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Date night in Tampa Bay

Here are 6 ways to create your own date night. Trust us -- it'll be much better than any Tina Fey, Steve Carell movie.

For hip art lovers
Art Pool's Anniversary Art pARTy: Get all funked up in something colorful — even swimwear (Art Pool, get it?) — for the group's second anniversary party Saturday. It features more than 50 local artists, live music, a fashion show by designer Joanna Coblentz, body art and live painting. Even the food is a colorful combo of Dairy Inn and Café Alma. Doors open at 7 p.m. and don't be late: First 100 get a VIP swag bag. There also will be a kids art table. $10 advance online, $15 at door (cash only). Kids under 12 free. 919 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg.

Sleek and fast
Festivals of Speed: Three days of exotic cars and cocktails will blind your date to any of your Pinto and PBR qualities. Starting at 8 p.m. Friday, dazzle her at the Luxury Lifestyle Jet Port Reception — a lavish display of aircraft, sleek cars and all that glitters in a decked-out aircraft hangar, with open bar, swag bags and a strolling saxophonist. Where? It's a secret until you purchase tickets. Irresistible! $85, $150 per couple. On Saturday, indulge in the Wine Connoisseurs Dinner, stuffed with food, award-winning wines and, you guessed it, more fine cars and luxury lifestyle products. It starts at 7 p.m. at Armani's, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa. $130, $250 per couple. But wait, on Sunday you can fake it for much less. Yet more fast cars and watercraft, along with wine tasting, cigars and jazz, will be lined up at the Festivals of Speed in North Straub Park on St. Petersburg's waterfront from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It's $10 advance, $12 day of, 12 and younger free. For all: (352) 385-9450.

No cash for a sitter
Alchemy Fest: It's not every weekend you'll find a local rock show with a diaper changing station and an award-winning balloon guy on-site. So pack the kids in the Sienna and go! The annual Alchemy Fest is one of the best child-friendly local shows of the year. Adults will also enjoy the grownup stylings of funk-reggae-prog act Rise of Saturn, Americana aces Have Gun, Will Travel, Yo! Majesty rapper Shunda K, and Sons of Hippies singer Katherine Kelly. The show starts at 2 p.m. Sunday at Skipper's Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. $8. Kids under 10 are free. (813) 971-0666.

Get saxy
Winery Jazz Series: Hit all the right notes with a nice dinner by Bernini Ybor City, music by St. Petersburg pop/jazz saxophonist Mindi Abair and a lush setting amid the trees and vineyards of Keel & Curley Winery in Plant City. Doors open at 4 p.m. Saturday, with dinner from 5 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $48.15-$58.85 plus fees; VIP tickets are $73.83 plus fees and include a meet and greet with Abair and a tour of the winery, 5202 Thonotosassa Road. (813) 752-9100.

Into chains, leashes?
Talking Animals Festival: Give in to your animal attraction and head to WMNF's free Talking Animals Festival at Lowry Park Band Shell in Tampa, inspired by the station's Talking Animals show (with Duncan Strauss). Leashed dogs are welcome, especially if they can bark a tune or something on stage. It features dog/cat adoptions, agility demonstrations, animal-themed art exhibits and vendors. Local acts will perform animal-themed music. Think Blackbird by the Beatles. Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at 7530 North Boulevard. (813) 238-8001.

Up all night
Blues Fest After Hours Party: What could be more sensual than slow-burning blues under the stars? Let the Tampa Bay Blues Fest in Vinoy Park work its magic, then keep it stoked at after-parties at Nova 535 Art Lounge, 535 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. Some of the fest's performers will be featured 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday through Sunday. After that, it's up to you and your honey to keep the party going. $20 at the door. (727) 502-5000.

Date night in Tampa Bay 04/07/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 10:08am]
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