Be still my beating heart! Valentine's Day is upon us, and that means it's time for grand romantic gestures that soar above the sweet nothings you whisper to your beloved. But romance can be a tall order sometimes, especially in a city as cynical as Miami.
Don't fret, New Times has you covered. Here's a list of 10 ideas for making the most of this Valentine's Day with your special someone.
Go Outside. There aren't many places around the country where you can wear shorts and sandals comfortably in the middle of February, but Miami is definitely an exception to that rule. So take advantage of it. Spend Valentine's Day at the beach with your significant other, or have a picnic at a park and walk along the edges of Biscayne Bay. Spring may not have sprung yet, but it's Miami, so who cares.
Adopt a Puppy. Are you ready, perhaps even eager to take things to the next level with your partner? Do you want to start building a life together, a life that brings you closer by way of shared responsibilities, shared failures, and shared successes? Do you want to add member to your team, to make your squad even more exceptional than it already is? But are you definitely not ready for actual parenthood? If your answer to all of those questions is yes, consider adopting a little baby doggo. Miami-Dade Animal Services is running a Valentine's Day special, offering 50 percent off adoptions from now through February 18, to encourage you to find "your furry valentine." It's perfect for committed couples who might want a cute and cuddly little critter to love, but don't want to have to deal with the burdens of morning sickness and college tuition. 3599 NW 79th Ave., Doral; 305-468-5900; miamidade.gov.
Go to a Strip Club. Only in Miami can a strip club outing qualify as an acceptable Valentine's Day date. But hey, what better way to demonstrate your openness and trust in your loved one's affection and fidelity than to go to a strip club with them? And because you're in Miami, there's a strip club to suit just about anybody's interests, from traditional spots like Miami Beach's Club Madonna and Hallandale's Scarlett's, to the hip-hop mecca King of Diamonds, to E11even, with scantily clad dancers in a nightclub setting. Whether you're certain that you want to spend the rest of your life with your mate, or simply just like spending time with them for now, it never hurts to show some self-assurance by letting your lover know how not jealous you are. But beware: This plan can backfire extravagantly if you are, in fact, super jealous.
Solve a Murder Mystery. Is it a little on the corny side? Sure. Is it lacking the sort of solitary intimacy you might be aiming for on Valentine's Day? Definitely. Is it the most traditionally romantic way to spend your night? Absolutely not. But so what? You get to solve a mystery! And as lovely as the hors d'oeuvres, appetizers, main plates, and desserts at Vinos on Galt's Valentine's Day Murder Mystery Party all sound, they can hardly top getting to act out your own Sherlock Holmes fantasy with your significant other over the course of a few hours. The game is afoot! 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at Vinos on Galt Mile, 3312 NE 32nd St., Ft. Lauderdale; 954-530-7301; vinoswinbars.com; Admission costs $100 via eventbrite.com.
Run a 5K or 10K. Miami is a city full of hardbodied, wildly healthy, ridiculously fat-free fitness maniacs. So for those readers who consider boiled chicken, steamed vegetables, and a rice cake with peanut butter your ideal romantic meal, this one's for you. Run 4 Love is hosting its third annual virtual run this February in cities around Florida. What is a virtual run, you ask? Basically, you pay the typical fee associated with mass races, but in this case, you can choose the date and route of your run. At least 15 percent of the profits will go to Heart to Heart International, an organization committed to healthcare access in communities. Plus, you'll get a two part medal that combines to spell "LOVE"! Awwwww! Registration for the virtual race starts at $22 via eventbrite.com.
Get Fancy Under the Stars. There's almost never a bad night to take a stroll with your partner through beautifully manicured estates and lush tropical gardens. And if you're looking to enjoy Valentine's Day with an evening like that, several Miami institutions that will fit the bill. In Cutler, the Deering Estate's Annual Valentine's Day concert will feature America's Got Talent's Yoli Mayor, as well as Alejandro Elizondo. 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at the Deering Estate, 16701 SW 72 Ave., Miami; 305-235-1668; deeringestate.org; Admission starts at $30.
In Coral Gables, the Fairchild Botanical Garden will be presenting a performance by Miami's own Carmen Lundy. Make sure not to forget lawn chairs and picnic blankets to cozy up to your valentine. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables; 305-667-1651; fairchildgarden.org; General Admission starts at $80.
Watch a Movie. But don't just go to your local AMC or Regal Cinemas. It's Valentine's Day after all — don't you want to do something special? There are always sappy movies playing in theaters, but if you want to aim for something with a little extra panache, you can go see a movie somewhere you normally wouldn't. Consider watching When Harry Met Sally at Etaru in Hallandale, or enjoy the eternally majestic Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, playing in the Miami Beach Edition Hotel's sandy back yard, or revel in the utterly plausible 50 First Dates, a story wherein Drew Barrymore falls in love with Adam Sandler, on the rooftop of the Atton in Brickell.
When Harry Met Sally. 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at Etaru, 111 S. Surf Rd., Hallandale Beach; 954-271-3222; etarurestaurant.us; Admission costs $75 and includes dinner and Veuve Cliquot champagne.
Dirty Dancing. 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at The Edition, 2901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-257-4500; editionhotels.com/miamibeach; Admission is free.
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50 First Dates. 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at The Atton, 1500 SW First Ave., Miami; 786-600-2600; attonbrickellmiami.com; Admission is free.
Go See Drag Queens Wrestle in a Vat of Milk and Champagne. Yes, you did read that correctly. South Beach's Sweet Liberty will be hosting a Valentine's showcase that one might describe as, well, an alternative to the typical hearts and flowers fanfare associated with the holiday. Forget a dinner served under silver on silken tablecloths – this bar is going to have drag queens sloshing and sliding in an inflatable pool filled with 20 gallons of milk and champagne. If you're the kind of square who can't see the appeal in an evening like this, then seek life elsewhere. But if you and yours have the sense of humor to find the fun in this caliber of Valentine's Day entertainment, then be assured, it's probably going to be a hell of a good time. 10 p.m. Wednesday, February 14 at Sweet Liberty, 237-B 20th St., Miami Beach; 305-763-8217; mysweetliberty.com; Admission is free.