10 Romantic Spring Dates
From strawberry-picking to kite-flying, we’ve found plenty of ways to make love bloom. Plus: the one activity you two must try in your back yard.
ow that everyone’s shrugging off their heavy coats and boots and literally coming out of hibernation, it’s the perfect time of year to get out there and meet someone new or give your current relationship a much-needed breath of fresh air. And unlike eternal winter, springtime’s always gone before you know it, so here’s a few date-worthy ideas to make the most of this fleeting, fun season.
Stop and smell the flowers
Nothing captures the romance of spring more than strolling hand-in-hand through a public garden bursting with colorful, sweetly-scented flora. Although cherry blossoms are
in full bloom from mid-March to the end of April, this is also prime time for you and your date to soak in the sunshine and take in an eyeful of tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, too. To find a public garden in your area, gardenvisit.com offers a national listing.
|Got a lawn and want to do something laid back? Try bocce ball. |
Serve up a strawberry cocktail
Strawberries are one of the first fruits of the season, and whether you pick up a few pints at the grocery store or pick them yourself at a strawberry farm (pickyourown.org offers a nationwide listing of berry farms), why not put them to good use and throw a strawberry Bellini party? To whip up this fizzy Italian cocktail, Mario Batali, Food Network star and author of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home, recommends combining 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries and one bottle of Prosecco (sparkling white wine) in a pitcher. Stir to combine, and serve in Champagne glasses to all your cute single friends (or that special someone).
Try lawn bowling
Move over badminton and croquet, bocce has steadily become one of the most popular games in the U.S.—there’s now more than one million players of the sport, according to the U.S. Bocce Association. This laid-back game of lawn bowling is great one-on-one or with a group of friends, and you don’t need a fancy court: Any small patch of grass will do. A variety of sets for all skill levels is available at bocceballsets.com, or some public bocce courts will let you rent the necessary balls there (log on to www.gobocce.com for a list of public courts throughout the U.S.).
Go bargain hunting
Now that the weather's warmed up, flea markets and yard sales are popping up everywhere. Grab a date and head out for a leisurely afternoon spent trolling for old treasures. Even if you don't find anything worth keeping, you’ll bond over all the weird things you'll see on the way (Elvis on velvet, anyone?). For where-to-go info, fleamarketguide.com offers a listing of markets throughout the U.S., and craigslist.com is a great resource for yard sales.
Take to the trails
If you want a date that’ll get your blood pumping, why not expend some energy and enjoy the beauty of the season via bike? Grab a helmet and log on to
to find bike trails in your area as well as bicycle shop listings, safety information and trail descriptions.
|Don't be afraid to get a little dirty with your date.|
Let your love grow
This spring, don't be afraid to get a little dirty with your date—try your hand at gardening. Even if you live in a small apartment in a big city, community gardens can always use help planting, weeding, and watering. Check out communitygarden.org to find a garden in your neighborhood. Or with a few basic supplies and potted plants or seeds, you can work together to create a blooming window box or backyard flower garden.
Winter's chill is gone and summer's heat hasn't yet set in, so if you and your significant other like spending serious time outdoors, spring is the perfect time for a camping trip. Make it a just-the-two-of-us romantic getaway or invite a few coupled-off friends and make it a group adventure. Roast marshmallows over a fire, snuggle under a sleeping bag, take long hikes in the woods—just be aware of animals awaking from a long winter's nap! For more info, thecampingsource.com offers a listing of national campsites as well as camping tips and essentials.
Fly a kite
You probably haven't touched a kite since you were six, but brisk spring winds and clear skies equal great kite flying weather. Grab an inexpensive kite at a toy store and head out to a wide-open space like a park or beach. When you bring your sweetie along, untangling those inevitable knots is actually kind of fun. Kite-flying tips can be found at www.letsflyakite.com.
Plan a picnic
Now that luscious springtime produce is in season, it's a great time to check out your local farmer's market. Grab a basket and your honey, and make your way through the bountiful stalls. Load up on fresh fruit, cheese, and baked goods, then find a scenic spot and dive in. Don't forget to bring a blanket! Visit ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets to find a farmer's market near you.
Set your sights on the stars
According to astronomers, spring is the best season to spot the Big Dipper as well as a host of other constellations. And you have to admit, there is something pretty romantic about sitting together under a night sky bursting with twinkling stars. For a map of the springtime night sky and where to spot the major constellations, visit gorp.away.com/gorp/eclectic/nightsky/star_summer.htm.
Lisa Cericola is a Brooklyn-based writer who has written for Cosmopolitan and First for Women. Springtime is her favorite season.