That snuck up on us! Valentine's Day is 9 days away. Sure, you could go the traditional route this year. Dinner, a movie, roses and chocolates. But why not try something unique? Cedar Rapids is home to several out-of-the box ideas for a great date night experience. Even if you're single, you can get in on some of these, too, and who knows, you might come away with more than you expected!

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    Escape Room

    Fun for singles, couples and groups, there are multiple places in Cedar Rapids to take part in this fun new interactive mystery game that makes the perfect Valentine's date night. Here are a few we found:

    Learn more by clicking on their links

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    Penguins Comedy Club in downtown Cedar Rapids is not just professional stand-up comedy. Every Wednesday they have free "open mic nights".

    • Thursday, February 14th (Valentine's Night!) is the next round of local talent performing at the "Improv Incubator". $5 admission will get you into a night of three improv shows. (This event was postponed from February 7th due to weather.)
    • Comedian Heywood Banks takes the stage February 8/9 ($23 advance/$25 at the door)
    • Hal Sparks ($18/$20) performs the following weekend, February 15/16.

    Visit Penguins website for more details.

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    We get it. The action-packed sport of hockey doesn't scream romance at first, but we're thinking non-traditional here. Check out the upcoming schedule of our Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and make your plans now.

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    "The Full Monty" continues through Feb. 10 and "Shakespeare In Love" is the next show, starting March 8  at Theatre Cedar Rapids. It's again starting a few weeks after Valentine's Day, but this list is about being the exact opposite of traditional. Plus, the show itself is about love inspiring creativity. What's more romantic than that? Get show details here.

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    Hot Air Ballooning

    Or if you REALLY want to get off the beaten path for Valentine's Day, bundle up and book a hot air balloon ride! Check with Buzzard's Glory in Cedar Rapids or Balloon Travels Unlimited in Marion for reservations.

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    The Cedar Rapids Beer Summit is a couple weeks AFTER Valentine's Day but it could be a great way to get together with that special someone for a date night. You have your choice of two sessions to sample over 100 craft beers and be entertained by local music. Get the latest event news and ticket information here.