6 Unique Date Ideas in GR – Rock Climbing, Beer + Board Games, or Cooking Classes

Skydive Grand Haven over Lake Michigan

Feature image courtesy of Skydive Grand Haven. 

These Unique Date Ideas Will Liven Up Your Night Out

You can do dinner and a movie, or you can break the mold with one something a little different. 

What do you do when you and your special someone have a magical kid-free window of time? If you’re anything like my husband and me it’s the standard “Dinner & a Movie.”

We go to a favorite Grand Rapids date night restaurant and catch a movie that stars actual living people (instead of Pixar animation).

They are easy dates, but sometimes we want to shake things up.

We’ve brainstormed some possibilities that you might not have tried before that range from the cozy to the extreme. These are just a sampling of the 104 Grand Raids date ideas we’ve found.

Take a look and get ready to build a memorable date that isn’t the same old-same old.

Article Contents

  • Thrill Seeker Dates
  • Mystery Dates
  • Creative Dates
  • Beer & Board Games
  • Active Dates
  • Relaxed Dates
GR Symphony Movie Night Princess Bride Hunt
Pick movie night if you must – as long as it’s with GR Symphony.
01

Thrill Seeker Dates

Nothing gets the blood flowing like a jolt of adrenaline. While jumping out of a plane is an option for the fantastically daring, you may not be ready for that big of a thrill.

You can still take to the skies with aerial obstacle courses at TreeRunner or zipline through the canopies at Cannonsburg. Paddle off with a tandem kayak rental from Rogue River Rentals.

Climb to great heights when you’re rigged up at either Higher Ground or Inside Moves, or see how far you can go without a rope when you try bouldering at Terra Firma.

Find out just how graceful you can be when you drop in for an aerial silks or hoops class with the Grand Rapids Circus. In winter months you can streak down the luge track or go for an ice-skating stroll on the ¼ mile skating trail at the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex.

Unique date ideas in Grand Rapids include zip lining at Cannonsburg.
02

Detective Dates

Less extreme, but still sure to get you worked up, are the brain teasers, puzzles, and search for clues that go into escaping from a locked room in less than an hour.

With different themes and styles there is certainly a storyline to fit your fancy, whether you are preventing a missile launch, stopping a viral outbreak, or solving a crime, there are a whole host of options to choose from in the metro-Grand Rapids area.

If you want something to fill even more time, why not make a whole evening of it when you visit a murder mystery dinner. (To learn more about these mystery dinners, check out the Mystery Date that we sent Jaymen and Christina on!)

the ruse escape room
03

Creative Dates

For a calmer scene, nothing quite draws two people together than to work together or side by side to create something wonderful.

Cooking classes are a big hit for many dates. Indulge your sweet tooth with your sweetheart with the perfect paper thin crepe at Brown Butter Creperie.

Or build a charcuterie board together with Nibble+Nosh.

You can also shape your own pottery pieces with drop in sessions at Pottery Lane GR, painting a canvas under the tutelage of an instructor at Painting with a Twist or at Brush Studio. Paint pottery, fuse glass, or craft wood pallet signs at The Mud Room, you can unleash your creativity and imaginations together.

Brush Studio couple holding paintings
04

Beer and Board Games Dates

I think it’s safe to say that Geek-Chic is strong these days, but that’s a good thing, because embracing one’s geekiness (as well as your significant other’s geekiness) is something to be celebrated.

Game night is making a come back, but beyond staples like Sorry, Monopoly, and Uno, board and card games are adding new titles constantly. So why not pick out a new game, settle into a cozy place with a favorite drink in hand and get your game on?

House Rules Lounge near Downtown Market is the best place to board game + beer. They have over 400 games to play. Reserve a table, hit up their full bar for a cocktail, beer or wine before you choose the game you’d like to play.

A few other fun “drink & play” spots in GR include Cafe Boba with its comfy couches and coffee tables for your game playing. If you would like to sip on something more adult, check out Eastern Kille Distillery or the ELK Brewery Taproom.

Game Recommendations

We think these games are great as they can be played with just two people and don’t involve complex set-up or bulky boxes to lug around:

  • …and then, we held hands | Cooperative Balancing Non-Verbal Card Game | 30-45 minutes
  • Forbidden Island | Cooperative Shifting Tile Board Game | 30-40 minutes
  • Hive | Competitive Strategic Tile Laying Game | 20 minutes
  • Quadropolis | Competitive City Building Game | 30-60 minutes
  • Splendor | Competitive Buying and Trading Game | 30 minutes
  • Sushi Go | Competitive Draft-and- Pass Card Game | 15-20 minutes

Location Recommendations

  • House Rules Lounge | 404 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • Galactic Toys & Games | 3120 28th St SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
  • Gaming Warehouse | 4365 Canal Ave SW, Grandville, MI 49418 | 6680 Kalamazoo Ave SE B, Grand Rapids, MI 49508 | 12659 Riley St Suite 30, Holland, MI 49424
  • Out of the Box | 5212 Division Ave S, Kentwood, MI 49548 | 114 E Main Ave, Zeeland, MI 49464
  • Schuler Books & Music | 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
  • Vault of Midnight | 95 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (Their helpful staff is great at giving recommendations.)
House Rules Lounge game night Hunt
House Rules Lounge in Grand Rapids
05

On the Move Dates

Nourish your whole selves when you explore new ways to move together.

Get your feet moving as you waltz, samba, or tango into dance lessons at one of the three area Arthur Miller Dance Studios.

Shake up your workout by getting day passes to the Amway Grand Fitness Center that also feature tennis courts, racquetball, and an indoor pool to swim in or lounge by. Book a private yoga session just for the two of you and learn poses and flows designed to be done together. 

Check out a cruiser from a KDL branch and then peddle to the nearest trail for biking adventures.

Try one of the fastest growing sports in America, Pickleball.  Ok stop laughing, I know it’s a funny name, but is honestly so much fun to play.  Find a court here, schedule a pickleball lesson, or join The Grand Rapids Pickleball Club and play weekly on a league!

kdl cruisers egr
06

Chill Dates

In the words of Taylor Swift, “You need to calm down”, and these ideas might help let loose of everyday life stress.

While it seems like we are dissing the dinner + movie vibe, we actually love the movie idea – especially if it’s a movie night with the GR Symphony playing the soundtrack as you watch.

Finding a nearby spa is always a great choice to unwind, and men, don’t shy away! So many spas have products just for men these days. Beard facials and gentlemen pedicures are on almost everyone’s menus these days.

Book a private yoga session just for the two of you and learn poses and flows designed to be done together.

Feeling a little chilly and want to warm up?  You can snuggle up together at a hot tub garden, or try flotation therapy. Floating in warm Epsom salt solution will help essentially a reboot your mind. Dissolve away stress stored in muscles, and put your body in an ultra deep state of rest and relaxation.

  • Design 1 Salon Spa:
    Cascade | 5747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
    Gaines | 6750 Kalamazoo Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49508
    Grandville | 4693 Wilson Avenue Southwest F, Grandville, MI 49418
    Plainfield | 4485 Plainfield Ave NE #201, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
  • Oasis Hot Tub Gardens | 5041 Alpine Ave NW, Comstock Park, MI 49321
  • Phlot | 1555 Wealthy St SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506
  • GR Symphony | 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Design 1 Salon Spa interior
Design 1 Salon Spa

Let us know if you try out of these unique dates and how it went!

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