PARTIES, EVENTS, AND BENEFITS
"Amor del Mar" Aquarium of the Bay at Pier 39, Embarcadero at Bay; 623-5323, www.aquariumofthebay.com . Wed/14, 7pm, $125 single, $200 couple. Support the nonprofit Aquarium of the Bay Foundation during this romantic evening featuring cocktails, culinary delights, and a live salsa band.
"Cupid Stunt Club Neon's Third Annual Valentine's Day Underwear Party" Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell; 861-2011, www.neonsf.com . Wed/14, 9pm, $10. A chance to dance with no pants, featuring DJs, a lingerie fashion show and trunk sale by designer Danielle Rodriguez, and Valentine's visuals by Chris Golden.
"Isn't It Romantic: New Connections Valentine's Day Benefit Concert" Castro Theatre, 429 Castro; www.newconnections.org . Wed/14, 7:30pm, $20. Local chanteuse Nancy Gilliland sings love songs from the '20s, '30s, and '40s to benefit New Connections' HIV/AIDS healthcare services. Tickets available via www.ticketweb.com .
"Love Your Way to Abolition: Party with Saint Valentine" El Rio, 3158 Mission; www.elriosf.com . Thurs/15, 6pm, $5-50. This benefit for Justice Now, an organization that works with incarcerated women and local communities to build a safe, compassionate world without prisons, will feature speakers and live music.
"Pink's Valentine's Party: Cupid's Back" 296 Liberty; www.pinkmag.com . Sat/10, 8pm, $25. This party will raise funds to support the GLBT Historical Society's world-class archives of queer history. Romance tips given by Clint Griess, life coach on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and an open bar provided by Bulldog Gin and Peroni Beer. Space is limited.
"Randall Museum Presents a Valentine's Day Sex Tour" Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way; 554-9600, www.randallmuseum.org . Thurs/15, 7:30pm, free, donations encouraged. Guest speaker Jane Tollini of the San Francisco Zoo leads an entertaining and educational romp through the wild kingdom, featuring fairly explicit photos and her own blend of knowledge and humor.
"Sea of Love Scavenger Hunt" California Academy of Sciences, 875 Howard; 321-8000, www.calacademy.org . Sat/10-Thurs/15, 10am-5pm, free with museum admission. Embark on a self-guided scavenger hunt to find the museum's most amorous creatures and earn fun prizes. G-rated tours available for children.
"The Sweet Cheat Gone a Free Public Street Game" Meet at corner of Steuart and Market; www.sfzero.org . Sat/10, 7pm, free. Participants take sides in the prosecution of a defendant accused of committing a crime. Teams will travel by foot, bike, or Muni (no cars or taxis) to various San Francisco locations, competing with each other to collect or destroy evidence and prove their case.
"Valentines, Fashion, and You" Nordstrom San Francisco Center, 865 Market; 243-8500, ext 1240. Sat/10, 12pm, free. Event features live models, the hottest fashions in lingerie, refreshments, and prize drawings. Space is limited to the first 100 who RSVP to the number listed above.
"The Vampire Tour of San Francisco" Meet at corner of California and Taylor; (650) 279-1840 (reservations), www.sfvampiretour.com . Wed/14, 8pm, $15-20. Spend Valentine's Day in the company of a vampire, and take an amorous walk through beautiful Nob Hill. A few special guests are dying to meet you.
"Woo at the Zoo" San Francisco Zoo; Sloat Blvd at 47th St; 753-7263, www.sfzoo.org . Sun/11, 12pm, Tues/13-Wed/14, 6pm, $70. This new and dynamic multimedia event provides an entertaining approach to the erotic life of animals, including how they choose their mates and raise their families. The 90-minute tour features up-close animal encounters and romantic refreshments. Admission includes presentation, refreshments, parking, and zoo admission.
"Have a Heart" MOCHA Museum of Children's Art, 528 Ninth St, Oakl; 510-465-8770, www.mocha.org . Sat/10-Sun/11, 1pm-4pm, $5 per child. Make a papier-mâché heart sculpture or a lacy wire heart mobile and design unique cards for your loved ones.
"Nils Peterson's Valentine's Day Poetry Reading" Le Petit Trianon Theatre, 72 N Fifth St, San Jose; www.pcsj.org . Wed/14, 5:30pm, $10 includes glass of wine. The Poetry Center San Jose presents Nils Peterson, whose long literary career includes a 30-year tenure teaching creative writing at San Jose State University. Also featuring Sally Ashton.
"Saint Valentine's Day Poetry Reading" Frank Bette Center for the Arts, 1601 Paru, Alameda; (510) 523-6957, www.frankbettecenter.org . Wed/14, 7pm, free. Alameda's poet laureate Mary Ridge and others will read about people they have loved and welcomed.
"Week of Valentines at Habitot Children's Museum" Habitot Children's Museum, 2065 Kittredge, Berk; (510) 647-1111, www.habitot.org . Wed/7-Wed/14, $6 per child and $5 for accompanying adult. Add your unique artistic touch to a large heart sculpture and create handmade Valentine cards for your family and loved ones using recycled materials at this award-winning discovery museum for young adults.
FILM, MUSIC, AND PERFORMANCE
"BATS Improv Special Valentine's Day Performance" Bayfront Theater, Fort Mason Center, bldg B, Marina at Laguna; 474-8935, www.improv.com . Wed/14, 8pm, $10 advance, $15 at the door. In the first half of the show, audience suggestions will spark scenes and improv games that illustrate the humor in romance. In the second half, the audience will supply a title and a theme for an improvised story that will be created on the spot by BATS's improv troupe.
"Club Chuckles Presents: Soft Rock vs. Smooth Jazz Valentine's Day Bash" Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk; 923-0923, www.hemlocktavern.com . Wed/14, 9pm, $5. A battle of the bands that pits the forces of soft rock against smooth jazz, as played by bands Cool Nites and the Sound Painters, respectively. Moderated by comedy duo Carole Murphy and Mitzi Fitzsimmons, who will also dispense advice to the lovelorn and romantically challenged.
"Love Bites the Hand That Feeds It" Theatre Rhinoceros, 2940 16th St; 861-5079, www.therhino.org . Fri/9-Sat/10, 8pm, $15-$30. The Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco presents its annual anti-Valentine's Day cabaret. Both evenings feature a variety of solo, duet, and group performances and will include a fifty-fifty raffle. The Feb. 10 event features a live auction.
"The Love Show by the Un-Scripted Theater Company" Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason; www.un-scripted.com . Wed/14, 8pm, $15-40. "The Love Show" will feature songs, scenes, and love-themed fun, all completely improvised. Couples and singles are encouraged to come. (There will even be a "quirky alone" seating section.)
"Mortified: Doomed Valentine's Show" Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St; www.makeoutroom.com . Fri/16-Sat/17, 8pm, $12. Frequently featured on This American Life, Mortified is a comic excavation of teen angst artifacts (journals, poems, letters, lyrics, and home movies), as shared by their original authors. More information at www.getmortified.com .
"Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad" Red Devil Lounge, 1695 Polk; www.nicejewishgirlsgonebad.com . Wed/14, 9pm, $12. Featuring comedy, music, spoken word, and burlesque from performers seen on Comedy Central, HBO, and MTV. These girls thrill everyone but their mothers.
"Valentine's Day Film Program: Labor of Love" Exploratorium, McBean Theater, 3601 Lyon; www.exploratorium.edu . Sat/10, 2pm, free with museum admission. In the spirit of Valentine's Day, the Exploratorium presents a program of short, expressive films about people who love what they do.
"Comedy Night in Novato" Pacheco Playhouse, 484 Ignacio Blvd, Novato; 883-4498, www.pachecoplayhouse.org . Wed/14, 6:30pm and 8:30pm, $15. Local comics bring levity to this most romantic of nights. A champagne celebration will close the evening.
"Valentine's Day Comedy with Johnny Steele and Pals" Village Theater, 223 Front, Danville; (925) 314-3400; www.johnnysteele.com;  Wed/14, 8pm, $18. Winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, Johnny Steele has been plying his trade for nearly 20 years. A cavalcade of comics joins him for the third annual event.
"All Heart" Expressions Gallery, 2035 Ashby, Berk; (510) 644-4930, www.expressionsgallery.org . Fri/10, 6pm, free. A collaborative art show with Children's Hospital Oakland and Art for Life Foundation. The show runs through March 9. Presenting the work of patients participating in Art for Life programs as part of their care and rehabilitation. *