Every romantic’s favorite holiday is just around the corner. Candy, roses and dinner is the standard for many on Feb. 14. But why not set your Valentine’s Day apart from the rest this year? We want to help you plan something a bit out of the ordinary for your special someone.
We put together a list of unique and sweet ideas to surprise your favorite person with. The best part? You don’t need to drive to get to them. This means you get to enjoy a cozy and convenient ride on The Rapid, which will give you more time to talk and less time to worry about driving and parking. Plan your trip in advance and Grab your bus pass and get on board with your sweetheart.
Here are a few noteworthy Valentine’s Day date ideas that are both budget-friendly and public transit accessible.
Catch a Movie
If you’re not loving the normal box office offerings, plan a date to Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts Movie Theater. There you’ll have access to independent, foreign and documentary movies every week, Tuesday through Sunday. If you want to delay your Valentine’s celebrating for a day, you can check out local cinematic talent at the theater’s annual Open Projector Night on the 15th from 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Thinking of doing dinner before? If you bring your UICA movie receipt to favorite local restaurants like Osteria Rossa, Stella’s Lounge, Grove and San Chez, you can take advantage of discounts through the UICA’s dinner and a movie program.
Grand Rapids’ very own winter ice festival takes place from Feb. 9 – 14. Ride the bus to downtown Grand Rapids to enjoy the state’s largest ice bar, a 5,000lb community voted sculpture and 50+ ice sculptures dispersed downtown. You and your special someone can take part in walking and running tours, live ice-carving, games and even special libation served at the Downtown Market’s Ice Bar.
This multi-day event is jam-packed with so much to do and see. It’s the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the cold. See the full schedule to plan your date.
Make it Brunch Instead
Valentine’s Day dinner is a February 14th staple. This means that if you haven’t put in a reservation somewhere yet, there’s a chance you’re probably not getting in. So, why not switch it up? Scrap the standard Valentine’s dinner plans and go out for breakfast, lunch, or better yet, brunch. Here are three brunch locations for your consideration:
Spend a Day at the Museum
Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to explore a museum with your significant other. If you have children, you can also bring them along for the ride.
The Grand Rapids Public Museum has a wide variety of exhibits on display. You can also celebrate Valentine’s Day a bit early by purchasing tickets for the Feb. 9th Concerts Under the Stars event featuring chamber funk by Jamga in the Chaffee Planetarium. Tickets are $12 before the concert and $15 the day of.
If art is more your style, make it an all-day, visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum for a day of exploration and hands-on fun. February’s exhibits include Finders Keepers: West Michigan Collects, Leo Zulueta: Black Waves and Prints and Processes. From 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., stop by the Drop-In Studio to craft your own puzzle.
Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, so why not consider branching out from romance into charity and friendship? Whether you regularly volunteer at an organization or are interested in getting started, there are many ways to give back on February 14. A quick online search can pull a number of reputable volunteer opportunities in the Grand Rapids area. Just be sure to check use the RapidConnect Trip Planner to ensure that the destination and timing of your volunteer opportunity works for bus travel.
Take a Brewery Tour
Since you won’t be driving, consider checking out local breweries in this beer-loving city. And while you’re there, why not take a behind-the-scenes tour? You’ll be able to try different beers, enjoy a variety of food, and still travel the city safely.
You can even plan your own Valentine’s Day beer tour by looking at the breweries throughout the city and checking out the Rapid system map. Currently, Route 6 has the most breweries located just steps away from bus stops. Plan your trip in advance to ensure that routes are running and you can plan out your arrival and departure times. May we suggest starting at Founders, just across the street from Rapid Central Station?
Go Ice Skating
Bundle up and catch a ride with us to enjoy ice skating at Rosa Parks Circle with your Valentine. Admission is $1 for those ages 17 and under and $2 for 18 and over. Need skates? Your ice skate rental fee is covered with admission. View daily ice skating hours here. You can also end the day with a romantic dinner.
Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at The Rapid!