Date ideas to impress

By JT Cummings, Staff Writer

Want a better Valentine’s Day than a sappy movie during open dorms and Sodexo for dinner? Check out these Valentine’s Day dates that are sure to woo even the most unimpressed of people. This year, do the romance right.

Photo-Scavenger Hunt

What is a barn quilt? Few Olivet students know that Kankakee County is known for its barn quilts. A barn quilt is a painted quilt hung on a barn for decoration, simple as that. Collect these barn quilts with a date by drawing them in a journal and captioning them with lyrics to your favorite love song. Don’t forget to bundle up and bring a thermos of hot chocolate because it’s cold out there! To plan your adventure, find a map of the 50 barn quilts of Kankakee County in Benner Library.

Cost: Free
Contact: Kankakee County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1.800.747.4837

Polar Plunge

Reenact the Titanic and take the polar plunge with your valentine this year at Haigh Quarry. For those with adventurous hearts, Haigh Quarry is offering an ice dive on Feb. 21-22. For the faint of spirit, diving season opens in April on weekends only adding weekdays in May on through the summer months. Self-proclaimed the “Caribbean of the Midwest,” divers can experience life underwater and see many types of fish as well as sunken trucks and tractors.

Cost: Prices vary depending on certification requirements
Contact: 1.815.939.7797 or visit

Paint Date

Feed Arts & Cultural Center located in downtown Kankakee is having a Valentine’s Day painting session for couples. Providing all the materials needed to create true “heart art” including canvases, paints, and collaging materials. Feed offers different exhibitions and events year round, check them out! Visit their website and click the calendar tab for more upcoming events. Before your date stop at Johnny’s Pizza right next door for an Valentine’s dinner sure to satisfy.

Cost: $10 in advanced, $12 at the door
Contact: Feed Arts & Cultural Center at 1.815.496.0278 or Johnny’s Pizza at 1.815.939.2333

Sweetie Skate

Stop by The Pie Layde and split a scrumptious mid-afternoon treat just before making your way over to Ice Valley’s Sweetie Skate on Saturday Feb. 14 from 1-3 p.m. The Pie Layde’s Valentine’s Day special will be chocolate chess pie, an intense chocolaty brownie-like pie sure to fulfill the lover’s palate. The Pie Layde also offers soup, sandwiches, and quiche for those not so keen to sweets.

Cost: Pie by the Slice $3.50 — Ice Valle General Admission $6, Skate Rentals $3 Contact: Ice Valley at 1.815.939.1946 or visit
The Pie Layde 1.815.939.7437

Winter Picnic

Time to put on your heavy parka and mittens! What better way to woo a date than a picnic in the snow? Make your way over the Kankakee River State Park via Illinois Route 102, take the main entrance into the park. Park in the first lot and make your way over to one of the various lookouts built for romantic river gazers. Be sure to bring a waterproof tarp to put under your blanket or sleeping bag, plenty of hand warmers, a large thermos of hot cocoa, some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, a warm blanket to share, and a guitar or your favorite book of poems. Assemble and enjoy.

Cost: $10 for cookies and hot cocoa
Contact: Kankakee River State Park at 1-(815) 933-1383 or visit

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