I really wanted to title this post, 'Activities to Extend Date Night When You Run Out of Things to Do and You Know Your Kids Won't Be in Bed Yet' or something similar. You know what I'm talking about right? You hire a babysitter and head out on your date, but you get finished with dinner, the movie, or your date night activity earlier than you thought. Then you're stuck trying to decide if you go home early and put the kids to bed yourself or if you want to wander the grocery store until you're sure that they'll be asleep.
I had this conversation with a group of women a couple of weeks ago and it seemed to be a struggle for quite a few of us. We have this time set aside for date night and we've booked the babysitter for a specific amount of time, we want to take full advantage of that. I've run into this problem quite a few times over the last three years since we became parents and started hiring babysitters. And a lot of those times, we've just ended up wandering stores to use up our time. I decided to put together a big list of things in the area that you could do easily on a whim, when you have a little bit of time left to fill after your planned date night activities.
10 Activities to Keep Date Night Going
Fountains at Station Park
We love sitting around the fountains at Station Park, no matter the season. During the colder months, they have heaters above groups of chairs and tables and you can also sit around the fireplace. We love this area during the colder months because you can still enjoy the fountain show, but you aren't fighting for a seat and the area isn't quite so crowded. During the summer there is live entertainment and really fun fountain shows. We've been there in the height of the evening and witnessed proposals and other fun events. As it gets later and Station Park starts to shut down for the night, we've seen couples dancing to the music at the fountain and things are quieter and less busy. We love the atmosphere of Fountain Square and all of the fun families and couples you see there.
Watch the Sunset
There are some awesome parks and areas in Davis County where you can watch the sunset. Park on the side of the road in the foothills and get out of your car to enjoy the air and the view. We love to keep a blanket in the trunk of our car for these types of moments. You can sit at a park or just on the side of the road, maybe not in front of someone's house though, and talk while you watch the sun go down.
Walk around the USU Botanical Gardens
We've always seen the gardens from the freeway but never took the time to visit them until last year. They are so close to our house and so chill, I don't know why we don't go more. The gardens are open until dusk every night and are the perfect place to hang out at the end of a date. You can watch the sunset from here, wander around the pond, feed the ducks do a little fishing, or just sit near the monument there and talk.
Star Gaze or Swing at a Park
When my husband and I first started dating, we would go on long walks late at night and always ended up at a local park. We would talk while we sat on the swings, most of the time we weren't even swinging. I loved those long walks and the opportunity it gave us to talk. We seem to talk together the best when we are slightly distracted by an activity, but one that doesn't require too much attention. Swinging on the swings or laying out a blanket to stargaze can be romantic and a lot of parks are open past dusk, so it's the perfect activity to keep you out a little bit later and fill any amount of time that you need.
Dance in an Empty Parking Lot
How many of you have a playlist on your phone of romantic songs? If you don't, you should probably make one to have on hand for these moments. There's a dirt parking lot/overlook area up by the Bountiful Temple, at about 1300 E and 500 N, that I think is perfect for activities like this one. If you don't have a playlist on your phone, you can always tune your radio to Love Songs After Dark or a similar station. Slow dance in the parking lot, talk and enjoy the view. If you find another parking lot near you to do this, that's great!
If we've just finished dinner, this isn't always our top option, but if we've been doing an activity or gone shopping, we are usually in the mood for a little treat. There are a lot of great places that serve just dessert in our area. Frozen yogurt, ice cream, shakes, dessert waffles, etc. are all a great choice to end your date night! We love stopping by Johnny O's because their spudnuts are half price after 8:00pm, the atmosphere is nice, they have lots of room to sit and there are games you can play while you enjoy your treat.
Photos in the Booth at Layton Hills Mall
The last time I was at the mall, I spotted two photos booths. We've done this once or twice for date night and had a lot of fun. You can goof off together in the photo booth and capture some great pictures together. I have a strip of pictures that we took in one of those booths tucked into the inside of the visor in my car. The pictures are from seven years ago when we were engaged and I love to look at them and remember the love that I had for my husband then and think about how much it's grown.
Go on a Short Hike
Davis County is filled with great trails for any type of hiker. Whether you're experienced and adventurous or more of a pavement stroller. The Great Shorelands Preserve has boardwalk trails and is gorgeous in the evening, just don't forget the bug spray. Legacy Trail extends through most of the county and is nicely paved and lit, with benches for resting along the way. There's a hidden trail next to the stream at Nicchols Park in Fruit Heights that connects with other trails in the area and can be as easy or as advanced as you want it to be. The hills are filled with trails, waterfalls and canyons that are gorgeous. Even our own neighborhood has a little preserve trail that we love to walk on often. This is a great way to be active together and get outside and explore the area.
Do Some Geocaching
This is another fun way to explore the area. If you love adventure and a challenge, you'll love geocaching. You will be hunting for caches that have been hidden around the area. There are apps you can download that have the coordinates of different caches, so you're not completely on your own, you'll have a little direction. Each cache is labeled by difficulty levels based on how hard they are to find, so you can start simple and build your way up as you get better at it or jump right and tackle the hard ones. Click this link to read more about it.
Check out Free Concerts or Movies in the Area
One of my favorite things about the summer months are all of the free activities in the area, particularly the concerts and movies. There are quite a few offered throughout the county. The're completely free and really low key, so you could come and go as you need to. Keep an eye on our Upcoming Events calendar to see if there's a concert or movie going on the night you are out on a date. We will also be sharing posts as the events for this year are announced so you have all of the details in one place.
Go for a Drive
We love going on long drives and talking. We'll drive up into the foothills and explore different neighborhoods that we'd love to live in or get ideas for our future dream home. We'll take scenic drives through the canyon along the west end of the county, where there's a lot of open space and gorgeous views. We love driving around areas we've never been to and scout out new restaurants we'd love to try or fun places to take our kids. This post from The Salt Project highlights a drive you can take above Davis County, if you have a couple of hours of time to fill.
Check Out a Seasonal Event
There is always something fun going on in our area. Spring brings baby animal days, summer brings ball games and fireworks and festivals, fall brings pumpkin patches and fall festivals, and winter brings light displays, sleigh rides and outdoor ice skating. We keep our Upcoming Events page up to date with specific events. It could be a lot of fun to take a chance on the local corn maze or spend an hour ice skating together. Enjoy the area and the season and everything that there is to offer!
Now you're ready to the make the most of your date nights and do something fun from beginning to end! I'm sure we'll still end up at the grocery store some nights, because there's usually something that we need to pick up and who doesn't love walking through the aisles of Target. What's that meme that's out there? "I like long romantic walks down every aisle of Target" is so true for so many women. But if you're looking for something different to fill half an hour to an hour of time so you feel like you've made good use of the time that you have together, I hope these ideas will help!
What is your favorite way to keep date night going?