Travel For Two
Warm Up: Cozy Winter Date Ideas
From cooking classes to a distillery tour to a rooftop sauna, get cozy with these inviting date-night ideas in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro region.
Experience River City Charm
Warm your sweetie’s heart with some classic charm in Stillwater. Forbes named this city nestled along the scenic St. Croix River one of the top 10 “Prettiest Towns in America.”
Aspiring chefs, as well as the culinary-curious, will appreciate the skill-building Cooks of Crocus Hill cooking classes. There are plenty of tasty options, too, including “date night” courses that teach you and your plus-one to prepare fiery Thai cuisine or classic steakhouse favorites.
If cooking’s not your thing, head to the historic downtown, which makes an idyllic setting for the Hometown for the Holidays events that happen from Black Friday to New Year’s Eve. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride along the riverfront. Peruse locally owned boutiques for a special gift. Or warm your hearts with a showing of Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” at the Zephyr Theatre, showing through Dec. 22.
Hungry? Stillwater has a slew of restaurants to suit your mood. For small plates and craft cocktails, try Lolo American Kitchen. If you’re craving heavier fare, head to Brick & Bourbon, where you can cozy up with comfort food, like the wild mushroom mac and cheese or roasted short rib ravioli.
Grab Supper and See a Show
There’s a reason the classic supper-and-a-show itinerary is a date-night go-to. And Burnsville’s Ames Center offers an extraordinary escape from the winter weather. It features a two-story glass lobby with striking views of the Minneapolis skyline and a range of top-notch productions, from local groups and nationally touring acts alike. This holiday season, you can see “The Nutcracker” ballet performed with a Minnesota twist, listen to Grammy Award-winning singer Cee Lo Green’s holiday hits, or get your groove on with the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s Wild and Swingin’ Holiday Party.
Fuel up before the show at Mediterranean Cruise Café. The acclaimed, family-owned favorite is conveniently next to the Ames Center and offers a tantalizing taste of the Middle East. You can’t go wrong with the four-course Mediterranean dinner for two. Start with a Greek salad and finish strong with baklava. As a bonus, the Mediterranean Cruise Café features entertainment by belly dancers on weekends.
Pamper Yourselves Silly
There’s no better way to spend a winter weekend together than with some serious pampering. Treat yourselves to a stay at the Westin Edina Galleria, and splurge for the romance package, which includes a room delivery of sparkling wine and chocolate-dipped strawberries.
If shopping is more your idea of pampering, choose the Westin’s shop-and-stay package — the hotel is attached to the upscale Galleria shopping center with its variety of unique boutiques and restaurants. Shop, eat, repeat. The best news: There’s no need to brave the cold to do so!
Heat Things Up with Spirits and a Soak
Warm up from the inside out by sipping spirits at Copperwing Distillery in St. Louis Park. Their Vodskey signature hybrid liquor is crafted from bourbon mash but is distilled like vodka, giving it more depth and character. Tour the distillery, order a craft cocktail, kick back and listen to live music.
Next, stroll over to Dampfwerk Distillery right next door, where you’ll find a beautiful new cocktail room and an array of German-style fruit brandies and liqueurs, as well as gin and aquavit.
When you’re hungry, head to Mill Valley Kitchen for fresh and flavorful grub. Order the cioppino, close your eyes, take a bite — and bask in that sunny California vibe.
End the night at the swanky Hewing Hotel, and head to the rooftop for the main attraction. The bar and lounge boast a stellar city view. But the real stars here are the outdoor hot tub and classic Finnish sauna. Soak, steam and gaze at the night sky as you and your date enter total relaxation mode.