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The time to make plans for Valentine's Day is now. Don't forget the flowers!

The romance of Valentine's Day can easily be killed by showing up to a restaurant, dressed to impress your sweetheart, only to find the place fully booked.

So consider this an early reminder to make reservations sooner rather than later to avoid the wait and keep the focus on your time with your significant other. 

Whether the two of you want a traditional fine dining experience or something a little different, there are lots of options for Feb. 14 and the days leading up to it.

The single among us won't have to spend the night home alone, though. This year, there are a few mixers for those celebrating solo. Maybe you'll find someone special to spend future Valentine's Days with or maybe, after seeing some more of the fish in the sea, you'll decide being alone isn't so bad after all! Either way, you can spend the day with other people who know the single struggle.

Romantic meals for two

The Mark Restaurant

What: Regular dinner menu available as well as three meal-for-two specials (a steak special for $109, a steak and shrimp special for $139 and a steak and lobster special for $159). Reservations strongly recommended.

When: 4 to 10 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 1623 19th St.

Admission: Menu prices vary

Information: 322-7665 or atthemark.com

The Padre Hotel

What: A candlelit dinner with five courses highlighting romantic meals from around the world, plus live music and a free gift. Reservations required. Room packages available all month, with rose petal turndown service, chocolate-covered strawberries and sparkling wine.

When: 5 to 11 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 1702 18th St.

Admission: $75 a person, add a wine pairing for $40 a person

Information: 427-4900 or thepadrehotel.com

The Links at Riverlakes Ranch

What: Dinner for two with choice of New York steak with shrimp scampi, seafood pasta or chicken florentine (vegetarian option available by request), champagne toast or bottle of wine, plus live music by Mauro Vizcarra. Reservations required.

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 5201 Riverlakes Drive

Admission: $95 per couple

Information: 587-3801 or riverlakesgc.com

Petroleum Club of Bakersfield

What: Dinner, dessert and bottle of house wine, champagne or sparkling cider, plus live music from Mason Edwards

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 5060 California Ave. 12th floor

Admission: $149 per couple for PCB members and guests and reciprocal members and guests, $169 per couple for non-members

The Belle Rae

What: Five-course meal by NV Catering, desserts from Franco Baked, music by Jon Ranger and dancing

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14

Where:2104 18th St.

Admission: $85 per person before Feb. 7, $100 after

Information: 978-7218

Agave Grill & Cantina

What: An early Valentine's Day dinner with music by Mariachi Oro y Plata. Reservations recommended.

When: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 13

Where: 250 Oak St.

Admission: Menu prices vary

Information: 322-4283

KC Steakhouse

What: A pre-Valentine's Day whiskey and wine pairing, with seven courses and pairings, plus live music and dancing. Prepaid reservations only.

When: 6:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 9

Where: 2515 F St.

Admission: $250 per couple

Information: 322-9910

Serenity's Sweetheart Banquet

What: Dinner, dessert, dancing, photo booth and raffles, all benefiting Serenity's Legacy, a nonprofit that helps local families dealing with pediatric cancer or the sudden loss of a child.

When: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 9

Where: The Westchester, 2801 F St.

Admission: $50 per couple

Something different

Jay White, a tribute to Neil Diamond

What: A concert by Jay White, a tribute to Neil Diamond

When: Doors at 6:30 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, 2230 Q St.

Admission: $35 in advance or $40 at the door

Information: 864-1701 or bakersfieldmusichalloffame.com

"Two to Tango" with Kern Dance Alliance

What: Three-course meal with wine before a tango lesson and live music. No dance experience or partner required.

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: The Mark Restaurant, 1623 19th St.

Admission: $110 per couple or $60 per single, $100 or $50 for KDA members; 

Information: kerndance.org/tango or 491-5376

Wine Me Up!

What: A cupcake and wine pairing, with sweets from Cornerstone Bakery. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 3900 Coffee Road #2

Admission: $25

Information: eventbrite.com or 588-8556

Valentine's Games

What: Inaugural Valentine's Games, featuring games like "The Newlywed Game" and "Love Connection," plus dinner and prizes. Proceeds go to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: Jerry's Pizza, 1817 Chester Ave.

Admission: $20

Information: 633-1000 or jerryspizza.com

We Own the Laughs

What: A special Valentine's Day comedy show hosted by Danny and Kait Hill, with comedy by Leonard Madrid, Jerry Tinoco, Lito Iglesias, Tyson Paul, Esther Ku and Trevor Wallace. VIP dinner packages available.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: The Beacon Studios, 8801 Crippen St.

Admission: $10, $25 single VIP package, $40 couples VIP package

Valentine's Super Love Jam

What: Music by The Intruders, Rose Royce, Peaches & Herb, GQ, The Moments, Dorothy Moore, Eddie Holman and The Lovelites

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8

Where: Rabobank Theater, 1001 Truxtun Ave.

Admission: $30.50 to $69.50

Information: rabobankarena.com or 852-7300

"Be the Difference" date night

What: An orientation for CASA of Kern County where people interested in helping CASA can hear from couples who volunteer for the organization together, with appetizers and door prizes

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 8

Where: CASA offices, 1717 Columbus St.

Admission: Free

Information: 631-2272 or kerncasa.org

Valentine Bunco

What: Bunco, pulled pork dinner and drinks to benefit the Society for Disabled Children

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 12

Where: The Society for Disabled Children, 1819 Brundage Lane

Admission: $35 per person

Information: 322-5595 or societyfdc.com

For the singles

The Mark Restaurant

What: Singles only mix-and-mingle, with appetizers, cash bar with specialty drinks and DJ. Cover charge includes first drink.

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 1623 19th St.

Admission: $20

Information: 322-7665 or atthemark.com

The Bull Shed

What: Singles party with speed-dating, games, prizes and appetizers. Couples can enjoy a tri-tip dinner and gourmet gift. Bottomless champagne for all.

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 14

Where: 2400 Camino del Rio Court

Admission: $25 per person until Feb. 7, $35 after

Information: eventbrite.com or 634-0720

1933

What: Singles mixer and speed dating, with games, prizes and DJ

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 8

Where: 7900 Downing Ave.

Admission: $10

Information: eventbrite.com or 829-5377

Kelly Ardis can be reached at 661-395-7660. Follow her on Twitter at @TBCKellyArdis.

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