Being a mom can be an all encompassing, time consuming responsibility that leaves little room for much else. But, if the internet has taught us anything, as moms we know that it is important to continue to date your spouse. Easier said than done, I get it; but book that babysitter, call the in laws, whatever you need to do , and invest in some quality time. Whether you’re in a long term, established relationship or you’re a mom that is newly back on the dating scene, putting yourself and your relationship first from time to time will pay off.
Of course, who has the bandwidth to plan a fun date night? A quiet dinner cooked by someone other than yourself, with no interruptions or food thrown is a rare treat, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you want to do something a little more than just going out to eat.
Here are 10 fun date ideas, ready made for you to go out and have an adventure.
1. Channel your inner foodie
Memphis’ food scene is emergent and exciting. For a few years now, we’ve been getting national press
for our innovative local restaurants. We’ve always been on the map for BBQ and fried chicken, but lately there’s more to eat than grease, fat, and pork. For a spin on a pretty traditional date night, go out to dinner at one of our lauded restaurants! But here’s the challenge: if you’re like me, you’re a selective eater. I challenge you to trust the chef–they have
gotten national attention, after all–and pick something that includes ingredients you don’t recognize. My suggestions? Anything in the Andrew Michael
family of restaurants (all owned by chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman; Catherine and Mary’s, Andrew Michael, and Bishop are particularly noteworthy for dates), Restaurant Iris
(with Chef Kelly English back at the helm and a new menu, this classic is perfect for date nights), Flight
, Southern Social
(a good Germantown option for you suburban folk), or Felicia Suzanne
. We love going to Catherine and Mary and sharing small plates of pasta, letting our waiter recommend several, and having them brought out in pairs, slowly, taking our time enjoying drinks and catching up on everything we haven’t talked about (because… kids).
2. Make it a pub crawl!
Now that we’ve covered the foodie scene, let’s talk about one of my favorite date nights: an appetizer crawl. I recommend going to Overton Square (I’d recommend Ubering for this date night) and turn the date into a progressive dinner. Start at Local
with the bar fries. Try pairing each course with a drink of choice; something that goes well with the flavors of the food. From there, the night moves forward, perhaps to Bosco’s
, but it definitely includes a po-boy from Second Line
. This could definitely be done in Cooper Young, Broad Avenue Arts District, or in South Main as well.
Don’t have time for a full-fledged date night? While I’m on the topic of food, let’s discuss my favorite quick date: dessert! How fun would it be to grab coffee and a cupcake at Muddy’s Bake Shop
(the Midtown location has the coffee and more seating), settle down at a table, and enjoy taking a pause from your hectic lives as parents? Exactly.
4. Bring out the kid in you
Sometimes adulting just really is a drag. If you need a break from being responsible, turn date night into a competition! You could go to Rec Room
and challenge your date to an intense Mario Kart battle. Book a living room and have a couch, console, and screen all to yourselves, with no kids demanding that it be their turn. If the weather is nice, go to Golf and Games
and play putt-putt golf. After striving for that hole in one, you could race go-karts and try to earn enough tickets to win a prize inside at the games. They even have laser tag – you could team up and play together for some couples bonding, but honestly I would rather seek and destroy, all men for themselves. Another idea? Cosmic bowling. It’s always a fun change of pace! Just make sure to bring your socks! Billy Hardwick’s
is a great place to bowl, but there are a lot of options. Dave and Buster’s
is an all in one kind of date night – with dinner, a bar, and a great selection of games, you can spend all night challenging each other. Newer to the Memphis scene is Civil Axe,
where you reserve time to throw axes at wooden targets. Surprisingly cathartic and totally different.
5. Cheer for the home team
USA Today named Memphis the number one underrated sports city in 2014.
Whether you cheer for the Tigers, the Grizz, the Redbirds, the Riverkings, the Lynx, or a high school alma mater, look up that schedule, pick a game, buy tickets, gear up, and make a date out of it. Dress in your team colors, indulge in some popcorn and BBQ nachos (yes, food again!), and heck – wave that foam finger!
6. Take in a show
Memphis has a great local theater scene. From the traveling Broadway shows at the Orpheum Theater
to local productions at Playhouse on the Square
, Circuit Playhouse
, Theatre Memphis
, and more, date night can include refined culture through the arts. Live theater not your thing? You could check out Ballet Memphis
, Opera Memphis
, or the Memphis Symphony.
Not only that, but on any given night, there is always live music somewhere – the Memphis Flyer
does a good job of highlighting what is going on.
7. Cook up a storm
Cooking together can be so enjoyable when you’re not having to conform to the demands of a toddler. Cooking classes are a fun, practical date night idea! Salud Cooking School
in the East Memphis Whole Foods has a lot of different options–some are demonstrations, some are hands on. From knife skills to meatballs, Salud helps get you cooking in the kitchen.
8. Get back to nature
You may have noticed that most of these date night ideas include food–it is no secret that we love to chow down on goodness in our great city. So to balance all this food, how about we add in dates that are good for the body as well. Memphis has an abundance of green space, considering we’re a city with a fair amount of sprawl and car dependency. Take a day date to one of the many different outdoor options: in Shelby Farms
you can walk/run/bike the Greenline, do a zip line challenge course, play disc golf, or take your dogs to the dog park. Go to Shelby Forest
to hike, bike, or fish. Walk the Old Forest, relax by Rainbow Lake, or take in the Memphis Zoo
at your own pace sans the kids at Overton Park
9. Strive to be a cicerone
So I looked it up and apparently a certified beer expert is known as a cicerone
. For this date night, tap into some of the great local brews in Memphis. Most of the local breweries have tap rooms. You should definitely check out Memphis Made
, Crosstown Brewing
, Ghost River
, and High Cotton
. To make the date night fun, download and print off these beer tasting scorecards
and work your way through samples of the various types of beers. More of a wino? I love Knifebird
in Cooper Young: a low key wine bar with a knowledgeable staff. Use this wine tasting scorecard
and save your notes–once you find a wine you love, you can find it at the store yourself for your personal cellar.
10. Take a romantic staycation
Of course, best was saved for last. Call up the grandparents, enlist your best overnight babysitter–whatever you need to do–and book a night (or two!) at the River Inn at Harbor Town
. This quaint hotel is so romantic, with only a few rooms per floor and an intimate lobby with a wood burning fireplace. The rooftop has beautiful
views. Grab drinks before dinner and take in the downtown lights. Dinner at Paulette’s
is a must–especially the popovers with strawberry butter and the crêpes for dessert. The next day, walk around Harbor Town
and along the river before heading back to reality. Or try one of the newest hotels in town, Central Station
. With its own bar, eight & sand, and restaurant, Bishop
, you don’t have to leave the building to enjoy yourselves, but there are so many great things to do in South Main that walking around, riding the trolley, taking an adventure together can’t be beat.
Treat yourself. Take some time to share a moment with your partner. Enjoy all our city has to offer. Oh – and do tell us if you try one of these ideas! Any other date night ideas you’ve got out there?