Feb 122011

Love and romance are great.  Also great —  plenty of ways to spend Valentine’s Day weekend in South Florida without forking over a fortune.

We’ve put together a mix-and-match assortment of free and cheap activities to savor with your favorite sweethearts. Or just take a friend.

Palm Beach County
  • Free Valentine’s theme musical show: Love American Style, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, at Mizner Park Amphitheatre, 590 Plaza Real in Boca Raton, 561-393-7827. Bring a chair, or rent a chair for $2.
  • Picnic & music: Pre-order a picnic basket of treats for two from Whole Foods at Downtown at the Gardens,  11701 Lake Victoria Gardens Ave. in Palm Beach Gardens. Prices are  $15.99 to $19.99.  Folks who purchased the picnic brunches  are invited to stroll over to Downtown Park  for the Valentine’s Day Jazz Brunch Sunday, Feb. 13, noon to 2 p.m., 561-340-1600.
Broward County
  • Stargazing: The Fox Observatory in Markham Park  is free on Saturdays after dusk, weather permitting. Members of the South Florida Amateur Astronomers Association are available to assist with the equipment, 954-357-8868.
  • Free music with a fabulous ocean backdrop at Hollywood Beach Theatre at Johnson Street on Hollywood’s Broadwalk 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Valentine’s Day, Andrea G performs.  Other free concerts at the theater are Friday, Feb. 11, and Saturday, Feb. 12. Also, the theater offers free music Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Miami-Dade County
  • Free outdoor music: Latin jazz artist Kiki Sanchez  performs as part of the Noches Tropicales concerts at 8 p.m. Friday Feb. 11  at Tropical Park, 7900 S.W. 40th St., Miami,  305-271-0812.
  • Guided Nature Walks: 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. Saturdays at Greynolds Park17530 W. Dixie Highway, N. Miami. Fee is $3 a person. Reservations are required, 305-945-3425.
  • Flying kites: Seaside kite-flying 10 a.m. to sunset every day at Haulover Park, 10800 Collins Ave. Skyward Kites sells kites, windsocks and wind spinners for $5 and up, 305-893-0906 or 305-947-3525.

For a deal on Valentine’s Day dining, about 55 participating Pollo Tropical restaurants in South Florida are offering two dinners for $9.99 on Feb. 14.  To receive the offer, text SWEETHEART to 30241.   The deal is available at  company-owned restaurant in Florida.