For the hopeless romantics, the cliche-haters, and everyone in between.
Let’s face it: Even if you’re in a happy and committed relationship, coming up with ideas for Valentine’s Day can be a nightmare. To spare you from the stress, we prepared a selection of top-notch ideas you and your partner will love. Whether you want the standard flowers and box of chocolates, a full-blown date night experience, or something laid-back, we’ve got you covered on the many different ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day in West Michigan.
For the classic “wine and dine” evening
There’s no better excuse to eat at a fancy restaurant than Valentine’s Day. Luckily for us, Grand Rapids is home to many date night worthy establishments – plenty of which have special Valentine’s Day menus. Cygnus 27, Latin-inspired restaurant on the 27th floor of the Amway Grand Plaza, is offering a 3-course menu with an optional wine pairing. On top of the great meal, you can enjoy it in one of the best views in Grand Rapids. Another great dining experience is at Charley’s Crab – because what says “I love you” more than fresh crab legs and lobster? To find more restaurants with Valentine’s Day offerings, click here.
“I got smart a few years ago and turned Valentine’s Day into a week-long celebration. For example, the weekend before Valentine’s Day, we’ll do brunch at six.one.six or Butcher’s Union. The next day, maybe we’ll just do dessert somewhere, like La Loteria for Mexican ice cream.” – Dante Villarreal, Vice President of Business Services for the Grand Rapids Chamber
For a romantic night in
Maybe spending an evening at a crowded restaurant isn’t for you… some couples find more solace in their downtime together. If you prefer a relaxing night in but still want to make it special, why not find a recipe online, buy a bunch of groceries at a specialty store, and make a fancy meal together at home? The Downtown Market, Martha’s Vineyard, or Art of the Table are great places for unique, high-quality groceries. Don’t forget to pick up a nice bottle of wine while you’re there!
“When my husband and I want to be at home, but still enjoy the city a little bit, we like going to Russo’s International Market or the Downtown Market to get some groceries and cook something we don’t normally make. The process of walking downtown, searching for new delicious ingredients and challenging ourselves with a new recipe is one of my favorite ways to create memories!” – Laura Traxler, Membership Engagement Manager for the Grand Rapids Chamber
If you love beer or are in love with a beer lover
If you or your partner have a sweet spot (or should we say a hoppy spot?) for beer, a brewery tour may be the perfect Valentine’s Day activity for you! Grand Rapids favorites like Brewery Vivant, Founders, and Grand Rapids Brewing Co. offer tours for $10 per person. Others, like Hideout Brewing and Mitten Brewing, offer complimentary tours! We suggest deciding based on which place brews the beer you love most.
For the movie buffs
Dinner and a movie is a classic for a reason. You can’t go wrong. After dinner is out of the way, then what? Grand Rapids has loads to offer in the cinematic world. Celebration! Cinema is great for the newest releases and blockbusters. The UICA is best known for showing independent, international, and documentary movies all year round. The Wealthy Theatre in Eastown is perfect for the retro guy or gal in your life. Every Tuesday, they feature a “Meanwhile Movie,” which is usually a cult classic or beloved older film. Think The Big Lebowski, Stand By Me, and Edward Scissorhands.
“Last year, my boyfriend and I got tickets to see The Princess Bride at the Wealthy Theatre for Valentine’s Day, and we had the best time! If you’re a member, you can get beer or a cocktail and bring it in with you. I never thought I would get to see this film in theaters, so it was really cool that I did!” – Samantha Suarez (a.k.a. Yours Truly), Communications Specialist for the Grand Rapids Chamber
For sending valentines and other gifts
If your partner responds best to the love language of gift-giving, then the classic flowers, chocolates, and a card could be your best bet. Put some thought into it, of course! 6.25 Paper Studio is the perfect place for greeting cards – especially if you want a variety of sarcastic, cute, and funny options. For flowers, Eastern Floral, Posh Petals, and Ball Park Floral & Gifts make beautiful and unique arrangements that can be delivered right to their doorstep! To satisfy their sweet tooth, go to MoKAYA in Eastown and pick out a box of artisan chocolates. If they’re not a chocolate person, Field & Fire Cafe creates delicious pastries and french macarons in all sorts of flavors.
For couples classes and activities
Nothing quite forms a bond the way taking up a class, activity, or hobby does. For a date as Michigan as it gets, Blandford Nature Center is hosting “Snowshoe with Your Sweetie” for $18 per person ($15 for members.) Couples can take a romantic candlelit hike through the snowy woods and have a glass of wine around a fireplace afterward. If you’d rather not brave the cold, the Downtown Market and the Local Epicurean both offer culinary classes that are tailor-made for couples. Whether you decide to look like penguins or roll some ravioli together, it’ll make for a memorable date night.