Whether it’s celebrated with dinner reservations or candy hearts, Valentine’s Day is a day of well-traversed traditions.
Yet, with the holiday landing on a Monday this year, many holiday-specific and Tampa Bay area events already passed with the weekend – leaving students wanting to celebrate with fewer choices.
Nonetheless, there are still many romantic options to pursue today.
Perhaps some spontaneity will even win over that special someone.
Whether you’re scrambling to make Valentine’s Day arrangements or merely seeking a finale to previous plans, The Oracle offers a few ideas.
Stop by the Salvador Dal Museum
If you still haven’t visited the new Salvador Dal Museum at One Dal Blvd., Valentine’s Day offers the perfect opportunity to bear witness to the artist’s romantic passions.
Dal might be most associated with surrealist images like melting clocks, yet much of his artwork stemmed from his muse and love of his life, Gala.
Paintings like “Portrait of Gala” are housed within a three-story building that also contains a beautiful architectural creation called the Glass Enigma. Admission is $15 for students with an ID and hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The museum also overlooks Albert Whitted Park and the Bay front, offering a picturesque backdrop for a rest or a picnic.
Attend a much-loved restaurant’s new opening
Elsewhere in St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay area gourmands will receive a different kind of valentine as Taco Bus opens its second location at 2324 Central Ave. from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Though it might not be a wise replacement for a Valentine Day’s dinner, it provides tasty, light lunch fare – or just an excuse to share a large cup of hibiscus flower lemonade with a significant other.
Students planning an intricate, romantic meal may want to visit afterwards anyways. The St. Petersburg Times’ January dining issue singled out the original location’s tres leches and flan desserts.
If you have the free time, try a scenic walk further down Central Avenue and visit Haslam’s Bookstore or a number of art galleries with your romantic interest.
Catch a comedy show
If you believe love and laughter come hand-in-hand, the Tampa Improv at 1600 E. Eighth Ave. hosts a stand-up show specifically catered to the holiday.
The Centro Ybor comedy club keeps its doors open into the workweek for a show featuring Jake Johannsen. Admission costs $35 with a three-course Valentine’s Day dinner that includes entres like steak tips, and $20 for the show only.
Johannsen, whose last special was the appropriately titled “I Love You,” has appeared more than 30 times on “The Late Show with David Letterman” to dispense witticisms on relationships and politics.
Seating for the show starts at 7 p.m. and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
See a vintage romance in theaters
A night out at the movies remains among the most popular Valentine’s Day dates.
Yet you shouldn’t have to settle with options like the “gnomantic comedy” kid’s flick “Gnomeo and Juliet” or the tepid Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston pairing “Just Go With It.”
AMC Veterans Expressway at 9302 Anderson Road will screen the 1984 John Hughes romantic comedy “Sixteen Candles” at 7 p.m. for an exclusive holiday engagement.
Starring then It-Girl Molly Ringwald, the movie follows a teenager as she tries to catch the attention of the school’s most popular senior and avoid the affections of an adoring geek.
Enjoy the environment
For couples that care as much about going green as pink or red this holiday season, try a free screening of the movie “Home” at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater campus.
The 2009 documentary shows aerial photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s footage from 54 countries as it slowly reveals changes in natural surfaces like oceans in “Planet Earth”-like video.
The event is part of a regional showing called “Love the Earth This Valentine’s Day.” Any students who end up missing it today can see another screening Wednesday at St. Petersburg’s Caf Bohemia.
If you do end up going, however, a trip to the nearby Clearwater Beach makes for a romantic conclusion to the appreciation of nature.