You should never stop dating your spouse– Everywhere on the internet
Tommy and I experienced a bit of a rough patch in our marriage earlier this year so we took to telling everyone on the world wide web about our problems. Since then, our marriage has taken a turn for the better- we understand each other a lot better, communicate better, and well…ya know…
Go on more dates now!
While I don’t think going on more dates will solve any pre-existing marriage problems (counseling will!) I think that it gives couples a better opportunity to connect in a way they once did. We thought it would be fun to try several unique date night ideas first hand and let you know what we think.
1. Escape Room- Locked Room Omaha
Let’s be clear. This is not super unique, however, I think *many* people still have yet to experience an escape room. Tommy and I had done two escape rooms up until this point, but someone strongly recommended that we tried Locked Room Omaha because “they were the best”. You know what? They were absolutely right!
We did the “Back in 50s” in which we had to try to solve clues to uncover a hidden will that Uncle Marv left within the walls of his diner in order to avoid Blahmart from taking it over. All the props were amazing, the clues were creatively configured, and the theme was woven perfectly into the experience. We needed 3 hints, but we were able to solve it with just a few minutes left. Phew! Also, you should know that your phones/wallets aren’t allowed in the room when you’re trying to escape.
We will definitely be back!
What Type of Couple Would Enjoy This: I think escape rooms are perfect for a double dating. It allows for more heads to be involved in solving the puzzle and is a great excuse to get together with friends. As someone who didn’t enjoy puzzles, legos, or riddles as a kid- I have grown to love the experience of playing in an escape room. I think anyone would have fun at an escape room, especially going to Locked Room.
Cost: It comes out to be about $25/player with a minimum of 3 players, but if you use the code “nightout” you can save 10% through Sept. 30, 2017- use as many times as you’d like.
Visit www.lockedroomomaha.com to book and let me know what you think!
2. Paddle Boarding- Driftwood Paddle Adventures
Paddle boarding came onto the scene within the last few years and it’s all the rage! We had previously done paddle boarding at a family lake house, but never a through a company so we were excited to try it in the group setting. Here’s the thing I love about paddle boarding. You get to get back to nature and disconnect from everything. Our cell phones weren’t allowed on the boards at the risk of getting wet and we happily obliged. We were able to talk and connect without the constant temptation of checking our phones- it was amazing.
Our instructor, Dara, was super helpful in explaining the ground rules for many of us (who I assume ranged from beginners to intermediate) and we were able to traverse around Standing Bear Lake for about 1 hour. The experience was serene, therapeutic and was a great way for Tommy and I to reconnect.
What Type of Couple Would Enjoy This: So obviously an “outdoorsy” couple would enjoy this for any regular ol’ date night, but there are other occasions in which I thought it might be appropriate: First Date, Birthday Parties, Work Gathering, etc. It doesn’t matter if you’ve paddle boarded for years or if you’ve never done it, they have the equipment and instruction in place to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Also…while you don’t have to be super athletic to enjoy it, I would say you need some form of stability. But if you’re ok falling in the water, then totally not necessary!
Cost: The cost is $35/person for about a 90-120 minute tour. If you use the “LightPassingThrough” then you’ll save 20% off your booking when you go to https://driftwoodpaddleadventures.com/
3. Cooking Class- Provisions by The Grey Plume
I will do just about anything to get Tommy in the kitchen. Ok, almost anything.When we tried those home delivery kits, it gave him some confidence in his cooking abilities. There’s nothing, though, like a hands-on cooking class taught by one of the most respected fine dining restaurants in Omaha.
We arrived on a Saturday afternoon for the vegetarian cooking class. Neither of us is vegetarian and quite frankly, this class was the only one that matched our schedule. The interior was inviting and as we approached our stations, I examined that everything was perfectly laid out to ensure an efficient experience. The intimate class size and the knowledgeable instructor (one of their own chefs) made for a fascinating cooking class. All the items were pre-portioned, the instruction and technique were easy to follow, and the culinary commentary had me geeking out big time. One thing that impressed me the most was the quality of ingredients provided- freshly churned heavy whipping cream, produce that came from the farm that morning, and my favorite, truffle oil.
We learned new words, tried new foods, learned new food preparation methods, and confidently made some delicious vegetarian options. We could not have asked for a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon together.
Side note: Tommy and I took a cooking class together when we were dating and this far exceeded that experience in taste, product, expertise, preparation, and personal instruction.
What Type of Couple Would Enjoy This: I consider myself a foodie well-versed in several cooking methods and culinary cuisines, however, I cannot tell you how much new knowledge I picked up from coming here. Tommy is more of a novice cook and even he was able to quickly learn and excel in the methods taught because it was all done so well. So regardless if you both have a lot of experience, moderate experience, or none at all it still would be a great way to come together and make food you might not otherwise cook taught by highly trained chefs.
Cost: The cooking classes vary, but they are generally around $80/person. A bit heftier than most date experiences, however, absolutely worth its weight in gold. You will walk away from it better cook than when you came in.
Exclusively for Light Passing Through readers, email firstname.lastname@example.org and save 10% off your cooking class!
4. Shooting Range- 88 Tactical
Up until this point in my life, the most intense gun I’ve ever shot was a paintball gun…at my husband…for our gender reveal. (Picture proof here) We wanted to make sure our date nights were all over the place to make sure we experienced the full gamut of options out there and this did not disappoint. If you’ve ever been to 88 Tactical, you’ll know what I’m referring to when I say that the facility is state-of-the-art.
When I thought “gun range” you think of a dark and dingy garage-like facility and smelled of man sweat. This could not have been further from the truth.
We arrived at 7 pm on a Wednesday night and got to select a hand gun and assault rifle to demo for that night. Tommy chose a Sig Sauer P320 9mm for our hand gun and a Colt AR-15 .223. I’m pretending like I know what any of this means. I don’t. We had to purchase safety glasses and rent headphones before we were led upstairs to the shooting range. There were 4 narrow lanes in the room we were in and immediately we took in the shock of the loud sounds. Our instructor gave us a quick rundown of safety instructions and how to use the gun. Easy peasy! It was fun to learn how to operate a gun and experience shooting a target. It was surprisingly simple to learn and adjust the shot while there was not as much recoil as I had anticipated. I think shooting guns is another one of those things that everyone should experience at least once.
What type of couple would enjoy this: You don’t have to enjoy hunting or even be a gun enthusiast to have fun on a shooting range date. (I’m neither of those) Of all the dates, this one took the least amount of time because you can quickly go through 150 bullets- it took us about 40 minutes. If you’re looking for a date where you can emotionally connect, this probably won’t be it. It’s so loud and you’re wearing headphones that it’s hard to get much in. The nice thing is that 88 Tactical does have an on-site restaurant where you can do dinner beforehand and then head upstairs. Overall, the experience gave me an increased confidence in the ability to handle a weapon should the occasion ever arise and I can confidently load, cock, and fire a weapon.
Side note: I booked Tommy a birthday party here earlier this year with their “Active Threat” class and he had an AMAZING time and learned some potentially life-saving skills.
Cost: There are a few costs associated with this date- lane rental, gun rental (unless you have your own) and ammunition purchase. We learned that if you rent their guns, you also have to use their ammo. We also had to rent the headphones and buy eyecare. So for about 150 bullets, 40 minutes worth of shots, and all the lane rental/gear it would cost $130. If you decide to go here, they have a “Tactical Tuesdays” which is half price for lane rental (so $6 instead of $12).
5. Date Night Boxes
Say what??? If you’ve been following my Instagram page on our date night series, you’ll see that I stopped at 4 date night places. That’s because we wanted to add a twist at the very end to trial what are known as “Date Night Boxes”.
Listen, we know that not everyone has $40 to drop on a sitter, $50 for dinner, AND ~$100 for a date night experience. Easily $200+ for a date night! So we thought it would be fun to have date night boxes delivered to our home with prices ranging from $25-$35/box which is a whole lot cheaper than $200.
5a. Crated with Love
We were given a box called “I love you to the moon and back”. We had no idea what to expect but immediately upon opening the box we could see a lot of small toys including paper airplanes, some balloons, glitter (my arch nemesis), and some paint.
The first challenge was to put a glow stick in a blown up balloon, turning out the lights, and playing catch with it. I’ll admit it was quite cheesy. We were both so bad at it, mostly me, that it was actually funny in our attempt to catch.
Our next challenge was to make paper airplanes and using glow stick rings, try to throw our planes inside the circles. Again, it was so cheesy and childish that it was actually funny…like snort-laugh funny.
Our third challenge was to create these little jars with cotton balls and mixed with watered down paint and glitter. We were supposed to write little notes and tuck it inside the middle between the wet painted cotton balls. I’m a bit disappointed because I thought something cool would happen over time, but we had them sit on our counters and they only meshed colors but nothing resurfaced with the note.
Our final challenge was to star gaze so Tommy and I walked outside and stood on our back porch and looked at the stars for a bit. This part was nice because we always used to do it when we were dating but with the busyness of life have neglected to slow down for moments like this.
The date box took about 40 minutes total only because I’m really bad at throwing inflated balloons with glows sticks and aiming paper airplanes in tiny targets. If you intend to try a date box with Crated with Love, you’ll need to come into it with a completely open mind and be ready to do challenges that feel pretty dorky. Nonetheless, we were laughing and giggling like little kids again so that’s kind of priceless.
Price: $25 for one-time boxes or $20/month for a subscription
5b. Night In Boxes
Coincidentally, this box was ALSO called “I love you to the moon and back” which led me to believe they purchased both of their kits from the same wholesaler so I was thinking we would be doing the same things again. I was wrong.
Even with the same theme, the contents of the box were completely different. They included fireproof plastic lunch sacks, fuel cell candles, a cookie mix kit, star and moon cookie cutters, two packets of Ghiradelli hot cocoa, and the directions.
Both of these kits started off with a date night recipe which I suspect most people don’t use (they should almost team up with a home delivery kit). Both of these kits included a link to a date night playlist which was a great idea because music can definitely set the mood.
Our first step was to prepare our “galaxy cookies” which were easy because we had to only add water. Once we mixed the dough we had to stick it in the fridge to harden.
In the meantime, our second challenge was to create “love story luminaries” where we used toothpicks to poke holes in the lunch sack to mimic constellations. Once done, we would add our candles into the bag and turn out the lights. Seemed like a good idea on paper, but when we lit them up we couldn’t really see the holes- our “constellations” weren’t pronounced at all.
We took our cold dough out of the fridge and begin to use the cookie cutters to make moons and stars. While they baked we made our hot cocoa to accompany the fresh cookies when they would be done.
The last step was to download the “Star Chart” app and spend time in the comfort of our couch looking up constellations and stars. I know, I know it’s not the same as actually going outside but we were just doing what the instructions told us. This was actually quite enjoyable because it used GPS technology to help point us to the constellations and they were certainly clearer to identify. The date took maybe 30 minutes total from start to finish, but it was a lot less cheesy than the first box.
Price: $35/box but cheaper as you commit to more. Use my link to save 10% off your first box.
The places we chose covered a broad range of interests and price ranges giving you guys hopefully some more ideas for your next date night. Tell me, which one do you think you’ll try from the list?
Comment on which one you’d like to try and I’ll pick a name from the comments to win the following “Night In Box”. A winner will be chosen on August 22nd at 9 pm. Good luck!