Avoid a vapid Valentine's Day

Once a year, right around February, couples get that funny feeling in their tummies ... Is it love? Is it the butterflies? Is it indigestion? No, love birds, no. It's panic. Panic over what to do for Valentine's Day that is fun, exciting and pref...

Once a year, right around February, couples get that funny feeling in their tummies ... Is it love? Is it the butterflies? Is it indigestion?

No, love birds, no. It's panic. Panic over what to do for Valentine's Day that is fun, exciting and preferably not your run-of-the-mill date.

So, in hopes of guiding you down the not so beaten passion path, here are some suggestions to make your Valentine's Day 2005 a memorable one. Find the couple title that best suits the two of you, or if you feel your love can't be defined, choose what you like out of each category and have a grand old time.

Crazy in Love Date

Hit one of Duluth's more romantic restaurants, the Radisson Hotel's Top of the Harbor restaurant, Fifth Avenue West and Superior Street. Spin about in bliss as you peer out on the twinkling lights of the city.


For those couples who want to spice things up, check out the candle-lit atmosphere of the India Palace, 319 W. Superior St., where a little Vindaloo and red wine are sure to fan the flames.

After dining, head over to Beaner's Central, 324 N. Central Ave., and cozy up on the couch with a warm drink. On Saturday, Feb. 12, Beaner's is hosting an exceptional line up of low-light crooners, including Joanna James, Charity and Sonja and Burgess Norrgard.

Outdoors Date

The temperatures are supposed to be mild this weekend, so strap on your snowshoes, or rent some from the Ski Hut, 1042 E. Fourth St., and head up Tischer Creek. Tischer Creek is a romantic and quiet place near 32nd Avenue East and comes out near the Glensheen Mansion. Between the banks and bridges of the creek, you'll be sure to come across some picture perfect moments.

After snowshoeing, take a sweet winding drive up the shore to the New Scenic Cafe, 5461 North Shore Drive. If you're really a devoted bruiser, you'll bike up the snowy highway, where the almond crusted walleye is to die for.

The First Date

Go see "Ole and Lena's Wedding" at the Bennett's Dinner Theater in Fitger's. The show runs on Friday, Saturday and Valentine's Day at 7 p.m. This interactive comedy includes dinner and the show, and is sure to make you both laugh off your first-date jitters. Afterward, wander up to the Brewhouse, also in Fitger's, and enjoy a pint and each other. For tickets call 722-2829.

Leave the Kids at Home Date


Book a babysitter, grab your coat and get your hat -- it's mommy and daddy time. The Glensheen Mansion, 3300 London Road, loves children but would rather not chase them around the historic estate. This year, Glensheen is hosting a Valentine's Day fine dining experience in the romantic Winter Garden. The catering staff from Savories will wine and dine you while a wandering violinist serenades. The evening also includes a self-guided tour of the home. For reservations, call 454-4536.

A Wild Date

For couples who are a little too frisky to behave themselves at Glensheen, the Lake Superior Zoo is hosting a Valentine's Day Adventure where couples will go behind the scenes for a few snugly surprises, llama kisses, polar bear visits and more. Wine and fudge will be served after the tour. The event is on Monday and goes from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This leaves enough time to grab a bite to eat and catch "Finding Neverland," one of the most fanciful movies of the year. For zoo reservations, call 723-3854.

Antiquated Date

For you distinguished couples who have already grown old together, take a trip up to a Duluth classic -- the Buena Vista Restaurant and Lounge, 1144 Mesaba Ave. While in the dining room, admire some of Duluth's best views. After dinner, hit up the DECC, where the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra pop's concert series will present "Simply Sinatra" at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12. Let Steve Lippia and the DSSO play "your song" as they perform some of "Old Blue Eyes' " best. For tickets call, 733-7579.

Family Date

For families with younger kids, the DSSO is having a "Lollipop" concert Sunday for kids and by kids. Let your children sing while the DSSO Children's Orchestras play songs children know and love. For those with older kids, Sunday is "Learn to Ski and Snow Board for Free Day" at Spirit Mountain. There is a 10 a.m. session and a 3 p.m. session. Cut out heart shapes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bring red Kool-Aid and have a chalet picnic after hitting the slopes, literally and figuratively. For concert tickets, call 733-7579 and for Spirit Mountain lessons call (800) 642-6377.

Dad and Daughter Date


A dad and daughter date should include something quiet and something noisy. That way you will have time to listen and time to play. Joe Kelly, president of Dads and Daughters, recommends asking your daughter what she'd like to do and then letting her lead the way.

"When you're on your date make sure she is doing more than 50 percent of the talking," he said.

Kelly also said that the dad and daughter date shouldn't be just once a year; the Valentine's date should be the first of many. Having dinner, going for ice cream, shooting hoops or going skiing are all good suggestions.

No Date Date

After devouring a box of self-bought chocolates or getting a tattoo proclaiming your angst, get your buns out of the house and hit the town with some friends. Chances are, you'll meet lots of other savvy singles celebrating in the same way.

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