Calling all the Lovebirds! Now, where are all my procrastinators who forgot to make reservations at a romantic restaurant? Well… lucky for you, I’ve got a few suggestions, tips, things to do and places to spoil your sweetie for Valentine’s Day and throughout this weekend in Tampa Bay! I even sprinkled in a few things that could still be fun even if your Facebook status is “single” or “complicated”.
First up, please tell me you ordered flowers for your lady lover? Come on… if I could give you one piece of advice it would be DON’T FORGET THE FLOWERS! Even if she says she “doesn’t want flowers”… she is lying. She wants flowers! One of my favorite flower shops is family-owned and operated by the Conte family (you better call TODAY and get your order in before it is too late). Buds, Blooms & Beyond: a Conte Family Florist 813-818-9600 or visit www.budsbloomsandbeyond.com
Peruse the tokens of affection at the Henry B. Plant Museum, featuring a collection of antique Valentines from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Browse through more than 200 Valentines from a private collection, including pictures of children and cherubs, cupids and arrows, forget-me-nots, and more- all intertwined with sentimental messages. For more information visit: http://plantmuseum.com/
Experience the romantic charm aboard the Yacht StarShip for a Valentine’s Day lunch or dinner cruise. The two-hour lunch cruise departs at noon, while the evening cruises leave at 7 and 7:30(VIP). All feature an unforgettable prix-fixe menu and spectacular views, with DJ entertainment. For more information visit: http://www.yachtstarship.com/
For those who want to get wild at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo you don’t want to miss the Wild at Heart event Saturday, Feb. 15th (Friday night is SOLD OUT) from 6:30-10 p.m. Adults (ages 21 and up) are invited to a one-of-a-kind celebration with cocktails under the stars, delectable dinner, romantic settings, up-close animal encounters and talks of love in the animal kingdom (Oh la la). Tickets are $75 and reservations are required. For the lovebirds who have kiddos in tow? The Zoo School is offering a “Parents Night Out”, professional child care services for children ages 3 and up. They will supply plenty of pizza, drinks, and designed to accommodate parents attending the Wild at Heart event. Advance registration is required. For more information visit: http://www.lowryparkzoo.com/
Want to experience a romantic dinner at one of Tampa’s most romantic and authentic Italian restaurants? Guido and Gino Tiozzo welcome you to Donatello Italian Restaurant. A romantic, rose colored atmosphere full of rich aromas of pastas, seafood and more. You’ll be welcomed and catered to from the first sip of wine, to your first bite, right to the roses you’ll receive at the end of your dining experience. For reservations call 813-875-6660 or visit: http://www.donatellotampa.com/
What’s more romantic than smooching at the top of the famous Dutch Wheel? Well, on Friday make sure you visit the Florida State Fair. Couples can register to win a FREE cruise for 2 (drawing will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Expo Hall). If your significant other is all about the rides, purchase a Midway Ride Armband for only $30 at the gate. Did we mention there is also an amazing fireworks show? Make sure to make plans, Friday or this weekend to enjoy the final days of the Fair and check out our list of top ten things not to miss at the Fair this year by clicking here: http://bit.ly/1juddN4 .
For more information and a full schedule of events visit: www.floridastatefair.com
Experience the FIRE of Flamenco for Valentine’s Day at the Columbia Restaurant, Florida’s oldest restaurant located in the heart of Ybor City. If you have never seen the famous Flamenco show at the Columbia, you are missing out on one of Tampa’s favorite dining traditions. Guests can enjoy a four-course dinner with Flamenco show for $54.95 (plus tax) per person. For show and seating times please call 813-248-4961 or visit: www.columbiarestaurant.com
Plan a “staycation” at Saddlebrook Resort. Saddlebrook Resort has a Valentine’s Sweetheart Special for $99 per person, per night. Romance, resort recreation and award-winning restaurants await for your special someone. The package includes everything you need to un-wind, relax and recharge your love. A bottle of champagne with chocolate-covered strawberries, continental breakfast in bed for two daily, Saturday wine and cheese tasting and dive-in movie, FREE golf and tennis mini-clinics, spa specials, biking, fishing and more… this may be the BEST deal in town y’all! For more information visit: http://www.saddlebrook.com/package_valentines_day.html
Indulge in fancy food and impress your Valentine at Tampa’s modern American supper club, Ocean Prime who will treat Valentine guests to their fabulous regular menu as well as include specials prepared by Chef Nick Grosenbach like: twice baked main lobster with champagne tarragon bearer blanc (omg whaaaaat), Rossini-style beef tenderloin with roasted garlic whipped potatoes, wild mushrooms, asparagus tips and Cabernet jus. Wait, there’s more…. don’t forget the dessert, Val’s butter cake with vanilla bean ice cream, macerated berries and raspberry sauce. YUMO!!! Don’t forget to order your lady my favorite cocktail, Berries and Bubbles! Reservations are suggested, call 813-490-5288 or visit: www.oceanprimetampa.com
How about a little bromance with a side of a love triangle? Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Bollywood bromance ‘Gunday’ opens Friday (with subtitles). A Bollywood star that visited Tampa to promote the International Indian Film Academy Awards coming to Tampa in April, Priyanka Chopra stars in the film. For more information on the upcoming IIFA Bollywood Awards and visit: http://www.iifa.com/
Meet your Valentine for lunch and live entertainment at Eat at Joe’s Lunch and Concert Series at the Joe Chillura Courthouse Square. You can bring your own food or purchase food at the park, everyone is invited. Don’t have a Valentine? Maybe you will meet your future Valentine there! 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. visit: http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/index.aspx?NID=3084
Take your Valentine to Golfer’s Grail for a one-of-a-kind, hole-in-one date. This place is a golfer’s heaven! With state-of-the-art golf simulators this place takes golf to an entirely new level. Located on N. Dale Mabry, this indoor golf club is perfect for the serious and casual golfers, beginners and even kids. Play over 60 golf courses, enjoy craft beer and wine with the option of ordering-in cuisine from local restaurants. And ladies… looking for a Valentine, this place has plenty of men and the perfect place for a girls-night-out. For more information or to book your tee time call 813-969-2100 or visit: www.golfersgrail.net