It’s time to break out the flowers and candy — Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway in Orlando on or around February 14, you’ll find many ways to celebrate your love. Whether you and your sweetheart want to go traditional, adventurous, or downright quirky, the City Beautiful has something in store for you.
Here are eight ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Orlando this year.
1. Explore Lake Eola via Swan Boat
Many cultures view swans as a symbol of romance and devotion. So why not spend Valentine’s Day among the stately swans that live in Orlando’s Lake Eola Park?
While you can watch the park’s 60-odd swans from the shores, you’ll get the best views from the water. The only way to paddle out on Lake Eola is, fittingly, via swan boat. The grand vessels are available for rent from Tuesday through Sunday.
As you explore the lake, you’ll get a glimpse of city life in Orlando – impressive skyscrapers, lovely landscaping, and walkers, joggers, and picnicking families.
You may even meet Queenie and Big Boy, two rare black-necked swans who are total #relationshipgoals.
Lake Eola’s swan boats cost $15 for a 30-minute rental. Tickets must be purchased on-site at the park. The boats are pet-friendly and can fit up to five people, so feel free to bring the whole family or plan a fun double date for Valentine’s Day.
2. Prepare a Valentine’s Day Feast at Aprons Cooking School
Studies have suggested that couples who cook together communicate better and are more satisfied with their relationship.
See the benefits for yourself by signing up for a cooking class this Valentine’s Day. Publix, the fan-favorite supermarket chain, runs beginner-friendly cooking schools at select stores. At each Aprons Cooking School, you can take classes in everything from knife safety to custard making to easy sheet-pan dinners.
Whether you take a course specifically made for couples or a general workshop, you’ll come away with a full belly and useful new skills.
In the Orlando area, you’ll find Aprons Cooking Schools at Publix locations in Winter Park and Dr. Phillips. Classes at these locations cost $55-65 per person.
3. Create a Perfect Date Night at All Fired Up
If you and your sweetheart have built a solid relationship on your shared love of art, here’s an idea for you.
All Fired Up offers paint-your-own-pottery sessions out of their studio in the heart of Winter Park, FL. You and your partner can pick from over 250 pre-kilned pottery designs, including plates, piggy banks, jewelry boxes, and coffee mugs. Paint your item of choice any way you want using their assortment of colorful glazes. The studio will then return your piece to the kiln to seal your paint job.
At the end of the week, return to All Fired Up to pick up your pottery.
Prices vary depending on what you choose to paint, but most pieces cost $25-30.
All Fired Up is BYOB, so feel free to bring a bottle of wine. The pottery studio is within walking distance of the Wine Room on Park Avenue. Begin your Valentine’s date with a wine tasting in their regal bistro. Once you’ve found a vino you both love, buy a bottle of it, then stroll down scenic Park Avenue to begin your artsy adventure.
4. Indulge in a Classic Valentine’s Treat at the Chocolate Museum
Chocolate and Valentine’s Day have been soul mates since the 1860s.
That’s when Richard and George Cadbury took over the family chocolate business from their father.
While, under their dad, Cadbury’s had mostly sold drinking chocolate, the brothers decided to focus on making solid candies. To sell more sweets, they started putting them in fun, seasonal boxes. In 1868, the company designed a heart-shaped box for Valentine’s Day. It was a huge hit.
Head to this unique International Drive attraction to learn about the history of chocolate and how it’s made. You’ll also see sweet sculptures of famous places and faces and, of course, taste some of the world’s best chocolates. Admission starts at $17 per person and includes a guided tour and chocolate samples.
You can also upgrade to a package that includes a wine or mimosa tasting.
Before you leave, stop by the on-site café for a chocolate pastry or cup of hot cocoa. If you’re all chocolated out, you can enjoy a salad, panini, coffee drink, or ice cream instead. If you and your partner are 60 or over and want to check out the café, consider buying Senior Combo tickets. This deal costs $19.90 per person and covers the guided tour plus a pastry and hot beverage.
5. Find Higher Love at the Wheel at ICON Park
When you’re with the one you love, any setting can be a romantic one. But taking them somewhere with fantastic views definitely won’t hurt.
The Wheel at ICON Park is a 400-foot-tall Ferris wheel that treats riders to dazzling views of Orlando’s theme parks, downtown neighborhoods, and stunning lakes. Before boarding with your sweetheart, grab a bottle of bubbly from the on-site bar.
Admission starts at $29 per person.
In previous years, ICON Park has celebrated Valentine’s Day with its “I’m Sweet on You” package. This unique holiday package includes a private wheel capsule for two, sparkling wine, a spread of sweet treats, and a digital photo package. As you ride, you can either listen to a romantic playlist curated by ICON Park or use Bluetooth to play your song on repeat.
6. Take a Dreamy Stroll Through Leu Gardens
Valentine’s Day flowers usually come in the form of fragrant bouquets. But there’s also something romantic about a walk through a magically landscaped garden.
Leu Gardens is a stunning botanical garden east of downtown Orlando.
Thanks to Central Florida’s subtropical climate, tropical and temperate plants both thrive throughout the 50-acre attraction. Celebrate pollinators at the on-site butterfly garden. Admire the beauty and resilience of banana plants, bromeliads, and palm trees in the Tropical Stream Garden. You can find inspiration for your own yard at the idea garden, which showcases how home gardens can grow food, provide wildlife habitat, and beautify your neighborhood.
And, given the rose’s association with love, a trip to the rose garden is a must on Valentine’s Day.
Admission to Leu Gardens starts at $15 per adult.
7. Swim in the Sea of Love at Discovery Cove
If you and your love have always dreamt of snorkeling through a gorgeous reef together, a trip to Discovery Cove is in order.
Discovery Cove is an all-inclusive day resort operated by SeaWorld. Its main attraction is a thriving coral reef teeming with tropical fish and majestic rays. General admission starts at $217 and includes your snorkel rental, unlimited lazy river rides, and bottomless food, beer, wine, and soda.
Spend your day snorkeling and lounging on the white-sand beach, or upgrade to a unique wildlife encounter.
At Discovery Cove, you can book experiences with everything from flamboyant flamingos to splendid sharks. The dolphin swim experience is one of the most popular add-ons. And if you’re one of the 6 million people planning to propose on February 14, Discovery Cove’s dolphins are ready to help.
The resort offers several proposal packages, all of which culminate in a friendly dolphin swimming up to your sweetheart with a buoy inscribed with the all-important question.
8. Enjoy a Romantic Date Night at Rosen Plaza
Valentine’s Day is the perfect chance to try a new restaurant. In fact, about one-third of American adults mark the occasion with a culinary adventure.
If you’re looking for an Orlando restaurant where you can have an unforgettable Valentine’s Day dinner, look no further than Rosen Plaza.
Our International Drive hotel is home to Jack’s Place, an award-winning steakhouse with a creative twist. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with caricatures drawn by Jack Rosen, the father of Rosen Hotels & Resorts founder and president Harris Rosen. If you’re early into your relationship, these pictures are a great conversation starter.
No matter how long you and your sweetheart have been together, our exclusive prix fixe Valentine’s Day menu will make for the perfect date night. You and your love can choose from mouthwatering seafood pescatore or filet mignon as your entre, alongside flavorful appetizer and dessert options.
If you’re looking for a laid-back Valentine’s Day dinner in Orlando, head to ’39 Poolside to enjoy perfectly prepared sandwiches, burgers, and salads in a peaceful poolside setting.