The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Ditch Chocolates and Roses for These One-of-a-Kind Valentine's Day Gifts

By Emily Frost | February 1, 2016 2:55pm

Since artisanal chocolate is overrated and roses only last so long, why not wow that special someone with a more personal — and less clichéd— gift this Valentine's Day?

We rounded up some ideas that show a little more forethought, as well as offering a longer shelf life and giving back to city institutions. 

Buy Flowers in Central Park: $50

With a minimum gift of $50 to the Central Park Conservancy, you can buy your sweetie a bunch of tulips that will far outlast any you'd grab at a bodega. The Conservancy lets you choose between tulips and daffodils, which will poke up through the ground in early spring, as well as mums which bloom in the fall. The Conservancy will send you a certificate by mail or email with the honoree's name. "Wherever you see daffodils, tulips or mums, you will know that yours are among them," the Conservancy's notification says.


A photo posted by prospect_park (@prospect_park) on

Plant a Sapling in Prospect Park: $75

If you proposed in Prospect Park, had your first date there or it's just a place filled with good memories for you and your Valentine, then marking those moments will showcase your thoughtfulness. 

The park replants the woodlands with small saplings each spring. For $75, you can purchase one of the saplings and receive a certificate acknowledging your gift. If your budget is much larger, you can buy your loved one an actual tree, starting at $1,500. 


A photo posted by Queens Museum (@queensmuseum) on

Adopt Your Building: $50

Do you and your Valentine have a favorite building in New York City? Perhaps one of the city's iconic skyscrapers, or even your own apartment? Then you can "adopt" that building on the Queens Museum's Panorama with a gift of $50 or more. The Panorama of the City of New York is an architectural model of the city that took three years to construct and shows a bird's-eye view of the five boroughs. 


A photo posted by Audubon New York (@audubon_ny) on

Adopt a Bird: $40 and up

Does your Valentine have a favorite local bird? The Baltimore Oriole, Snowy Owl, Eastern Bluebird or Northern Cardinal are just a few that you can symbolically adopt through the Audubon Society. With a gift of $40 you can help support one of these birds through the Society's advocacy, and you'll also get a stuffed version and certificate to give to your loved one. The Painted Bunting that appeared in Prospect Park this fall is not available, unfortunately. 


A photo posted by Bronx Zoo (@bronxzoo) on

Name a Madagascar Hissing Roach, $10

If your Valentine is on the quirkier side and has a sense of humor, you can name one of the Bronx Zoo's roaches after them for only $10. Then you can go visit the roach together on a date to the zoo. To purchase your roach name certificate, go here.