Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Date night link up!

We seriously love us some date night around here. My favorite thing we have ever done was take turns planning surprise dates for each other. They didn't have to be anything extravagant; in fact, the less money spent the better. But they couldn't be the typical dinner and a movie (which is expensive!) type date. We would do things like visit museums, try out new places to eat, go for walks in new parks/places, or see exhibits at the local university. We haven't done it in a while; we stopped when things got too crazy near the wedding and then with house buying afterwards, but we have plans of starting it up again soon. We aim to each plan a date once a month. Of course we go on other dates in the month, too, but they are more typical like the Stimulus Tuesday that our local $2 theater has each week.

For Mandi's link up, I thought I would post about one of my favorite dates, which is super affordable, relaxing, and provides so much bonding time. Without any further ado....

~Date Day in the Park~ 
I started out calling it 'date night', but this date is MUCH better in the day since you can, you know, see. Technically, this date can be completely free (minus the gas to get you where you're going). And if you end up spending money, it shouldn't be much. If you are a parent, you are probably thinking "What's special about this? We take the kids to the park all the time!" But I encourage you to try this date sans children, if you can.... after all, if the whole family goes, it's not really much of a date! Fall is just around the corner, which is the perfect time for this date! But really, any season could work unless you live somewhere with massive amounts of snow. We have had tons of park dates, so we don't do everything listed here in one date. But this way, you can run through the list and pick and choose what you and your significant other might like to do, or what's available to you. 

  • If your city has multiple parks, pick a different one each time you do this date. It really provides a sense of adventure when you aren't sure what the park will be like! I don't think we've been let down yet, though some parks are way cooler than others. If you have less park options, try out different areas of each park. We also have an arboretum, which fits the bill for the date, so be creative when looking for spaces and places!

  • Take bikes and go for a ride! In a big park, it's a great way to explore as much as you can, and of course it's great exercise, too.
  • Be a kid again! Jump on the swings, ride the kiddie train or carousel, race down the slides! You might get a strange look or two, but you will be having so much fun. If you go during a non-peak time, you might even have the run of the playground.
One of the many parks we have here used to be a land fill that they repurposed into a park... I think it's completely awesome! Here is the view from the top!
  • Pack a picnic lunch. If you're feeling lazy, pick up some ________ (insert your favorite sub shop here) on the way and eat as soon as you get there. Otherwise, pack sandwiches, fruit, and a salty snack. You can class it up by using real dishes and cups... and create less waste! Our picnic set comes with precious wine glasses that aren't breakable. We just drink water out of them, but it makes it feel fancy. (I can't say I recommend my picnic basket since it's been outlawed in California for it's cancer causing qualities.... what the what!?)
  • Take books and games. This is probably my very favorite part of the date. You can really make a day or at least afternoon out of this date, and it's SO frugal! Lay out a blanket in a shady area of the park and have some reading time. Just enjoy being with one another. Then, when you're wanting some more interaction, throw a frisbee or play a few rounds of UNO. We've also taken relationship enrichment books and done them in the sunshine... in fact, that's one of my best park memories! 
He gets an award for willingly posing with my super cute picnic stuff!


  1. Park dates are my absolute favorite!! :) I can't believe your basket was outlawed haha!

  2. I have a few pictures of David and I on early dates together to the park. It seems like we don't do that much anymore, but now that we are back in CO in my "stomping grounds" it will be fun to take David to all my old childhood and high school hang outs (which were all parks)!

  3. I love that picture from the top of the park. So pretty! This post reminded me of the show Parks & Recreation (esp that picture). A construction crew went bankrupt and just abandoned this lot (which was A HUGE HOLE) and they took it to the parks dept and they decided to build a park! I love how that show makes going to parks cool again.

    I can remember in college going to a park and going on the swings :)

  4. I ditto the disbelief about your picnic basket... inconceivable!!!

    I was also going to post about going to the park - great ideas Stacy!!