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Michigan Winter Date Ideas - The Awesome Mitten

Valentine’s Day Guide To Outdoor Winter Dates

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    As I’m sure you’re all intimately aware, February means that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Many Michiganders are going to be sending flowers, receiving chocolates, and going to movies. I mean, it’s February in Michigan, what else can you do?

    To keep things interesting, I’m thrilled to tell you that there are dozens of outdoor adventure dates around the state to make this year extra special for you and that special someone. A movie date is nice, but will you remember it for the rest of your life? I challenge you to go above and beyond this year by surprising your date with something as unique as your love!

    Here are some of my favorite ways to add some adventure to romance with these Michigan date ideas:

    Dog Sled and Dinner

    Nothing quite says adventure like bolting through snow-covered trees on a sled pulled by dogs. Winter resorts like Boyne Mountain offer dog sled activities where you not will not only feel the thrill of the ride, but afterward you get to cuddle all of the adorable, fluffy snow dogs. It’s guaranteed to make all your friends completely jealous!

    Don’t let the date end there. Afterward, I suggest that you head out on the Boyne Mountain slopes for some night skiing or snowboarding, and then grab dinner at a local pub in town. It might not be a romantic candle-lit dinner, but after all that activity, I think you’ll both be starving for a big meal!

    Michigan Winter Outdoor Date Ideas - The Awesome Mitten
    Photo courtesy of Shalee Blackmer.

    Hide Away in a Cabin

    Life is busy, which makes it hard to find time for just the two of you. Valentine’s Day can be the perfect excuse to get away for a night or two from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

    A snowed in cabin in the middle of the woods is a perfect way to relax and enjoy much needed time together. Instead of going out to eat, this is your opportunity to cook your significant other’s favorite meal and ditch the television for some board games or cards. Also, during the day, you both can look into renting snowmobiles and head out into the wilderness. Just be sure to dress warm!

    Road Trip to the Upper Peninsula

    Although it is a popular destination in the summer, the Upper Peninsula is vastly overlooked in the winter months. It might be colder and it might be snowier, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less beautiful.

    I highly recommend visiting the Eben Ice Caves, or hiking to a frozen waterfall near the town of Munising. One of my favorite moments is stopping in Mackinaw City to get a unique perspective of the Mackinac Bridge covered in ice. This is also a great opportunity to grab pasties for dinner, and buy a carton of ice cream to feast on in your hotel room at the end of a long day. Don’t forget to pull off and spend some time on the snow covered beaches of Lake Superior!

    Michigan Winter Outdoor Date Ideas - The Awesome Mitten
    Photo courtesy of Shalee Blackmer.

    Walk in the Park

    If you can’t manage to escape to far off lands, I suggest simply going for a walk with the one you love. If you leave your phones in the car, and spend quality time catching up, it will surely have a lasting impact. A park may seem dull in the winter, but it’s only dull if you let it be so.

    My favorite activities: Building a snowman, getting into a snowball fight, climbing a tree, or swinging on the swings. Unlike in warm weather, you’ll probably have the entire place to yourselves so you get to be as crazy, goofy, and lovey-dovey as you wish!

    Do Detroit Outdoors

    Both located near downtown Detroit, Belle Isle and the Detroit RiverWalk are an easy two-for-one date idea. You and your partner can explore Belle Isle as you watch chunks of ice float down the Detroit River. If the weather has been cold, many people use the waterways within Belle Isle to go ice skating. It might not be your normal rink, but that’s what makes it fun!

    Downtown Detroit never slows down, so taking a walk on the RiverWalk will always make you feel proud to call Michigan your home. I recommend spending the day exploring a one-of-a-kind city, and then heading to Greektown or Corktown for a delicious meal together.

    Michigan Winter Outdoor Date Ideas - The Awesome Mitten
    Photo courtesy of Laura Blake.

    Get Active

    If you’re looking for something that’s not too difficult, or too costly, then consider snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. They are both good ways to get outside and active in the middle of a ruthless winter. If you don’t have your own equipment, there are plenty of places around the state that rent the gear for an affordable price.

    One of my favorite locations is Burchfield Park, located just south of Lansing. Every year, the park creates its own cross country track. They open a small cabin with rentals, offer night skiing, and let those who come enjoy their outdoor firepit. Nothing quite says romance like skiing under the stars followed by roasting some marshmallows on an open flame!

    How are you planning to spend this Valentine’s Day in Michigan? Tell us in the comments!

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