Minnesotans pride themselves on never letting the weather get the best of them, so this month, relish in the date night (or day) possibilities available only during the frigid months of the year. Whatever you’re in the mood for—a cool date, a heart-warming evening or a hot afternoon at the spa—we’ve got you covered.
The best way to warm up your love life? Get outside. The thermometer might read a single digit number, but after an invigorating afternoon exploring Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in Chanhassen, you’ll feel toasty inside and out. Five miles of groomed trails are available for walking and cross-country skiing. Feeling adventurous? Rent a pair of snowshoes and head out beyond the designated trails. Your four-legged soul mate is welcome, too, since Minnewashta also offers an off-leash dog area in addition to a leash-only zone. Day and annual passes available; ski and snowshoe rental available on weekends. 6900 Hazeltine Blvd., Chanhassen; 952.466.5250; www.co.carver.mn.us
After you’ve warmed up the trails, lose the parka and winter boots, and head to the 318 Café in Excelsior for some cool music and hot eats. A coffee shop by day and listening room by night, the 318 gives Lake Minnetonka residents the perfect venue to enjoy live music. Enjoy a glass of their house wine, coffee or loose leaf tea as you peruse the menu. Since the 318 is an award-winning venue, every seat in the house will be filled and focused on the cool sounds. Be sure to call ahead for reservations for weekend evenings. Check out their website for a music schedule and artist samples. 318 Water St., Excelsior; 952.401.7902;
Invite your Valentine out to the Old Log Theater for an evening of entertainment. On Golden Pond opens February 11, and the theater is offering an all-inclusive drinks (including coffee, tea, milk and champagne at dinner only), dinner and drama ticket package for the February 14 performance. First, the two of you will enjoy a meal prepared by Old Log Theater’s in-house chef. The meal starts with a mixed greens salad with caramelized pecans and maple vinaigrette dressing, with a side of parmesan garlic bread. Next, you’ll choose from one of five different entrees for your main course; our favorite is the Freshwater Canadian Walleye Pike Almandine. Dinner is followed with tiramisu for dessert. Champagne toasts and a capella music complete the evening meal.
After dinner, you’ll move into the theater for a performance of On Golden Pond. Joe Pint, event organizer for the Old Log Theater, describes the show as a “heart-warming and hilarious comedy that celebrates everyday life, love and family.” Want to share the fun? Make your evening a double date by inviting another couple along. “Our dinner theater events work really well for couples and larger groups,” says Pint. 5185 Meadville St., Greenwood; 952.474.5951;
Visit Sanctuary Salonspa in Excelsior for a date so steamy, it requires volcanic rock: Book a couple’s hot stone massage with assistant manager and massage therapist Ramona Ceraceanu. She and her staff promise to leave you relaxed and rejuvenated at the end of the 80-minute massage session.
Sanctuary’s hot stone massage focuses on relaxing your muscles. “It’s not a deep-pressure massage,” says Ceraceanu. “In fact, the massage therapist’s hands only touch the client 20 percent of the time.” Instead, the salon/spa uses volcanic rock—which holds heat longer than other types of rock—to diminish the stress of the week.
The salon/spa has perfected the art of relaxation. When a couple arrives for a hot stone massage, hot tea or ice water is offered, and they are given time to change and relax in their private room. Each person has his or her own massage therapist, but sharing the room allows you to share the massage experience. Then, the massage begins. “We use a combination of warm oil and hot stones, plus aromatherapy,” explains Ceraceanu. Following the massage, clients can shower, and women receive a makeup touch-up. If stylists are available, a complimentary style can also occur. The staff will make sure you leave the salon looking—and feeling—your very best. 5615 Manitou Rd., Excelsior; 952.474.4412;
$ Less than $25
$$$$ More than $75