MINNEAPOLIS -- Whether you're planning a first date or you've been married for years, we've got some ideas to help you push through the winter 'brrrrs' on a budget.
Right off the bat we're thinking outside the box for our first date option--snowshoeing! Before you immediately nix the idea, listen to the description first.
"Anyone can do it. If you can walk, you can snow shoe. it allows you to get into places you can't in the winter time, it's quiet, it allows you to see nature in a different way," says Kim Nowicki, outdoor education supervisor with Three Rivers Park District.
Nowicki points out that snowshoeing is also a great form of exercise. Let's also appeal to your financial side; Three Rivers has several locations where you can rent snow shoes for just $5 an hour. Got your own? This date just became free. Click here for Three Rivers Snowshoeing information.
That's not all Three Rivers has to offer. "At Silverwood we have a project called Date Night and it happens the first Friday of every month and it happens from 6-9pm," says Alyssa Baguss, Silverwood Park Program Coordinator.
For $25 a couple you can spend the evening at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony. You take half the night to make creative keepsakes and they other half doing something like a guided-hike. You can also ratchet up the romance factor.
"You can bring snacks or a bottle of wine to share," says Baguss. Click here to read more about date night.
In keeping with the outdoor theme, we'll suggest cross-country skiing. Minneapolis Parks have 20 miles of groomed trails, 15 of which are at Wirth Park, and five more on the chain of lakes. A daily ski pass will run you $8. You don't have any of the gear? No worries, you can rent it. Skis, poles and boots for just $11 at the Wirth Par 3 Clubhouse. Click here for Minneapolis Parks Cross Country Information.
When you're done skiing you can head into the Wirth Chalet and grab a bite to eat and a hot chocolate. They also sell adult beverages if you'd prefer. And, if you'd rather just keep your whole date indoors, we've got some great ideas for that too.
Head on over to Midwest Mountaineering on Cedar Avenue in Minneapolis. It's a great date for the slightly adventurous.
"It has thick padding on the floor and you can climb up on the walls and ceiling and there's no charge. You just have to sign a liability waiver, and if you want to rent climbing shows for $3 you can do so, or just use your boots or tennis shoes," says Rod Johnson, owner of Midwest Mountaineering.
Free, fun and apparently it can lead to forever...according to Rod
"A number of employees have met at Midwest Mountaineering, including my wife twelve years ago," says Johnson. Click here for Midwest Mountaineering information.
How about a little less adventure and a little more culture with Minneapolis Institute of Arts Third Thursdays. There is no cost to get in MIA on the third Thursday of every month and each time the theme of the night changes.
"You can have a drink you can wander off on your own, you can make something creative today, you can be in a big group of people or it can be intimate. It's pretty relaxed and a lot of fun," says Katie Hill. Click here to learn more about MIA.
And how about a taste of the winter without even going outdoors? We picked Northbound Brew Pub and Smokehouse for a couple of reasons. One, they have a series of winter-themed beers including the one they are serving now called Snownami. Two, they have a full menu and three, they've got great beer deals from 3-6pm and again from 10pm to midnight.
"You can get a pour of the snow series for $3 because we normally sell them for $6," says Head Brewer Jamie Robinson.
Craft brewing has become a big deal in the Twin Cities. Check with your favorite brewer because most of them offer free tours... which is perfect because both your pint and your date will help keep you warm this very, very cold winter.