If you don't have a date idea for the holiday of love because you've either procrastinated or just simply forgotten, fear not.

Instead of breaking hearts on the big day by showing up empty handed, check out these last-minute ideas that might just help save the night — and your relationship.

With events happening all over the Orlando area, students can exchange the traditional flowers, dinner and a movie for some new traditions, whether it's a quiet evening alone or a big night on the town.

Couples can even look into the Valentine's Day Stroll at Harry P. Leu Gardens on Saturday at 7 p.m. With a candlelit stroll through the garden, couples can also have a picnic to have a romantic dinner under the stars. Advance tickets are $17 each.

For lovers of the outdoors, a walk through the park is another option for celebrating Valentine's Day.

Nick Gonzales-Portillo, a freshman biomedical sciences major, said he had something special planned in the park for his girlfriend.

"I was going to take her to a park where I was going to get a bunch of paper lanterns and light them up and probably write something in them," Gonzales-Portillo said.

For those who want to make the night last a little longer in the park, couples can bring food, a blanket and a laptop to enjoy a movie outdoors.

If a stroll in the park just isn't enough, you might consider setting up a campsite in places such as Rock Springs or Lake Whippoorwill.

"We're going to Rock Springs in Apopka, but that's all we've got figured out so far," said Joanna Pijeau, a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major.

For some early Valentine's Day celebrations, couples can visit art galleries such as The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, which has free admission from 4 8 p.m. on Friday.

If quality, creative time is the way you wish to spend your special day together, couples can paint pottery at places such as All Fired Up or SuperAwesomeCool Pottery.

Nicole Payne, a junior human communication major, and her boyfriend Zach Rowland lived in Colorado where they enjoyed a painting class on a previous Valentine's Day, but there are plenty of places in Orlando where couples can have the same experience.

Couples don't have to spend a lot of cash on their date to celebrate the day. The celebration can be started early at Central Park where there will be a free screening of A Philadelphia Story on Thursday starting at 7 p.m.

Where to take advantage of these last-minute ideas...

Leu Gardens: 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art: 445 N. Park Ave., Winter Park

All Fired Up: 229 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park

SuperAwesomeCool Pottery: 6100 S. Orange Ave., Pine Castle

Central Park: 251 Park Ave. South, Winter Park


Alyssa Merwin is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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