With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us are scrambling to make the plans, arrange the flowers, get the chocolates, find the right card, make the reservations. But why should it be just this occasion that we do something special?
This week’s list comes from the mind of a tried-and-true patron of the long-term relationship. We try to have a date night at least once a week, and while hitting the regular restaurants and watering holes is always a valid option, they do get tiresome.
So here are a few unique ideas - local and fairly inexpensive - to get you started on establishing a routine date night:
1. Quiet Dinner Out – This one is for the couple who’s been to the same restaurant, sat at the same table, and ordered the same thing week after week.
Living in a quiet little burg means that there’s all kinds of quiet little places, and I’m always surprised at the number of people who resign themselves to the same restaurants without even knowing there are so many unexplored options.
Pictured here is , a small pizza parlor just off the circle in Nazareth. Nice atmosphere? Check. Good food? Check. Who says dining out has to be an ordeal? Check out our directory for plenty more options right in town.
2. The Movies – Seems like an obvious one, right? However, studies show there is a direct correlation between getting older and going to the movies less. Actually, I’m not sure if that’s true or not, but be honest; when was the last time you went to the theater?
I know what you’re thinking- “But it’s so expensive!” Compared to renting a movie, maybe it is. But for a date night, we’re talking twenty bucks for two. Quit griping. This is 2011, people.
Pictured here is our own local theater, at Northampton Crossings. If your taste in movies is a little different than your partner’s, then take a chance. Let them pick the movie this time, and you get dibs next. Relationships are about compromise!
3. Pool Hall – I had to include this one if for no other reason than it’s unique, and fun, and few people consider it.
Just down the road from Nazareth is on Sullivan Trail in Forks Township. Five bucks gets you an hour of play per person. There’s no smoking, no drinking, and the place is generally quiet. Usually there’s music or a game on the television.
Who cares if you can’t make a masse shot? It’s a game. Make a friendly wager and chalk up a cue.
4. A Walk in the Park – Easy as a walk in the… you get it. The idea here? It’s free and fun and full of fresh air. There are several trails at to traverse. Also the has a lovely nature trail that circles the fields.
Take a nice long walk, skip some stones in a creek. Have a real conversation, rather than watching other people have conversations on TV.
Word on the street is the temperatures will reach 50+ in the coming days! That's spring weather here in Pennsylvania!
5. Grocery Shopping – Once upon a time, I wrote for a dating site, and people were often confused at this suggestion. Once I explained it, they loved it.
For newer couples it’s the fast-track to learning your partner’s tastes. For the experienced pair, it makes shopping much less of a chore. How to make this a date? Two ways.
Pick something up that neither of you have ever tried before, and give it a go together. Or, break the rules and shop hungry. Pick up a few extra snacks. Cheat on your diet for a night.
Pictured is in Nazareth. There’s also , just up the road. Both stores are equipped with a Redbox; vend yourselves a movie on the way out for post-shopping enjoyment and share a box of fudge-striped cookies or a bag of popcorn.
That’s what I’d do.