Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Plenty of date night fun right in Brandon

BRANDON — It's date night, but before you start driving to South Tampa or St. Petersburg for unique food and entertainment, consider staying in the Brandon area. Though southeast Hillsborough may be known for its strip malls and farms, there's plenty of fun nights out to be had if you just look past the obvious.

Retro

Prices might not be as low as they were in the good ol' days, but these options are cheaper than the competition.

• Grab a soft-serve cone or a thick chocolate milk shake at Campbell's Dairyland on Parsons Avenue in Brandon. Then head down the road to Oakfield Lanes for a couple of games of bowling. Or jump on Interstate 75 and go to the Ruskin Drive-in on U.S. 41 for a double showing. It's only $5 a person, and homemade concessions are a steal compared to megaplex fare.

Classy

There's no skyline in Brandon, but that doesn't mean you have to forgo big-city style. Leave that minivan behind and go out for a sophisticated night on the town.

• Get dressed up and head over to Della's After Dark. On Thursdays through Saturdays, Della's Delectables on Oakfield Road is transformed into classy dining establishment with upscale fare. For drinks, head over to Joia Fabulous Pizza and Martini on Gibsonton Drive in Riverview. In addition to Italian food, this Riverview restaurant features a large bar and rooms for private parties.

International

Want to jet off for a getaway but don't have the vacation time or cash? Try an exotic night filled with tasty food. With a little imagination, you'll feel like you're in another country.

• Try the Taste of India on Brandon Boulevard. The food is spicy, and the menu is huge. Tone down the curry with one of their many types of naan bread. They also have a full bar with unique mixed drinks. Or head to Thailand with some pad see-ew from Jasmine Thai on the corner of Providence and Lumsden roads. The relaxing atmosphere will make you feel miles away from the traffic outside the restaurant's doors.

Outdoor

There's so many outdoor activities in southeast Hillsborough County that tourism officials are leading national writers through the area, hoping to get the word out. But before out-of-towners catch on to the regional beauty, consider moving your date to the daylight hours.

• Rent a kayak for two and paddle leisurely down the Little Manatee River. Canoe Outpost in Wimauma will provide the equipment — just bring the picnic. There's plenty of places to pull your boat up and eat in peace. Or leave a little later for a romantic sunset charter. You Name it Charters in Apollo Beach will tailor your charter to your interests, whether it's snorkeling, fishing or just relaxing.

Educational

Learning can be fun, and maybe even romantic. Enjoy a night trying a new activity or honing a skill (doubles tennis, anyone?).

• For fine dining and some added skills to boot, go to the Rolling Pin Kitchen Emporium in the Brandon Crossroads plaza for one of their classes. They offer couples cooking lessons and wine tastings. Choose from presentations or hands-on classes and learn how to roll sushi, cook Chinese food or host a dinner party.

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at jvandervelde@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2443.

Plenty of date night fun right in Brandon 11/13/08 [Last modified: Sunday, November 16, 2008 6:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Video: Loggerhead sea turtle found in Islamorada resident's pool

    Wildlife

    An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on Monday, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys.

    An adult female loggerhead sea turtle, discovered in an oceanside residential pool in Islamorada on June 22, 2017, has been rescued and released off the Florida Keys. [Photo from video]

  2. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
  3. Deon Cain, Duke Dawson, Derrick Nnadi among SI's top 100 players

    Blogs

    Sports Illustrated's countdown of the top 100 players in college football continues with three more local players.

  4. She doesn't care if you accept her, as long as you respect her

    Human Interest

    Mary Jane Taylor finds strength walking quietly among the dead.

    Mary Jane Taylor,18, visits Oaklawn Cemetery in downtown Tampa when she is feeling low. "When I hit my low points in life I go the the graveyard," she says. "people are afraid of the graveyard. I love the graveyard." The transgender teen recently graduated from Jefferson High School. She is  enrolled in summer classes at Santa Fe College in Gainesville studying international business. She plans to transfer to the University of Florida, attend law school and become a civil rights lawyer. (JOHN PENDYGRAFT   |   Times)
  5. Few new details in state investigation of Tarpon Springs officer-involved shooting of Nick Provenza

    Public Safety

    TARPON SPRINGS — An investigative report, released this week by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, into the officer-involved shooting that killed 25-year-old Nick Provenza included largely the same narrative prosecutors released this month that ruled the shooting a "justifiable homicide."

    Stopping while riding by on his bike Michael Prater, 15, hangs his head after looking at the memorial at Safford and Tarpon avenues for Nick Provenza, a 25-year-old who was shot and killed there during a car show Saturday by a Tarpon Springs police officer. Investigators said Provenza pulled a knife on the cop who shot him. Friends find it hard to believe a man they described as a peaceful vegan and musician would be capable of such an act. Prater didn't know the victim but was at the car show.