When those first few Pure Michigan snowfalls settle in, the sweatpants come out, the fireplace goes on, and the idea of a romantic date night on the town fades faster than you can say, “What haven’t we binge-watched on Netflix?” But this season, don’t let a few inches of snow and a few degrees below keep you from experiencing the romance of a West Michigan winter date night! Get up, gear up, and go out, with this Grand Rapids Guide To Cozy, Winter Date Nights:
Turn Up The Heat
Spice up your date night while you spruce up your skills in the kitchen by taking a cooking class together at Downtown Market Grand Rapids or The Local Epicurean.
- Downtown Market Grand Rapids Cooking Classes: Sign up for seasonal favorites like the Holly Jolly Cookie Bash (Dec. 17 & 18), and be sure to check out the full Downtown Market Cooking Class Schedule for even more date night options!
- The Local Epicurean Cooking Classes: From practicing up with Pasta 101 to expertly rolling your own walnut & pecoroni gnocchi, you’ll find a range of winter cooking classes that’ll put spectacular seasonal flavors back on the menu at home. Check out the full list of Local Epicurean Cooking Classes, and be sure to check back often on Groupon for deals on these fun and flavorful lessons.
Enjoy Your Food Fireside
Ready to venture out for a winter dinner date but hate to goodbye to the warmth of your own home? Trek out to these local favorites, featuring fireplaces for wood-fired scents and warm, cozy vibes that’ll leave you hand-holding, savoring, and sipping long into the night:
- Mangiamo: Nothing says winter date night quite like Mangiamo. But, then again, where else can you dine inside a 19th-century mansion with multiple roaring fires while watching the snow fall through massive, wall-to-wall windows?
- Rose’s On Reeds Lake: Here, winter favorites like Butternut Squash Ravioli beckon, and so do 2 wood-burning fireplaces – one at the center of the original restaurant, and one on the enclosed porch overlooking Reeds Lake, complete with comfy couches for cocktail sipping while you wait to be seated.
- Blue Water Grill: Another Gilmore Collection favorite, Blue Water Grill boasts 2 cozy fireplaces – 1 near the entrance of the restaurant’s main level, and another just a short walk down the stairs at Blue Water’s lower-level bar, where you can still order from the main menu (and even catch some late-night live music!)
- Grand Woods Lounge: Enjoy a meal next to the indoor stacked stone fireplace, or cozy up with a cocktail on the outdoor 4-season porch, complete with another fireplace and radiant heat
Stargaze In The Snow
Bundle up as best you can (we recommend beating the winter chill with great seasonal gear from local favorite, Bill & Paul’s Sporthaus) – and get to a little-known local gem, Belknap Park. Better known by some as Belknap Lookout or Lookout Hill, this little slice of heaven is the perfect place to snuggle up seasonally, looking up to the stars or down to the city lights below. Pick up Peanut Butter Bars from Martha’s Vineyard or Red Velvet Cupcakes from The Cakabakery and spread out your cozy quilts for a post-dinner outdoor dessert date that’s to-die-for.
Hit The Winter Trails
Looking to do a little more than lounge fireside and sip wine on your date night? Keep active this winter while keeping the spark alive when you try snowshoeing, skiing (or even fat tire biking!) some of Grand Rapids’ well-groomed winter trails on a romantic adventure:
- Cannonsburg Ski Area: From winter tubing to downhill skiing, trails to terrain parks, you’ll find more than enough to keep your date night calendar filled for the entire season!
- Groomed Fat Tire Trails: You’ll find groomed fat tire biking trails galore here in Grand Rapids, including local, unexpected favorite Indian Trails Golf Course, which offers free demo days on Wednesdays from 2-9pm, where you can test out fat tire bikes from local cycling shops, try your hand out on the groomed trails, then cozy up inside the clubhouse for hot chili and a cold craft beer. Other local fat tire favorites include Rockford’s 4-5 mile Merrell Trail or Cannonsburg Ski Area’s 5-6 mile loop (complete with on-site fat tire bike rentals).