Photo courtesy of Fenn Valley Vineyards
by Jeremy Witt
Prepare the roses and chocolate covered strawberries because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! It’s possible that you may have forgotten and are scrambling to arrange plans or maybe you’ve been waiting 365 days in anticipation to surprise the one you love. To help both these kinds of people (and anybody who lies in some sort of middle ground), the West Michigan Tourist Association has gathered great dining, gift giving, events, and overnight stays for you to either plan your Valentine’s Day from the ground up or add on to what you already have. Whether you’ve been married for 50 years, dating for 6 months, or something in between, let West Michigan help you make this Valentine’s Day the most fun, unique, and romantic one yet!
A decadent four-course gourmet meal is waiting for you and your loved ones at the W.K. Kellogg Manor House on February 13 and 14 at 6:30pm. Enjoy oysters, beef tenderloin, sesame lime shrimp, and more. Dinner is $49 per person and each guest will also receive a complimentary tour offered after dinner.
While they may not be a meal themselves, Gravel Bottom’s two Valentine’s Day beers can be used to compliment your dessert or be enjoyed on their own. The Lion Heart is a robust porter which can be paired with chocolates and raspberries. The Susie Q is a cream ale and is a bouquet of flavor with hibiscus and rose hips. Enjoy these and more at Gravel Bottom this Valentine’s Day.
Dining with Chateau Chantal will be a heavenly experience when they host their five-course Valentine’s Wine Pairing Dinner on Saturday, February 13. From 6pm to 9:30pm, enjoy an amazing meal prepared by Chef Reuben Rosales with each course perfectly paired with a Chateau Chantal wine. You will even experience an informative wine tour prior to your dinner to prepare you for the night. Seating is limited so reserve your spot today!
For Valentine’s Day, Newaygo Brewing Company will be launching a “Sweetheart Stout” on Friday, February 12. This oatmeal stout is blended with raspberry puree and aged with bourbon oak chips. You can even make your visit a full dining experience with either lunch or dinner by visiting their taproom!
Henderson Castle has their seven course Valentine’s Day Weekend special on both Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy entrée options of either beef wellington, truffled cornish hen, or salmon bearnaise. This delicious meal will be the perfect way to celebrate this romantic holiday. Romantic package upgrades are available and you can even enjoy a private dining experience in one of their two new luxury dining rooms with spectacular views of downtown Kalamazoo. Contact Henderson Castle for more information and to book these premier dining options.
Visit Arcadia Kalamazoo for two very different Valentine’s Day events. The Anti-Valentines event is on February 13 where the beer special is titled “one isn’t the loneliest number” with $1 off tier 1 beers and singles food specials. On February 14, enjoy the actual Valentine’s Day event with sweetheart food specials. Whether you’re rolling solo or bringing a date, Arcadia Kalamazoo has a special for you!
Tripelroot has a special deal for Valentine’s Day where you can stop by the taproom with your valentine anytime on Saturday, February 13 and enjoy any bottle of wine with two stone breads for only $30! Or you can spoil your loved one (and yourself) with a tasty beer. Make sure to stop by Tripelroot to take advantage of this offer.
Fenn Valley has you covered on February 13 and 14 with their special on their wine and cheese flights. Make the most out of this romantic holiday with six wine pairings and five different cheeses and chocolates for only $30. Guests will also receive a souvenir sparkling wine flute filled with chocolates and a rose for your valentine.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 13 by taking your valentine on a horse drawn sleigh ride followed by dinner at The Terrace Inn and 1911 Restaurant. Starting at 5:30pm, rides go every half hour and are narrated by sleigh driver Scott Ward. Rides are only $10 for adults or you can reserve a three course dinner and sleigh ride for only $29.95 per adult. Reservations are recommended!
Grand Traverse Bike Tours is co-hosting a Vineyard Fat Bike event at 45 North Winery on Valentine’s Day at 1pm. Enjoy a fat bike ride, tour, and drinks. The tour’s trails are groomed and present a fun and adventurous way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. After you’re done, warm up with some mulled cider, soup du jour, and Northport cheese plates at the tasting room.
Bring your valentine and paint something sweet for Valentine’s Day weekend at the Spa at the Inn at Bay Harbor and their Canvas d’Vine event on Friday, February 12. Participants create a one of a kind work of art with step-by-step instructions from a local artist. You’ll also receive a buy one, get one free offer on spa services to treat your loved ones! Each three hour event begins at 6pm and costs $45 per person. Call the spa to reserve your easel.
Chateau Chantal’s Mindo Chocolate cooking classes are intimate at 12 spots and feature hands-on demonstrations, giving students the chance to create part of the menu and enjoy eating what they make. Set in the winery’s beautiful dining room, this is a great class for anybody interested in the culinary arts or food in general. Classes last four hours and are $95 a person.
Mackinac Island will play home to the Great Turtle Chili Cook Off on February 14. This annual event takes place at Cawthorne’s Village Inn Restaurant where chefs, both amateur and professional, duke it to have the best chili. Visitors can purchase a score card and sample the chills for a small fee.
Downtown Market has three events for you and your valentine. The Couples: Valentine’s Day cooking class is offered February 11 to 13 and is a great way to relax with your partner. Receive small plate demonstrations, cocktails, and some hands-on cooking. On February 12 to 14, check out the Ice Bar Lounge and their heated outdoor happy hour! It features specialty cocktails, craft beer, and select wine. You’ll Swoon for Macaroons will be February 13 and gives you the opportunities to make classic macaroons. Downtown Market has a wide range of events to help you impress your valentine.
Frederik Meijer Gardens has two events that would be fun and unique dates for you and your valentine. Roll Your Own Sushi on February 2 and 9 will put you to work, creating your own sushi rolls. Chef Stuart James Christof has worked from Bangkok to Thailand. He is here to help you do everything from selecting ingredients to pairing your sushi with sake. Beers of Michigan – Wines of Italy is February 16 and 23. With this event, you’re getting the best of both worlds. Host Mary Greyzck from Brewery Vivant will be both informative and fun at this event. These two events make for some unique fun that any couple can enjoy.
Brys Estate and Jolly Pumpkin are teaming up for the Snowshoe Wine & Brew event every Sunday through February. The TC Brew Bus will transport you to Brys Estate Vineyard and Winery. From there you will snowshoe across the Old Mission Peninsula to Bowers Harbor Vineyards and then back to Jolly Pumpkin where you parked. This is a fantastic and unique date for those couples that enjoy spending time in the great outdoors!
Robinette’s is hosting their Love, Wine & Chocolate event on February 13 from 1pm to 5pm. The cost is $12 per couple and includes wine tasting, souvenir wine glass, and chocolate snack bar. You can also get five minute earrings with Sara Neal where she provides supplies for earrings and you pick out what you want. Shen then makes it right there for you. No reservation required!
City Flats Hotel Grand Rapids is hosting a Galentine’s Day event on February 11 from 5pm to 7pm that is designed just for the gals! Grab your friends and join them for champagne, hors d’oeuvres, treats, and styling by the Parlour. Treat yourself or a friend for only $10. Tickets are available at the Parlour or from their online store. For more information, visit their website.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day a bit later and visit Grill House Restaurant & Silo Banquets and Catering on Saturday, February 20 for their Spring Wine & Beer Tasting event. There will be five wine vendors, beer, a huge appetizer buffet, and souvenir wine glass. Tickets are $38 each and must be purchased in advance.
Visit St. Julians Winery for their Wine & Chocolates event on Sunday, February 14. Enjoy a perfect pairing of wine and chocolate with your valentine. This event is complimentary for Wine Club Member Owners. Want even more wine? Check out Cogdal Vineyards’ Valentine Winter Warmup for $1 off glasses of wine and discounted bottles. Enjoy delicious wine with your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.
Winter wine festival, “Wine Not?”, will be hosted by Townsqure Media on Saturday, February 13 in downtown Kalamazoo. All your favorite wineries from around Michigan and the country will be in one place for wine tasting, pairing classes, meet and greets, and live music. Relax indoors with friends, your valentine, and great wines in historic downtown Kalamazoo!
Want a unique date for you and your valentine? Check out the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum’s 2nd annual Grown Up Play Date on February 12! This special adults only night at the museum features local beer and wines, food from local Grand Rapids restaurants, laser tags, music, and more. This event benefits the GRCM and its programs and exhibits. Tickets are $30 and available through the museum.
Chocolates by Grimaldi in Grand Haven is offering their fantastic chocolate tour for you and your valentine. Visitors will learn about the chocolate making process from pod to bean to delicious chocolate that you can eat! There will be a taste testing opportunity and you will surely want to take him some chocolate home for later. Chocolate covered strawberries are a Valentine’s Day favorite and their biggest seller so it’s highly recommended that you call ahead to reserve these sweet treats. Tours cost $4 per person and can be scheduled by calling Chocolates by Grimaldi.
Gilmore Car Museum’s Pint with the Past event on Saturday, February 13 is a perfect date night for you and your valentine. This annual beer tasting fundraiser includes tastings from over a dozen local breweries, live music, and a chance to view over 150 impressive automobiles. For tickets and more information on the event including what breweries will be in attendance, visit their website.
Let Chef Christine Ferris indulge your taste buds with The Saugatuck Center for the Arts’ culinary and wine tasting workshop on February 9 from 6:30pm to 8pm. The “Sealed with a Kiss” menu highlights include petite fillet, salad courses, and white and red wine pairings from around the globe. This could be the perfect early Valentine’s Day event for you and your loved ones. Space is limited so reserve your spot now!
If you’re looking for a couple’s retreat for your extra special Valentine’s Day weekend, check out Holiday Vacation Rentals. If you book three nights, you will also receive a special arrival package and gift certificate to an area restaurant! Don’t forget to mention this special at the time of booking.
The Inn at Harbor Shores invites you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with them! Their package includes an overnight stay, complimentary appetizer, bottle of sparkling wine, and six chocolate covered strawberries. For you and your valentine, the package also has a complimentary wine tasting for two at 12 Corners Vineyards and 20% off spa services. The package with the Inn at Harbor Springs has everything for you and your loved one to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
A handful of hotel packages are available to you if you mention the Holland Visitors Bureau’s website (holland.org). The Romance Package at the Country Inn & Suites, Holland includes a one night stay with breakfast, bottle of wine, and chocolates. With Holland’s offer, take 15% off the rack rates at Haworth Inn, Country Inn, Best Western Plus Holland Inn & Suites, DoubleTree by Hilton, and Residence Inn. CityFlats is offering 10% off their rack rate. There are also Valentine’s Dining specials at downtown restaurants including CityV? Bistro and New Holland Brew Pub. Take a weekend and have a great stay in Holland!
Traverse City has a wide range of places to dine, wineries to see, and festivals to attend this Valentine’s Day. The Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula will pay tribute to what put Traverse City on the “wine country” map with their Romancing the Riesling event on February 13. On the same day is the Traverse City Winter Microbrew & Music Festival featuring all sorts of craft brews, live entertainment, and local grub. Make sure to check out Traverse City this Valentine’s Day!
Holiday Inn in Grand Haven has their Ultimate Romance Package to ensure that your Valentine’s Day is perfect! It includes one night of accommodations, chocolate covered strawberries and champagne delivered to your room, two champagne flutes, a bouquet or roses, gift certificate for $35 towards dinner at Jack’s Waterfront Bistro, and breakfast for two at Jack’s Waterfront Bistro. Make you reservations now for this all fantastic package deal!