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5 last-minute, budget-friendly Valentine’s Day adventures in Dayton

If you’re tight on time to figure out what to do with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, look no further than the great outdoors for inspiration.  

>> Events to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Dayton

Opting for an experience instead of the standard movie date can often be more enjoyable and affordable -- so go on a MetroParks adventure this Valentine’s Day. 

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Sweetheart Skate: The ice rink at RiverScape MetroPark hosts the ultimate couple skate this Valentine’s Day. Snag two rink admissions, skate rentals and cups of hot chocolate, and a box of chocolates for you and your sweetie to share, all for $20. The outdoor rink boasts beautiful views of the Great Miami River, a perfect place for you and your date to have a fun, romantic evening before grabbing dinner downtown. The Sweetheart Skate deal is available on Wednesday, Feb. 14 during regular business hours. Learn more about the MetroParks Ice Rink.
>> Lace up your skates: There’s lots of fun to be had at MetroParks IceRink

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There are plenty of winter hikes to take with a friend or loved one. Germantown MetroPark is pictured. PHOTO / Jan Underwood for Five Rivers Metroparks

Take to the trails: For some free date night fun, layer up and head to your favorite MetroPark for an evening hike. If you aren’t familiar with MetroParks, here are a few suggestions:

- Watch the sun set with your valentine from the high view in Twin Creek MetroPark.

- Hike through the amazing Osage Orange tree tunnel at Sugarcreek MetroPark

- If the weather is cold enough, you can take your date to check out the beautiful frozen waterfalls in Englewood MetroPark

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Stargazing with your sweetheart: If the sky is clear, consider taking stargazing with your sweetie at Germantown MetroPark. The lack of light pollution at Germantown MetroPark allows for you to see the sky more clearly. Cuddle up with your sweetheart, grab a telescope and see if you can spot a shooting star. Please note: park hours must be observed. 

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Animal Lovers: If your significant other adores animals, consider a trip to Carriage Hill MetroPark to see a variety of animals that would have been staples on a farm in the 1880s, including chickens, cows and more. The Riding Center at Carriage Hill MetroPark is home to more than 20 horses that visitors can stop in to meet. 

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For additional farm animal fun, visit Possum Creek MetroPark to learn about the farm-to-table movement and get up close to farm animals, from turkeys and rabbits to baby goats. After your farm adventures, take to the trails to see the remnants of the bygone Argonne Forest, where sweethearts, families and friends went to have outdoor fun during the 1920s. 

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Ice skating at RiverScape MetroPark is a great, low-budget way to celebrate Valentine's Day. PHOTO / Jan Underwood for Five Rivers Metroparks

Sweet Saturday: If your schedule doesn’t allow you to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Wednesday, wait until the weekend and surprise your sweetheart with a Guided Maple Sugaring Tour at Carriage Hill MetroPark on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. During the tour, guides will demonstrate the maple sugaring process, while visitors learn about the various tools and techniques used to collect the sap. 

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After your adventure, treat your significant other to breakfast for dinner and you’ll have a new appreciation for the maple syrup on top of your pancakes. 

Learn more about all the adventures you can plan with your Valentine at www.metroparks.org

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