As a wedding present I dug deep into our little community for date ideas, picked my favorite and gave one date a month for an entire year. I was excited by what I found and thought I would share my top ten favorite ideas. Perhaps one of this might strike your fancy this upcoming Valentine's Day or you could create 12 dates for you and your spouse as a gift for Valentine’s Day!
- During the month of December, grab a hot drink of choice and complete a holiday light scavenger hunt. Some ideas for the scavenger hunt were more obvious, like a nativity scene or snowman, but some required more hunting like giant ornaments or a twinkling wreath (if you simply Google “Christmas light scavenger hunt” you will find lots and lots and lots of ideas). To end the night, go to a thrift store or dollar store with $5 in hand and pick a gift for your spouse. The more creative the better! If you like this idea and want to do something similar for Valentine’s Day, do a scavenger hunt to see how many homes still have their Christmas lights up! I wonder how many you will find? You could still end the night with a gift! This might be a better date for those couples who do not enjoy the crowds of people in a restaurant.
- My husband and I love hiking together. We love the exercise, the gorgeous views, the picture opportunities, the conversation… it is one of our favorite activities together. During the winter months we enjoy snowshoeing. When I saw that the state of Nebraska has an entire week dedicated to wildflowers and that our little town does wildflower hikes through local ranch property, I was super excited. Grab a camera, sport those lovely hiking shoes, grab your spouse’s hand and enjoy a few hours of God’s beautiful creation. Even the flatlands of the Oklahoma Panhandle can offer beauty as you walk through a field admiring the panorama sunset. God made everything, find the beauty in it no matter where you are.
- A group date that wildly appealed to me was a paintball war. It is a bit on the pricey side, but sometimes the memories and the laughter far outweigh the money spent.
- Another pricey event that I thought would be wonderful is attending an orchestra performance (or any musical event for that matter). And if our small town of 2,500 people has a community concert association that brings in some pretty fantastic artists, then I have no doubt with a little searching you could find the same. It may not be a string orchestra, but I thoroughly enjoyed the folk band we watched the last time we went, so much so we did not leave without a few of their c.d.’s. Call me a nerd for being part of the concert bands from 5th grade on up to a junior in college, but as a result, music speaks to my soul. So dressing up and enjoying the beauty of music with my hubby sounds like a delightful way to spend an evening.
- Choose a sporting event where you draw sticks to determine which team you are going to cheer on, dressing to the occasion. We love sports, but know very little about hockey, so the semi-pro team 45 minutes away would be a perfect place to try this date! Before the game agree upon what the loser must do.
- Try geocaching. The idea of going on a treasure hunt appeals to me on so many levels!
- Dance lessons. Oh man, I have two left feet and my poor husband is an excellent dancer. I would LOVE to learn how to ballroom dance, or even swing dance, and look elegant alongside my better half.
- Visit a museum. Every community has history and I have never, ever found it boring. Plus Kyle and I have the most wonderful conversations as we read stories and learn about people and events from long ago.
- Go to a bookstore with a coffee in hand, completing a book scavenger hunt and also leaving a note in the pages of a future reader. Walk away with a book picked by your spouse as one he/she thought you would enjoy. Or pick a book to read together. Either way, you will have so much to talk about.
- “Sleep” under the stars one summer night (or if you are brave, a night in February, it would require more cuddling up, haha). My husband has a truck and we have some friends who own a ranch with a perfect spot to park, set up camp in the back of his truck and enjoy a night under the stars. I would like to plan this one on a night when a meteor shower is expected. Pack some wine, snacks, a blow up mattress, sleeping bags, flashlights, and enjoy a night outdoors, under the stars. And this is the only night I would encourage technology. Bring your smart phone with the star constellation map app already downloaded. Doesn’t this sound like a night full of wonderful possibilities? If you agree, find a way to make it happen!
Plus one: Enjoy an afternoon at a shooting range! My husband loves hunting and guns and I enjoy letting him teach me about something he enjoys. I also know someone who owns all the stuff required to go skeet shooting, I found I was pretty good at that and had a blast!
When I was planning 12 dates, I searched locally for events and activities to support the people who work hard to make their community a fun-filled, enjoyable place to live. I was super surprised at what I found. Don't limit your possibilities just because of your location. Start with your chamber office or city website and go from there. In the process of creating memories with your spouse, you’ll find new friends and learn a great deal about where you live in the process.