Thursday, December 2, 2021

Avoid clichés by embracing alternative Valentine’s Day ideas, gifts

February 10, 2011

There are 192 million Valentine’s Day cards exchanged annually. And although cards can be a nice touch to give that special someone, the statistic from is a reminder that Valentine’s Day can be predictable. This Valentine’s Day weekend, spice it up and check out what the East Lansing area has to offer you, your friends and your other half.


1. Traditional tea party

The first Valentine’s Afternoon Wellness Tea will celebrate the holiday with two seatings at noon and 3 p.m Sunday at Wanderer’s Tea House & Café, 547 E. Grand River Ave. An afternoon at the tea house will offer a cozy, alternative Valentine’s lunch away from the overhyped and overcrowded Italian restaurants we’ve grown to associate with the holiday.

Guests can sit down to tea sandwiches, scones and desserts, as well as an endless amount of specially blended Valentine tea, while enjoying live music.

Elizabeth Marazita, co-owner of Wanderer’s Tea House & Café, said the event isn’t just for lovebirds.

“It’s focus is to bring out individual groups — mothers and daughters, fathers and sons,” Marazita said. “It doesn’t need to be a sweetheart.”

For reservations, contact Marazita at

2. Green means go

If a tea party isn’t your cup of tea, Spiral Video and Dance Bar, 1247 Center St., in Lansing, might be more up your alley.

At the video and dance bar, visitors can take part in Saturday’s Valentine’s Day Stop Light Party, where the color of your shirt tells your relationship status.

Students can wear red if they’re taken, yellow if they’re in a complicated relationship or green if they’re single.

For more information, visit

3. A chilly horseback ride

Even with temperatures well below zero degrees, students brave enough to battle the cold can spend an afternoon with a special someone by taking horseback riding lessons, offered by Nottingham Equestrian Center, 16848 Towar Ave.

Cheryl Connell-Marsh, owner and trainer at the center, said an afternoon spent on horseback in a winter wonderland might be the perfect romantic fit.

“Most guys just give chocolates or flowers, but what most girls would love is a ride on a horse,” Connell-Marsh said.

For more information, visit


1. More than chocolate

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No one can resist chocolate-covered fruit.

And that’s why a gift from Edible Arrangements, 300 N. Clippert St., Suite 11, in Lansing, might be the best way to convey you care.

This weekend, chocolate lovers don’t have to feel guilty — if they order from Edible Arrangements, the chocolate will come with handfuls of fruit.

Megan Beck, a manager at Edible Arrangements, said the business does especially well during Valentine’s Day — about 15 times better — because it comes down to what women really want.

“(We’re unique) because you can’t eat flowers,” Beck said. “(Chocolates are) easier. It’s an alternative and we have chocolate-covered strawberries — every woman loves that.”

2. A personal touch

This holiday is all about celebrating a couple’s unique love — something that can’t be captured by a generic greeting card.

Get personal this Valentine’s Day with a screen shot. With Facebook and Twitter playing important roles in students’ lives, revisit hilarious comments, statuses and tweets by searching back in your social website history and capture the moment with screen shots. Print off the inside jokes and messages and incorporate them in a homemade card.

3. A singing gram

Even if you can’t land a role in “Glee,” there is a romantic way to express your love in a song.
Get a group of your best girl or guy friends to help you out. Fill them in on your special someone’s favorite song and have them pay a surprise visit to your better half. After the performance, appear with a dozen roses or a box of chocolates — and don’t forget a smile to show you meant every lyric.


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