Thursday, September 20, 2018
Things To Do

The weekend is cool, but how about a Valentine's Day Wednesdate?

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.

Play hooky

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

Comments
Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks about the band’s 20th anniversary, Michael Shannon’s intensity and more

Lucero’s Ben Nichols talks about the band’s 20th anniversary, Michael Shannon’s intensity and more

Ben Nichols is friendly with Michael Shannon. His brother, director Jeff Nichols, has cast Shannon in all five of his films. And the Oscar-nominated actor stars in a video — a short film, really — for Long Way Back Home, the new single by Nichols’ ro...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Reality bites: SeaWorld abandons virtual reality headsets on Kraken coaster

Reality bites: SeaWorld abandons virtual reality headsets on Kraken coaster

SeaWorld has ditched the experiment that made it the first major ride in Florida to incorporate virtual reality..Last June, the theme park announced with much fanfare a new feature that would project an undersea showdown on Kraken, incorporating VR h...
Updated: 2 hours ago
The making of a nightmare: Behind the scenes at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

The making of a nightmare: Behind the scenes at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream

TAMPA — Once the scare actors were made up, they headed toward the haunted house to rehearse.But it wasn’t quite time for them to be scary yet. Busch Gardens, which opens its Howl-O-Scream Halloween scarefest on Friday, was still open for regular bus...
Published: 09/20/18
Gilda Radner is remembered in her own words in the documentary ‘Love, Gilda’

Gilda Radner is remembered in her own words in the documentary ‘Love, Gilda’

With the aid of rare audio recordings, the late Saturday Night Live comic force Gilda Radner narrates the story of her life in the new documentary Love, Gilda, opening Friday at Tampa Theatre.But it wasn’t easy initially for director Lisa D’Apolito t...
Published: 09/20/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Friday, Sept. 21

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Friday, Sept. 21

MegaCon Tampa Bay: The multi-genre convention opens today with a lineup of celebrity guests and comic book creators; hundreds of vendors selling art, toys and memorabilia. There will be a celebrity Q&A with Weasley twins from the Harry Potter films, ...
Published: 09/20/18
Visit 20 Tampa Bay museums for free (or nearly free) on Saturday

Visit 20 Tampa Bay museums for free (or nearly free) on Saturday

It’s that time when museums show the community some love by offering free admission on Saturday, like early Christmas for art lovers. Two events are the same day; Smithsonian magazine’s nationwide Free Museum Day and St. Petersburg’...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Plan your weekend: Howl-O-Scream opens, MegaCon, Lightning Fan Fest, ‘Game of Thrones’ concert, Free Museum Day

Plan your weekend: Howl-O-Scream opens, MegaCon, Lightning Fan Fest, ‘Game of Thrones’ concert, Free Museum Day

HorrorHowl-O-Scream: The annual scarefest at Busch Gardens opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday and runs select nights through Oct. 28. For its 19th year, the park has six haunted houses and six open-air intense scare zones. Hundreds of scare actors will jump o...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Dickey Betts in critical condition, facing brain surgery after ‘freak accident’ near Sarasota; upcoming concerts canceled

Dickey Betts in critical condition, facing brain surgery after ‘freak accident’ near Sarasota; upcoming concerts canceled

Months after returning to the stage after years of retirement, legendary Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickey Betts is "critical but stable" after a "freak accident" at his home in Sarasota County, according to his website.The site says Betts was ou...
Published: 09/19/18

Sports on TV/radio for Thursday, September 20

TODAYBaseballRays at Blue Jays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMRed Sox at Yankees7 p.m.MLBReds at Marlins7 p.m.FSFCollege footballTulsa at Temple7:30 p.m.ESPNCollege soccerWomen: Texas A&M at Arkansas7 p.m.SECGolfPGA Europe: Portugal Masters6:30 a.m.GolfWeb.com:...
Published: 09/19/18
Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

Maroon 5 to Headline Super Bowl Halftime Show

A band will once again take the stage at the Super Bowl halftime show.The pop group Maroon 5 is scheduled to headline the annual 13-minute extravaganza this February at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, according to two sources familiar with the plan...
Published: 09/19/18