Valentines day isn’t the only time of year couples want to do something romantic, and what’s more romantic than spending time together enjoying amazing scenery or the pure beauty of nature? If your a person where budget isn’t an issue, you will probably just fuel up the private jet and set out to your 3rd or 4th home in the Tropics to sunbathe on your own private beach. For the rest of us, here are some very good (and wife approved) seasonal activity ideas.
Ideas for Winter:
Ice skating: My wife and I spent a lot of time ice skating as kids, and now that my girls are getting older, we are getting back into it and remembering how much fun it is. In many large to moderately large cities if you just do an internet search, you will be surprised to find that there are either indoor or outdoor rinks that have very affordable skate rental and open skate sessions. If you’ve never ice skated before, the two of you could take a lesson. Afterwards, go to a nearby mellow coffee shop and kick back with coffee or cocoa to warm up and enjoy some good conversation.
Cross country skiing or snowshoeing: Hiking in deep snow can be difficult. That’s why snowshoes and cross country skis were invented. So, if you enjoy hiking in the summer, borrow or rent a pair of snowshoes or skis for a few hours and hit the trails. The great thing about snowshoeing is there is virtually no learning curve. Once you strap them on, its pretty much just start walking. Take a light lunch of gourmet sandwiches, fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries and a thermos of hot chocolate. you can easily pack them in a small plastic container t keep them from getting smashed. DO NO’T just throw a power bar in your bag and figure that will be good enough. Take some time and think about what would be the most fun and surprising lunch that you can easily pack and carry. Since the temperature is pretty cold, you don’t really have to worry about food spoilage on a short outing, so use your imagination.
Sledding: This is a super fun activity that will make you feel like a kid again! A few weeks ago my wife and I took our daughters snow tubing and we all had a blast! Now, if you have kids, maybe you want to leave them home and have some alone time. But, if your a husband like me, I often find there’s nothing more romantic than looking over at my wife and 2 daughters and seeing them all giggling, laughing and really having fun together. These are memories that you will cherish. After sledding have a quiet dinner together. If you have kids, arrange to have a babysitter watch them for an hour or two. I guarantee the dinner conversation will include how much fun that was.
Ideas for Anytime:
Picnic: A picnic can be fancy or quite simple. Either way with the right setting and company, they can be very romantic. I believe half the fun with a picnic is the element of surprise when it comes to the food and drink so just try to be creative with the menu items. The location could be as simple as the park down the street from your house or someplace you need to hike to. If you think that picnicking is something you want to do often, there are a lot of picnic baskets you can buy, but if you don’t want to spend the money, neatly pack your food in ziplock like plastic containers with lids and put it in a backpack. Don’t forget something to drink. Also, be sure to take a lightweight blanket or sheet to put down under you. If you pack this all ahead of time, the backpack hides it all so perfectly and will help make for a great surprise.
Watch the Sunset: The best thing about this idea is it happens every day so it can be done on the spur of the moment. Check the weather. Have a location in mind with a view of the sun as it reaches the horizon and take something comfortable to sit on. Just sit close to each other and enjoy the colors, company and the moment. Drinks and/or food optional.
Go for a scenic drive: This is one that anyone with a car and a little gas money can do. I found a site ( myscenicdrives.com ) where you type in a zip-code and it will list scenic drives near you. It’s not a great site and the data base isn’t extensive so this may not produce great results where you live. If not, just do a regular search for scenic drives in your area. Plan out a day or maybe an afternoon and make it an adventure. Take a camera and plan to grab lunch or dinner at a small, cute cafe or place you probably never would have seen otherwise. If you plan this ahead of time, maybe you put together a road trip soundtrack or mixed CD to listen to while your on your drive. Heck, go crazy and decorate the inside of the vehicle…anything to make this seem like a special event. The more thought, time and effort you put into any of these ideas, the more special and loved the other person is going to feel.
Campfire: The flickering of the flames…sitting close to someone you deeply care about… You don’t have to be camping to enjoy a campfire. Many people have backyard fire pits or there are quite a few parks or beaches with fire pits. Maybe you have a fireplace. Fire it up if it isn’t 100 degrees out. This is about the ambiance. Take seating where you will both be comfortable but that allows for closeness. That’s the whole idea right? If you don’t think there are outdoor public use fire pits near you just internet search it. The internet is an amazing tool and you might just be pleasantly surprised.
Stargazing: The best way to view stars is to drive away from any sized city. It’s crazy how even a small town’s light pollution can distort or hide very distant stars. So, plan on a location near you that will give you the best star visibility. Definitely take something soft to lie on. Lie on your backs and just look up. looking at the stars often will facilitate talks about dreams or desires so be prepared to maybe learn something new about your partner. I also heard quite some time ago about a service where you can register a star with someone’s name for about $25 and they send you documentation and a sky map to help you locate it. If that’s something you think your loved one would enjoy, set it up in advance and while your lying looking up, surprise them.
A walk along the beach & shell search: I don’t think there’s anything my wife loves more than walking along the beach around sunset while looking for shells or sea glass. I think she’s do it everyday if she could. If you are fortunate enough to live near an ocean, this is a very inexpensive way to enjoy an evening and sunset. Take a camera and get some good scenery photos of your trip and definitely ask someone to take your photo together. I did this on a date with my wife (before she was my wife) and I took a small amount of sand and a few shells home with me. I went to a craft store the next day and bought a small wooden picture frame. I sprayed the frame with super 77 and covered it with the sand. I then hot glued some if the shells on it and put a picture of us in it. That was over 15 years ago and she still has it to this day.
All of these suggestions are just a starting point. They all have a few things in common. A little forethought, care and detail. If you think about it even just a little bit in advance you can figure out a way to make any experience together special. If you show genuine care for the person by thinking about what they might most enjoy seeing, or what foods they like to eat, it shows that you have thought about them and you care about making them happy. Do everything you can to show them that you CARE about them personally. And finally, pay attention to the details. If your artistic, a simple thing like personalizing a red solo cup with a permanent marker will speak volumes to how much you care about that person. If your not artistic, things like fabric napkins on your picnic and a CD or playlist of songs you have put together show the same amount of care and thoughtfulness. If you incorporate those 3 things, almost any thing you do together will become a romantic activity.