Romance, humor, and a little bit drama—those are the three key ingredients in the recipe for love. At least those are what seem to work for Gabby and Travis in The Choice by Nicholas Sparks. The Choice has finally been made into a movie that comes out on February 5th—right in time for Valentine’s Day!
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I know some of you may be looking for date ideas that are sure to fill you and your boyfriend/girlfriend’s heart with love. Luckily, this post has six romantic and refreshing date ideas for you that are inspired by The Choice.
1. Dog Walking
Growing up, my mom always taught me that animals can sense if a person is good or bad, and I still believe it to this day. Animals are a surprisingly good judge of character in my experience, so why not make your furry friends the stars of your date? Dog walking is a great opportunity to get to know your date through face-to-face conversation, and you’ll be sneaking in some exercise too!
Don’t have a dog? No problem! Volunteering at an animal shelter together can be a lovely way to bond with your date and be able to see the playful side of them. Plus you’ll be able to help the shelter animals get some exercise and much-needed love.
2. Go on a Boat Ride
If you’re in one of the lucky regions of the United States that still has warm weather in February, going on a boat ride can be the romantic date you’ve been looking for. There’s nothing more calming than sitting on a boat, holding hands with a loved one, and rocking gently with the waves.
Boat rides are a delightful option for getting to know your date and seeing some beautiful views. In warmer regions of the United States, such as California and Georgia, there are dozens of companies that offer dinner cruises for Valentine’s Day which is both thoughtful and convenient.
3. Have a Bonfire
Once again, this date is more ideal for those of you that are in places with warm weather, but it’s still not impossible for those that aren’t.
For those of you who are in warm-weathered areas, making a backyard bonfire after dinner can be romantic, fun, and easy on the wallet. Typically people may think of bonfires as a summer activity, but being snuggled up in a blanket by the fire can be oddly refreshing in the winter-time. Plus, bonfires also lead to a tasty dessert idea—s’mores!
Now, for those of you who are in cold areas like me, don’t worry, you can still make a bonfire—just a little bit differently. I would do the “indoor bonfire” idea in one of two ways: use a fireplace or buy an indoor s’mores maker (yes, you can even buy them on Amazon). With the first way, I would just start a fire in a fireplace, put a bunch of pillows and blankets down on the ground in front of it (but still a safe distance away) and get all nice and cuddly with my date. Although I do like using s’mores makers, I feel like you lose a little bit of the romance. However, you can make it fun by challenging your date to a bet on who can make the best s’more!
4. Cook Dinner Together
I think cooking is so much fun to do on a date. It’s delightful to spend time in the kitchen making something together and then getting to enjoy your meal when you’re done. There’s just something about the taste of food when it’s made with love.
Since The Choice takes place in North Carolina, I think it would be fun to make a meal based off of the type of food the state is known for—barbecue! Figuring out how to barbecue and making some nice southern comfort foods would be an exciting and entertaining part of your date. If you’re not too good at cooking, I recommend looking up some easy recipes on Pinterest.
5. Go to a Carnival
If you have seen the trailer for The Choice, you probably saw the quick snippet of a carnival scene. When I saw that, the first thing that I thought was: How cute! A carnival date!
I know the question that’s coming next: what are you supposed to do if there isn’t a carnival near you?
That’s simple. You make your own. You don’t have to have a ferris wheel, funnel cake, and all that jazz to make your own carnival. Making caramel apples together, going to a park to swing on swings together, setting up a silly “kissing booth,” and giving out a giant teddy bear at the end of the night to your date are all cute ideas. Just put in effort and think creatively. If you’re not creative like that, going to a place like Dave and Busters would be a fun alternative too.
6. Go See The Choice
You guessed it—going to see The Choice for Valentine’s Day would be a heartwarming date idea! Seeing a movie about romance and love is more than perfect on a day like Valentine’s Day. You can laugh together, hold hands, and even sneak a couple kisses during the movie.
If you don’t want to wait until Valentine’s Day to see The Choice, I have something that you’ll love—a contest! The only catch is that you have to be in the Chicagoland area to participate in the contest. All of the winners will have a chance to win passes to an advance screening to the movie—in addition to a prize pack!