Don’t misunderstand. I love my husband immensely and would rather spend time with him than anyone else on earth, besides my children. So why is it so difficult for the two of us to get our busy butts out of the house and on a date? Wait. Actually, I know why. Six states, four jobs, and three kids later all adds up to one thing; we are tired. Our lives are focused on work and children. Factor in church, school, sports, random activities, clubs, and the everyday things like cooking, cleaning and laundry, and it all makes for a pretty packed schedule. Even when our days and evenings are NOT filled, it just seems to be easier to, well, stay in and watch Netflix with a frozen pizza.
While I enjoy the traditional dinner and movie date, lately, the thought of it has fallen a little flat with us. I miss having fun with my husband. We spend quality time together during family outings, trips, vacations, and there is no stronger duo that he and I when Apples To Apples gets pulled out of the cupboard. But I want to have moments and memories that I can reminisce about that didn’t only occur before we had kids. I want to make more memories now! Because I am fun. I am a FUN person, doggone it! *sigh* Lately, I have been forgetting that.
So I went searching for date night ideas that were more than just dinner and a blockbuster flick. At the very least I hope it gets you inspired to get out and explore Columbia and what it has to offer. Get ready Moms and Dads! We are gonna have some fun!
The city food tour is a small group of people that are lead up and down main street by a fantastic guide, sampling the menus of some of the best restaurants in Columbia. This is a great date idea, in that it is all adults, the food is fantastic, and you and your spouse can enjoy walking around downtown hand in hand. 🙂 Remember. You are taking this tour with other people so an intimate outing it is not. If you enjoy meeting other couples and making small talk with friendly people, this is for you!
You have two versions to choose from. The Main Street tour is a bit more historical and traditional and the Five Points tour is a bit more trendy. The food on both are incredible and the menu changes with the seasons. The walk is about 3 hours long and hits 5 restaurants. They start at 2 so there is no problem with parking! A lovely afternoon in the city!
Leave the kids at home and take in a double feature! Depending on where you live, this could be a bit of a drive, but it is so worth it! Located in Monetta, it is just under an hour from the city. With three screens you can find a movie that both of you would love! And its a drive-in! Park, eat, watch, talk, make-out, whatever. Whether you pack a picnic and bottle of wine or just grab a burger on the way, make this date what you want it to be and enjoy the nostalgia!
Who ever said dates can’t be adventurous?! Located in Cayce, Adventure Carolina is there perfect place to start if you and your spouse need an afternoon away. They offer camps, outings, and a slew of rentals that include tubes and canoes, complete with all the equipment you will need to stay safe. They even host skiing trips during the winter. Paddle leisurely down the river or explore new waterways in a kayak. The perfect way to spend time together during a South Carolina summer!
Outdoor picnics are nothing new. But have your ever been to Riverfront Park? The park sits right between the Columbia Canal and the Congaree River. With over 150 acres, it hosts a variety of festivals and concerts. Ride your bike along the river, take a stroll with your loved one, or take a more quiet approach to your outing. Pack a meal from home or grab take out on the way and just find a shady spot to sit. It is a beautiful place to people watch, read a book, or enjoy a quiet conversation. Bonus: Its free!
Ok fine. I am still including dinner and a movie on this list, but with a twist! Main Street is home to some of the best restaurants Columbia has to offer and at every price point. Grab a bite to eat and then head over to The Nickelodeon. Not just your run of the mill theatre, The Nickelodeon is an establishment focusing on independent and artistic films. No blockbuster crowds here! Just great cinema with an adult crowd. A pleasant surprise that is worth the price of admission.
Be sure to head a few doors down and pick up dessert at The Sweet Cream Co. Like so many of the restaurants on Main, they use locally sourced ingredients to create hand made, small batch ice creams and sorbets like Rose Dark Chocolate and Fig Orange Pistachio. You can even bring a pint home to the kiddos!
Want to splurge on a staycation with a night away from the family? Try this boutique hotel on Main Street. Housed in an old bank building, the facility has hip furnishings, an old vault turned into a bar (try the bank robber martini!), as well as a rooftop bar with amazing aerial views and a cozy Starbucks in the basement with leather chairs and a fireplace. And the best part is, it’s located in the middle of all the action. You can walk to and from several amazing restaurants and all the sites Columbia has to offer!