Wednesday, 23 January 2013 13:20

The Love Issue: Lakeshore Dates

Written by  Audria Larsen
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Pampered Date

Nothing says love like mud masks and rubdowns. At Bella Vita Spa + Suites (119 Butler St., Saugatuck) your better half doesn't have to be metro or a diva to enjoy an overnight stay in their luxury suites. Book a deal like the Suite Retreat Package and you'll receive a $50 voucher toward spa services along with a complimentary bottle of wine. Don't want to stay overnight? Try a 75-minute couple's massage.

Sweaty Date

Whoever first said "the ties that bind" may have been a hot yoga devotee. Just think, you and your main squeeze, side by side at the new Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse Holland (12330 James St. Holland), both wrapped into perfect pretzels holding something like the "bound bird of paradise pose." You can exchange blissful (or strained) glances at each as you realize how limber and strong you will both be, which bodes well for other, ahem, evening activities in the near future. Want to become that couple? Funky Buddha offers a $39 special to newbies that will get you an unlimited month of yoga.

Snowbound Date

If you're an outdoorsy couple, you can heat things on up on the cool slopes at Mulligan's Hollow (600 Mulligan's Dr., Grand Haven). Enjoy six slopes of varying difficulty over seven acres of land and an ice rink to boot. When you've had enough action, you can gaze longingly at each other over cups of hot cocoa. Check out the Banners, Bowls and Brews event on Feb. 16. Although silent auctions don't necessarily conjure sexy and romantic thoughts, this one will have flowing beer and free soup provided by local restaurants and chefs.

Libation Lover's Date

Let's face it; a special occasion needs a toast. Start classy at Butch's (44 East Eighth St., Holland) and enjoy a robust entrée to share and let the knowledgeable staff guide you to a proper beverage selection. Once the formalities are out of the way, stroll over to New Holland Brewing Company (66 East Eighth St., Holland).Try the Black Tulip Belgian Tripel, which has been described as "mysterious, alluring and seductive, yet tantalizingly elusive." If all the artisanal libations aren't enough, round out the night at Parrot's Lounge (234 South River Ave., Holland).

Kitschy Date

Get wholesome and revel in Holland's heritage at Nelis' Dutch Village (12350 James St., Holland). "It's family owned and operated and you get that small-town feel," said Luke Curtis, park manager. Explore the large shops, featuring a wide array of Delftware – pretty blue and white pottery, plates and tiles like your grandma's has, originating in the Netherlands. You can even order personalized Delft items like anniversary plates and marriage tiles. Take a gander at the skilled artisans, hand-carving candles in the shop. For a memorable V-day, treat yourself and your date to matching, customized, hand-decorated wooden shoes.

Science Nerd/Starstruck Date

On Feb. 16, enjoy a dramatic date night while learning about Supernovas and Black Holes at the Winter Astronomy Program and Sky Viewing at the Nature Education Center (8115 West Olive Rd., West Olive). The event focuses on how stars die in a fiery explosion of the supernova and what it takes to become a black hole. The event is free and telescopes are provided. Although you will want to bring lawn chairs and maybe a thermos filled with something stiff to share.

Sappy/Thespian Date

Impress your theater-minded guy or gal with tickets to Crimes of the Heart at the Muskegon Civic Theater (425 W Western Ave., Muskegon). Described as "warm-hearted, irreverent and imaginative," the play follows the Magrath sisters as they journey from the past to the future. The play kicks off on Valentine's Day and runs through March.

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