- Take a tour of the house you'd (someday) love to own.
- Paint coffee mugs at a paint-your-own-pottery place.
- Get your palms read.
- Fly a kite.
- Sign up for a one-night class at your local college.
- Hit a farmers' market and scavenge for your dinner.
- Get an easy-to-operate remote-control plane, go to a park and take turns trying to avoid the trees.
- Take a hayride.
- Hit a flea market and find a beautiful blanket to snuggle in together.
- Take a tour of garage sales in the ritziest neighborhoods.
- Don't you just drive each other up the wall sometimes? Prove it -- at an indoor climbing gym.
- Head to an ice skating rink and strap on skates for some icy fun.
- Poke around an antique shop.
- Ride the Ferris wheel at a local carnival.
- Give each other haircuts.
- Pick out the perfect frame for your favorite photo of the two of you.
Think Together - Share interests, ideas, priorities, values, goals and problems. Write down and share your answers to questions such as those listed below.
What color would you never wear and why?
If you could make $100,000 a year doing anything for a living, what would you do?
What was your favorite movie when you were a kid?
If you were lost and alone in the woods, what two items would you want to have with you?
Describe your dream vacation.
What plays the biggest role in a person's success: education, opportunity, or ambition?
Who has had the greatest influence on your life and why?
Describe something you wish someone would invent.
- Do something out of the ordinary; discover a new exciting activity for both of you.
- Look through the newspaper together. Find the weirdest event -- then go! You could choose a dog show, a chicken plucking competition, a poetry reading, or a watermelon seed-spitting contest. You might even find a new hobby.
- A fifties date might include driving to a malt shop while playing a "Hits of the Fifties" CD and, then, after you share a chocolate malt -- two straws please -- rent a James Dean movie.
- A western theme date might include chowing down at a rib-joint, going horseback riding, or watching a Roy Roger's movie.
- If you live in a larger city, you probably have ethnic neighborhoods called Little Italy or China Town. A German village lies less than a mile from our house, and Ron and I love to go there. We usually consume mass quantities of schinkenwurst and streusel, then waddle down the cobblestone streets and pretend we're on vacation in Düsseldorf.
- Some other theme dates might include "Hawaiian Paradise in Our Own Backyard" or, if you haven't pulled weeds in a while, "Jungle Adventure in Our Own Backyard."
- The man of the house would love a date night called "Baseball Fever" or better yet, send the kids to grandmas and build your theme around "Touch Football"!
- Spend the afternoon browsing through art galleries and discussing what you like and don't like about various pieces. If you don't like art, museums are wonderful places to learn about history and science. Most men would enjoy a train museum, a history of hockey exhibit, or a classic auto display.
- Get a more formal education together, too. Most cities and junior colleges offer a variety of adult evening classes, usually lasting only a few weeks and having low tuition costs. The two of you might want to take a class in photography, computer skills, or gardening.
- If you know that your mate would love to go to a certain event or concert, surprise him or her with tickets.
- You could also plan a less expensive "mystery night." Make all the arrangements, then call your date and say to him or her, "Meet me on the corner of Fifth and Main at six o'clock."Ladies, you could plan a free surprise by calling your husband just as he's leaving work, and whispering, "I'm cold and lonely, come home and warm me up!" After he breaks all the speed limits, arriving home in half the usual time, greet him with a kid-free house, a warm backrub, and a hot bath. It won't cost you anything except your time and attention, and those are the most valuable things you have to offer.
- Meet Verdi, Puccini, or Mozart. Get tickets for an afternoon or evening at the opera. To keep costs down, check with a local college or university about campus performances. If you're concerned about keeping up with the plot, look up the basics of the story online or at the library beforehand.
- Let loose your animal instinct. Head to the nearest zoo and visit the children's section; that's usually where you can feed friendly goats, sheep, and the like, check out cool interactive exhibits, and even pose for a souvenir photo with a harmless snake.
- Be on the move. Instead of staying at one restaurant for a whole evening, plan a progressive dinner: have appetizers at one place, then move somewhere else for dinner and to a third place for dessert. Just be sure to scout out spots that aren't too far from one another; you don't want to feel like you spent most of the night in the car. If your stops are within walking distance of each other, all the better.
- Take him out to the ball game. A major-league face-off is always a blast, especially if your team is a hot ticket. But if seats are hard to come by, especially on short notice, don't overlook the fun of a minor league or local Little League game. All the elements of a pro game -- pride, ego, spirit of competition -- are there.
- Let Mother Nature chaperone. Pack up some Power Bars and bottles of water, lace up your sturdiest sneakers or boots, and go for a nature hike. For specific information on thousands of locations to explore in the United States and Canada, visit www.trails.com.
- Giddy up! While away an afternoon on horseback. No experience? Not to worry. Just tell the stable staff you're a complete beginner; they'll match you with an especially docile horse and teach you the basics before you set out. To search for stables by state, log onto www.horserentals.com.www.horserentals.com
- Have a ball. Go bowling! Rented shoes that make your feet look big and the privilege of hurling a heavy ball down an alley make for major bonding.