Analog dating in a digital world


The Grower’s list of five fun ways to meet people

In the modern quest to find romance, many singles have shifted to dating digitally. If you’re familiar with the virtual courtship dance, then you know how frustrating it can be. From choosing the least creepy dating site, to cleverly filling out questionnaires, and deciphering the intention of emoji-ridden messages from strangers, the whole process can be downright defeating. And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you might be feeling the added pressure to score a date, or plan the perfect night out with a loved one.

Well, stress no more. We’ve rounded up five unique events to extinguish the pressures of online dating and spark up some adventurous fun.

Pet Lovers Mixer

February 9 • 6pm–8:30pm • Bad Weather Brewing • Free, suggested $10 donation


Photo via Bad Weather Facebook page

Love is being unleashed at Bad Weather Brewing for a Pet Lovers Mixer with Animal Ark, Minnesota’s largest no-kill animal shelter. Mingle with other animal lovers, see bios and photos of animals available for adoption (and drink beer, of course). Even if you don’t make a match, you might not leave empty-handed—there will be several door prizes for those who make a donation to the event.

Light snacks and delectable desserts will be provided, but if you want something heartier, Sandy’s Grill food truck will be on the premise. Not only that, but music will be playing to add ambiance and for the singles to move and groove to. All donations for the event will go directly toward the care of the animals at Animal Ark. So trek on over to Bad Weather… you never know, you might find some “puppy love.” Learn more here.

Valentine’s Day Hot Metal Pour

February 11 • 12pm–5pm • Franconia Sculpture Park • Free


Fire up the romance in Shafer, Minnesota, for it’s the Valentine’s Day Hot Metal Pour. While workshops were held for people to create molds beforehand, all are welcomed to partake in an invigorating day of fire and ice. So bring your sweetie or potential sweetheart to the free event, cozy up next to the bonfire, and witness artists pouring molten iron into prepared molds. But wait, there’s even more warmth to be shared, as new to this year will be Nordic Waffles serving up waffles, coffee, and hot chocolate. Learn more here.

Valentine’s Day at Vertical Endeavors

February 14 • 8am-10pm • Various Vertical Endeavors • Buy one full day pass and get the second free. If you’re a member, you can bring a guest for free.

Photo via Vertical Endeavor’s Facebook page

Climb your way into someone’s heart this year at Vertical Endeavors, for they’re having a Valentine’s Day BOGO. If you buy one full-day pass, you get one for free—a perfect opportunity to meet a fellow thrill seeker. Or if you’re already a member, you can bring a date or your best climbing buddy for free. Rock climbing is a great trust-building activity, and who knows, you could fall for someone along the way. Besides, what’s romance without a little adventure? Learn more here.

Victorian Poetry Slam

February 14 • 7pm-8pm • James J. Hill House • $12, $10 for MNHS members

Photo via James J. Hill House’s Facebook page

We live in a digitized dating era: heart emojis, Tinder, Facebook relationship statuses. Let’s go back to simpler times, shall we? Celebrate St. Valentine’s Day the old-fashioned way by sitting back and enjoying 19th century poetry. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson, and Ann Daly—donned in 1890s evening wear—will perform an array of humorous and rousing poems by the all-time classics: Dickinson, Poe, Longfellow, Browning, and more. Topics ranging from love, romance, temperance, sports, and war will ignite the night. And you and your darling are invited to bring a short Victorian-era poem to recite aloud. Learn more here.

Chair Lift Speed Dating–Find Your Love on the Lift

February 19 • 3pm-6pm • Afton Alps • $30

Photo via Afton Alps’ Facebook page

Looking for that special someone who enjoys the great outdoors? If you’re a skier or snowboarder, this may be your ticket to love. At the event, shredders can ride the lift up with other singles, paired by the aid and expertise of LUMA—Luxury Matchmaking. If you’re feeling a connection, ski down the hill, make additional runs together, or go inside for a drink. If the encounter was ice cold, LUMA will match you up with a different rider. The speed dating will occur 3-5pm, with each ride earning you an additional raffle ticket, giving you the chance to win prizes during the social hour. Learn more here.

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