Valentine’s Day. Is it just another day? A day created for commercial purposes? A special day to celebrate your love? Now, what if you don’t have a ‘prince charming’? What’s Valentine’s Day then? Honestly, to me, it’s a day to remind myself how kicka** I am. Last year I had decided that next year (this year) I wanted to spend Valentine’s on a cruise. I thought that sounded wonderful. Well…..thank you very much 2020, that is not an option! Instead, I’ll be celebrating here in Cedar Rapids (luckily I do love it here). So, what’s a single girl to do on Valentine’s Day in Cedar Rapids? Let’s check out some awesome ideas (even though they’re nowhere near as awesome as you are).
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Whether it’s your fingers or your toes, I always love the feeling of getting my nails done. The pampering and the pretty feeling afterward. Personally, I love Sophia’s Nail & Spa in Marion. They do great work, it’s not only clean inside, but they have some pretty features like mini chandeliers, so you feel a little fancier, and you get a drink with any service! Wine please! They’ve also been taking great steps to make it a safe environment for you. They’ve put shields up between each seat in the pedicure area. For the manicures, there is a shield between each customer’s seat, but also between you and the stylist.
Make a Day of It Around Cedar Rapids
Shopping is always a great idea! Check out the Czech Village or NewBo area for some cute shopping options, plus there are great restaurants and coffee shops you can stop at too. Start by stopping into Brewhemia for a cup of coffee and some churro donuts! While you’re there, don’t forget to contribute to their “Feed the Frontline” campaign where you can contribute to helping provide burritos to area health care workers. Then walk around the area shops. Make sure to stop into NewBo City Market and visit Lori Ann’s Candies. I found her chocolate-covered gummy bears/worms/butterflies, and LOVE them!! I mean, it is the day of chocolate after all!
Don’t forget to head into Almost Famous Popcorn to get a great treat to take home, and for some delicious ice cream! It’s never too cold for ice cream! I’m always a fan of cappuccino ice cream and while there are many great popcorn choices, I would say my favorite is Cheddar Cheese or Summer Lovin’.
Or, if you’re across the river, make sure to stop into Lucky’s on 16th for some delicious mac & cheese (or anything else on their menu really because it’s all great). Then head over to Czech Village Antiques or Frolics for some fun shopping.
The Cedar Rapids Parks & Recreation have opened up two free ice rinks in the area. Granted, this is weather dependent and you need your own skates, but how fun! If you don’t have ice skates there are a few places around town you can get them, or just ask your friends if anyone has a pair you can borrow. The rinks are located at the Jones Park Tennis Court and the Noelridge Park Tennis Court. In Marion, the rink at Thomas/Legion Park is now open too from 6 am – 10 pm.
One of my favorites! I would totally splurge on myself for Valentine’s Day and get a massage. I’m worth it! Since Valentine’s is on a Sunday, it might be tricky to get one on that day, but you could do it on a day around Valentine’s! My favorite place for a great massage is Shannon at Therapy Kneads. She is great! She doesn’t necessarily have the whole spa outside of the room, but once you’re in there you get transported to a peaceful and healing environment. If you want the whole spa experience, I’ve also enjoyed Sanctuary Spa.
Make Something in Cedar Rapids
The Iowa Ceramics Center is hosting a “Wheel Try It” class from 12 pm – 2 pm. You’ll need to register online and the class costs $35, but you’ll make 1-2 cups or bowls during the class. It’s all about learning how to actually work with the pottery wheel. The creations at the end are just a bonus!
Let’s face it, there’s a decent chance we’ll have snow on the ground on February 14th. If we don’t, I guess just skip this one, or save it for a day we do have snow. But, if we do have snow, then why don’t you give snowshoeing a try. I mean, what better thing to do than to prove to yourself that you can conquer something new! You can rent snowshoes at SOKO Outfitters with poles for the day for only $20.
There are plenty of places around the area you could visit to do some good snowshoeing. Wanatee Park (formerly Squaw Creek), Morgan Creek County Park, Lake MacBride State Park, Indian Creek Nature Center & Thomas Park. The guys from SOKO recommended these places, so you know they’ll be good because they know their outdoors!
Chocolate & Wine
I mean, what better pairing is there? When you visit the Ackerman Winery in Amana you can get their Chocolate & Wine Pairing Flights for just $10. You’ll have to reserve your spot for the 14th, but you can do that by calling 319-622-3379.
Hatchet Throwing in Cedar Rapids
There are so many reasons why this would be a great thing for a single girl to do on Valentine’s Day. One, throwing a hatchet is a great stress reliever! Two, you can picture someone when throwing (I don’t condone violence, but sometimes this helps you feel a little better). Three, there might be some cute guys there you can flirt with. 😉 And it’s just fun!
There are two places in Cedar Rapids that you can visit, but make sure to check out their websites beforehand to reserve your spot! Civil Axe Throwing is located downtown, and Hurling Hatchet is located on the northeast side near Butcher Block.
Feel the Speed
Head over to Speedeezz and take a few trips around the track! Their new location is a great place for you to let your hair down and feel the wind in it with two different track options. Who says guys have to do all the driving?
Adopt the New Love of Your Life
Okay, so this might take a little more planning and preparation but adopt, don’t shop! There are numerous rescues around the area that you can look at to adopt a dog or cat from. I’ve done work with Last Hope Animal Rescue, Cedar Valley Humane Society, and Cedar Valley Pit Bull Rescue. Check out their websites now and see where your heart takes you!
MAD Art Party
The night before Valentine’s you could celebrate by painting yourself something! Marti with MAD Art Parties provide the brushes, canvas, paints, easels, and local artists to help you create your masterpiece. You can bring a bottle of your favorite wine, or whatever else you would like to drink, and let those creative juices flow! They’ll have a design that everyone will use as an example, so just take those first brush strokes and go!
Support Non-Profits in Cedar Rapids
Giving is better than receiving, right? So why not use the day to donate to a local non-profit that is close to your heart? We’ve had so many wonderful organizations around the Cedar Rapids area for years, and unfortunately the tough year many of us had in 2020 was even harder for those non-profits.
HACAP has been very vital in helping feed people throughout the community not only throughout this pandemic but after the derecho hit. The Foundation 2 Crisis Line has seen a huge influx of users, especially after many people lost their jobs, and then had extreme storm damage. The Freedom Foundation is serving our veteran population with food boxes, temporary housing, financial assistance, and is providing a community for them. And finally, a cause I’m a little biased towards, the Freedom Festival! The festival had to cancel its activities in 2020, but have great plans to start bringing things back for 2021 if enough funding is secured.
Take Yourself Out to Eat
Food is delicious. I love it, don’t you? And there are some amazing restaurants around the Cedar Rapids area! You can either dine in (where available) or carry out and take it home to eat in your sweatpants. OR, you could do your own restaurant hop and plan different parts of your meal at different places! Need a recommendation on a restaurant? Here’s a list of some yummy ideas:
Lincoln Wine Bar
Cedar Ridge Winery
The Map Room
Lucky’s on 16th
Bistro 3 Nineteen
Black Sheep Social Club
Gianna’s Italian Beef
Oyoma Sushi & Steakhouse
You could also start your day off with breakfast somewhere:
Lucky’s on 16th
Highway 30 Diner
Bonus Treats Around Cedar Rapids
Apple Creek Coffee Co.
They’re actually closed on Sundays, but you could order & pickup ahead of time. You could order some delicious chocolate covered strawberries or a hot cocoa bomb. During the Christmas season they couldn’t make those cocoa bombs fast enough, everyone wanted and loved them! While you’re there, I would highly recommend you get one of their specialty shakes!
That One Cupcake Place
Again, they are closed on Sunday, but you can place an order and pick it up so you’re all set at home. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of their cupcakes, but some of my favorites are Oh So Dough, Hot Cocoa, Dirty Worms, Cotton Candy & Pink Champagne.
You could just stop in on Sunday and see what they have on hand, but I’d recommend you order ahead! Their candies/truffles are delicious! You can get a mixed box and try them all! Or you could get some of their shot cups (made out of chocolate) and use them to sip on some Bailey’s or Kahlua at home.
Now, even though this is listed as the single girls’ guide, you don’t necessarily need to do these things by yourself. You could get together with some of your girlfriends or with your significant other. There is so much to do and see around Cedar Rapids, take advantage of the day and do something you’ve always wanted to do! How are you going to spend Valentine’s?
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