Got a special date coming up or just want to mix it up with your other half? My partner often has to remind me that sitting down next to each other watching TV is not quality time (me watching The Bachelor on my laptop, him watching Discovery Turbo on the 50"). So here I am each weekend researching and trying to find fun and exciting things for us to do together. Sometimes they are extravagant, other times they are more on the cheap side (usually close to payday). Here are some great date night ideas that are sure to make your heart flutter, whether it is the first or the hundredth date:
1. Sunday Drive - head up to the Matakana Markets, take the dog to a West Coast Beach, pack a picnic and head to Shakespear Regional Park or check out the Lighthouse at Awhitu. There is nothing more fun than good tunes, a winding road and something to look forward to at the end of it! We are spoilt here in Auckland with glorious landscapes, amazing markets and awesome lunch spots like the Tasting Shed in Kumeu. Book yourself in for a winery tour in Matakana or Kumeu and you can drink and not have to worry about the alcohol limits.
2. Barilla Dumplings & Capitol Cinema - be prepared to wait sometimes when you go to Barilla but know that it is worth it. Try the fried beans with spicy salt you won't regret it. Capitol is a goodie and often overlooked. The cinemas are intimate and the ice cream tasty (peanut butter mmmmmm...). Next time, we are going to do a different combo and try KK Malaysia with Lido Cinema. I like to try places with queues and cheap menus. I figure they have to be doing something right to earn the queue.
3. Wines & Waiheke
- tastings, lunch, yoga and beaches. What more could you ask for? We hit up Stonyridge
and Te Motu
recently which were splendid in their own ways. Stonyridge is obviously well known and Kim Dotcom was actually on his way in as we were on our way out. It has great views and an awesome menu. We then walked five minutes through glorious vines to Te Motu, a small family owned vineyard and the wines were to die for.
4. Get active
(and try not to kill each other) - Auckland has so many regional parks, zillions of walks and biking trails. There are some amazing dams, waterfalls beaches and forestry to be seen in all corners of Auckland. Check out Auckland Council
for some goodies.
5. East Day Spa
- book in a couples massage and be luxuriated at the hands of the experts while you lay side by side. Trust me, this one is a goodie. You need to have some dolleros for this activity, but maybe if you have a special event or anniversary then it is worth the investment. If you can stretch to dinner and a hotel then it is definitely worth it. Stay the night at Sky City Grand Hotel
(you can even have your couples massage in your room) you can get a room with a view and it is breathtaking. You can then have dinner at Grill
or walk down to Elliot Stables
for something a little more low-key - this is also a great choice if you both like different cuisines.
6. Attend a cooking class together
- If you are an Auckland babe, check out Sabato they often have some pretty big names taking the classes or you can try Community Education Classes
that are more budget-conscious but still great fun.
7. Get lost in the city - on a Sunday when the rest of Auckland is elsewhere roam the streets with all the closed stores and just look and talk - walking hand in hand. If you go on a Saturday try No1 Pancake (Corner Wellesley & Lorne Streets) they are supremely tasty and soooo cheap. They are Korean pancakes which can come in sweet and savoury. While sounding probably a little out of your comfort zone and your usual food wheel...trust me you will love them! I use any excuse to go into the city and get one of these bad boys!
8. Have a laugh
- book you and your loved one in for a night at The Classic
. Not sure which comedian to pick? Go on a Wednesday when they have loads of comedians in one night and you cannot possibly pick wrong. It is 10 comedians for $15! You are sure to have a laugh and you can meander down to Giapo afterwards for a spot of tasty gelato. Also don't forget the Comedy Festival
is on April 21-May 14 across Auckland and Wellington venues.
9. Dinner with a view
- Go somewhere with a glorious view. Open up a great bottle of wine and take your time to enjoy the afternoon and stay on until dinner. Hit up Ostro
or Sugar Club
in the city, Takapuna Beach Cafe
or Tokyo Bay
on the shore and venture out to Elevation
in Waitakere and take in a bush or beach walk.
10. Be a tourist in your own city
- book a hotel, do a bus tour, go on a jet boat etc. This summer we did the America's Cup Sailing Experience
and it was so much fun, glorious weather and something neither of us had ever done before! See that comfort zone you have, step out of it. I know it is a little scary but you are doing it with someone else so go on, be brave! Check out tourist websites and see what the tourists do. New Zealand is chock-full of amazing activities, give them a go. If people come from all around the world to do these things, surely they are worth a go!
TIP: You aren't always going to be into the same things. So try something he likes and mix it with something you like. Or, alternate. The biggest tip I would ever give is Like pages on Facebook and press the 'Interested' button when it comes to events that you think you may like even if you can't go. Facebook then pushes you other things it thinks you may like. All of a sudden your events tab is full of fun stuff to do! Knowledge is power, and that knowledge comes in such a handy size these days...mobile phone size.
So start of that new budding relationship with a bang, or revive that loving relationship you already have. Book in a date night, whether its one of the above or something you have been meaning to do for ages - but never got around to. This Sunday we are planning on heading up to Leigh Sawmill Cafe
for their 20th birthday and to listen to one of our fav bands White Chape Jak
So, what are you going to do this weekend?