datenightideas.jpgI have always said that date nights are one of the crucial things that what will sustain my marriage. Life is so busy and kids are so busy, that having a time on the calendar when I know it’s just going to be Aaron and I helps me get through the hard days. When I had little kids and felt as though all I did was change one diaper after another and hand out goldfish all day, a date night on the calendar was refreshing to me. Date nights are a time when Aaron and I can sit and talk and not have to hold our thoughts until the kids are asleep. We can have fun together and just be with each other.  Here are some of my date ideas for Austin.

  1. Take a cooking class together — One of the most fun date nights that Aaron and I have had here in Austin is when we took a cooking class at Whole Foods. This is where we first learned to cook scallops. Well, he learned to cook them and I watched and enjoyed a glass of wine. Cooking at home together is one of our favorite things ever, and so this was super fun for us.
  2. Pack a picnic & head to Mt Bonnell — Sitting on the side of a cliff and watching the sunset is super romantic in movies, but it is also super romantic in real life too.  We brought our dinner (that we had picked up at Whole Foods), laid out a blanket, and watched the boats go by and the sun set as we ate and talked. This was one of my favorites because our conversation was so good. We were never interrupted by a waiter, and there was nothing to do except talk to each other.
  3. Anything on Town Lake — We live in one of the top outdoor cities in the nation and Town Lake is part of what makes Austin so fun.  We have been known to have a “day date” at the lake while the kids are at school. There are water bikes to rent, canoes, kayak’s, or even the stand up paddle boards. Doing something outdoors is not only good for your body, but for your marriage too!
  4. Find your place — When our kids were in Mother’s Day Out we had a standing lunch date every single Tuesday.  It was our time in the midst of crazy kid stuff where we could catch up on life mid-week.  We weren’t paying a babysitter, but we were still getting quality alone time. We made this cute little restaurant our place and we were determined to try everything on the menu. We had a to-go menu in my purse and each Tuesday we would pull it out and scratch off a new entree.
  5. Couch date — It will surprise you that this makes the list, but sometimes we have couch dates.  It’s not a normal night on the couch because there’s no computers or phones allowed.  Instead there’s sushi take out from our favorite restaurant (Tomo) and a new movie from Netflix.  Sometimes you can’t get a sitter, or it’s just too much to leave, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be intentional.  Date nights on the couch are important too.  Make the most out of them and make them special.
  6. Ride the town — Austin now has bike rentals on the street and I can’t wait to try this.  You could check out two bikes and then bike around downtown.  We’re doing this soon and we’re going to hit up a different restaurant for appetizers, then a new one for the main course, and then another for dessert.  It’s a progressive dinner on bikes in a great city!
  7. Golf — Now I’ll admit Aaron and I have never done this, but I have friends that have and love it.  They both enjoy the game and it’s actually a few hours of togetherness and if you aren’t too competitive you can actually talk a lot as well. Or if you just want to hit some balls, head to Top Golf and enjoy food, drinks and golf. If you want to impress your date, you better hone your game with the help of launch monitors.
  8. Jester King — Do you have a few hours of alone time?  Head out to Jester King for great beer tasting and amazing pizza from Stanley’s Farmhouse.  It’s out in the country and so it feels like you have left the craziness of the city behind.  We love this place and could spend hours out there in the country!
  9. Lost Pines Resort — Do you have a whole weekend to get away?  If so, this is one of our favorite places to get away because it’s not too far to travel and the accommodations are awesome.  You will have everything you need on the grounds for a great, relaxing weekend to reconnect with each other.
  10. A new restaurant — This idea is nothing new, but it’s our most common date night.  Find a new restaurant that you’ve been wanting to go to, get a babysitter, and head out to dinner.  Let’s not forget something as simple as great company and great food.  They really do make a great combo!