The last thing you want on date night is to get in a rut. Instead of watching Netflix and ordering takeout, think outside the box (of chocolates) and go explore all that East Dallas has to offer. Whether you’re looking for something relaxing or adventurous, the neighborhood has it all. Go crazy. Call the babysitter. Spring for a rideshare. Grow closer to your partner with these date ideas that are anything but boring.

1. A kick-axe date

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Work stressing you out? Family driving you crazy? Carve out time for a date that will chop away your frustration. Instead of taking out your problems on your significant other, book a session at Bad Axe Throwing. The company will provide the axes. All you have to do is enjoy that satisfying feeling when your hatchet wedges in the wood. You don’t have to feel angry or stressed to enjoy axe throwing. Plenty of couples do it to have a good time and learn a new skill. At a walk-in rate of $24 an hour, it may be a bit pricey for some couples, but you can save a few bucks by bringing your own food and drinks. Plus, you’ll impress your date with your sense of adventure. You’ll sign a waiver that reminds you that the activity could result in loss of limb, permanent disability or death, but no one has ever been hurt at Bad Axe Throwing. Safety is the No.1 priority.

2. Take a staycation

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Want to spend some one-on-one time with your significant other without fighting traffic or breaking the bank? Pack your bags for a    fun weekend in a neighborhood Airbnb that is guaranteed to make you forget you’re still in Dallas. Check out The Slater, a ’90s-themed rental housethat’s sure to make you feel like a kid again. Play retro video games, watch a VHS tape and eat sugary cereal in the diner-themed kitchen from “Saved by the Bell.” If the ’80s are more your scene, travel back to the past in The McFly, owned by the same hosts, Jeremy and Kelsey Turner. Looking for something a little more relaxing? Book a night in the Treehouse in Little Forest Hills and be transported out of urban Dallas. The Airbnb is secluded behind a wall of green and boasts a pond, fountain and large metal sculptures on the property. Take a walk and watch for critters that traverse the wooded yard. Removed from the stress of city life, it’s the perfect place for couples to reconnect.

Photo courtesy of Airbnb

3. Learn to cook together

Photo courtesy of the Dallas Arboretum

There’s an old proverb that says, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, the same can be said of women. Everyone’s got to eat, and everyone wants to eat food that tastes good. Instead of ordering pizza, sign up for a cooking class at Central Market. In each class, couples will have to cooperate to make a multicourse meal that, of course, lands in their bellies. Each class has a theme, and couples can learn to make everything from Czech kolaches to Thai food and citrus dishes from southern Italy. Classes start at $60 per person. If you don’t want to spring for an expensive class, there are other affordable options in the neighborhood. Cooking demonstrations at A Tasteful Place in the Dallas Arboretum are free with paid garden admission. Students and instructors from El Centro College teach neighbors to prepare tasty meals with local ingredients that are sure to beat the recipe rut.

4. Have a swingin’ good time

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

If the extent of your dancing skills involves following the foolproof instructions of the “Cha-Cha Slide,” help is on the way. Every Wednesday, couples can take free swing dance lessons at the Sons of Hermann Hall. Experienced instructors teach the class, then they cut students loose to twirl, dip and flip on the 100-year-old floor. Dancing in public is scary, but you and your partner can face your fears together. Dress in 1930s or 1940s attire to take the date to the next level.

5. Not your typical bowling date

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Bowling is a date-night classic. If you want a night of friendly competition, head to Bowlski’s. The 10-lane bowling alley opened last year in the historic Lakewood Theater. The modern, yet romantic, setting is a great space to let loose with your partner. When you’re done bowling, check out Bowlski’s other activities to keep the night exciting. Take a break with “slideskis” and “rollskis” at the restaurant bar, then head upstairs to the gaming suites, where you can challenge your significant other to a game of virtual golf.

6.The great outdoors

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Hitting the Santa Fe Trail is the perfect way to spend time with each other and get a little exercise. Don’t panic. We’re not suggesting you run together. We get it. Running is hard. It’s painful. But a leisurely walk or bike ride could be just what you need to mix up date night…or afternoon. Enjoy conversation and scenery as you zip past views of the Dallas skyline and White Rock Lake. It’s a no-frills trail for a no-frills date. No need to worry about what to wear. Just grab your favorite T-shirt and athletic shorts, and you’re good to go. Let your partner see the real you, sweat and all. Pack a snack or a picnic and take a break at Lindsley Park when you need a rest. If you make it all the way to Deep Ellum, treat yo’ selves to cold drinks while listening to live music at one of the neighborhood restaurants.


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