ANN ARBOR, Mich. – If you’re anything like me (a very single pringle who runs out of date ideas really quickly) then you’ve come across the conundrum of where to take your dates during the winter months.
While Ann Arbor is packed with excellent choices, it can be overwhelming when trying to make a good first impression. We asked you where you take your wintry dates and you’ve got some good ideas.
124 E Washington Street
Literati was the most popular choice we received. And why wouldn’t it be? The picturesque shop acts as a homing beacon for all types of readers. After perusing the shelves with your date and showing them the infamous Literati typewriter, take them upstairs to the cafe to talk about your favorite genres and authors, or your literary dream.
Think your date loves books? Go an extra step and take them on a tour of Ann Arbor’s independent bookshops. Check out the Booktown Map put together by the Ann Arbor Book Society for ideas of how to design your own tour.
Breweries/ Brew Pubs
Warm up with a beer or cider at one of Ann Arbor’s many breweries or brewpubs. Going on a date can be scary and sometimes sipping on a bit of liquid courage takes the edge off.
It doesn’t really matter which brewery you choose, they’re all great. The lively atmosphere of Jolly Pumpkin ensures that you’ll always have something to talk about as you people watch. Arbor Brewery Company is great for a lunch-time date or just a fun chat over a pint.
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The Last Word
301 W Huron Street
Looking to impress with your knowledge of mixed drinks? Don’t have any mixed drink knowledge to impress with? Me neither, so let the folks at The Last Word take care of that. The basement speakeasy atmosphere is great for having sophisticated drinks after work or for happy hour.
117 W Washington Street
For anyone who isn’t afraid to show how they “really eat,” pull this power move by taking your date to Frita Batidos. Not only is the menu full of options suitable for most diets but the cafeteria-style seating means less pressure when trying to not make a complete mess -- everyone is making a mess. If you don’t make a mess, you’re not doing it right.
Brainy is the new sexy, and what better way to show off your smarts than to play trivia. Most trivia nights around A2 are free and generally aren’t too terribly tough. Grab your date and form a team of two to battle it out with other trivia titans.
Plus, if you win, not only do you impress your date (and everyone else in the room) you’ll also be able to pay for dinner with your winnings as some trivia nights offer cash prizes or gift cards.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
1800 N. Dixboro Road and 1610 Washington Heights
While both the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum are a good choice for an outdoor date any time of the year, there’s something magical about the gardens in the winter. Visit the orchids in the conservatory's tropical house to warm up a bit in between walks in the gardens.
Winter hours do affect the opening and closing time of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens, but Nichols Arboretum trails are open daily from sunrise to sunset. As a bonus, admittance to the gardens and trails is free, so you’ll save some money to splurge on a hot drink afterward.
Ice Skating at Buhr Park
2751 Packard Road
Another popular suggestion -- show off your skating skills at Buhr Park. With public skate times every day, you can either impress your date or somehow convince them to teach you how to skate. The skating rink also has fun events like Buhr Blitz Day (Jan. 13) or costumed skate Funky Frosty Fridays.
Check out the Buhr Park website for prices and public skate times.
Sledding is like a choose-your-own-adventure book -- sometimes it’s fun and sometimes you choose the wrong path. Sledding enthusiasts can start their journey at Huron Hills golf course or Leslie Park and Burns Park. Mushroom Park has bunny hills for those who need a gentle start. Veterans Memorial Park is fun, but the hill is super steep, so sled at your own risk -- ending up in the ER isn’t the best way to land another date.
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