As a daydream believers, romantic comedy aficionados, and enthusiasts of all things “love,” we bring you: the best ways to celebrate love this February in Central Florida.
The Poor Porker & Hollis Garden
My all-time favorite date idea, which I may or may not have already experienced myself, is truly the total package. It incorporates sweet treats, sweet scenes and your sweet-heart. On this all-morning date, you can share the dated beauty and charming lakes of downtown Lakeland with that special someone.
First thing, visit The Poor Porker at 8:00 a.m. Do plan to arrive at that time or shortly thereafter because their well-loved beignets frequently sell out.
After grabbing a specialty coffee and a BAG of beignets (yes, one order fills a whole bag), take a quick stroll down to Lake Mirror to set-up camp. The best spot I’ve found is on the large steps in front of the promenade, where you can really soak up the pure beauty of this special, little town.
After the picnic, head to Hollis Garden - a prime spot for many Central Florida proposals and weddings. This expansive garden area displays numerous flowerbeds, neo-classical architecture, fountains and more. Soft, classical music even plays in the background. End your day in the gardens sitting on the edge of the beautiful koi pond - your sweetie will love it, I promise.
Go Glamping! (Glamorous Camping)
Your love is unique, so why not celebrate it in a unique way. Traditional and Teepee “glamping” (glamourous camping) at Westgate River Ranch Resort provides a one-of-a-kind camping experience that’s actually luxurious. And since these glampsites are located on a Wild West resort, you’ve got built-in entertainment. Yeehaw!
Skydive…Because Love is in the Air
At Florida Skydiving Center, you two could be free falling, just like your heart was the day you first laid eyes on her…or you can at least relive the butterflies you felt before you jump out of the plane. It’s a unique date you two won’t soon forget and maybe something you’ve been meaning to knock off your bucket list.
Sample Some Local Brews
Raise a toast to love before or after your date night with a craft beer from a local brewery or pub. Some of our favorites for a date night include Lakeland Brewing Company, Brew Hub, Grove Roots Brewing Co. and Cob & Pen.
Hit it out of the Park with Spring Training Tickets
Everyone knows the way to a man’s (and many a woman’s) heart is through sports tickets. The Detroit Tigers play four Spring Training home games in Lakeland this February at the newly renovated Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Even if he’s been to a spring training game before, you two can have a blast discovering the new stadium together. Don’t forget to root, root, root for the home team.
Watch a Movie at Polk Theatre
Celebrate a love that has stood the test of time at a theatre that has stood the test of time. The historic Polk Theatre is beautiful and boasts a ceiling of twinkling stars. Don’t forget to make a wish.
Visit Bok Tower Gardens
Your love is in full bloom and so is Bok Tower Gardens this time of year. Winding paths of beautiful blooms, privacy and the charming sound of a carillon concert in the background – it’s a no-brainer. Kick the romance up a notch by packing a picnic and enjoying lunch seated by the singing tower, which overlooks the vast beauty of the Lake Wales Ridge.
Join the Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens for Bella Italia on February 14. Bring your sweetheart for a charming evening decorated in vintage elegance featuring acoustic guitar music at historic Pinewood Estate. Enjoy a full course dinner, wine, cocktails and romance included. Space Limited. Reservations Required. $225 per couple includes a four-course meal, flowing cocktails and endless romantic entertainment.
Call to make reservations soon because this event sells out fast. 863-676-1408.
What’s the most important part of this day? I think most can agree it’s the specialty food. I grin foolishly just daydreaming about how many adorable couples will get engaged over a fancy dinner this Valentine’s Day. Because I know your significant other will find it too-cute that you took time out of your busy schedule to call and make a dinner reservation, I’ve picked out a few fine establishments for you to consider:
Take Your Date to Brazil, as in Posto 9
Well, it’s not Brazil, but everything on the menu at the new Posto 9 Gastropub in Lakeland is Brazilian-Inspired with a Southern flare. On top of that, the atmosphere is ultra-cool and there is no tipping policy, however, if you want to leave your server a tip, it will be donated to Harrison School for the Arts and Polk Arts Alliance. Aww.
Other Restaurants Offering Special Dinners
Bay Street Bistro in Lakeland, 863-683-4229: Special Valentine’s Day menu including Four-Course Dinners for $60 per person.
Luigi’s Italian Restaurant in Lake Alfred, 863-956-9100: Specials include String Bean Salad Appetizer, Veal Shank Osso Buco, Lobster Pescatore Combo, Chicken Tutto Bene, and Stuffed Pork Chops.
Arrabellas Ristorante in Winter Haven, 863-293-1797: Special Valentine’s Day menu including Three-Course Dinners for $62 per person.
Nineteen61 in Lakeland, 863-688-1961: Valentine's Day menu includes Charcuterie for Two, Lamb Oso Bucco, and Blood & Chocolate. Four-Course Dinner is $89, Wine Pairing is $75.
If you get butterflies in your stomach every time you see a delivery man carrying flowers, you might be just as sentimental as me, and that’s okay - here I have listed some important information that might come in handy this Valentine's Day:
- The Wild Hare Flowers in Winter Haven, 863-293-1900
- The Flower Corner in Davenport, 863-421-0827
- House of Flowers in Auburndale, 863-967-3471
- Mrs. D’s Flower Shop in Lakeland, 863-665-1011