Happy February, lovers.
Valentine’s Day a week away. Have you made plans? Possibly not, since the holiday falls on an inconvenient Wednesday this year (especially inconvenient for those who observe Ash Wednesday, a day of denying yourself excess).
It could be that this weekend is your best chance to do something special with someone you’re moony about. This issue is packed with ideas, from the Florida State Fair to Billy Joel in concert to the Sant’ Yago Illuminated Knight Parade.
But let’s be crazy. Let’s make a bid for a Wednesdate. If you can swing it amid the murky sea of family and work and responsibility, it’s so satisfying to take a midweek adventure. It gives you something to look forward to and break up the grind.
Here are a few romantic and fun Wednesdate opportunities.
See a show
Seeing a play is a great first date for several reasons. You get to sit close in the dark. You get a nice reprieve from awkward small talk. And after the show, you have a built-in intelligent conversation starter. High-quality theater abounds on Cupid’s holiday in Tampa Bay. Did you know Andrea Bocelli, Phantom of the Opera and Cirque du Soleil are all in town for Valentine’s Day? Click here for details. Also check out A Raisin in the Sun at American Stage in St. Petersburg, The Glass Menagerie at Freefall Theatre in St. Petersburg and Forever Plaid and The Phantom of the Opera, both at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.
More: Phantom of the Opera, Andrea Bocelli and Cirque du Soleil are in town
Sip and savor
The Dunedin Woodwright was once just a woodworking shop. These days, with the addition of the Woodwright Brewing Co., it’s a compound. There’s a brewery with a twinkling beer garden, an eatery, frequent live music, and, possibly, a spot for your romantic dinner. Starting at 7 p.m., sit at a communal table inside the wood shop and enjoy a seven-course dinner provided by Coattails Kitchen, the new stationary food truck in the garden (can vouch for the cupcakes). The menu includes Wellfleet oysters, escargot and truffled sacchetti, paired with seven beers. Seating is limited, but they had a few left at press time. $120 at eventbrite.com or at the brewery, 985 Douglas Ave. (727) 238-8717.
We won’t tell if you don’t. If you can sneak away from work for the afternoon, take a drive to Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales. At noon on Valentine’s Day, take a class called For the Love of Chocolate, learning how to make dark chocolate syrup with brandy and herbs. Um, yum. Plus, a stroll around Bok’s lush gardens, past the 205-foot neo-Gothic and art deco singing tower carillon, is the ultimate in romance. Have dinner at the Blue Palmetto Cafe, steak, sides and chocolate-dipped strawberries for $35 a person. And take in a special 7:30 p.m. carillon concert of love songs. The chocolate class and evening concert are included in general admission, $14 for adults. 1151 Tower Blvd. (863) 676-1408. boktowergardens.org.
Date Ideas: From fancy to thrifty, try date ideas in Tampa Bay all year