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Lovers can celebrate Valentine's Day close to home

The SAM Shortline Railway offers romantic train rides on dates near Valentine’s Day. One excursion is the Conductor’s Favorite Train Ride, traveling from Veterans Park in Cordele to Plains and back again. Other Valentine’s events include dinner shows and at least one dance.

The SAM Shortline Railway offers romantic train rides on dates near Valentine’s Day. One excursion is the Conductor’s Favorite Train Ride, traveling from Veterans Park in Cordele to Plains and back again. Other Valentine’s events include dinner shows and at least one dance.

ALBANY, Ga. -- If you and your sweetie are at loss for something to do on Valentine's Day, there are some real possibilities without the need to stray too far from home.

You could spring for dinner and a show at Theatre Albany. Theater Director Mark Costello calls the musical production "The Diary of Adam and Eve" a "quirky, touching spin on the tale of the world's first couple." The modern play is adapted from a comic short story written by Mark Twain.

Casey Perkins will play the part of Adam, and Lindsey Giddens Stewart stars as Eve. There has to be a snake, of course, and that role belongs to Eddie McCarty.

Cost for the production is $40 per person, or $70 per couple, with all proceeds to benefit Theatre Albany.

"The theater's wonderful old home was built in the 1850s," Costello said, "so it's showing signs of aging. Money from our fundraisers help with the repairs."

Dinner begins at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14 and 15, with curtains going up at 8:15 p.m. Reservations will be accepted through Tuesday, as available. For information, call Theatre Albany at (229) 439-7193.

If you enjoy the theater but musicals aren't your thing, take in a mystery at First United Methodist Church's Ford Hall at 307 Flint Ave. For $30 per person, experience a gourmet dinner prepared by Cafe 230 and then enjoy the murder mystery "Murder's in the Heir."

The dinner theater begins at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15. For tickets, call (229) 432-2705. The event is sponsored in part by Albany Community Hospice, and proceeds benefit the Alzheimer's Outreach Center.

More adventurous couples could take a train ride to celebrate their love. It's not really on Valentine's Day, but it's close. On Saturday, the SAM Shortline Railway, featuring vintage cars, offers a "Be Mine" Valentines excursion across Lake Blackshear.

Or, if it's more convenient, take the Conductor's Favorite Train Ride on Feb. 16 (or 23rd). That trek leaves from Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele at 9:45 a.m., then chugs along to Plains and back again by 1:45 p.m. (give or take).

"Some people are surprised how much they find at Veterans Park," said Kathy Odom, SAM Shortline manager. "There's a lodge, cottages, camping and even a golf course. It's a fun-packed trip."

Train trip prices for the Conductor's Ride start at $29.99 for adults and $19.99 for children under 12. Kids 2 years old and younger ride free. For ticket information, call (877) 427-2457.

For the more seasoned romantics, the Senior Valentine Bingo Breakfast is sure to be a winner. Planned for those age 50 and older, the event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Albany Civic Center. Bingo is included, according to Tee Taylor, a supervisor at the Albany Recreation & Parks Department, which will sponsor the event. Lt. Tony Moore with the Albany Police Department will speak to attendees.

"A lot of our seniors spend time with their grandchildren," Taylor said. "Lt. Moore will be touching on warning signs a child is involved with gangs or violence."

Tickets for the breakfast are $5 for singles or $8 for couples and are available through Monday at the Albany Recreation & Parks Department office at 1301 N. Monroe St., Taylor said. For information, call (229) 430-5222 or 430-5219.

The Valentine's Dance for Adults with Disabilities is co-sponsored by Junior League of Albany and the Albany Recreation and Parks Department. There is no charge to attend the event, planned for 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Civic Center.

"We want you to put on your party shoes and dance the night away," said Fran Stalter with the Recreation Department.