It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner, if we don’t make the effort to properly plan dates into our schedules, it can be easy to ‘forget’ to spend quality time together. Sitting down watching TV and going to the movies are all well and good, but how much do you actually talk during those activities? We’ve got some great ideas to get you interacting, out and active on your dates!
1. Go on a hike
And we don’t just mean to the dairy. New Zealand is fortunate enough to have many mountains, ridges, walkways and volcanic cones – find one near you and walk up it/over it/along it. Bonus points if you pack a lunch and take it with you for an outdoor picnic; though you may need to pick a day with reasonable weather! If you want to take it to the next level, see if there are any day trips by ferry or boat to nearby islands with walking tracks.
2. Go rock climbing
Whether you enjoy this or not may depend on how much upper body strength you have and whether or not you like heights… Find out if you have a rock climbing centre near you and go bust some moves on a vertical wall.
3. Embrace your inner child
Remember going down to the park with your friends and kicking the ball around when you were a kid? When did that stop? Take your significant other to your nearest park along with something to throw or kick to each other – soccer ball, rugby ball (don’t know how to kick it but he does? get him to teach you!), frisbee… Failing that, go on the swings or slides – just don’t push any kids off the equipment! You’ll get fresh air, exercise and ‘together time’ all at once.
4. Go ice skating
You get to try something new and hold hands at the same time! Stop fighting the cold winter and embrace it by heading somewhere even colder. If you live in Auckland, Christchurch, Gore, Dunedin or Queenstown, there’s an ice rink near you. Investigate public session times, or if you’re feeling more game, you could both book in to weekly beginner’s learn to skate sessions so you can impress everyone by spinning and jumping across the ice together. Just make sure you get a hot chocolate while you’re there.
5. Walk the dog
Dogs generally love to experience new things and see new places (all the smells!). Bundle your pooch and your partner into the car and go somewhere new for a change – the beach, a different park or a walking trail. Just make sure dogs are allowed there and double check whether they are allowed to go off leash otherwise you may have to hang on to them. Take a ball or frisbee along for added fun. Got no dog to walk? Ask a friend, relative or neighbour if you can borrow theirs.
6. Be a tourist
The great thing about being a tourist is you usually end up doing a lot of walking. Try being a tourist in your own city and do something you wouldn’t normally do, or better yet, plan a day of it together. Go to the zoo, up a tower, to a muesum… Check out tourism sites like www.newzealand.com for more ideas.
7. Pick your own fruit
A number of orchards around the country will let you pick your own seasonal fruit. Climbing trees, getting down on your hands and knees and rummaging through foliage will remind you where produce comes from and have you feeling like a kid again. Take a look at www.pickyourown.org for an idea of what orchards are close to you (or just drop in and ask whether they let you do your own fruit picking if you know of one in your neighbourhood).
8. Give your time to someone (or something else!)
Volunteering gives you the warm fuzzies inside from having done a good deed, plus it usually involves active work of some kind. Whether it’s scrubbing potatoes and serving meals at your local homeless shelter, planting trees for the Department of Conservation, or giving your time to the animals at the local SPCA, find a cause you both would like to support and get into it!
9. Plan to do a fitness event
It doesn’t have to be a marathon! Warmer weather is on its way and there will be plenty of events coming up that you and your partner can train for together. If you’re just starting out, you could do a 5km walk. When you do the event, you’ll both be able to feel the sense of accomplishment from having achieved something. Check out www.eventfinder.co.nz and filter for ‘fun runs and walks’ to find an event near you.
10. Hit the driving range (not literally)
See whether you’d be able to compete against Tiger Woods and head to your local golf driving range. Even if you suck at real golf, there’s something ridiculously satisfying at hitting golf balls out into an empty field. You can usually hire clubs, hire balls, and hire a professional to give the both of you a lesson if you really don’t know what you’re doing. Alternatively, aim a little lower and go for a game of mini-golf to practice your putting skills instead.
Image / Flickr – Jenny Mealing