Monday, 14 February 2022 12:31

From First Date to Anniversary: Date Ideas in West Michigan

Written by  Revue Staff
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February is a month of romance, whether it’s new love blossoming or old love exploring and evolving.

While Valentine’s Day is this month, that’s hardly the only time you can go on a date. Winter is a great season to find someone to cuddle with and sit by the fire, no matter the day.

However, not all dates are created equal. You likely don’t want to take your first date on a weekend retreat in the woods, and your spouse may not see bowling as the best way to spend time away from the kids. 

That’s why we’ve created a guide with date ideas for every stage of the relationship, from first date to 10th anniversary. There’s much more to do than this in West Michigan, but our suggestions will get you started:

FIRST DATE

World of Winter  |  worldofwintergr.com

The best first dates allow the date to end at any time if it’s going poorly or last all day if it’s going well. Walking around downtown Grand Rapids in the snow, taking in gorgeous art displays, and playing ice games at the ice park — it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know someone without the pressure of sitting and talking quietly in a fancy restaurant. 

Fun Cocktails

Go beyond grabbing drinks at a bar — get bold, inventive cocktails in a unique spot. Head somewhere like Max’s South Seas Hideaway, where the cocktails alone are worthy of conversation, not to mention all the fascinating art and architecture. 

Great Lakes Glow Golf  |  3494 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

It’s too cold for outdoor mini golf, but Glow Golf remains an easy breezy date for all ages. Don’t take it too seriously and just have a blast hitting glowing balls around in the dark! Not to mention the free arcade once you’re done. 

Outdoor Movies

Granted, we need things to warm up a bit, but if you’re going to watch a movie on the first date, it should be outdoors. You can chat quietly without disturbing others, avoiding the classic “sitting in silence for two hours” mistake. Studio Park, John Collins Park, Getty Drive-In — outdoor movies are all around in summer.

EARLY ON

Horse-Drawn Carriages 

We’ve moved beyond the first date — now it’s time to both impress and get to know each other, seeing where this relationship is headed. If you aim to impress, a horse-drawn carriage is the way to go. Trot around Grand Rapids with the most romantic form of transportation possible.

Planetarium Shows  |  grpm.org

Grand Rapids Public Museum alone is a great date, but the planetarium knows how to put on a show. Stop by for incredibly unique musical and visual experiences like Dark Side, a light show set to Pink Floyd’s iconic album, or Concerts Under the Stars, featuring local bands like Hollywood Makeout. 

Comedy Shows

Despite the sale of Dr. Grin’s, there’s plenty to laugh at in West Michigan. See if your sense of humor aligns by seeing a show at the Comedy Project or Grand Rapids Comedy Club. You’ll bond over the experience and have plenty to talk about after!

Rock Climbing

Whether you want to rock climb or go bouldering (no ropes), West Michigan has the gym for you. This is a fun physical activity that neither of you need to be pros at to enjoy. Get your heart pumping from the adrenaline and watching your date outclimb you to take the relationship to its next level.

COMMITTED RELATIONSHIP

Oasis Hot Tub Gardens  |  oasishottubs.com

Now that you’re in a committed relationship, you likely already have your go-to restaurants, bars and activities. Still, special days call for special dates, and that’s where spots like Oasis come in — with locations in GR and Kalamazoo. This can be a fun, cheap activity for 8 people, or an intimate, premium experience for two. Soak in a themed, private hot tub with your loved one for the perfect winter date.

Wax Poetic Candle Bar  |  waxpoeticcandlebar.com

Candles are inherently romantic, and making them together is the perfect date. Reserve a time at Wax Poetic to create your own candles with their huge library of scents, then take that wax home, light it up and dream of your significant other.

Cooking Classes

We recommend cooking classes to Revue readers often, because it’s such an underrated activity for groups and dates alike. Places like The Local Epicurean in GR provide a fun and casual environment to learn something new in a judgment-free zone together, and you leave with something to eat! Cooking is a love language.

Happy Cat Café  |  happycatgr.com

Today’s couples are having less kids and more pets, and we see nothing wrong with that. Whether you’re ready to adopt or simply want to spend time playing with kittens, Happy Cat Café has you covered — not to mention the delicious coffee drinks. Cuddle with these loveable felines and each other, all while enjoying a hot latte.

MARRIED WITH KIDS

Progressive Dinner

You’ve been married for years. You love each other and your kids, but have settled into a routine. Time for a date night to keep things fresh! Rather than simply going out to eat, plan a progressive dinner: Eat appetizers at one spot, then your entrees at another, then finishing off with dessert at one more. Ideally, they’re within walking distance, making it easy to spread the love.

The Aroma Labs  |  thearomalabs.com

When you’ve lived together for years, you might lose that “love the way they smell” feeling. Spruce up your scent with Aroma Labs, a place for people of any gender to create their own custom fragrance! Instead of Old Spice, your spouse can associate you with chardonnay, cedarwood and green tea.

See the Symphony

If you really want to feel like adults, make yourself pretty and head to the symphony, opera, or even a local theater. These grand events are the perfect escape from a hectic home life, offering a moment to enjoy and be moved by incredible art, together. After you go once, you’ll be itching to go back.

Wine Trail

Whether it’s in southwest Michigan or up near Traverse City, hitting the wine trail for a day is the perfect adult getaway. Heck, you could even rent an AirBnb and make it a weekend! Try an area with tons to do like Fennville, with Salt of the Earth, Fenn Valley, Virtue Cider, Modales Wines and more. Send the kids off to camp and get lit!

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