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Sunday, Dec 16, 2018
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Ideas for Valentine’s Day in the Tampa Bay area

If you still haven’t mapped out your Valentine’s Day plans yet, don’t fret. Here are a few ideas for the foodie, wine enthusiast and adventurer in all of us.

♦ Get nautical and spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart on the water. Yacht Starship Cruises offers a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend cruise that includes a three-course prix fixe menu and live entertainment. Find love under the moonlight, no magical bow and arrow needed! Yacht Starship, 603 Channelside Drive Tampa, (813) 223-7999, yachtstarship.com

♦ Enjoy a bottle of red wine alongside a lineup of cheese, chocolate, strawberries and mixed nuts at Cheese Please. This year’s “Brie My Valentine” special costs $30 per person and is sure to fill up fast. Availability is limited, but drinkers should arrive between 7 and 9 p.m. Cheese Plate, 3225 South MacDill Ave Suite 103, Tampa, (813) 766-0060

♦ Calling all lovebirds! Treat your Valentine to a Friday evening at Lowry Park Zoo. On February 13, adults (ages 21 and up) are invited to a one-of-a-kind celebration at the zoo after dark. “Wild At Heart” includes drinks under the stars, a delectable dinner, romantic settings, up-close animal encounters, and tales of love in the animal kingdom. Reservations are required. Lowry Park Zoo, 1101 W. Sligh Avenue Tampa, (813) 935-8552

♦ Celebrate V-Day all weekend long at Timpano. Starting Friday, the Italian chophouse will feature an exclusive tasting menu that includes Chateaubriand steak, Maine lobster and roasted Peppadew peppers. Don’t have an appetite for dinner? Try cozy weekend brunch options such as crab cake Benedicts, maple-bourbon glazed waffles and zeppole. All topped off with mimosas. Timpano, 1610 W. Swann Ave., Tampa, (813) 254-5870, timpanochophouse.net.

♦ Double up this year and save big at The Melting Pot. This Valentine’s Day the fondue restaurant is offering a special discount for groups of four or more. Entrees are set to include lobster diablo, filet mignon and honey shrimp. The Melting Pot, 3164 N Dale Mabry Hwy. Tampa, (813) 962-6936

♦ With old-school jams and movies playing, Sly Bar will hold an ‘80s Prom Night at 9 p.m. Saturday. All guests attending the Valentine’s throwback soirée are encouraged to dress the part, too. Sly Bar, 2061 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, (727) 735-4035, slybar.com.

♦ Take your lovebug stargazing and across the globe with MOSI’s “Eclipse of the Heart” exhibit. Enjoy a light dinner, prepared by Chef Rene Marquis, while underneath the stars in Saunders Planetarium. Gaze at the changing sky of destinations like Paris, Buenos Aires and Fiji — no passport required. MOSI, 4801 E. Fowler Ave.,Tampa (813) 987-6000

♦ Journey back in time to the 16th century with the Bay Area Renaissance Festival. You and your significant other are sure to enjoy the live armored jousting or 12 stages of entertainment. Beyond the usual Valentine’s Day fare of wine, chocolate and romance the weekend’s activities include Cupcake Crusades baking contest, The Newlywed Game, a Wooing Contest and a couple’s chocolate pie eating contest. Behind MOSI, 11315 N. 46th St., Tampa; www.bayarearenfest.com

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