Romantic Date Ideas in South Florida

Romantic-Date-Ideas-in-South-FloridaAs Valentine’s Day approaches, the age-old question about what to do or where to go pops up again. But let’s face it, the standard of a (crowded) dinner at a good restaurant can feel unoriginal — not to mention the hassle of waiting for a table can strip the pleasure from the evening. And is it really romantic to have to shout over the crowds of other couples trying to do the same thing you are? There has to be something else. Fortunately, there is. Here are seven ideas that break the mold for before, during and after Valentine’s Day.

1.Dinner with your movie
Let’s start the list with an almost standard choice: movies. But this is not your standard movie theater, this is the movie theater done right! iPic theaters offer an elevated movie-watching experience. Located in Mizner Park, the theater boasts luxurious leather seats and high-end food prepared by a Culinary Institute chef. Choice selections include dishes such as Thai coconut shrimp, peppercorn-crusted beef and truffle fries. In the premium section, the seats fully recline and come with blankets and pillows so you can get really cozy. You can even have the food brought directly to you while you watch — a far cry from the standard popcorn and big gulp regular movie theaters proffer.

2. A little culture, a lot of entertainment
If you’re up for something a little fancier than the movies, there’s always the (actual) theater. Kravis Center, Broward Center for the Performing Arts and Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami all offer a panoply of choices in concerts, ballet and operas. For Valentine’s Day, Kravis is featuring a special performance by the inimitable Tony Bennett. Broward Center will show the Mozart opera, Cosi Fan Tutte, a rousing comedy about two military officers who decide to test the fidelity of their fiancees. Arsht Center will showcase Miami City Ballet’s Passion & Grace program.

3. Smooth jazz and moonlight
To score big romantic points this year, take your special someone to the Valentine’s Day concert at the Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami. Set outside underneath the stars, this jazz concert with a performance by Arturo Sandoval promises to be truly spectacular. Bring a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy an evening of utter enchantment as the strains of beautiful music and the gentle caress of the Florida breezes waft over you. For an additional price, you can reserve a candlelit table complete with wine and dinner.

4. Romance is on the table
If you are more hands-on, taking a cooking class at Sur La Table is a fun and scrumptious option. The store in Boca (at Mizner Park) offers classes every day of the week, both morning and evening. They range from how to make Artisan bread to mastering macaroons to national specialties like Italian or French cuisine. “Date night” classes are offered that tailor the session to couples. Feel free to bring wine to savor with your culinary masterpiece!

5. Create a memory If you want to get your hands really dirty, bring a bottle of wine and a helping of anticipation to a painting party at Painting with a Twist or Painting Fiesta. Tailored to those who have any level of art experience — including none whatsoever! — the session is a great way to enjoy each other’s company, discover hidden talents (even if you stink at Pictionary) and have something to hang on your wall or have a keepsake. They have several locations including Miami, Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Weston and Coral Springs.

6. A slice of Venice At Las Olas.Romantic-Date-Ideas If you’ve hankered after the canals of Venice, Riverfront Gondola Tours is a wonderful option. You can book a dinner cruise in which you bring your own food and drink on the boat or have your dinner delivered aboard the vessel from one of two local restaurants: BOA or Sweet Nectar. Valentine’s day cruises include wine or champagne, a rose for the lady and chocolates. Enjoy a serene and relaxing cruise on the New River and travel up canals where you’ll see spectacular mansions, luxury yachts and tropical foliage.

7. A royal-worthy ride
For the inveterate romantic, horse-pulled carriage rides are available by CityPlace in West Palm Beach. Rides range from a 20-minute evening canter through downtown, to a very special “taxi” service to the Kravis Center for the latest performance. You may also opt for a 30- to 45-minute waterfront ride along the Intercoastal.

Whatever you choose, remember date nights, romance, even Valentine’s Day, are about being present: body, mind and heart, with the one you love (or like strongly, if you’re not there yet). The smallest things, like laughing together, exploring or trying something new can often achieve more than the biggest bouquet of flowers or the most haute cuisine. Take time to truly enjoy each other this year, regardless of the budget and undoubtedly you will have memories to treasure for years to come.

Keisha McDonnough is a research analyst and writer. A Jamaican native and South Florida resident, she is passionate about poetry and vow writing. Check out her website at

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