This article originally appeared in our January/February 2023 edition of Local Profile.
Browse the whole issue to make sure you start the new year on the right foot by checking the 23 things to make 2023 the best year ever. Keep your New Year’s resolutions on track and take a look at what local leaders do to be the best at home, at work and in the community.
If you feel like a fancy dinner, a nice bottle of wine and roses won’t do it for you this year, be at ease — lucky for you there is much more to do in Collin County. Take a look at our favorite picks for an unforgettable Valentine’s date and choose your own romantic adventure.
Thunderbird Roller Rink
Don’t stop or drop — just roll down to Thunderbird Rink! The family-owned roller skating venue has been in Plano for over five decades. They offer beginner lessons every Saturday that include entry to their afternoon free-skate sessions. But if you’d rather leave the skates to the pros, watching a roller derby over there is just as rewarding.
A county that averages over 230 days of sunshine per year makes picnic dates a no-brainer. But lugging picnic essentials around and cleaning up afterward might not be the most romantic part. Enter the Picnic Squad: they’ll supply your setup with cushions, wooden tables, plates, decorations, water and hand sanitizer. They’ve got charcuterie boards, donuts, nonalcoholic beverages and something for your pups. Ten percent of their sales are donated to causes such as animal rescues and cancer organizations.
Painting with a Twist
Sip on wine and follow your instructor’s lead as you brush up on your painting skills and figure out who between you and your partner is the true visionary. Choose from recreating sunsets, stylizing funky llamas or even challenging yourself by painting a portrait of your pet.
Yearning for a three-course French meal? Love the taste of macarons but want to know what goes into making them? My French Recipe cooking classes will place you in a group of other chefs and have you cooking favorites. It’s a date that’s fun and practical and will satisfy your appetite all in one.
Stumpy’s Hatchet House
Chucking an axe at a wall sounds like the kind of romance you’d find in The Shining, but fear not: this is purely for sport. Grab some food and drinks (but maybe save the alcohol for after?) and decide on your style of play, from standard rules to hitting specific marks in a certain order around the board. If you’re a newbie, they’ve got plenty of coaches on site to walk you through the process and ensure that everyone leaves with limbs intact.
Little Wooden Penguin
Is this date a hole-in-one or an all-in-one? Enjoy an 18-hole putting course while drinking handcrafted cocktails and checking out the food trucks. They even hold workshops that teach you how to make your own charcuterie boards, t-shirts and signs. If you’d rather not DIY a keepsake, stop by their home decor shop on your way out for farmhouse and industrial-style pieces.
Any vineyard that offers s’mores by the fire is an automatic yes, but BarnHill goes the extra mile by hosting tribute and cover bands on the weekend, which makes them a one-stop destination for date night. Rent a fire pit for those chilly evenings and get familiarized with the local wine scene at one of their “Sip & Shop” nights, at which you can find a selection of Texas wine and local vendors.
Red Door Escape Room
Red Door Escape in Plano offers an intricate set of staged rooms from alien encounters to lost ruins in the jungle. Each experience varies in difficulty level and presents riddles that require a mix of perspectives to decode.
“We want our customers to successfully decipher the codes and complete the challenges,” said CEO Nick Madden. “But more importantly, we want them to talk and laugh about it all the way home.”