The answer to where to go and what to do with your date while you’re learning about each other, from Fun & Creative Dates for Dating Couples: 52 Ways to Have Fun Together by Howard Books.
Indulge Your Inner Child
Step back to a simpler time and enjoy some of those activities you most liked doing as a child. Go to a park and play on the playground. For dinner, head to the Golden Arches. Order your childhood favorites, and why not treat yourselves to dessert too! After dinner, it’s off to the toy store to pick out some of the games and toys you enjoyed when you were little — jacks, hula hoops, a Chinese jump rope, building blocks. Buy a few, and then go home and spend the rest of the evening playing and watching cartoons.
- $-$$ This date shouldn’t break the bank, but that all depends on how carried away you get at the toy store!
Over the Top
- Take a look at some old pictures or videos of each of you as children to add to the evening’s nostalgia.
- Visit an antique or collectors’ store and see if you can find your favorite toys, just as you remember them.
- Key search words: toys, vintage toys, parks, cartoons
Take a Float Trip
Fasten your life vest and plunge into a watery adventure. Find a river nearby that is good for floating and rent a canoe, raft, or kayak for the day. If you’re new to floating, make sure the river you choose is beginner friendly and that the establishment you rent your vessel from emphasizes safety. Most rental stores will also offer a ride back to your car when you’re finished. Spend the day exploring, enjoying the water, and taking in the fresh air of the great outdoors.
- $$ It’s a good idea to check and compare rental rates.
What to Take
- Sunglasses (preferably with straps) and sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- A small first-aid kit
- Plenty of bottled water
- Life vests
- Shoes that fasten tightly on your feet
- Snacks or a picnic lunch
- A waterproof disposable camera
- A watertight container that floats to protect your supplies if your vessel should capsize
Over the Top
- Take a kayaking or whitewater rafting safety course together, and then head out for a thrilling adventure. Or go on a guided whitewater rafting adventure designed for beginners.
- Purchase your own canoe, kayaks, or raft so you can go floating often.
Create a Furry Friend
Find a store near you where you can build your own stuffed animal, and take your loved one there to create a loveable new friend together. First, pick your animal. There are usually lots to choose from. Then add a sound if you wish. Many of these stores even have a voice box on which you can record your own personal message for the animal to “say.”
Next, you’ll stuff your animal and name it. See if you can pick a name that has something to do with your relationship. For example, you could name it after the restaurant you went to on your first date, a movie character from a movie you saw together, or a pet name you have for each other. After your new friend has a name, have fun picking out clothes to dress him or her in.
If you enjoy this activity, go back again sometime and make another friend so you’ll each have someone to cuddle with when you’re apart.
- $$ If budget is a concern, you may want to agree on a set amount you’ll spend beforehand, since it can be easy to get a little carried away. Keep in mind that, if you take your time and enjoy the process, you’ll not only get a new furry friend but a full evening of memorable entertainment as well.
Over the Top
- Volunteer together to help out at an animal shelter or at the zoo for a day, and gain some new, real furry friends.
- Visit buildabear.com for information about the original build-your-own stuffed animal stores, as well as to find a location near you.
Get Fired Up!
For a fun way to express your creativity, try your hand at painting ceramics. You should be able to find a paint-your-own-pottery studio near you. These studios offer a wide selection of ceramics and pottery pieces for you to choose from. You could paint a decorative item for each of your houses or apartments or something with both form and function, like salt and pepper shakers. Or you could each paint a plate to use anytime you dine in together. After you’ve chosen your piece, you can use the studio’s paints, glazes, and other supplies to complete your masterpieces. Most pieces will then need to be left at the studio to be fired in the kiln. Plan to get together again later in the week to pick up and admire your finished artwork.
- $-$$ Cost will depend upon the pieces you choose. Most studios also charge a small fee for the use of their supplies.
Over the Top
- If you’re really feeling creative, try taking a pottery class together so you can learn how to do the whole process, from creating a pottery piece from clay to firing it in a kiln, to painting or glazing it.
- Key search words: paint your own pottery, pottery studios, pottery classes, ceramics
For a fun and relaxing night in, don some comfy clothes, pull out some snack foods, and challenge each other at your favorite board or card games. Who will be the first to arrive at millionaire acres? Which one of you will be the first to put the clues together to find out who did it, with what, and where? Is there a “card shark” in the house? Can you keep your right hand on the red dot, your left foot on the green dot, and your right foot on the yellow dot while reaching over your sweetheart to touch the blue dot with your left hand? Pick several shorter games, or immerse yourself in a longer game you both enjoy.
$ Unless you decide to buy a new game or stock up on snack foods, this date won’t cost a dime!
Over the Top
- Have a trophy made for the winner, or buy some other prize for the champion of the night.
- Go to the store and pick out a new game you’ve never tried before.
Go to a Theme Park
What could be more fun and thrilling than zooming into the air and then plummeting down at breakneck speeds on your favorite roller coaster? Spin, loop, fly, and bounce your way to a great date at a nearby theme park. After you’ve ridden a few rides, take a break and enjoy some of the in-park entertainment.
Talk about which rides were your favorites when you were a child, and enjoy some snacks while discussing it. While you’re there, dare each other to try a ride you’ve never been on before — one that maybe you’ve been a little afraid of. If the park offers one, stick around after dark for the light show or fireworks display to top off your exciting day.
- $$ Since there is a wide range of admission prices for theme parks, check rates before you make plans.
Over the Top
- Visit one of these top-rated theme parks in the United States: Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Legoland, Busch Gardens, or Universal Studios.
- Try out one of these top-rated European parks: Port Aventura in Barcelona, Chessington or Thorpe Park in London.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Perhaps best known for its gift-book division and bestselling Hugs series (selling over ten million), Howard Books has other numerous successes to its credit, including New York Times #1 bestseller Mistaken Identity and Rick Warren’s The Purpose of Christmas. Howard also published Fun & Creative Dates for Dating Couples — 52 Ways to Have Fun Together (© 2008 by DaveBordon and Associates, LLC).
- See the Table of Contents for Fun & Creative Dates for Dating Couples: 52 Ways to Have Fun Together
- Learn more about the book