Ten Great Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Michigan

Love is in the air in Pure Michigan! Michigan’s snow-covered shores, glowing sunsets, and twinkling city lights help set the mood for a romantic getaway or special night out this February. Whether you cuddle-up at home or head out on the town, here are ten romantic ways to spend time with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day in Pure Michigan. For more ideas on things to do in Pure Michigan on Valentine’s Day, visit michigan.org.

1. Take Advantage of Ski and Snowboard Specials

Photo courtesy of Instagram user @daniellec319

For snow-loving couples, a number of Michigan ski resorts will offer special events and packages around Valentine’s Day. Have some fun on Cupid’s Couple Obstacle Course at Swiss Valley Ski Area or take advantage of two-for-one Valentine’s Day skiing at Shanty Creek, Crystal Mountain will also offer special Romance Packages. Check out other ski and snowboard specials and events near you here.

2. Take a Midnight Stroll 

A leisurely hand-in-hand stroll is a relaxing way to spend quality time. Why not put a new spin on a classic activity with some cross-country skis or snowshoes?

Hartwick Pines State Park will offer a special evening event  on February 22nd where skiers will have a chance to enjoy one of the park’s groomed ski trails by lantern light.  Over 75 lanterns will be lit along the 1.25 mile, groomed cross-country ski trail. Stick around afterwards for hot beverages and snacks!

If you’d rather trek through Michigan’s terrain on foot, Hartwick Pines State Park will also offer a Full Moon guided snowshoe hike on Saturday, February 15, 2014, at 7pm. Trapper’s Cabin trail in Roscommon will also be lit with torches on February 15th, creating a truly unique and memorable nighttime experience.

3. Go Ice Skating

What could be more picturesque than ice skating in the park after a romantic dinner? Many cities in Michigan have skating ponds in the winter months. In Grand Rapids, visitors can go ice skating in Rosa Parks Circle. Located in the heart of the city, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy a candlelit dinner with your significant other before heading over to glide across the ice. In Detroit, Campus Martius Park is home to a skating rink January through March. Also located right downtown, there is a variety of dining options to choose from!

4. Check out a Beer or Wine Tasting

Michigan’s craft beer scene is booming. Why not try some unique Michigan craft brews at the brewery nearest you?

If sipping a glass of Michigan wine suits your fancy, many Michigan wineries are offering special tasting events for couples around Valentine’s Day. Check out Chateau Chantal’s Valentine’s Day Wine Education Dinner Traverse City or head to Roscommon’s Winter Wine Tasting on February 16th.

5. Spend the Night at a Michigan Bed & Breakfast

If a quick getaway is what you’re looking for, Michigan Bed and Breakfast’s have last-minute Valentine’s Day Specials avaialable. Spend a charming day and night exploring a new location, dining on local fare, and enjoying your time away together.

6. Spend Some Time with the Animals

Love animals? Spend Valentine’s Day at the Detroit Zoo for Love Gone Wild.  For a more action-packed outing, head to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and meet the sled dog teams participating in this year’s UP200 and Midnight Run.

7. Have a Few Laughs

Strengthen your bond over a few good jokes at your local comedy club. The Ramsdell Theatre and Cultural Center will host a special Valentine’s Day Comedy Concert. The show starts at 8pm, tickets are just $12 in advance, $15 at the door. A dinner/show package is also available for $75 per couple. Talented comedians will also take the stage at The Traverse City Winter Comedy Arts Festival in downtown Traverse City. Be sure to ride the winter Ferris wheel outside after the show!

8. Catch a Flick

Catching a movie is a great way to spend the evening, and there are many movie theaters around Michigan to choose from. If you’d like to make you’re movie-going experience a little special, Michigan is home to several classic movie houses that aren’t your normal cinema. The State Theatre in Traverse City was originally built in 1918 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire. It showed the first talking movie seen in Northern Michigan in 1929 when it was known as the Lyric Theatre. Now it is home to the Traverse City Film Festival and is open year round showing art house films. The Redford Theatre is Detroit was opened in 1928 and shows “classic movies the way they were meant to be seen,” accompanied by organ and all.

9. Satisfy your Sweet Tooth

It’s not Valentine’s Day without some sweet treats! Check out one of Michigan’s many delicious bakeries or attend an eventcentered wholly around chocolate!

Boyne City will be full of fun and chocolate this Valentine’s Day weekend during Chocolate-Covered Boyne celebrating chocolate and romance at more than 30 businesses.

Lemon Creek Winery in Grand Haven will also host “A Chocolate Affair” every Saturday in February from 2pm-5pm. Local Chocolatiers will share samples of their own unique handcrafted chocolates, truffles, bonbons, and other delectables. Chocolate pairings will also be featured with Lemon Creek’s wines for an even more tempting tasting experience.

10. Plan a Romantic Spring Getaway

If you’d rather curl up at home with a fire and some hot cocoa, take the time to plan a romantic getaway this spring. These great packages are sure to get you looking forward to exciting times ahead!

These are just a few of the many Valentine’s Day events happening around the state. For more ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Pure Michigan visit, michigan.org.

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day in Pure Michigan this year? 

18 Things You Didn’t Know About Bronner’s – The World’s Largest Christmas Store

‘Tis the season all year long at Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, the World’s Largest Christmas Store® in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Open 361 days of the year, Bronner’s brings the warmth and wonder of the Christmas season to guests year round. Wayne Bronner, president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland lists 18 things you may not have known about the World’s Largest Christmas Store. 

1. More than 350 decorated Christmas trees are beautifully displayed in Bronner’s salesroom.

2. Decorations and gifts from 70 nations can be found at Bronner’s.

3.  Bronner’s carries over 150 styles of nutcrackers.

4.  Bronner’s artists personalize over 100,000 ornaments annually. One of Bronner’s ornament artists has personally handpainted nearly ½-million ornaments during her 25 years at Bronner’s. Approximately 50% of the glass ornaments sold are Bronner’s own designs.

5. If all the light sets sold in one year at Bronner’s were stretched out in a continuous line, they would span approximately 530 miles.

6. Movie star John “the Duke” Wayne ordered a Santa suit from Bronner’s by telephone on December 15, 1976.

7. Sports figures who have visited Bronner’s include former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler, Detroit Tigers’ owner Tom Monaghan (who arrived at Bronner’s in his Domino’s Pizza helicopter!), former Tiger pitcher Milt Wilcox, former Tiger catcher Lance Parrish, former Tiger outfielder Willie Horton, race car driver Al Unser, Jr., “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe, and Detroit Redwing Sergei Fedorov.

8. Celebrities who have visited Bronner’s recently include former Michigan Governor John Engler and First Lady Michelle with triplet daughters; former Michigan Governor James Blanchard; Olympic Gold Medalist Dorothy Hamill; vocalists Little Jimmie Dickins, Jim Nabors, Pat Boone, Marie Osmond, Anita Bryant, Andy Williams, the Lennon Sisters, the Lettermen, Ted Nugent, the Ink Spots, Faith Hill, Twila Paris and sister Starla, and Ana Cani; television’s Dave Coulier of “Full House“; First Lady Laura Bush; and actresses Polly Bergen and Cindy Williams.

9. Bronner’s was the first recipient of the worldwide Golden Santa Claus Award in February, 1986, at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair in Germany. The annual award is presented for “creativity and new ideas in the Christmas business as well as for set-up and presentation of Christmas articles.”

10. Bronner’s electric bill averages $1,250.00 per day.

11. Beamer the Bronner Star was born in 1999, becoming Bronner’s mascot.

12. Bronner’s online store offers appoximately 3,000 items for purchase.

13. The overall size of Bronner’s building is 320,000 sq. ft. (approx. 7.35 acres or 5.5 football fields of space) with 96,000 sq. ft. (2.2 acres 1.7 football fields of space) devoted to the salesroom.

14. Approximately 100,000 outdoor Christmas lights illuminate Bronner’s grounds every evening throughout the year.

15. Christmas Lane, Bronner’s own thoroughfare, is 1/2-mile long.

16. Bronner’s giant outdoor Santa towers 17 feet and the giant snowman is 15 feet tall.

17. The weekend after Thanksgiving is Bronner’s busiest of the year with as many as 50,000 guests.

18. Over two million guests come to Bronner’s annually.

Have you visited Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth? Tell us about your experience! 

Read more Bronner’s fun facts here

Wayne Bronner is the president and CEO of Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, located in Frankenmuth, Michigan. He has overseen the day-to-day operations of the World’s Largest Christmas Store since 1998. Bronner’s is a multifaceted business that includes a brick-and-mortar business, online sales, commercial accounts, catalog sales, and resale and custom ornament accounts. 

Twelve Days of Michigan: An Infographic

The holidays are a time for celebration, food, festivities and traditions. Michigan has unique connections to many of these.

During the 12 Days of Michigan, we will celebrate all that our state has to offer with a Michigan holiday fact each day.

Day 1: Monday, December 2
Michigan grows more than 300 farm commodities including a holiday meal favorite – cranberries!  Our nearly 300 acres produce more than 3 million pounds of cranberries a year.

Day 2: Tuesday, December 3
Do you enjoy a Honeybaked Ham for holiday dinners? Did you know that the recipe, crunchy sweet glaze and unique machine that slices the ham were all invented in Michigan? In 1957, Harry J. Hoenselaar opened the first HoneyBaked Ham Company in Detroit and it has since grown to be more than 400 stores nationwide.

Day 3: Wednesday, December 4
December 4 marks the third annual Menorah In the D on the last night of Chanukah. The 24-foot menorah was designed and built by local artists and brothers Erik and Israel Nordin and stands proudly in Campus Martius/Cadillac Square.

Day 4: Thursday, December 5
Looking for a one-of-a-kind festive event? Experience scenes of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Downtown Holly’s 40th Annual Dickens Festival, visit the largest Christmas store at Frankenmuth’s Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland  or view one of the 1.5 million twinkling lights at Rochester’s Big Bright Light Show. For more events, visit michigan.org/events.

 

Day 5: Friday, December 6
Picking out a fresh, fragrant Christmas tree is often a holiday tradition.  Michigan ranks third in the nation in the number of Christmas trees harvested and produces a wider variety of trees than almost any other state, supplying approximately three million fresh Christmas trees nationally each year.  The 2013 Michigan state Christmas tree is a 71-foot blue spruce that traveled 460 miles from Iron River and now stands in the Capitol.

Day 6: Monday, December 9
If every family in the U.S. shifted $10 a month to locally-owned, independent businesses instead of national chains, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to local economies.  With nearly 98% of all businesses in Michigan being small businesses, it’s important to support local retailers this holiday season including popular pop up shops that are making their way from downtown Detroit to Grand Rapids.

Day 7: Tuesday, December 10
Kwanzaa is celebrated each year between December 26 and January 1. In Detroit, many families gather to reflect and honor its founding principles. The Charles H. Wright Museum will pay tribute to this holiday’s rich cultural heritage with a candle lighting each night followed by evening festivities.

Day 8: Wednesday, December 11
Michigan winter recreation offers travelers a variety of things to do and brings in about $2.5 billion to the state’s economy. Why not take a holiday trip?  In Michigan, you are never more than two hours away from a ski area and with more than 6,500 miles of interconnected snowmobile trails in the state, dashing through the snow is a breeze.  Experience Mount Bohemia, which was one of four destinations competing for Powder Magazine’s 2014 Ski Town Throwdown or make a stop in Christmas, Michigan – a town in the Upper Peninsula that got its name from a roadside factory built there in 1938 to make holiday gifts and is now a popular destination for snowmobilers.

Day 9: Thursday, December 12
December 12 is National Poinsettia Day and many of the holiday plants are grown here in Michigan.  The state is seventh in the U.S. for poinsettia production and produced 2.3 million plants last holiday season.

Day 10: Friday, December 13
The Polar Express has been a holiday classic for more than 25 years, but did you know that author Chris Van Allsburg, a Grand Rapids native, used a Michigan train for inspiration?  When the movie was made in 2004, Michigan’s Pere Marquette 1225 locomotive was used for the prototype and technicians used sounds of the whistle and the clatter of the wheels for the animated film.

Day 11: Monday, December 16
Indeed, a northern Michigan company is supplying the wool that will be used to make sweaters for Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

Day 12: Tuesday, December 17
Chestnuts are famous for roasting on an open fire, but Michigan is known for growing the sweet, edible nut with the largest number of chestnut growers and the most acreage of any state.   Chestnuts can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from soups, stews and stuffing to fancy desserts.

 

Do you know any Michigan holiday fun facts? Use #12DaysofMichigan and be sure to follow us on Twitter.