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

Unique Date Nights Feature Image Brush Studio couple painting

Feature image courtesy of Brush Studio. 

Liven up Your Relationship With One of These Unique Date Ideas

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 “fancy” restaurant (i.e: an establishment without a play structure or drive-through) 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 and maybe try something more engaging or take advantage of the fact that we can focus solely on one another and not our whole crew.

We’ve brainstormed some possibilities that you might not have tried before that range from the cozy to the extreme. Take a look and get ready to build a memorable date that isn’t the same old-same old.

And if you’re really looking for extreme dates, there are 15 ridiculously adventurous date ideas here.


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.

Cannonsburg Zipline Tour

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

Creative Dates

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

indulge your sweet tooth with your sweetheart with the perfect paper thin crepe at Brown Butter Creperie.

The Downtown Market also has a variety of culinary and cocktail classes for you to either expand your food and drink knowledge, or begin learning the basics.

You can also explore shaping 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, or painting pottery, fusing glass, or crafting wood pallet signs at The Mud Room, you can unleash your creativity and imaginations together.

Brush Studio couple holding paintings

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?

While some gaming stores do have space to play games there, there’s something fun about taking your new treasure to a spot where you can order a favorite drink.

If you favor something a little more exotic, you can grab a refreshing glass of boba tea from Cafe Boba and make use of their 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

  • 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.)
Vault of Midnight Family Board Games

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

Chill Dates

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

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
massage chiro image

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

Want even more ideas?? This list of 104 Unique Ideas is loaded with Grand Rapids date inspiration!

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