February is a month made for celebrating love! If you have a special someone, then you know that spending time together is important but easy to push aside in the midst of life. Maybe for you, coming up with an idea to celebrate your love in the middle of an Iowan winter is half the battle. So we’ve rounded up 12 ideas for local date night ideas that are tested and approved by our team members to heat up your love life this Valentine’s Day!
A game of Vertellis over wine and cheese – Troy Vander Molen
Vertellis is a game of cards that is used to stimulate deep and intentional conversation (https://www.vertellis.com/). Match it with a bit of wine and cheese at some place like Tassel Ridge, The Wijn House, Van Wijk Winery, or Summerset Winery, and you’re set for an intimate date night.
Dinner out followed by binge watching your favorite TV show. – Elise Spronk
Elise’s go-to restaurant is Kaldera in Pella. She loves to order the Hot Mama Mia, a spicy pasta dish. After dinner, she and her husband love to catch up on their favorite shows, either Dateline or Grey’s Anatomy.
Go ice skating and split a milkshake. – Renae Oppenhuizen
Renae and her husband have enjoyed ice skating at Brenton Plaza in Des Moines and shared that they even nabbed a deal to go for cheaper off Groupon (https://www.groupon.com/deals/brenton-skating-plaza-4-10?utm_campaign=UserReferral&utm_medium=email&utm_source=deal_ita). Since Brenton Plaza is just a block from Zombie Burger, we recommend walking over to split one of their unique milkshakes!
Have a picnic and go for a walk. – Matt Scotton
If you know Matt, you know that he loves to be active and outdoors no matter the weather outside. He says if it’s too cold to enjoy an outdoor picnic, have one in your car and then bundle up for a walk together.
Grab dinner and then visit an arcade. – Kaity Hall
Kaity and her husband love to grab something to eat from Jason’s Deli in West Des Moines and head to Chuck E. Cheese to play games. If you go without your kids, Kaity recommends giving your tickets away to the best-behaved kid when you’re done. If you’re looking to get away from the littles, give Up-Down in downtown Des Moines a try.
Explore local antique shops. – Emily Norton
Des Moines hosts a variety of antique shops including Reclaimed, Porch Light, West End Salvage, and A Okay Antiques. Emily and her boyfriend enjoy perusing through the stores. They usually end up in Valley Junction which means their dinner choice of the night is pizza at The Tavern.
Have a coffee shop date. – Melissa Hansen
Enjoy quality conversation or borrow a game to play over warm drinks or food at your local coffee shop. Melissa loves to go for soup in a bread bowl or coffee at Smokey Row with her husband.
Go to the movie theater together. – Susan Metz
Susan and her husband love to go to Cinemark Altoona – a movie theater that’s known for its recliner seats. Enjoy an even more affordable movie date night by going to the theater on a Tuesday night! Many theaters sell discounted tickets on Tuesday night. In fact, our local movie theaters in Oskaloosa, Pella, and Newton all sell tickets for $5 or less on Tuesday nights!
Escape from Escape Chambers. – Heather Pilcher
These escape rooms have become more and more popular! They make the perfect date night! You get locked in a room and have to practice teamwork to find your way out. Heather and her husband love the Escape Chambers, and she says this is one that makes for a fun double or triple date with other couples.
Have a no electricity night and play your favorite game. – Lindsey Klyn
No electricity means no phones, no lights, no TV, no tablets, etc. You have to make your way around the house using flashlights or candles. Then play your favorite game! Lindsey and her husband currently enjoy playing Ticket to Ride, Jenga, Settlers of Cataan (even though you technically need more than two people to really play this one), and this variation of Speed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6_4WuuMfnY. They’ve found they love having this space where technology doesn’t interrupt their time together.
Enjoy a drink together at a local brewery. – Kayla Landhuis
Kayla and her husband brew their own beer and kombucha (a type of tea) from their home. So for date night, they enjoy checking out a local brewery. Kayla recommends Alluvial in Ames because they have kombucha, root beer, and coffee on tap, as well as their beer. She also says they have the most amazing popcorn. If you aren’t local to Ames, consider checking out Peace Tree, Firetrucker Brewery, or the Peanut Pub (home of the $2 mystery beer).
Have a day date at Lake Red Rock. – Ashley Beekman
Ashley and her husband love to pick up lunch from In’t Veld’s Meat Market in Pella and then go below the dam at Lake Red Rock to eat. Afterwards, she recommends going for a walk along one of the nature paths with your dog(s) and enjoy a breath of fresh air. If you don’t want to drive out to Red Rock, Water Works Park in Des Moines also has great walking trails with scenic views.
So pick your favorite idea from this list, go find your special someone, and ask them out on a fun winter date! And if you go on one of these dates, we’d love to hear about it! Snap a photo and share it with us on Facebook!