Book Launch Party: Enjoy refreshments on the porch as Kristen Simmons, author of the fast-paced young adult dystopian Article 5 series, launches Three, the final book of the series. It's at 7 p.m. at Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave., Tampa. Free. (813) 253-2638; inkwoodbooks.com.
Wordier than Thou: Prose and Short Story Open Mic: This unique open mic series focusing on storytelling includes a performance by a features reader followed by 10-minute open mic slots. It starts at 7 p.m. at [email protected], 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Donations. (727) 895-6620; thestudioat620.org.
Once: The 2012 Tony Award winner for Best Musical about a Dublin street musician about to give up on his dream when a woman takes an interest in his songs opens tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $46.50-$92. (813) 229-7827.
KIDS AND FAMILY
Florida State Fair: Today is Senior Day at the fair, so seniors get in for $9 at the gate, and $5 after 5 p.m. Boasting the largest independent midway and the largest traveling roller coaster in North America, the fair also offers animals and livestock, sword swallowing, fire eating, an FMX Motorcycle Thrill Zone and plenty of food. It's at 10 a.m. at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 621-7821.
XXII Winter Olympics, 8 p.m., NBC Shaun White hits the halfpipe, and there's women's freestyle ski slopestyle, a new Olympic discipline.
The Fosters, 9 p.m., ABC Family We totally love this show and what it has to say about family, both the ones we are born with and the ones we create for ourselves. But, honestly, has no one ever questioned that Callie's foster family's last name is the FOSTERS?
MORE TO EXPLORE
Find some alternative Valentine's date ideas at tampabay.com/things-to-do.
Valentine's Day: Don't forget your sweetie on Friday. Who knows romance better than Nicholas Sparks? The author of The Notebook and Dear John speaks Thursday night at the University of South Florida in Tampa; a book signing follows the free lecture. Or turn loose your animal instincts at Lowry Park Zoo's Wild at Heart, with cocktails, dinner and tales of love in the animal kingdom. Friday is sold out, but some tickets remained for Saturday; $75; reservations required: (813) 935-8552. At the Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg, stroll hand-in-hand Thursday among art, jewelry, chocolate and champagne at an Evening with Venus: Ancient Roman Erotica; $25; 21 and up only; (727) 896-2667.
Florida State Fair: The 110th annual fair continues with deals each day. Today is Taste of the Fair, with smaller portions of fried, gooey goodness available at a reduced price. Also today, seniors get in for $9 at the gate. Regular gate admission is $11-$13 adults, $6-$7 ages 6-11, 5 and younger free. Food and rides can add up, so don't forget the free stuff, such as the Xtreme Sports Show and racing pigs. All at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. (813) 621-7821.
Once: The Tony-winning Broadway show tells the tale of a Dublin street musician about to give up on his dream when a woman takes an interest in his love songs. The tour opens Tuesday, with shows through Sunday at the Straz Center in Tampa. $46.50-$92. (813) 229-7827.