My birthday is right around the corner. Because of the combined scheduling issues of our family and our friends’, we’re going out tonight. Birthdays for Keelie and I have turned into double-dates over the last several years. I’ve loved it because we not only get to have a date, but we also get to celebrate with friends.
Now, a good double date is going to focus a little more on fun than romance. It’s a little awkward playing footsie and making googly eyes across the table when your friends are with you. We’ve done lots of different things over the years, so I decided to share a few with you to help spark some creativity for you and your spouse.
Hang on, hear me out. Bowling isn’t what it was when we were kids. I was at a bowling alley every Friday for several years as a kid because my parents were on a league. I remember cigarette smoke, an arcade, and greasy grilled cheese sandwiches with the little flag toothpicks stuck in them.
Nowadays, there are these boutique bowling alleys (yeah, boutique) that are way fancier. We went to one for my birthday a few years ago. It was called Sparians and man was it posh. Forget the swiveling plastic chairs and snack bar. This place has plush leather couches and a waiter to get your food! The lighting was lower and there were black lights over the lanes. It also featured a full sit-down restaurant and bar with arcade that you could hang out in while waiting for your lane.
Instead of paying per game, you had to make a reservation and you pay by the hour. With four people, we averaged a game or two in that hour, socializing and sort of bowling. There’s a clock running, and when it gets low there’s this mad dash to finish the game you’re playing. It was tons of fun.
This was back when we lived in rural North Carolina, so we had to go about an hour north to Raleigh. This was not uncommon for our date nights, however. Do a Google search and you’ll be sure to find something. Don’t forget to check Groupon too!
2. Escape Rooms
If you’re not familiar with escape rooms, you’re not alone. These have popped up relatively recently, but they’re quickly spreading across the country. The basic idea is that you are locked in a room and have to escape. Don’t freak out yet, it’s not as claustrophobic as it sounds.
They’re based on the popular escape the room video games where you have to solve puzzles to get out of whatever situation the game has put you in. In these real life versions, you are locked in a room and have an hour to solve the clues to escape. There is a panic button by the door so if someone freaks out, they’re not legitimately locked in with no way out. Many places also have someone watching the room with audio/video feeds and a tv where they type in clues for you.
Most places have several themed rooms to choose from like:
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
Serial killer cabin
And on and on and on
It’s like a real life video game. You actually handle the puzzles, work together to put clues together, and really get stretched mentally. Unless you have a full group of 6-8, you’ll be paired up with other people to fill the room. It’s awesome to see what everyone brings to the table. There are various levels of difficulty as well, so you can start basic and work your way up over the course of several dates.
I’m a fan of mental puzzles so this double date idea is perfect. What’s so great about this is that it hits so many different areas of a great date: creativity, interaction/teamwork, physical activity, and more. We had so much fun last time that we’re going again tonight!
3. Food and music
One of the first double date birthdays we did was to a local pub. Well, local as in an hour away, as usual. We found it when Keelie did a search for live music. This pub had live music all the time. That night they were hosting a local Irish folk band. What we ended up discovering was our new favorite restaurant.
It was a lot of fun. Not only did we get to enjoy live music, but there was a great community atmosphere. People were singing along with old Irish folk songs. Every restaurant plays music nowadays, but there’s something different about live music.
Look around for a local restaurant or even coffee shop that has live music. They’re pretty common and popular.
Austin and Keelie have been sharing life together for nearly two decades. In that time they've gone from high school sweethearts to a family of five.
Austin loves making Keelie and the boys laugh whenever he can. Occasionally he writes things.