I know so many people who bash Valentine’s Day as the worst offender of the greeting card holidays. And that’s okay. But since it has endured for many years, it’s important to embrace it as an extra opportunity to love your significant other, friends, family, city, or state (because we live in the Awesome Mitten).
I love Grand Rapids! And so I’ve gathered a few activities available for West Michiganders in Grand Rapids. Yes, some of these fall on Valentine’s Day, but whether you’re celebrating or not, solo or in a big group- these are all fun things to do!
If You Love Beer
There are some, particularly in Grand Rapids, who love beer, and would make IT their Valentine if they could. If that’s you, head to The Great Brew Ha-ha on February 14th and 15th. For the 5th year in a row, the Delta Plex will host this successful event, complete with local beers, comedic entertainment, and good grub. It’s only $15 a ticket in advance and this year, the headlining sponsors include Brann’s Sizzling Steaks and Sports Grille, IHOP, and the Riverfront Hotel. The entertainment line-up includes Pat McGann, Allen Trieu, and the Bimini Brothers. Buy your tickets soon at the Delta Plex, The Intersection, and Vertigo Music.
If You Want to Stay In
Sure, love is in the air, but so are ridiculous amounts of snow. If you don’t feel like dealing with it, swing by the Grand Rapids Downtown Market as a one stop shop for your night home. Grab a bottle of wine from Aperitivo, where the staff is super knowledgeable about what you’ll like. You can either get fancy and buy some fresh fish or meat to prepare from Fish Lads or Montello’s, or go with less prep and buy a delicious pre-made meal from Making Thyme Kitchen. If your lover likes flowers, swing by Crescent Floral. And don’t forget dessert…duh. Grab some Love’s Ice Cream to go, a Sweetie-Licious Bake Shoppe pie, or an assortment of chocolates from the Grocer’s Daughter Chocolates.
For Classic Dinner and a Movie
Not all dates were created equal: the dinner and a movie concept is clearly a winner as people keep doing it. One of my favorite places to eat happens to be right up the road from the movie theater: Twisted Rooster! Twisted Rooster, and its sister restaurant Crooked Goose, source as many food products as possible within 20 miles of the restaurant as part of their “Commit to the Mitt” campaign. Make a reservation, eat as much as you can handle, and save a little room for popcorn! Did you know that Celebration Cinemas are a Michigan chain of theaters? I think it’s so awesome that I can see movies (which is my all time favorite outing) and still support local business. I will let you and your date pick your own movie, but do keep in mind that Valentine’s Day is about loving, so don’t fight about it.
To Send a Valentine
If all you want to do for Valentine’s Day is tell someone you’re thinking of them from afar, there’s nothing better than an old fashioned Valentine sent by snail mail. Make your own if you feel so inclined, but since I possess zero artistic skills, I’m always on the hunt for cool cards. Check out 6.25 Paper Studio on Monroe Center for some truly unique products.
For Something Totally Different
If you want to do something outside the box, there’s definitely tons of options. Especially since this year, Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, let nothing limit your adventures! Chef Molly Crist is hosting a Chef’s Table Valentine’s Cocktail party upstairs at the Downtown Market. Tickets are $65 and include small plates and cocktails that are paired to perfection. The following night from 6-9pm, Chef offers a Cooking with Beer class for couples! You could also try the Brush Studio of GR; either book a private class or take the whole family on Sunday for a unique way to redecorate your home…or the inside of a closet, depending on how your art turns out.