Trib Tips

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM

But it doesn't take a lot of money to create fond and romantic memories with your honey.

Here are some heart-warming tips to get you started:

Home is where the heart is

You don't need to plunk down a Ben Franklin for a fancy dinner out. Stop by the grocery store and pick up a couple of lean steaks, crab legs or lobster tails. They're all no-fuss and quick-cooking.

Scrub two potatoes, brush the skins with olive oil, sprinkle on sea salt and bake them for 45 minutes to an hour at 450 degrees (don't wrap them in foil — it will ruin the crispiness).

Pull out a red linen tablecloth from the Christmas stash, fire up the candles and melt into your romantic dinner for less than $25.

Easy as pie (or cheesecake)

Just because you're having your romantic dinner in doesn't mean you can't still hit the fine-dining establishment you've been waiting to try on a special occasion.

But instead of ordering dinner, opt for a decadent dessert and coffee.

Tender trails

If the snow sticks around for Sweetheart Day, head out to Pigeon Creek Park and spend a romantic evening cross-country skiing on the lighted trails. Enjoy a romantic cup of hot cocoa next to the lodge fireplace when you're done.

Ski and snowshoe rentals are available for a nominal fee.

The lodge is open until 8 on Valentine's night. Trail lights stay on until 10 p.m.

Pigeon Creek Park is located at 12524 Stanton St., West Olive.

Call the Winter Sports Hotline at 616-738-9531 for current conditions.

Sip siding away

Sit side-by-side with your sweetheart at an old-fashioned soda fountain. You'll find this slice of Americana in full operation at Pfaff's Pharmacy, 1125 Washington Ave. in Grand Haven.

You can be part of the classic puppy-love picture — sipping two straws, in one soda, with one heart.

Chalk it up to chocolate

You can buy a box of chocolates, or you can do one better — step into the chocolate factory.

Chocolates by Grimaldi, 219 N. Seventh St. in Grand Haven, offers tours and free samples. The full-production chocolate factory features a Lucy Ricardo-esque 1950 enrober, almost identical to the one that challenged Lucy and Ethel in the classic “I Love Lucy” episode.

The business is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Soak up star beams

You can put on your long johns and your warmest winter duds and head to the beach for romance under the real stars, or you can take your sweetie to the comfort of the Carr-Fles Planetarium at Muskegon Community College.

Cuddle up and watch the digitally projected sky show on the domed ceiling at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Admission is free.

The planetarium is on the college's Muskegon campus, 221 S. Quarterline Road, Room 135.

Have some favorite apps, household hints or savings secrets of your own you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you. E-mail your suggestions to Marie Havenga at mhavenga@grandhaventribune.com. Include your name, address and phone number. You may also snail-mail ideas to: Trib Tips, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417; or call 616-847-2628.

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