Home News 9 dates that will make your heart smile this Valentine’s Day

9 dates that will make your heart smile this Valentine’s Day

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By Suzy Stocking

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly, and with all the distractions this winter has brought us, planning a romantic date may not be a top priority. If you’re interested in something more than dinner and a movie, then make this 14 more memorable with one of these 9 date ideas:

Brush Studio
Brush Studio is a fun environment where you can get your creative juices flowing by trying your hand at open painting, or learn step-by-step how to paint a specific work of art in a class. Have some fun with it and paint something for your date, and let him or her paint something for you. You get to laugh and have fun together, and exchange paintings as gifts afterwards. Brush Studio offers food and beverages while you paint as well. Reserving a spot on brushgr.com or by calling is recommended.
Cost: $25 per person for open painting, $35 per person for a class
Valentine’s Day Hours: Open Painting noon – 5 p.m. and “Love Tree” painting class at 6:30 p.m. The classes last between 2 and 2.5 hours.
Address: 2213 Wealthy St SE #110, Grand Rapids
Phone number: (616)805-5099

pandoPando Park
Bundle up and spend this Valentine’s Day tubing down the hills at Pando with your date. You can chat while riding the cable tow up the hill and then have a blast on the exhilarating ride down. See who can make it down the hill the fastest, or who can catch the most air on the hills. Warm up afterwards with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa in the lodge and watch the skiers and snowboarders from the large viewing windows in the warmth.
Cost: $20 for a 3 hour ticket
Valentine’s Day hours: 1 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Address: 8076 Belding Rd NE, Rockford
Phone number: (616)874-8343
Website:  Pandopark.com

Photo by Sarah DavisIce skating at Rosa Parks Circle
Rosa Parks Circle is a great place to visit any time of year, but the winter is especially enjoyable because of its ice skating rink. With $2 admission and free skate rental, you don’t have to sweat spending a lot of money for a good time downtown. Dress warmly, have good conversation and spend time holding your date’s hand, whether it’s to be affectionate or avoid falling. Afterwards you can enjoy one of the many coffee shops or restaurants within walking distance.
Cost: $2 Admission. Free skate rental with any I.D.
Hours: noon – 10 p.m.
Address: 135 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI
Phone number: (616) 456-3699

Photo by Jason BabcockDinosaurs Unearthed
The Grand Rapids Public Museum presents Dinosaurs Unearthed, an exhibit showcasing fascinating animatronic dinosaurs. You and your date can enjoy the sights that the exhibit has to offer and even learn a thing or two while you’re there.  The price of the exhibit includes general admission, so you can spend time together exploring three floors of exhibits and, of course, riding the carousel.
Cost: $4 with a RaiderCard, $7 with other college I.D.
Valentine’s Day Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Address: 272 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids
Phone number: (616)929-1700

Courtesy PhotoThe Oasis Hot Tub Gardens
Escape the cold this Valentine’s Day by soaking in a hot tub at The Oasis. Have your choice of a private indoor or outdoor hot tub, and relax with your date. Each garden comes with one towel per guest, satellite radio, a dressing room and shower. Reservations are recommended.
Cost on Valentine’s Day:
Friday before 4 p.m. $25-$50
Friday after 4 p.m. $45-$90
Valentine’s Day hours: noon – 2 a.m.
Address: 5041 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park
Phone number: (616)784-2020

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Buying flowers hardly seems necessary when you can walk through the gorgeous blooms in Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park instead. Take a romantic stroll through the indoor and outdoor gardens while appreciating the sculptures. With 132 acres, you’ll have plenty of time to talk and admire the art and plants together. Peruse the gift shop and grab something to eat at the café for the full experience.
Cost: $9 with a student I.D.
Valentine’s Day Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Address: 1000 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids
Phone number: (616) 957-1580
Higher Ground Rock Climbing Centre
If you’re in the mood to try something new this Valentine’s Day, or just feel like being a bit more adventurous, bring your date to Higher Ground Rock Climbing Centre. You can rent everything you need in order to climb, take a safety lesson, and climb for the rest of the day with your date. It will be fun to support each other and celebrate making it to the top of the wall.
Cost: $24 per climber if it’s your first time, $19 if you’ve climbed there within the past year
Valentine’s Day Hours: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Address: 851 Bond Ave NW, Grand Rapids
Phone number: (616)774-3100
Craig’s Cruisers
Unleash your inner child and have some playful fun with your date at Craig’s Cruisers. Play laser tag, race each other in the Go-Karts and bumper cars, and play the numerous arcade games. No matter your age, you can’t help but have a good time here. After some fun, end the night with a more intimate dinner at a nearby restaurant, or take advantage of the large buffet Craig’s Cruisers has to offer.
Cost: varies
Valentine’s Day hours: Park is open 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. and the buffet is open 11:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Address: 5730 Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, MI
Phone number: (616)530-2900
Rubies for Valentine’s Day
This year, Grand Rapids Ballet presents Rubies for Valentine’s Day, a combination of three works: George Balanchine’s Rubies, José Limón’s The Moor’s Pavane, and Mario Radacovský’s Bolero. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Peter Martin Wege Theatre.
Cost: $12 with college I.D.
Address: 341 Ellsworth SW, Grand Rapids
Phone Number: (616)454-4771
Hopefully these ideas can inspire a memorable date this Valentine’s Day. No matter what you do that day, have a good time, laugh and enjoy the memories being made. If you give one of these suggestions a try, let us know. Email your story to suzannestocking@email.grcc.edu.