One of the few things we've learned in becoming a married couple is that you have to find small pockets of time to reconnect and recharge your love as a couple first, then you can adequately love up on your children, family, friends and whoever else's lives you impact in your work and social circles.
Dating is one staple way to keep the love spontaneous and conversation rich while savoring the one precious commodity you can never get back - time.
In the surrounding Raleigh area, here are 10 best date night (or day) ideas:
With rotating exhibitions such as Art in Bloom and The Audubon Experience, permanent collections, and programs including painting workshops, the North Carolina Museum of Art has something for the artist inside of everyone.
After filling your creative appetite, double your date adventures with a romantic bike ride throughout the 164-acre Museum Park, the Capital Area Greenway and wooded trails that starts right at NCMA.
2. Design Your Own Art
Grab your partner, favorite drink and bring lots of art enthusiasm to a Wine & Design or Paint & Sip location. This crafty activity is creative, fun, and completely outside of your standard movie and dinner date idea. Doing something artsy like this together is timeless and offers plenty of ways in which to utilize your creative juices while sipping on your favorite refreshment.
3. Couples Dinner at ORO
Make reservations for dinner at ORO. Dinner is always a winner especially when it's shared in a chic, bright atmosphere adorned with a lovely, stylish white aesthetic.
Coupled with one-of-a-kind flavors and selections such as Octopus, Wok Fried Brussels, Grilled Lamb Chops, Truffle Mac and Cheese, and drinks called Weird Science, Chef Chris and his staff will leave you wanting to book consecutive dinner date nights to dine on a cleverly, curated selection of menu items. After dessert, of course, stroll around downtown Raleigh by foot or scoot around with a Bird (scooter, that is).
4. Sip and Symphony
Share sips during happy hour before enjoying the sound and wonder of the North Carolina Symphony. With a plethora of concerts of all genres ranging from Rachmaninoff to Whitney Houston to Mozart, most concerts are held at the Meymandi Concert Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
5. Catch a Matinee
Who says you have to wait until Friday or Saturday night to watch a movie? Spice it up a little and share a matinee. Pick a movie that you both would never typically watch together. Plus, you'll get your preference of seating choice during off-hours.
6. Golf With Your Spouse
So, my husband had been begging to get me to go and play golf with him. Did I say begging? Ok, well may not exactly begging, but he's asked so many times, I think he gave up on the idea. Can you imagine the look on his face when I volunteered the idea of going to the golf range? I'm not even sure what I was thinking, but let me just be honest and say that it was so sweet swinging clubs together. Grab (or borrow) some clubs and venture out to a local driving range during the day. Classic date experience for sure!
7. Breakfast at Heron's
Herons at the Umstead Hotel and Spa is just classic, literally. One of only 64 Forbes Five Star restaurants in the world, Herons is the signature restaurant of The Umstead Hotel and Spa. Just a short drive to Cary, we love going here for special occasions and having breakfast outside on the veranda, weather permitting.
8. Lights, Camera, Photoshoot
Take photos of each other, could be romantic, fun or little bit of both. These snaps can become treasured memories or would-be glamorous gift ideas for birthday, wedding anniversary or other celebrations.
9. Coffee Anyone?
Everyone loves coffee, right? Well, even if not, most local coffee houses offer a delectable arrangement tea, pastries, breakfast or lunch items in addition to coffee. Work keeping you too busy? Bring your work with you and catch up over coffee in between prioritizing work deadlines and deliverables.
10. Picnic at the Pullen
A picnic at Pullen Park will always be one of my favorite date day ideas! I had my very first date with my, then boyfriend, now husband at this gorgeous park. Pack a picnic, wear comfy clothes, and soak in all the goodness of conversation, indulging in the outdoors, and being together!
Regardless of where you decide to have a date night (or day) or what you decide to do, the key is to remember to actually date. To help make the time in our busy lives, schedule a weekly or monthly date night appointment on your phones to help prioritize the desire to connect, converse, and celebrate.