If you think there aren’t many romantic things to do during the winter in Michigan, you’re in for a real treat when you visit Flint and Genesee County. Whether you want to spend time together indoors or outdoors, you can choose from several unique and intimate winter date ideas in Mid-Michigan.
Hole Up in a Cozy Coffee Shop
Like having a candlelit dinner, getting cozy together with steamy cups of coffee or hot chocolate (or whatever treat you choose) can be a very romantic experience. These are some of our favorite coffee shops and cafes in Flint and Genesee County.
Since 2013, Cafe Rhema has been serving craft espresso and coffee beverages in a 1920s atmosphere. The cafe is proud to have nationally competing baristas on staff, so you know that you’re getting some of the best drinks in the country.
In addition to espresso and coffee, you can order tea, bubble tea, and smoothies. There are a lot of food items on the menu too — salads, sandwiches, toast, waffles, and pastries.
The Good Beans Cafe
Known to locals as The GBC, this cafe is located in the Historic Carriage Town of Flint, Michigan. It has everything that you’re looking for in a coffee shop — freshness, flavor, innovation, and more — making for an enjoyable experience for couples.
Because of the cafe’s location between universities, you’ll see a lot of students in the cafe hanging out with friends and studying.
The Palette Cafe
Whether or not you intend to explore the Flint Institute of Arts (we think you should), its The Palette Cafe is a fantastic place to cozy up together with a cup of gourmet coffee or hot cocoa. On the other hand, you can order a glass of wine, beer, or cocktail to pair with a sandwich, soup, or tasty treat.
Flint Crepe Company
Specializing in sweet and savory made-from-scratch crepes, Flint Crepe Company is an amazing place to stop for a breakfast or lunch date in the winter. And, the Flint-roasted coffee and seasonal drinks — like eggnog, apple cider, and cinnamon plum tea — are just “icing on the cake.”
Flint Crepe Company offers dairy-free, gluten-free, meat-lover, and vegan options as well!
Evers & Ollie
A combination coffee and retail shop, Evers & Ollie opened in Flushing in 2022 as the dream of Dr. Nicole Wax.
The coffee comes from Rootless Brewing Company of Flint, which offers top-notch coffee products. Alongside hot and cold coffee beverages, the coffee shop menu features bagels, avocado toast, breakfast sandwiches, and more.
Don’t leave without checking out the other products from local small businesses. The shop owner aims to sell items that feel comfortable and soft while being stylish.
North End Coffee Cafe Bake
In Fenton, North End Coffee Cafe Bake has an awesome menu of drinks and treats for breakfast and lunch. Choose from sandwiches, salads, caramel apple pie, salted caramel cookies, French macarons, doughnuts, the North End “signature” cookie, and more.
Make a Reservation for an Intimate Dinner
In the evening, a romantic dinner is always a great winter date idea in Flint and Genesee County. There are tons of Flint restaurants to choose from, but here are a few of our top picks for dates.
An offbeat brewpub in a renovated firehouse, Tenacity Brewing is ideal for a casual intimate dinner with your significant other. The craft beer menu includes hard ciders, various ales, sours, and IPAs. Aside from beer, you can get house-roasted Costa Rican coffee, root beer, and kombucha.
Additionally, you can get food from the Vehicle City Tacos truck in the outdoor courtyard. And, the brewery almost always has live music or some kind of event going on, such as trivia.
Cork on Saginaw
For some beautiful ambiance, Cork on Saginaw is one of the top spots to go in Flint. This chic wine bar is located in a vintage building, and the menu features European and American small plates and entrees — shrimp and grits, chicken marsala, sandwiches and burgers, and salads to name a few.
And of course, there’s a wonderful wine list to choose from. In addition to wine, the restaurant’s bar makes delicious classic cocktails, such as classic dry martinis, Moscow mules, and margaritas.
Overlooking a small lake in Grand Blanc, Da Edoardo is a relaxing place to escape together for a meal. It’s well known for authentic Italian cuisine, which is made by the Barbieri family. During the winter, you can choose al fresco dining on the open deck with heaters and amazing views.
Brick Street of Grand Blanc
Since 2001, Brick Street of Grand Blanc has been meeting the ever-changing dining and entertainment needs of the community. Unique to the area is that it has six small private dining areas that each seat up to six people for casual or fine dining or for watching sports or hosting events.
As for the pub menu, you have a wide variety of options — skillet dishes, fish dishes, prime steaks, barbecue ribs, and innovative burgers and sandwiches. On Tuesdays through Fridays, you can arrive early for cocktail hour specials.
Enjoy Dinner & Drinks With a Live Show
If you and your partner love to watch shows while you eat, there are plenty of bars and restaurants in Flint and Genesee County that host live entertainment. Check out one of these spots for your winter dinner-and-show date.
For more than half a century, Sherman’s Lounge has been an excellent home for live entertainment. While eating signature sandwiches, 1/3-pound burgers, or pizza, you can engage and laugh with energetic performances, creating an evening you won’t forget.
Churchill’s Food & Spirits
Since 1980, Churchill’s Food & Spirits has been a downtown Flint staple, providing high-quality brews, spirits, food, and service. It has 30 taps and a library of more than 400 whiskeys, as well as classic cocktails and other mixed drinks.
Throughout the year, Churchill’s has whiskey tasting events and live music of all kinds — from bluegrass to rock and everything in between.
Scooters Bar & Grill
At Scooters Bar & Grill, you can order classic American food alongside Mexican dishes and pizza — all while listening to live soulful tunes. On top of that, the motorcycle bar has billiards (free on Mondays) and trivia nights every Tuesday.
Located in a former men’s clothing shop, Blackstone’s Smokehouse is a gastropub with the original steel ceiling and exposed brick walls. It serves some of the best barbecue in Michigan and is a comfortable and warm venue for live music and other entertainment.
The Machine Shop
Booking some of the best live music in metal, outlaw country, and rock, The Machine Shop has been bringing excellent entertainment to Flint since 2002.
For food, Twizted Jerky Co. has a booth with hot food and 17 jerky flavors. Also, Big John Steak & Onion is next door, while a handful of fast food restaurants are located nearby.
Appreciate Art, Music, & Culture
Are you a couple who loves to enjoy art, music, and culture on a date? Flint is the place to be. In fact, the city is home to the Flint Cultural Center, which has some of the most fantastic winter date ideas. Beyond that, though, there are other venues to enjoy the arts on your romantic rendezvous.
Soothing Tunes Room
Fairly new to the Flint entertainment scene, the Soothing Tunes Room has replaced the Pachyderm Pub to provide a live, jazz-exclusive venue for the community. Despite only being open since Aug. 2022, the venue has already attracted jazz fans from all over East Michigan and beyond.
Second Friday ARTWALK
Every second Friday of each month throughout the year, ARTWALK is a free public event in downtown Flint that promotes the diverse collections of the city’s galleries. More than 20 businesses and cultural organizations participate.
Along with observing art, Second Friday ARTWALK features wonderful music, tasty food, and delightful drinks. And, it’s a great way to see everything that the entertainment district has to offer.
Flint Institute of Arts
The Flint Institute of Arts has an active event schedule for the general public all year. During the winter, for example, couples can enjoy the First Frost Arts & Fine Crafts Fair and the Festival of Trees.
Coffee with a Curator is a monthly themed-oriented presentation about exhibition-related topics. And, McLaren Glassblowing Demonstrations are held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, featuring glass artists who show various glassblowing techniques.
To learn about the artwork on display at the museum, you can arrange a guided tour. Also, check out the Contemporary Craft Wing’s three expansive galleries. Furthermore, you can catch classic and independent presentations at the FIA Theater, which has a state-of-the-art sound system.
Don’t forget to stop by the Museum Shop before you leave. It has a large assortment of art-inspired and artist-made merchandise — jewelry, glass, books, home decor, and more. There’s no better way to commemorate your winter date in Flint.
Home to some of the most talented students in the state, the University of Michigan-Flint Theatre hosts numerous dance, theatrical, and musical performances every semester for the public. It even hosts community performances by the Flint Community Players.
FIM Whiting & FIM Capitol Theatre
The Flint Institute of Music is home to several programs and venues. The FIM Whiting is an awesome auditorium that hosts a wide variety of performances — comedy, dance, music, theatre, and Broadway. The Flint Symphony Orchestra performs here often all year.
On the National Register of Historic Places since 1985, the FIM Capitol Theatre features a diverse blend of classical and popular acts by comedians, contemporary and modern dancers, and musicians, as well as spoken word performances.
Sip & Savor Time Together
If you and your significant other like a relaxed-and-linger kind of atmosphere, many breweries and wineries in Genesee County fit the bill. Check out our favorite spots for winter dates.
Fenton Winery & Brewery
You might be surprised about all of the amenities at Fenton Winery & Brewery. The 5-acre property has a winery that produces more than 20 wines and a brewery that produces more than 40 craft recipes every year.
You can sip on some of these beverages in the taproom. Generally, there are five wines and 13 beers on tap. Also, the winery and brewery installed The Dream Machine — a small-batch distillery — in Nov. 2022 so that guests can sip on its new line of liquors in signature cocktails.
Fenton Winery & Brewery hosts seasonal events too, such as a holiday market, holiday cookie pairing, and special dinners.
Fenton Fire Hall
The Fenton Fire Hall has been a community destination since 1938, standing for not only volunteer firefighter service but also community togetherness. The venue is one of the best places to sip on drinks while savoring exceptional food.
The extensive drink menu includes seasonal cocktails, house brews, seltzer, cider, and wine. Among the barbecue, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, and pizza, you’ll find the legendary mac and cheese and the infamous bowl of chili.
In Davison, the Agitated Grape is a bistro and bar in a 140-year-old brick building. It exclusively features wine, wine cocktails, beer, and whiskey that are made in Michigan. In fact, it has more than 50 wines to choose from. You can order anything in a tasting flight or by the glass.
All of the drinks pair well with its unique charcuterie boards, gourmet pizza, and desserts. And, you can enjoy it all in the covered outdoor dining area, which is heated during the winter. The Agitated Grape hosts entertainment often as well, from trivia and comedy to live music and open mic nights.
Redline Brewing & Distillery
For a taste of microbrews, head to Redline Brewing & Distillery in Burton. This eclectic brewery and distillery produces all of its beer on a 2-bbl system with Michigan ingredients.
You can choose from 20 beers on tap — IPAs, ales, stouts, porters, seasonal brews, and more. Or, order signature cocktails and liquor flights — white rum, dark rum, Devil in the Details (dark moonshine), Stillbilly (moonshine), and gin.
If Redline owner and brewer Doug Grover is in the dining area, you can expect an interesting conversation about his creations.
Learn Something New Together
Attending a class or workshop can be a beautiful bonding experience for couples on winter dates. Here are some great places in Flint and Genesee County that offer the chance to learn new things and be creative together.
Experiential Experiences at Factory Two
Next to Tenacity Brewing, Factory Two is a community space in downtown Flint where locals and visitors can experience learning and crafting with a range of cutting-edge technologies, including drones and 3D printers.
The classes aren’t necessarily designed for couples but are very experiential. Learn about making appliques and stained glass and learn about sewing, blacksmithing, and Inkscape vector design.
Stallings Stained Glass & Glass Blowing Classes
In Swartz Creek, Stallings Stained Glass offers a range of classes. The stained glass classes teach you all the basics of cutting, grinding, foiling, and soldering, while the flameworking classes teach you to make blown glass ornaments. It offers glass fusing classes too, and all of the supplies and tools are provided.
Flint Institute of Arts Workshops & Parties
At the Flint Institute of Arts, you and your partner can attend a couple of different classes.
The Hot Shop, for instance, offers one-day introductory workshops and courses about glassblowing, during which you learn to gather malleable glass out of the 2,100-degree furnace and manipulate it into something creative.
If you’re looking for winter date ideas for multiple couples, Studio Parties are an option for trying something new in a fun way. Various projects are available — ceramics, drawing, glassblowing, painting, welding, and more — in three-hour studio sessions.
Wine Classes at Oliver T’s Market
At Oliver T’s Market in Grand Blanc, couples can enjoy monthly wine tasting experiences. Hosted by certified sommelier Michael Cregar, these wine classes are designed for novice wine drinkers but are interesting for enthusiasts of all levels. Appetizers are paired with six wines for each class.
Classes are limited to 20 guests, so make sure that you book in advance.
Art Creations at Cause & Affect Gallery
In addition to selling works by more than 70 Michigan artists, Cause & Affect Gallery in Fenton offers a number of workshops. The artist instructors cover a variety of mediums, such as acrylic pour painting, faceted rings, fused glass ornaments, and watercolor.
Extend Your Stay in Luxury
To experience several of these winter date ideas in Flint and Genesee County, we recommend extending your visit beyond just one day.
The Hilton Garden Inn is one of the best places for couples because it’s located in downtown Flint and within a short drive from many of the date activities above. The hotel is also home to Sauce Italian American Kitchen and the Simmer Rooftop Lounge. Check out this list of other lodging options for your romantic couples getaway in East Michigan.