Date night: two simple words that encompass a wide spectrum of possibilities. First dates can be stressful and awkward. When you get deeper into a relationship, you may discover you're doing the same thing every week, like dinner and a movie. But whether you're all brand new or an established couple, here's a chance to mix things up and plan a few non-traditional date nights.
A little competition can add spice to a night out: especially if you pair a little flirting with your activity – or team up against another couple.
Grab a shotgun for a little trap or skeet – or if you're up to a challenge, a round of sporting clays. It won't matter if you're a novice, it's still a lot of fun. l once had a shooting instructor tell me that women are naturally better shots than men, so here's your chance to see if he was right.
Channel your inner Viking with a little ax throwing. It's a hot new sport and – at least in my case – an activity guaranteed to generate lots of laughter.
If you're in the Branson area and are both the adventurous sort, check out Fritz's Adventure for an outdoor skydiving experience without a plane during the season or wall climbing and rappelling year-round at their indoor course.
Take a tour: Missouri's wineries have wine trails and organized wine and food events. Or if your taste runs to the supernatural, ghost tours are the perfect excuse to stay close. Check Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, St. Charles Ghost Tours, Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours and – of course – the one at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City.
Dating is a year-round activity, so take the season into consideration. A bike ride – maybe even rent a tandem bike – on the Katy Trail, with a stop at a trailside winery, is an ideal option for spring and fall.
In winter, ice skating followed by a hot toddy is perfect for anyone who can stay upright on skates (that would not be me, but the drink sounds great) and offers an opportunity for a little cuddling against the cold.
Take a class together, like learning to make sausage or bacon at Wurst Haus in Hermann or choose from the variety of classes offered at Kitchen Conservatory in St. Louis. And trust me, you don't have to have an ounce of talent to end up with a nifty painting, glass piece, ceramic tile or piece of pottery. Just pair up for a fun do-it-yourself art adventure. Some of them even come with adult beverages! Here are just a few possibilities:
And if you're ready for a weekend getaway, make it something special by stepping up from a standard hotel. Stay in a treehouse, log cabin or yurt or go glamping in a luxury tent. Check out our recent Missouri Official Travel Guide story (starting on page 34) on this very topic.
The best part of all about planning a non-traditional date night? You can still pair it with a fabulous meal at one of the Show-Me State's incredible restaurants. Just think outside the usual boxes and make the night memorable for the both of you! Enjoy your date!
Written by Barb Brueggeman