Originally publised January 2019
It’s that time of year again, love is in the air – and all over the Wegmans vestibule. The divide between the “I love LOVE” people and the “I can’t wait for this Hallmark holiday to be over” people has never been more real. A day that’s supposed to be dedicated to celebrating love – whether its with a significant other, family, or friends – doesn’t have to include hard-to-get dinner reservations with a limited menu.
Our advice? Avoid the crowds by planning a day date that’s just as fun, if not better – all depending on your style as a couple (or crew!).
The Adventurous Ones
Hiking in the winter doesn’t get enough credit. As long as the temps aren’t dangerous and you bundle up with the right gear, it feels great to get outside to breath in some fresh air.
Take advantage of outdoor activities that stay open year round like the Mountain Coaster at Holiday Valley in Ellicottville or actually hit the slopes together – whether you’re old pros or need to take a lesson together. Ride the lifts and take the long way down as you take in the snow covered hills, all while dreaming about the beer waiting for you at Ellicottville Brewing Co. afterwards.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something closer to Buffalo, take a nice hike through Chestnut Ridge Park, finding the eternal flame and getting a glimpse of the frozen falls before heading to the most epic sledding hill around as long as there’s a good amount of snow. After, head over to Elm Street Bakery to split a dessert and hot cocoa or wander the village of East Aurora and explore all it has to offer.
The Fit Couple
This isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love fitness and being active, try something new together that puts you both outside of your comfort zone. If you’re normally runners, sign up for a boxing class at Level Red Boxing then stop for some protein packed poke bowls for lunch at Fresh Catch Poke Co. or cold pressed fruit and veggie juices at Squeeze Juicery (Williamsville / Buffalo). If you normally take spinning classes, try a unique yoga class at one of these spots or if you’re looking for a virtual experience, check out Fred Astaire Dance Studio’s online classes.
You might end up really loving something new and continue with it, plus these experiences can be great bonding opportunities.
The Kids at Heart
Update: Misuta Chow’s arcade is temporarily closed due to covid
Misuta Chow’s is a great place to channel your inner child – play whatever games you want and have a photoshoot on the hot pink, sparkly steps! Plus, their food hits the spot if you’re looking for a unique menu. Whoever loses at skeeball can buy the first round of cocktails!
The Lady Gang
Push outside your comfort zone with your BFFs and try a group pole dancing class at Pole Barre & Dance Studio or Electric Daisy Fitness before hitting a wine bar like Little Club or Wine on Hertel (Hertel), Alchemy (Hamburg), Just Vino (Buffalo), or Wine on Third (Niagara Falls).
The Gourmet Foodies
If you’ve found your fellow foodie in life, embrace it by taking the time to visit markets in the area, then spend the rest of the night cooking together, watching sappy love movies, and sipping wine.
Explore local food markets and collect items to cook together. If you find yourself near Grant Street, grab some dumplings at 007 Chinese Food at the West Side Bazaar before hitting up Guercio & Sons for some fresh pastas and Spars European Sausage & Meats for sausage or double smoked bacon.
If you’re near Elmwood, stop by the Lexington Co-Op to grab some seasonal fruits, veggies, wedges of various cheeses, and freshly baked bread or pick up a new seasoning at Penzeys. Shop for steaks at Camellia Meats or Johnny’s Meat Market and maybe get an almond ring for dessert from Wolter’s Bakery before heading home.
Want to take this whole cooking thing to the next level? Schedule a private cooking class with Thyme-n-Honey.