Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine's Day ideas in Orlando for the adventurous

Candlelight and roses are predictably pleasant ways to celebrate St. Valentine's Day, but studies show more adventurous activities that get the heart pumping faster actually bring couples closer together.  In fact, in the September 2012 issue of Womens Health magazine, psychoanalyst and author Paul Joannides insists, “fun is the best aphrodisiac."  
That's why Orlando's own high-energy dining experience -- Southern Brazilian Steakhouse Fogo de Chão - has some unique date-night ideas to feed couples' needs for adventure. 
"We are a vibrant, expressive, fun dining experience, which is a little different than what you might encounter at other high-end steakhouses here," says Head Gaucho Chef Paulo Simonetti.  "Our guests are naturally drawn to lively atmospheres and are generally eager to experience life at its fullest, so our date-night suggestions are the perfect prelude to an evening at Fogo."   

Several ideas are within a few minutes of the restaurant and include:
  • Twilight Helicopter Tour -- a brilliant flight at 11,000 feet to see the city in a whole new way.    
  • Zip Lining -- a daring physical feat directly over Florida alligators and Nile crocodiles.   
  • Indoor Skydiving  -- an adrenaline-boosting sensation of free-fall without a parachute.  
  • Go-Kart Racing -- a fast and furious race in electric Italian pro-karts that reach 50 mph.   
  • Reverse Bungee Jumping -- a mix of fun and fright that shoots riders straight to the stars 390 feet above ground.   
  • Salsa Lessons -- an appetite-enriching session that includes salsa, swing and cha cha. 
Fogo de Chão recently invited myself, and a few follow bloggers, to sample some of the exciting ideas and dine at the restaurant.

Trying something a little different this post, check out a Vine video of our dance class:

We started our adventure at Authur Murray Dance Studio on Conroy Road in Orlando, for a little dance instruction in traditional ballroom and a little salsa as well. The instructors were fantastic and in less than an hour, some of us were really getting into the dancing. It's easy to see how couples could enjoy a single class at the studio, or, after a few sessions, easily cut the rug in style on a romantic evening out dancing.
After the dance instruction, it was just a shot trip to Fogo de Chao for dinner.
We were first treated to a tour of the restaurant by Head Gaucho Chef, Paulo Simonetti. Fogo's wine cellar is quite extensive, and enclosed in floor to ceiling class walls, is a beautiful addition to the dining room.
Next was a tour of the kitchen and the chance to watch Fogo's wandering gaucho chef's prepare and grill skewers of amazing cuts of meat on an open flame. The kitchen was abuzz with activity and obvious care and passion was taken to prepare the meats in the traditional Brazilian manner.

I'm really getting into Vine. Here's our meal in 6 seconds:

After the tour, we were seated and treated to an amazing meal. Read my full review of Fogo de Chao from a previous visit. If you haven't yet dined here, you must soon - Valentine's dinner or any other occasion, it's an unbelievable unique and delicious experience. 
To see a full list of activities in the Orlando area, please visit, www.VisitOrlando.com. 
To dine at Fogo de Chão for High-Octane Date Night, guests should make a reservation at www.fogodechao.com/reservations.  Couples are encouraged to share photos at www.facebook.com/fogorestaurants of themselves experiencing one of these dating adventures.
About Fogo de Chão. Fogo de Chão is known as the premiere Brazilian steakhouse. The restaurant was founded in 1979 in Southern Brazil, and expanded into the United States in 1997. The Orlando restaurant is located at 8282 International Drive and is the 18th location in the United States. More information at www.fogodechao.com.

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