We won't tell your sweetie where your amazing date-night came from. It will be our little Valentine's Day secret.
You have a significant other, and you want to do something nice for them. You’re looking for stuff to do at the last minute. Boy, do we have the perfect list for you. Don’t sleep on the couch this Feb. 14, try out at least one of these activities. And look, we even made the headings for each red . . . we're so romantic.
SAY I DO, AGAIN
This might be too little, too late, but Say I Do, Again is happening Feb. 14 at Siesta Key Beach. If you want to renew your wedding vows, head to the beach around sunset and join hundreds of other couples doing the same. What’s sweeter than taking your sweetheart to repeat the vows you made 20 years ago or five years ago or 50 years ago? Nothing, that’s what. Better yet, it’s free.
GO TO A HOCKEY GAME
No, there’s never been a rom-com that revolved around the National Hockey League, but who’s to say it’s not a good idea? On Valentine’s Day, the Tampa Bay Lightning are playing the Dallas Stars at 7:30 p.m. in Tampa’s Amalie Arena and tickets are still available, starting at $30.
GO TO DINNER
It’s going to be hard to find a reservation this late in the game — something tells us you’ve already heard this. OK, OK, no crying over spilled cabernet. But the more casual options will likely have openings, and what’s wrong with pizza, anyway? It’s the thought that counts, right?
WALK ON THE BEACH
Walking on the beach doesn’t have to be at sunset. Whether it be a beach day or just a half-hour walk down the sand, isn’t it amazing you live in a place where you can walk on the beach in February? Just make sure if you’re taking a walk on Siesta Key to get out before sunset so you don’t get caught up with the Say I Do, Again crowd. Again, free!
VISIT THE SEA OTTERS AT MOTE
Mote is open every day of the year, and it has otters! Their names are Huck, Pippi and Jane, which brings love to even the coldest of hearts. This isn’t particularly romantic, because otters aren’t one of those mate-for-life animals, but it is super cute. And, $24 each gets you in.
GO TO THE MOVIES
The movies are a great way to kill a few hours on Valentine’s Day. Everyone might have the same idea as you, so go ahead and buy those tickets in advance online if you can. If you waited too long to make reservations (what, this again?) it’s OK. You can always find something to see, and $10 popcorn makes everything seem like an Oscar winner.
LET PERFORMERS TAKE CENTER STAGE
Even if you’re single and looking for something to do, this could be fun. If you’re feeling a little crazy, there’s a burlesque show at McCurdy’s Comedy Theatre called “Black Diamond Burlesque Valentine’s Show.” Yes. We are withholding judgment. There’s also a show out named “Straight White Men” at Florida Studio Theatre, which follows a father and his three sons on Christmas, with high jinks included. This should go without saying, but don’t bring your children to these shows — this is a date night for parents only.
SIESTA KEY VILLAGE VALENTINE'S STROLL
The Village hosts a tradition of its own on Siesta Key every year. The event has live music throughout the village and free candy from the merchants. Participating merchants will have pink and red balloons outside their businesses, just so you know where to go. You don’t even have to pay anything unless you want to eat, drink or buy something. The event will run from 5-8 p.m.
BROWN BAG CONCERT SERIES AT PHILLIPPI PARK
Suzanne and Jim will be playing at the free concert from noon to 1 p.m. in Phillippi Estate Park. Can you dig these groovy tunes? For the record, it’s Valentine’s Day at lunch, too, ya know.
A HOMEMADE DINNER, JUST STAY AT HOME
Make those heart-shaped pizzas. Dip your strawberries in chocolate. Stay at home, relax and hang out with your significant other. Watch a movie. At home, you can drink as much champagne as you want, and no one will judge you for eating too much chocolate.
PULL A 'PRETTY WOMAN' MOMENT
OK, so you don’t have a private jet, but guess what — you don’t need one to sweep your love away to the opera. Take in “Turandot,” at the Sarasota Opera, a story about a prince who faces execution in the effort to win his love’s heart. And you thought you were being chivalrous by paying for dinner. Tickets start at $19.
GO TO THE RINGLING MUSEUM
There’s nothing special really going on at the Ringling on Valentine’s Day, but you do have to admire John and Mable Ringling for building an art museum out of nothing. Maybe that’s true love. Take a look at the art and tour the Ca’ d’Zan, which closes at 8 p.m. Thursday, but $25 gets you in the door.
STROLL THE AISLES OF PUBLIX
It’s hard deciding what make for dinner on a normal night, why would it be easier to figure out what to cook on Valentine’s Day? Listen, you know Publix is going to be crowded. Pick out a recipe beforehand, figure out what you have at home and just get in and get out. Avoid check-out lines with people who are buying lots of ice cream and tissues, they might take their anger out on you. And hey, leave the coupons at home. It’s Valentine’s Day.
GET OUTTA TOWN
It’s not too late. You can still leave for a four-day weekend — we won’t tell the boss. Sarasota is five hours away from the Florida Keys and four hours from Miami. If you want to get a breath of cold air, we’re only four hours from Jacksonville. And of course, we’re an hour away from Tampa. After all, nothing says romance like a getaway for two.