The art of wooing is sometimes lost on adults. The children, the littles, can be much more appreciative, attentive and worthy of our time. Take your darling out for a date somewhere sure to elicit long conversations or snack on sweets. Go someplace with your child where you leave with glittery creations and where you can run around and get some fresh air. Take back the time that slips from your grasp everyday and love your child up with time reserved just for them, just for fun, just because.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
Grand Rapids Public Museum
272 Pearl St. NW, Grand Rapids
Feb. 9 through July 7
$17-$12/adults, $12-$10/children ages 3-18, free admission/children under 3
grmuseum.org, (616) 456-3977
The Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition takes a look at more than 150 artifacts conserved from the ship's debris field and features a poignant look at this iconic ship and its passengers. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is the perfect place to visit the exhibition and have conversations with your child on ship construction, life more than 100 years ago and the emotional connection. "Titanic, the topic, is very appealing," said Kate Moore, director of marketing and public relations. "It was the unsinkable ship." From preserved perfume bottles found at the bottom of the ocean (that still hold scent) to an iceberg wall (that is cold to the touch), this exhibition has great sensory cues. The best part might be the boarding pass ticket. "All of the boarding passes are gender specific and sort of guides you with information on that specific person. There is a memorial wall to see if your passenger perished or lived." Guests may visit first-class room re-creations and see the differences between first class and third class accommodations.
Chocolate Tasting with Patricia's Chocolate
Art of the Table
606 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids
Feb. 9, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
artofthetable.com, (616) 301-1885
Patricia's Chocolate descends upon Art of the Table for some sweet sampling right before the Valentine's holiday. Taste the good life with the opportunity to pick up gifts for loved ones. "The nice thing about the chocolates are that they are pretty and they taste amazing. They're all natural, fresh—with real ingredients," says Amy Ruis, owner of Art of the Table. Chocolatier extraordinaire Patricia tells the story of her chocolates and adds in a meet-and-greet. If you're looking for ideas, Ruis nudges you in the right direction. "I've eaten every single thing she makes. My favorite flavor is lemon cardamom." This event is the perfect way to kick-start the holiday and show them a little about the fine art of chocolate and how to enjoy life, one delightful nibble at a time.
Spring Valley Park
2600 Mount Olivet Rd., Kalamazoo
Feb. 2, 2 p.m.
$10/suggested donation (give $25 or more and receive a Tutu Run t-shirt)
girlsontherunkazoo.org, (269) 491-2663
Get out your tutus so you can run 2.2 miles on Feb. 2 at Spring Valley Park in Kalamazoo. Open to all ages and benefiting Greater Kalamazoo Girls on the Run, this run/walk features prizes for best overall tutu, biggest tutu, best male/female/kid/couples tutu and fastest tutu. "Kids will like the silliness of it," said Carrie Hybels, coordinator of 5K and special events. "It's good to see mom and dad being silly. We've got lots of males already committed." Encourage your child to prepare for the run, join them in the run, cheer them on and celebrate after. A running/walking date is just the thing to make you feel good inside and out—and the tutu part adds a little pretty to the whole thing. "The fresh air and movement is the best part." This healthy activity follows one big loop around the park with refreshments at the end. Tutus are optional but highly encouraged and a limited number will be available for sale for $5 on the day of the event.
Heart to Heart Craft Party
Kent District Library/Englehardt-Lowell Branch
200 N. Monroe St., Lowell
Feb. 14, 10:30 a.m.
kdl.org, (616) 784-2007
A good, old-fashioned craft party to make Valentine's Day cards is just what Cupid ordered. The Kent District Library's Englehardt Branch in Lowell offers card making. Also included are handmade picture frames and collages, as well as a snack. "We take plain sugar cookies and decorate them with red and white frosting and sprinkles," says Lynda Austin, with KDL Youth Services. Kids will love the snack and the "goopier and messier the cookie is, the better." Celebrate Valentine's Day by spending time with your child, one on one where crafts and sugar collide—and not in your house! This event also happens at various other KDL branches.