Active daytime fun and low key nights make the perfect dates

Chris Me Bay Bridge WBack in the day, my husband and I had a lot of cool places we liked to go on dates.

One year, we took ballroom dancing lessons with friends and would go out for happy hour before the lesson for low-cost dinner and drinks. Another favorite haunt was a small bar in Baltimore's Fell's Point for beer and crab cake sandwiches. Every summer, we'd pack a picnic and head to Pier Six in Baltimore to see a favorite band perform.

These days, however, we prefer a quiet date night at home over going out. We are so busy running our kids around that when it comes to doing something for us, staying in is much more appealing. This year, we opted to spend our traditional anniversary night out with friends at home around our dining room table. We cooked a simple but yummy dinner, used the good china, lit the candles and after dinner, relaxed by the fire. It was ideal.

Chris Me Bike W2I originally wrote this column as the editor's letter for the February issue of Chesapeake Family Life, and the art director asked for a photo of Chris and I on a date to go with it. The only recent photos of the two of us together, however, were at runs. It occurred to me then, that organized activities like runs or bike rides seem to be our date of choice. I'd just never considered them dates before.

We actually met on Cycle Across Maryland, a weeklong bike ride across the state. Before we got married, we took a two month trip cycling across the country. And these days, we often sign up for runs such as the Bay Bridge run and the Celtic Solstice Five Miler to do together. We also plan bike rides with friends every Memorial Day and Labor Day. I guess these are actually early morning dates, and they remind us of what brought us together in the first place.

So while we are a bit lame in the evenings and prefer to hang at home, I'm glad to report that we do get out and spend time together.

If you are looking for the perfect date for your taste, we posted a story this month that will help you out. Whether you love heading to the movies, taking in a live show, dancing or trying new food, we've included some fun ideas.

If you are like me and would prefer to do something active with your husband or hang at home and just chill out, that works too. Don't be afraid to forgo a fancy night out for a morning run or a relaxing evening at home together. Put the kids to bed early or plop them in front of a movie, then light some candles and cozy up in front of a roaring fire. Valentine's Day might be over, but it's never too late to celebrate.

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FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Life editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 18, Lilly, 16, Adam, 16, and Jonah, 12.

 

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