Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 7, 2012

Romance Your Valentine With Stars, Beer, Clown Noses

Spend a romantic evening under the stars at the International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands on Lake Michigan (Robert de Jonge photo)

Valentine’s Day is just a week away, but because it lands on a Tuesday you have some leeway in celebrating on the weekend before or following February 14 if you give a gift of an experience rather than (or in addition to) a box of chocolates.

In the past I made some suggestions for Michigan-made treats (scroll down to see links below).

Here are some ideas for making Michigan memories with your sweetie:

Love Letters in the Stars, Saturday, February 18
Head to the Tip of the Mitten and the recently designated International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, on the Lake Michigan shore.

The Emmet County Park is one of only nine areas in the world recognized as having so little artificial light that it protects the view of the night sky. Admission is free and the park is open 24 hours each day.

At the February 18 program, which lasts from 6 p.m. ’til starshine, you can cuddle with your Valentine while listening to ancient stories of celestial romances and what they meant to the observers back in the day.

For nearby places to snuggle overnight, check into Mackinaw CityPetoskey, or north across the Mackinac Bridge in St. Ignace.

Plan a romantic escape to a B&B like The English Inn, Eaton Rapids

Plan a Bed & Breakfast Getaway
Check out the cozy accommodations that are members of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association. Most have romance packages available year ’round.

At The English Inn, a former auto executive’s estate about a half hour south of Lansing, the Ultimate Overnight Getaway includes a Champagne Dinner for two in the full service dining room, breakfast and accommodations.

Get Theatrical
Purple Rose Theatre Company, Chelsea, has added a Valentine’s eve performance of A Stone Carver at 8 p.m., February 14. The play by William Mastrosimone tells the story of a father and son and runs through March 10. Have dinner before the show at The Common Grill, just a few blocks from the theater.

Love On Parade
Arrange a private tour of The Parade Company Studio in Detroit, home of the floats and characters from the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Reservations are required for the Valentine Tour, which is offered from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, February 11 through Tuesday, February 14.

Cost is $100 per couple and includes a gift bag, flowers, chocolates, beads and clown noses ($50 is tax deductible). Reserve by phone at 313-823-8368 or email

Whoooooo Do You Love?
Go on an Owl Prowl, 7-8:30 p.m., Friday, February 17 at the For-Mar Nature Preserve near in Burton (near Flint). The guided walk is just $3 per person and billed as a family adventure, but it’s fine for a couple of kids in love. Have a cozy dinner before or afterward at The French Laundry in Fenton.

Founders, Grand Rapids, will pour at the February 18 Brew Ha Ha

Live, Laugh, Love
Tickle your funny bones at Brew Ha Ha, an evening of Michigan craft beers and comedians, 5-10 p.m., Saturday, February 18 at The Dow Theater, Saginaw.

Ticket price of $15 per person includes the show and 5 beer tickets so you can sample the best from at least a dozen Michigan breweries; additional beverage tickets will be sold.

The local Ramada Inn hotel package includes a shuttle to and from the show.

Love Gone Wild
Learn all about animal instincts, 6;30-10 p.m., Tuesday, February 14 at the Detroit Zoo.

You’ll enjoy a strolling supper, desserts and adult beverages, and hear from the zoo’s expert on the romancing residents. Tickets are $75 per person ($65 for Zoo members) and reservations are required. Must be 21 or older; tickets are limited and may sell out.

For ideas for made-in-Michigan Valentine goodies check out these previous posts at Great Lakes Gazette:

Fabiano's has been making candy since 1924; order online from the Lansing shop at

Sweet Treats For Valentines

A Sweet Story On Valentine’s Day

Michigan Treats For Your Sweetie

Visitor Info Click:

Pure Michigan



  1. […] Romance Your Valentine With Stars, Beer, Clown Noses (Great Lakes Gazette) […]

  2. […] Lights video produced by Upper Peninsula photographer Shawn Malone, and earlier referenced the International Dark Sky Park at the Tip of the […]

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