It’s time to warm up, Detroit! The frosty weather conditions conspire to keep us indoors all winter, but with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it is a great excuse to get out with that special someone for a fun, inexpensive day downtown. Here are five warm, budget-friendly date ideas to defrost the coldest of hearts this Valentine’s Day:
1. Picnic weather is a distant memory and the Detroit River is frozen solid, but inside the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, it is always summer. Sit among the orchids and palm trees to inhale the sweet, earthy smells and absorb the warmth of this Albert Kahn-designed landmark. This lush, green oasis will remind you that winter doesn’t last forever, and Belle Isle picnics and boat watching will eventually return. A few days ago, Belle Isle became Michigan’s 102nd state park. Entrance to the park will cost you $11 for a yearly pass, but entrance to the conservatory is free. It’s the next best thing to a tropical vacation, and you’ll save hundreds on airfare. Open Wednesday-Sunday 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
2. “Hitsville U.S.A.” – The Motown Museum: “My Love is Like a Heatwave” sang Martha and the Vandellas. They knew how to warm a cold heart on a frigid Detroit day. Take that special someone down to the Motown Museum for a $10 tour of the acts that created the Motown Sound, and made Detroit famous for its music. Inside, you can thaw out and cozy up with a walk down memory lane with the likes of Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Jackson 5, and The Temptations. We even included a link to a free Spotify Motown-inspired playlist just for Valentine’s Day. On the ride down West Grand Boulevard, listen to the sultry, soulful vocal stylings of Marvin Gaye to heat up and get in the mood: http://spoti.fi/1eSyw7q. The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and is located at 2648 W. Grand Blvd .
3. Ice-Skating at Campus Martius: Not exactly a warm outing, but a fun, romantic opportunity to pair up, hold hands and take a whirl around the rink. A Valentine’s Day bargain at $14 a couple. Open 11 a.m. until midnight Valentine’s Day.
4. The Metro Times is hosting a“Blowout Announcement & Valentine’s Smooch Fest” at the New Dodge Lounge, 8850 Joseph Campau in Hamtramck. $5 Solo or $8 a couple gets you a night of dancing and music, with bands Illy Mack and Cold Men Young. Ages 21 and up, festivities start at 9 p.m.
5. Thirst Wave Black Hearts Ball is a free event with DJs Pleasure Kitten, Elektrosonik, Aaron Hingst and special guests DJ Mikey and DJ Zumby. Spinning new wave, retro alternative, and “dark” 80s and 90s all night, it is a surefire way to heat up and dance with your Valentine until the wee hours. The event boasts complimentary appetizers, Valentine's Day treats, champagne, drink, and beer specials, with giveaways all night. A hot Valentine’s bargain! Friday, February 14 at 9 p.m. Smalls Bar 10339 Conant. No cover charge, 21 and up only.