10 Local V-Day Dates on a Budget


Hey there Cornerites,

For my first blog post I’d like to give you a few ideas about what to do on Valentine’s Day for less than $10 around the Ypsi/Arbor area. Not that you need to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is, after all, a made-up holiday named after this guy.

But if you do choose to celebrate, and don’t want to spend too much money, check these out!

1)     Go out for a milkshake.


My milkshake brings all the toys to the barn…those are the words, right?
Thanks to UniversityBlogSpot on Flickr

Look, I know it’s not the 1950’s, and people don’t wear poodle skirts or saddle shoes anymore, BUT a classic date is still a classic date. Check out Ypsi’s Chick Inn on Prospect and Holmes for some of the best milkshakes in town. Theatre Troupe members recommend the peanut butter milkshake. But maybe do a few Pirate Planks afterwards.

2)     Go bowling.

Rally in the bowling Alley
Thanks to johnkeelty on Flickr

Speaking of classic dates, why not try one where you get to wear funny shoes and show off your athletic talents? Of course, rolling a heavy ball down an alley to knock over pins may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but just remember, strikes = celebration = hugs and kisses.

3)     Take a walk.

Walking in a winter wonderland. Thanks to Martin Abegglen on Flickr

I know. It’s COLD. And ICY. And there’s SNOW. EVERYWHERE. But sometimes when the winter is getting you down it helps to be outside for a while, even when the sun isn’t shining. There are a few wonderful parks and paths scattered throughout Ypsi and Ann Arbor. Find one of your favorites, take your boo’s mittened hand, and see what snow-covered nature has to offer.

4)     I WORK OUT!

Just down the road. Seriously. It’s like next door to us. Thanks to ypsistudio.com for the picture.

You know what they say…the couple that sweats together, gets together. (ed. – Does anybody really say that?) Anyway, it’s fun just being active with someone you like, and Ypsi Studio on Michigan has a lot of different ways to do that. Try an indoor cycling, yoga, or body-building class. Your potential or current mate may see you in a whole different light after watching you lift that weight or hold that yoga pose. You can even get 5 free classes from Kristen! What a deal!

5)     Sports!

You see, the jammer in the black is about to break through the pack, while the blocker with the Rebel alliance symbol on her leg (#StarWars #awesome) is trying her best to stop her. Photo thanks to Andrew Potter and the Ann Arbor Derby Dimes.

Sometimes you just don’t feel like being active yourself. That’s completely understandable. Luckily there’s a bunch of places in our town where you can watch those who do! Whether catching a high school game, watching friends toss a ball around, or even seeing U of M and Eastern teams; if you want to watch people be awesome at sporty things – you’re in the right place. My personal favorite is Roller Derby and the A2 Derby Dimes – these ladies skate hard, hit hard, and make it all look easy.

6)     Go see an unexpected movie.

Oh, how sad you got captured by my chainey vine trying to steal this golden idol. I’ll have to eat your brains now. Thanks to Bricks of Horrors on Flickr

Sure, romantic movies get the lion’s share of press for this weekend, but that’s not always what you two are looking for. If you and your date are into it, try a kids movie, an action film, or even a horror film. Sitting in laps and squeezing hands at the scary parts are optional.

7)     Go sledding.

WHEEEEEEEEE!!! Thanks to Pierce Martin on Flickr


This is one of the best parts of winter. Find a sled (almost anything flat and smooth works, or get one for under $10 at most stores), find a snowy hill, and slide down it! For those who doubt that this is a good date activity, riding double on a sled is basically sport cuddling.

8)     Go for a swim.

Excuse me. I’m trying to swim here. Thanks to albertopveiga on Flickr.

On cold and yucky days, it can be nice to immerse yourself in warm-ish water. If you’ve got your honey there, even better. Since we can’t go to the Rutherford Pool or Rolling Hills Waterpark, try going to WCC and trying out their pool, or the YMCA in Ann Arbor.

9)     Take in some culture!

Cars. History. Train Tracks. What else do you need? Photo thanks to ellenm1 on Flickr

You know what your biggest sex organ is? YOUR BRAIN. So nurture that important part of your overall sexual health by visiting a museum or two. Thanks to the two universities and the rich history of our towns, there are a lot to choose from. Like nature? Natural history museum! Art? Museum of Art! Cars? Ypsi Auto Heritage Museum! Firefighters? Yup, got one of those too.

10) Get yourselves tested.

Photo credit to Marge O'Malley

Photo credit to Marge O’Malley

Okay, this one’s a little strange. How is getting a test for sexually-transmitted infections (STIs) romantic? Well, to be honest, it’s not all that romantic when you’re getting the test. But if you are thinking about starting to be sexual in your relationship, it helps to know that all parties involved are free of sexually-transmitted infections along with what options are available if you feel like you aren’t quite ready to have a baby. And what better way to say I like you, I trust you, and I want to be with you than to come with that person to get tested.

Come to the Corner, get tested, and wish everyone there a happy Valentine’s Day. And they’ll help you have a great one.

Have Fun. Be Safe.


About Catie Martin

Catie Martin, LMSW is the Corner Health Center's in-house improv master and therapist extraordinaire. Little known fact: therapists with a sense of humor are better than therapists without a sense of humor.

View all posts by Catie Martin →

This entry was posted in 10 Tips, Dating & Relationships, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health, Sexual Health, STDs/STIs and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
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