Valentine’s Day was just last week and I definitely enjoyed celebrating it with my husband. Holidays and birthdays are always fun too with someone special to share them with. But I believe that you don’t need a special occasion to celebrate. One way my husband and I celebrate the small things and our relationship is by having a bucket list of dates that we want to experience together in the future.
One of my favorite wedding gifts was from my sister, who created a date box with date night suggestions and cards to add our own ideas for special date nights. Some of the things we checked off last year included visiting a winery, kayaking, eating at a Hibachi restaurant, and going to a Harry Potter festival. These were all things that we really wanted to experience together.
My sister organized our box into five categories, with different color cards for each:
Food and Drink- Restaurants, food trucks, sweet treats, wine and beer
Outdoors or Day Trip- Parks and natural wonders, nature activities, day or weekend trips
Culture and Arts- Museums, art galleries, historical sites
Events and Shows- Comedy shows, concerts, sports games, film, plays
Activities- Classes to take together (cooking, art, dance etc.), festivals and markets
After we complete a card, we write the date and any reflections or memories we have on the back of the card.
This year we have a new set of dates on our bucket list that we’d like to accomplish over the course of the year. Here are some of them:
The Melting Pot- This is where we celebrated our engagement and we haven’t been back since. Although we have a fondue pot and make it at home occasionally, the Melting Pot is really a dining experience, in the same way that our trip to a Hibachi restaurant was last year.
Nomad Pizza- As serious pizza lovers, we always are on the look out for good local pizza joints. This one was recommended to us, so we are going to give it a try.
Science After Hours at the Franklin Institute– I love kids, but the chance to explore the Franklin Institute (a science museum in Philadelphia) in an adult’s only environment sounds like the perfect date night to me. There is a cash bar, live presentations such as music, science demonstrations, challenges, and access to the museum’s exhibits without any small humans underfoot. Each monthly event is structured around a fun theme and tickets often sell out, so we will make sure to plan to buy tickets for our chosen theme in advance.
First Friday at the Barnes Foundation– Many art museums and galleries in center city Philadelphia feature late hours and special activities every first Friday of the month. Neither one of us has ever been to the Barnes Foundation, which features some of the impressionist artists we love. On the first Friday of the month, they also have a cool themed night which has some kind of arts presentation, as well as drinks and food for sale. In March there is Salsa instruction and dancing, which I’m not sure is the best choice for a dancing challenged couple, but we’ll see what is scheduled for later in the year.
Stay in a bed and breakfast/Visit Lancaster- We we able to accomplish these two last weekend when we traveled out to Lancaster County for two days. We have used up most of our vacation for the year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still take weekend trips. Since our vacation to Europe was a bit of a whirlwind, this trip was all about a slower pace and relaxing.
We picked a room with a fireplace and my husband surprised me with flowers, chocolates, and wine in the room when we arrived. We cuddled, drank wine by the fire, caught up on some reading, ate some delicious PA Dutch dishes, and wandered around Amish country.
Visit the Poconos- My husband is a mountain person, so I am planning on organizing another weekend away later in the year, this time to the Poconos. We aren’t skiers, so warmer weather is the perfect opportunity to explore the mountains at a similar pace to our recent Lancaster trip.
Art Class- My husband insists that he is the creatively challenged one in our relationship, but I don’t agree. I want us to take some kind of couples art class together this year to show him that he can be creative too. I’d love it if we created something functional or decorative for our home, so a paint night or clay date is probably what we’ll go with. It’s nice to both have the memory of creating something together and to have something tangible to remember it by.
Here are some other fun date nights that we’ve done throughout 2017 for inspiration:
- Start with the things that you’ve always wanted to do together “one day.”
- Use categories such as the ones above to facilitate brainstorming.
- Ask for recommendations from couple friends about the best things they’ve experienced in your city.
- Look on a map for locations that are within a two hour drive of you.
- Don’t forget to include at least one bucket list item that is a little bit of a challenge or out of your comfort zone.
- Remember to document your fun adventures together through photos and notes.
What’s on your date bucket list for this year?