate pairing called Ales and Rails. The 21-and-over trip is from 1 to 4 p.m. Couples will board in Forest Park in Noblesville and enjoy a 90-minute ride through Hamilton County while sampling three beers from Metazoa Brewing and three chocolate pairings. Tickets start at $40.

On Feb. 16, a family friendly Valentine’s Brunch will be offered at 11 a.m. Tickets start at $25.

“Last year, we offered the Uncorked Express and the brunch, and those all sold out,” Zupin said. “It’s the second year of doing the Valentine’s weekend and the first year for the beer and chocolate pairings.”

Zupin said she noticed people socializing on the Valentine’s train.

“Because it’s retro and vintage, you notice people talking a lot more,” Zupin said. “It seems more intimate and relaxed than a restaurant because you are doing something unique and stepping back in time a little bit. People aren’t on their phones as much and they’re having a conversation, and it’s just really nice to see people connecting in that way.”

For more or to purchase tickets, visit nickelplateexpress.com.


For those wanting a wine experience on Valentine’s Day, a cheese, chocolate and wine pairing will be offered from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Blackhawk Winery, 28153 Ditch Rd., Sheridan.

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Blackhawk Winery will offer a wine, chocolate and cheese pairing event for Valentine’s Day.

“We do a series of classes out here we call pairings, and when we looked and saw Valentine’s Day was on a Friday, we decided we are doing a wine, cheese and chocolate tasting event,” owner Deb Miller said. “It will be a guided tasting, and we will have a selection of cheese and a selection of chocolate, and then we play with all the different tastes. You learn how to approach tasting wine, how to use all your different senses to taste and then mix those different things to see how adding cheese to chocolate changes the flavor, and adding wine to that makes the wine taste different.”

Cost is $30 per person and includes all wine, cheese, chocolate and the educational aspect. There will be five to eight different chocolates and cheeses, and at least one wine sample with each.

For more or to reserve a spot, visit blackhawkwinery.com.


For those looking for a more traditional, romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, restaurants in the county already are accepting reservations. Below is a list of some of the most romantic restaurants in the county and how to reserve a spot.

The Italian House on Park

Address: 219 Park St., Westfield

Menu: A regular menu with Italian options and some new chef-selected specials

For reservations: opentable.com


Anthony’s Chophouse

Address: 201 W. Main St., Carmel

Menu: Regular dinner menu with steakhouse selections

For reservations: 317-740-0900


The Rail

Address: 211 Park St., Westfield

Menu: A special menu is normally served on Valentine’s Day, but it has not yet been announced

For reservations: 317-804-8555