Monday, 01 February 2016 10:12

Can’t Buy Me Love: Cheap Valentine’s Date Ideas

Written by  Mayra Monroy
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Ice Skating at Rosa Parks Circle Ice Skating at Rosa Parks Circle PHOTO: Erin Klema

Perhaps it was a turbulent holiday season or maybe you’re just strapped for cash. Either way, prepping for any date, especially Valentine’s Day, can be a stressful task in itself. Those extravagant dates can empty your wallet. Take our advice: Don’t order a pizza and stay in. Treat your date to some of Grand Rapids’ finest locations without breaking the bank.


Ice Skating at Rosa Parks Circle
155 Monroe Center St. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 456-3696
$2 for adult tickets; ice skate rental free with admission

It seems like the weather lately is either bone-chillingly cold or unseasonably warm. Still, winter is indeed here. Why not take your Valentine for some cheap (but romantic) ice skating downtown Grand Rapids? Located in front of the Grand Rapids Art Museum, the local outdoor ice rink is ideal for beginners and pros alike. Nothing is more romantic than bundling up in your most suave gear and falling on the ice with your bae.

Admission to the rink is $2 for adults ($1 for those ages 17 and younger) and ice skates are free to rent. Ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle puts you smack dab in the middle of the city, with tons of bars, restaurants and city life to explore after showing off your moves on the ice.

Open skate hours are Monday and Tuesday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 8:45 p.m. The rink will remain open through March 6, weather permitting.

Dinner and a movie on Wealthy Street
1505 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 262-3090

Wealthy Theatre
1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, (616) 459-4788
Yesterdogs start at $2.40/dog; Wealthy Theatre Meanwhile Movie Tickets start at $6

When your date destinations are all in one area, it’s convenient for travel, time and your wallet. Wealthy Street in East Grand Rapids is home to several treasures, including hot dog hotspot, Yesterdog. The popular ‘dog joint brings together culture and food with its old school atmosphere and delicious hot dogs. The hot dogs are piled high with cheese, veggies and more. There are even vegetarian options for those who want the experience but not the meat. The dogs start at $2.40. Forewarning, Yesterdog only accepts cash, so make sure to stop at an ATM on your way in so you don’t look like a chump.

After chowing down at Yesterdog, take a stroll down Wealthy Street and you’ll find Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids’ Community Media Center. The historic theater was once home to live stage shows and now shows classic films, hosts local events and more. Wealthy Theatre hosts the Meanwhile Movie series every Tuesday. Tickets for nonmembers are $6, $5 if you sign up for a membership (starting at $12).

Specials at the B.O.B.
20 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, (616) 356-2000
Each venue varies in prices and specials.

Located at the epicenter of downtown nightlife, the B.O.B. is home to a variety of venues, giving forth endless evenings of entertainment, brews and live shows. Almost every level of the B.O.B. has different specials to give you a bang for your buck.

On the lower level, B.O.B.’s Brewery provides in-house brews starting at $4 a pint.

On the main level, check out the House of Music & Entertainment (H.O.M.E.) for live music and drink specials. Wednesdays are two-for-one entrees and free parking with jazz and blues live music. For you wine lovers, H.O.M.E. also has half-off glasses of wine.

On the second floor, Bobarino’s is home to delicious food, with a $6.99 lunch buffet Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Happy Hour is also from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. with drink specials starting at $3 and half off appetizers.

If you’re willing to dish a bit more out for your date, catch a comedian every weekend at Dr. Grin’s Comedy Club, located on the third floor. Tickets are $10 but the 21-and-over venue does require a two drink minimum of its patrons. Have no fear though, as drinks range in price, including specials.

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