While there's nothing wrong with spending a cozy evening together on the couch with some popcorn and movies, sometimes you and your partner want to switch things up and try something new. Thankfully, West Michigan has no shortage of things to do this time of year. Take to the town with some of these summer date ideas that are sure to set the scene for some unforgettable memories with your special someone.
Fire up the range and flex your culinary muscles with a private cooking class at the Local Epicurean. You and your date could enjoy a two-hour class and three course meal alongside talented chefs who will show you the ropes, no matter if you're a beginner or are more experienced. Imported cheese, pesto, baguettes, and infused beverages are served during the class to round out the experience.
Want to make it a bigger group outing? Gather some friends for a double or triple date and schedule a group class with Fustini's School of Cooking. These classes are the perfect way to discover new dishes and techniques while having a ball with your partner and friends. While Fustini's doesn't add classes to their online calendar during the summer time, custom group classes are possible to be scheduled, upon inquiring.
ENJOY A LIVE PERFORMANCE
It's an understatement to say there are an abundance of live performance opportunities in West Michigan. Head to one of the area's many local theatre venues to see talented community members take to the stage or snag tickets to a touring Broadway performance. You and your date could also choose from the Pyramid Scheme's sprawling lineup of performances led by a variety of independent artists and musicians. Before or after the show, don't forget to engage in some friendly competition at one of the venue's 24 pinball machines.
If wine and jazz sound like your speed, a date at GRNoir Wine & Jazz is not to be missed. Host to regular live jazz, spoken word and DJ performances, GRNoir offers an elevated atmosphere and welcoming vibe that makes the already enjoyable experience of sipping global wines and savoring surprising small plates an even more memorable outing.
WANDER UNDER THE STARS
Journey through the universe and amongst the stars with a show at the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium, located within the Grand Rapids Public Museum. The perfect date for a rainy day, the planetarium offers guests an opportunity to recline and experience the galaxy, constellations and far away planets through immersive sound and the latest projection technology.
For a further afoot adventure, consider venturing to one of Michigan's three International Dark Sky Parks (designated by the International Dark Sky Association) or six Michigan Dark Sky Preserves to soak up the mind blowing beauty of the cosmos. You could even plan your date around several meteor showers expected this summer, two of which peak on the night of July 30-31, while another peaks the night of August 12-13. And if you wanted to indulge in some special treats beforehand to get the full existential experience, we won't judge.
BREAK SOME STUFF
If you've ever wanted to let off some steam by smashing some stuff, you're in luck! Break Room Therapy in Byron Center allows you and your date to do just that in a safe environment. After signing a waiver, deciding on your smash "tool" of choice, suiting up in protective gear and getting a safety rundown, you're free to bash some breakable trash to your heart's content. You could even get a copy of your break room session on video, so you can always remember who showed that old printer who's boss.
TEST THE WATERS
For those sunny days where you just can't help but be out on the water, grab your partner and rent a rare classic '50s/'60s fiberglass runabout boat from Retro Boat Rentals. Situated at The Old Boat House, a waterfront bar and restaurant along the Kalamazoo River in Saugatuck, these retro boats are a fun way to cruise the waterways in true vintage style. The boats are retro-fitted with electric motors, making for an environmentally-friendly and quieter experience than with traditional boat motors. You're even given a bluetooth speaker to listen to your own tunes along the way.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Jun/Jul '23 issue of West Michigan Woman.
Photos Courtesy of Local Epicurrean/Ashley Wierenga, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Break Room Therapy/Snap Studio, Retro Boat Rentals.