My husband and I always promised each other before we were married that we would continue to date after we tied the knot. Our dates quickly went from bike rides around the city to sitting next to each other and reading our own books at Barnes and Noble. Don’t get me wrong, as a mom of three sitting next to my husband at Barnes and Noble and reading a book silently sounds pretty delightful, but after 8 years of marriage we have learned that we need to be intentional on our date nights.
We connect best when we are active. We love going to dinner and getting to sit face to face and talk about life, but there is something special about doing things together, side by side. Our conversations are always sweeter, and we always feel closer. Not to mention, it’s probably better on our waistlines!
In the winter, it’s hard to find active things to do together because it’s way too cold to go on a bike ride or play tennis together. We spent a lot of time this fall brainstorming date night ideas that would keep us moving this winter. Some of these we have already done together and some we will be trying in the coming months!
1) Visit a Gym
Most gyms will let you come once on a free visitor pass! This is a FREE date night with so many different things to do together. All in one date we were able to jog the track together, shoot baskets and sit in the Whirlpool and chat.
One of our favorites, Prairie Life Fitness, includes a rock climbing wall and child care. Who knows you might even decide to get a membership and have lots of dates there.
2) Go Dancing
This is on our “to date” list. Think back to the days when you and your husband were first dating. Surely you went dancing a time or two and if not then you missed out… so now is the time! Plus, we don’t know anyone who salsa dances so this is the perfect place for us to have fun and make fools out of ourselves. We are planning on taking one of the salsa classes and if we get good, then who knows maybe we will hit a salsa club or two.
3) Play at an Arcade
I flash back to the mid 90’s when I say arcade, but who doesn’t love a good arcade night. My husband and I love to go to Power Play or the small little arcade at Oak Park Mall. If you think that’s weird, then there’s always Dave and Busters. These little arcades are cheap fun and always bring out our competitive sides. Too bad I married the world’s best Pop-A-Shot player. I never win. For the best date experience, don’t go on a Friday or Saturday night. You’re not 13. Go on a Tuesday night when all the teenagers are home doing homework.
4) Do Big Events
Going to places like Sky Zone, ice skating at Crown Center or Park Place, or playing bocce ball at Pinstripes are always fun. I have hard time spending the money to do one of these things, but once we do, we never regret the time spent together and the memories we made. We usually find other ways to cut the budget that month so that we can have a little extra in the date night fund.
5) Walk Union Station
We love spending time at Union Station because it’s FREE and we get to walk, stay warm, talk, and take in our beautiful city. We check out the model trains exhibit. We read the drawings on the walls that explain how the station was built. We walk The Link that takes us from Union Station to Crown Center, while drinking Parisi coffee, and dreaming about how great life would be if only our kids slept more at night. We people watch. And then we eat dinner at Fritz’s. Just kidding, we would never eat there without children.