The night was crisp and cold, the kind of night that makes you glad you wore an extra pair of socks especially when slipping your feet into skates.
We laced up and hit the ice, hand in hand. I know I smiled like a Cheshire cat for most of the evening. We glided along for awhile, just holding hands and keeping pace. Occasionally looking over at each other and saying “isn’t this SO nice?”
We took some pictures and then split up. Our legs remembering how to skate backwards and do crossovers from years ago. We shared memories of how and when we learned to skate and went for a couple more laps around the oval before finding a cozy cafe with hot cider to warm up.
It was one of my favourite date nights this year.
We’ve sat down at the beginning of each month to plot out our goals and that includes scheduling our date nights.We plan two dates out and two dates in each month, tweaking it according to needs and budget. It’s kept things fresh and fun and has actually inspired a whole section of our 30 before 30 bucket list.
For most of our marriage we’ve stayed in the safe zone of date nights with dinner out or a movie or a coffee shop. Call it parents of small children fog but I didn’t really think out of the box for these evenings together until this winter. It may be due to the fact that my children are old enough to sleep consistently and don’t cry every time I leave.
As long as there’s ice on the Oval in Halifax, we’ll be there. But I’m not sad (at all!) about the warmer temperatures coming because we have a whole list of super fun, out of the box date night ideas for the rest of the year.
Lucky you, we’ve done all the brainstorming. Book your babysitter and choose your own fun adventure!
Date Night Out
Swimming – no one needs to watch the children; so swim, soak in the hot tub and do the slides if that’s your thing.
Skating- whether it’s an indoor or outdoor rink; this can be a super fun and active date. Warm up after with hot cider or mulled wine.
Skiing or Snowshoeing- Nova Scotia has one ski hill in the province and while it’s not the mountains I grew up around, it’s still a ski hill. We’re going to try to make it there while the snow lasts.
Rent bikes along the harbourfront or wherever your city has them – I have always wanted to do this and it’s a fun way to play tourist in your own town.
Rock Wall Climbing- out of the box? Totally! I’ve never been but I think it could be super fun and relationship building.
Kayaking/Canoeing- obviously this one requires a little bit of forethought and planning, it’s our list for the year so it may be a date afternoon.
Airport Date- we’re travel junkies so this may only appeal to us but head to the airport, find a good vantage point (with a good drink) and watch the people. Make up stories about them or get lost in your own travel memories.
Live Theatre – this is something we’ve never really done together but we found a play to see and it will be so great! Check out local theatres or high schools, some of my favourite dramas were by high school students.
Sports Event – neither of us is a big sports person and we’ve only been to one football game together but we’re going to find something to go to and make it an event.
Ethnic Food Hop Night – some of these are tailored for us and this is one of them. We’re going to try as many different types of ethnic food in one evening, small portions and plenty of sharing bites.
Of course some nights we’ll stay in and we’ve learned the secret to making those nights special- plan an intentional evening together.
Date Night In
Indoor picnic – get some nice cheese, bread, a good bottle of wine, charcuterie and a picnic blanket. Birdsong soundtrack, optional.
Foreign Film night- pick a couple foreign films, and order takeout from that country of origin. We did this with Indian food and film and it’s super fun!
Games night- we’ve played the NewlyWed game and a couple other ‘get to know’ you games. It’s fun and sparks good conversation.
Make dinner together – put the children to bed and make a special dinner together. Simple and classic.
Music video night - pick your favourites off Youtube or just watch a concert. Coldplay? Yes. Please.
And now, I’d love to hear how you keep your date nights fresh and what out of the box ideas you’ve come up with!