Inside: Check out these five healthy date ideas that you can enjoy together without breaking the bank!
My husband and I love to go on dates. Dinner dates, out for drinks, group dates, concerts, you name it, we’re down. Though, I do feel that all of these dates have started to catch up with me. We’re approaching our 40’s, which means, now is as good a time as any to reassess some of our lifestyle choices. It’s undeniable that we love to go out and eat and drink. We’ll never stop doing that because for us, it’s more than just the food – it’s getting to meet the chefs and owners, and listening to their passion. It’s being around people who are creating opportunities for people to come in and sit around a table, share a meal, and for a moment, leave their worries outside.
But if it were up to me, I’d want to go on a date every night. And as much as I love to go out for a cocktails, dinner and dessert, it’s something I know isn’t good for my health to do as often as I’d like to. It’s also not that easy on the bank account and, let’s be honest, I’m always saving for my next trip!
Five Healthy Date Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank
My husband and I came up with some healthy date ideas that we love to weave into our lives. We’ll never stop going out for dinner and drinks, but having some easy healthy date ideas that won’t break the bank gives us some much needed balance.
Healthy Date Idea #1: Swap an unhealthy habit for a healthier option
For the past few years, we had gotten into a routine. Friday nights always started with a couple craft cocktails, followed by dinner and dessert. And maybe a nightcap…
And Sunday morning meant brunch. Usually in the $25 per person range, and usually with a few cocktails, because what is brunch if not an excuse for some light day drinking? I mean, was it really a Sunday, if it didn’t include a lazy Sunday brunch?
Once in a while, Friday night dinner dates and Sunday morning brunches are fun, special, and totally worth it. But every week, like clockwork? Not the healthiest choice for your body or wallet.
Instead, we’ve swapped some of our Friday nights with a low key restorative yoga class.
We joined a yoga school during a big membership sale, but if you’re not ready to invest in that, you can either keep an eye out for all the free yoga events available every weekend, or just stay home and pull up some classes on YouTube.
And instead of heading to Sunday brunch, we’ve created a healthier routine. My husband really excels at making breakfast. It’s his superpower. So now we sleep in, and then he makes some strong coffee, fries up a few local, good quality eggs, and maybe some bacon or Belgian waffles.
We go on a long hike through one of Columbus’s beautiful parks. Our current favorite is Antrim. We love walking around Antrim lake, and then following the paths behind Thomas Worthington towards Worthington Hills.
Healthy Date Idea #2: Go Dancing!
We recently did a ballroom dancing class with Lindsay and her husband.
Lindsay runs the blog “Find Where You Fit” and I just love it! It’s full of inspiration and ideas and I really admire her philosophy that “all people deserve to move, lead a healthy life, and feel like they’re right where they belong.”
This was such a fun night of dancing, laughing, and moving our bodies. There are tons of dance schools in Columbus, and many of them offer a free class to see if it’s something you’d like to do. If you’re more of a DIY type, you can also watch YouTube “how to” videos, and then head to one of the many FREE social dance nights in the city, like this one offered by the Vineyard Columbus Church.
Healthy Date Idea #3: Schedule appointments together
One of my favorite parts about my husband is that he just makes life….better. He makes everything more fun and I’d rather spend my time doing just about anything with him, vs going out somewhere fancy with someone else. And as busy parents, we don’t always have time to go out and spend time together, just the two of us. So here’s my hack for busy, overworked parents everywhere. Schedule things together during your weekday lunch. The kids are already at school, and you have to go to the doctor, dentist, hair salon, or chiropractor anyway, so why not make a date out of it?
We recently did just this when we were invited to check out the new North Orange Family Dentistry center in Lewis Center. Visiting the dentist is not my husband’s favorite thing to do. He had some negative experiences when he was a child, and just “forgets” to schedule his appointments. Not me. I LOVE going to the dentist. I love the feeling of running my tongue across those squeaky clean teeth. It’s my favorite thing. Seriously.
But he’s not a huge fan. We all have our things, and mine is driving. I get major anxiety driving, especially downtown. But that’s the awesome thing about marriage – we get to support our spouses through “the things.” He helps me figure out which roads to take and where to park in advance of me getting in the car. Sometimes, he’ll even drive me. And I get to support him by remembering to make those appointments for routine cleaning, and going with him.
So I scheduled an appointment over lunch, for both of us. He picked me up at work, and we joked and laughed on the way in. Instead of being anxious when we arrived, he was instantly distracted by the gorgeous office, and all the techie toys around him.
He got to sign in for the appointment ON AN IPAD!
How cool is that? An actual Ipad!
I did my best to entertain him until they called him back, which luckily was just a couple of minutes, and then I allowed myself to get distracted by all the cool things.
Like the fancy coffee machine.
And the AMENITIES menu.
You guys, North Orange Family Dentistry has an AMENITIES menu.
Also, it should be noted that as a huge foodie, I was very impressed by their vanilla toothpaste option. It was delicious and reminded me of brushing my teeth with marshmallow fluff. I think you should check out this dentist office just for that alone.
After the appointment, I saw my husband and he was MAKING HIS NEXT APPOINTMENT.
This is huge.
And he even had a smile on his face. He really appreciated the care he received, and told me that the hygienist would periodically stop and check in and make sure he was doing ok. It was small thing, but it can make a big difference to someone who is on edge about being at the dentist. Thank you, North Orange Dentistry. I truly appreciated it.
Is going on a date to the dentist weird? Probably, but who wants to be normal, anyway?
Healthy Date Idea #4: Work out together!
Our schedules don’t always line up, but we’ve been trying to do a different workout together at least once a week. We recently had a blast checking out the new Shred415 in Lewis Center during one of their FREE class specials. It’s a treadmill based workout – where you alternate running or walking on a treadmill with strength training. It was fun and sweaty and we felt GREAT afterwards. Best part? Your first class is FREE!
We also love going to Sentinel Performance, LLC in Lewis Center. Every Saturday morning, they offer a free community class to the public, and I have to tell you – they are the BEST. Joe, Jihan, and Frank are some of the most knowledgeable personal trainers that I’ve ever met, and they make working out so much fun. If I lived closer, and my schedule wasn’t so crazy, I would 100% sign up for their (affordable) personal training sessions. If you can make it out sometime for a free class – I just know you’ll love it!
If you have kids, don’t worry. There’s a lot of studios that offer childcare! Check out this list for gyms with childcare in Columbus
Healthy Date Idea #5: Wander through the farmer’s market/ethnic market and cook a meal together
We are so lucky to have so many farmer’s markets in the city. We’ve been to several and usually find ourselves at the Worthington Farmer’s market. So many good vendors!
One of our favorite ways to spend time together is to wake up early, head to a farmer’s market and walk for a few miles just taking in the scene before stopping to pick up some fresh ingredients to bring home. We love the fresh air, ambiance and all the things to see.
Once we’ve selected a few different ingredients, we often pop into an ethnic market for some interesting add-ins and then we spend the afternoon making some healthy new dishes to try. It’s a lot easier on the wallet than going out, and we can make the food as healthy as we like.
I hope you liked my simple healthy date ideas. Spending time together doesn’t have to be expensive or unhealthy! Do you ever switch up your date nights? Do you have any healthy date ideas to share? Leave a comment and let me know!