One of the most common issues I come across in my work with couples is a lack of quality time together. In today’s world, it’s easy to get caught up in everything that has to get done at work and at home: long hours at work; home maintenance; running errands; shuttling kids or loved ones from place to place…endless “to-do” lists. Too frequently, I hear couples say that their quality time happens at the end of a long day, when they’re able to just collapse on the couch together
and watch television for an hour, before exhaustion sets in and they head to bed for the night. It’s not hard to imagine why they feel like they’re “losing the spark” they once had at the beginning of their relationship. If couples aren’t mindful, it’s easy to get lost in all of life’s responsibilities, take the relationship for granted and allow their relationship to fall to the bottom of their list of priorities.
In order to maintain closeness and connection in a relationship, time for each other needs to be prioritized. Depending on age, finances, children, and other circumstances, the frequency of quality time may vary. The good news is that quality outweighs quantity when it comes to creating time for a “date night.” If you’re able to prioritize time together for a date once per week, that’s fantastic. Set aside some time to look at your schedules and look for ways that you can create space for a regular date night—whether that’s once per week or once per month. After you’ve blocked off the time in your schedules, make plans for how that time will be spent.
I’ve found it to be helpful for each partner to make a list of ten date ideas—without any input from their partner. After both have completed their date idea lists, the lists are shared with the other. Alternating “turns” as the date planner, they will choose an idea off of the other person’s list, when it is their turn to plan the date (this
ensures that the date they’re planning will definitely be something that the other person will enjoy). For some couples, it’s more comfortable or natural for one person to be the “planner;” however, they will still use the lists and alternate between them in their planning.
As the days get longer and warmer, the summertime offers a wide variety of date activities to choose from. To help get you started, I’ve compiled a list of ideas for inspiration.
Outdoor Concerts and/or Festivals
Botanical Gardens and Arboretums
Kayaking and/or White Water Rafting
Berry Picking at a local farm
Indoor Rock Climbing
A picnic at a local park or on the beach
Take a sailing lesson together
See a show at a comedy club
Paint and Wine class
Take an improve comedy lesson together
Beer Garden (Biergarten)
Indoor “sky” diving
Treetop obstacle course and/or ziplines
Take a surf lesson together
Outdoors Farmers Market
Still need a bit more help to get started? No problem. Below are a few easy-to-plan date ideas, with local suggestions. Turn off your phones and have fun! J
Berry Picking Date
Take a trip with your date to a local fruit farm and pick your own berries together. Here are a few local options:
Hockessin- Berry Good Farm
Frankford- Kingsley Orchards
Rehoboth Beach- Lewes Magee Farms
Delaware County, PA- Linvilla Orchards
After you’ve had fun at the farm, take the berries home and make a dessert together using the fresh berries.
Lehigh River Gorge- Jim Thorpe, PA: They offer various packages including: rafting, biking, paintball and hiking. The “Big Night Out” package includes a sunset raft trip, riverside taco dinner, and a twilight bike ride. Finish the night off around a roaring bonfire! (see poconowhitewater.com for details).
Botanical Gardens and Arboretums
Spend the day walking around some of the most beautiful gardens and manicured landscapes in the region.
Longwood Gardens-Kennett Square, PA
Chanticleer Garden- Wayne, PA
Grounds for Sculpture- Trenton, NJ
Bartram’s Garden- West Philadelphia, PA
Plan ahead and make reservations at the restaurant located on the grounds (if applicable) or an outdoor picnic with food purchased in their café.
Pick a day where the sun is shining and the birds are chirping and head out for a wine tasting adventure!
Harvest Ridge Winery- Marydel, DE
Pizzadili Vineyard & Winery- Felton, DE
Nassau Valley Vineyards- Lewes, DE
If you’re considering a visit to all three, it’s approximately a 20 minute drive from Harvest Ridge to Pizzadili and 38 minutes from there to Naussau Valley. If you’re able to make it an overnight trip, consider making it a bit more adventurous by staying the night at the Lazy L Bed & Breakfast Resort, just 2.5 miles from Naussau Valley Vinyards…and they have a heated pool and a hot tub.
Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course
Bear, DE (with 16 different locations across the country) What’s better than an obstacle course? A treetop obstacle course with swings, obstacles, ziplines, and swinging bridges. $58 per person.
Afterwards, you may want to stop by Midnight Oil Brewing Company (The Sundown Saison beer is perfect for a warm summer day) or Lewinsky’s on Clinton for karaoke and live music.
COOK- Philadelphia, PA: Cooking classes offered multiple times a week with different themes each week. Tickets need to be purchased in advance. NOTE: They often are sold out a month or more in advance. Classes for July will go on sale starting June 5th, and prices range $110-$175 per person.
Vetri Cucina- Philadelphia, PA: Italian cooking classes complete with house wine and beer.
Chef’s Haven- Hockessin, DE: They offer a wide variety of classes; cuisines include: French, Mediterranean, Italian, Japanese, Thai and Latin. Prices range $60 - $75 per person.
12 Dates of summer
If you want to experience some of the most unique and popular places in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley, consider purchasing the Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport. The passport includes one-time-each admissions to: Brandywine River Museum of Art, Delaware Art Museum, Delaware History Museum, Delaware Museum of Natural History, Hagley Museum, Longwood Gardens, Mt. Cuba Center, Nemours Estate, Read House & Gardens, Rockwood Museum and Park, The Delaware Contemporary, and Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library. The Brandywine Treasure Trail Passport is valid May 28, 2018 through September 3, 2018. Restrictions may apply, please visit their website for more details. Passport cost is $45 for an individual and $95 for a family (2 adults and 3 children).