On the Loop Coolstuffoutsideofcentercity |

01/30/2009 12:00 AM

01/29/2009 10:47 AM

Lake Norman

Poker Crawl

8 p.m. Saturday. On the Roxx, 19712 One Norman Blvd. $10. 704-614-2405.

The party kicks off at On the Roxx and continues on by bus to Midtown Sundries, Big Al's and XO Lounge. Pick up cards at each of the stops to build your seven card-draw hand. Best hand at the end of the night wins. Grand prize is a vacation for two; second prize is two VIP tickets to the Bartender's Ball. Get advance tickets at www.bandtastic.com. Did I mention there's free beer on the bus?

Belmont

Orchid Spectacular

9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (also various times through Feb. 15). Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, 6500 S. New Hope Road. $5-$10. 704-825-4490; www.dsbg.org.

This month-long celebration honors the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Orchid Conservatory. The 8,000-square-foot glasshouse, dedicated to the display of orchids and tropical plants, features one of the largest indoor displays of bromeliads in the eastern U.S. and a 16-foot-tall tropical canvas full of epiphytes.

University City

Valentine's-themed chocolate parties

11 a.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday. Peterbrooke Chocolatier, 2712 W. Mallard Creek Church Road. $15 per child. 704-716-2280.

For kids: Ages 3 and up are invited to make special treats for their friends and family for Valentine's Day. They will learn how to make chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate pretzel rods and more. They'll decorate their creations and pack them in a basket to take home. For grown-ups: There's a couples party at 6 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $50 per couple. Sample wine and cheese, hand-dip some chocolate treats and build a Valentine's basket for your sweetheart.

International Collectibles

and Antiques Shows

8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Metrolina Expo Trade Center, 7100 Statesville Road. $3-$4, free for kids under 12. 704-714-7909.

This monthly antiques show features home décor and furniture, jewelry, ceramics, art and crafts, toys and memorabilia. Bring your antiques to be appraised.

Esther Robards-Forbes

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