A Creative List: Quality Time for Two

This list is inspired by my wonderful partner and lover.  Because of him, I am learning how to live my life to the fullest.  I don’t have to be rolling around in a bunch of money to know that deep down in my heart, I have everything.  I am…indeed…the richest girl in the world.  I love you, Peter.

Let’s face it.  Even the most vibrant and healthy of relationships can get into a rut.  Perhaps there are family issues going on.  Work can be off the chain.  You’re still trying to finish up that degree part time.  Or maybe “things” happen.

Whatever the case, it’s important to always take some time out for you and your partner.  Even if it’s just something small, it’s a chance to share a special moment and perhaps learn something new about each other.  By taking some time for just the two of you, new memories will be created and laughter will be shared.  Most importantly, you will remember why you two are so insanely in love in the first place.

Here’s a great list of different things you can do with your partner, all ranging from $0 – $$$$.  These are activities that could be done in just a few hours to an extended period of time.  Some of them are obvious, some not so much.  Because I am from the Upstate New York, I am going to give some examples in that area.  For those of us living in this area, are we not so VERY fortunate to have so much culture in our area?  I’ve lived here all my life and I still find this amazing and unbelievable.

1) Go to a concert

I don’t know why, but a lot of main stream concerts seem to getting more and more expensive.  Like off the chain expensive.  To offset the cost of this, you can always check out some local bands instead.  Of course, if you look hard enough, you can find outdoor concerts for free.

2) Go to a play

Again, tickets to a decent play can get pretty expensive.  Sometimes you can find a deal with some coupons or if you are part of an “inner circle” of sorts.  However, don’t knock the idea of community theatre.  Here are some local places to check out:

Proctors – http://www.proctors.org/
Capital Rep – http://www.capitalrep.org/
The Park Playhouse – http://www.parkplayhouse.com/

3) Go to a sporting event

I recently got tickets to a NFL football game for my boyfriend and myself to attend.  My friend sold them to me for a discounted price, but those ticket prices were still off the chain.  You can check out local, college and high school events to hit up a cheap, live sporting event.

4) Attend a Cooking Class together

5) Go to a museum

This should not be too hard to find, and reasonably affordable.  Here are some local ones in my area:

The State Museum –  and hit the observation deck in the Corning Tower
Albany Institute of History and Art

6) Take a dance class together

“I started Ballroom here for about a year ago. Its a weekly activity we do as a family every week. Something I strongly suggest for all couples who are looking for a great bonding experience.”bit a. – REVIEW FROM YELP about Lorraine Michael’s Dance Center.

There is a Salsa Club in the Albany area that includes lessons.

7) Visit the local game farm or zoo.  An aquarium is also a really exciting place to visit.

8) Play cards or a board game.  Write down what you want/need/desire from your partner if you win.

9) Go to the Planetarium

10) Build something with some Legos.  This was my boyfriend’s idea.

11) Take a fitness class together

If you don’t belong to a gym, you can usually get guest passes.  Try something fun, yet easy like a body sculpting class or water aerobics.

12) Check out some deals on Living Social

13) Park at the airport.

Bring a thermos of something hot to drink.  Snuggle under a blanket and enjoy the night and lights.  Bonus if you notice drama in the other cars around you.

14) Take a walking tour together

My boyfriend and I did a haunted walking tour in downtown Albany.  An interesting way to get a little activity while exploring the history in the area.  We would do it again in a second.

15) Go for a drive somewhere

You don’t even need a destination.  Make sure you have gas, AAA and a charged phone with service.  Pack a picnic basket with food and drink.  Now, just go.

16) Check out a Butterfly Conservatory

There is something very romantic and enchanting about being in a conservatory with a bunch of beautiful butterflies who pay no mind to humans being around.  Guys with beards, beware.  These winged beasts like to land on the beard.

Joseph L Popp, Jr. Conservatory
Magic Wings

17) “25 Things to do this weekend”

From time to time, our local Times Union will publish an article telling you about all the great things happening in the area for the weekend.  It would be helpful if they posted something up that said “things to do NEXT weekend” as well.

18) Visit a Winery

In Upstate New York, we are very fortunate to have many wineries.  There is some great wine in New York!

19) Check out a new restaurant

Don’t cheat.  For real this time – try a new place to eat that you both have not tried before.  Even better, try a totally different cuisine that you have never tried.  Bonus points if you find a coupon.

21) Better yet, take the dining experience to the next level

How about adding some flair to your dining experience and really make it something wonderful to remember.  Here are some suggestions (again, in the Upstate New York Area or beyond):

Dine in a real castle at Beardslee
The Melting Pot
Take a drive to Medieval Times.  Spend the night and make a weekend of it.
Dinner and a Movie

22) A luxurious and sensual night in

I know, I know…this sounds SOOO typical.  But sometimes you have to spell out the obvious, so read on:

Get some takeout from your favorite place and dine in by candlelight.  Turn everything off: no TV, no smart phones, no tablets, no nothing.  What’s the matter??  Don’t have anything to talk about?  Play a game of “what’s your favorite???” or something similar.  Do some research on Google beforehand if you have to.  Don’t be ashamed.  I’ve done it…it’s even handy for those long car rides together.

After you are done eating and the minimal cleanup, trade some massages with each other.  Finish it off with a nice long shower or bubble bath together.  Dry each other off and hit the sheets.  This works excellent when you are getting out of the bathroom some moments before bed time.  A little mattress mambo is the best medicine for some solid sleep!

23) Build something together

My boyfriend and I built a little end table together.  We needed a little corner table that was  a little high, where we can throw our keys and stuff on when we walked in the door.  We got the materials.  He cut the wood and put it together.  I filled in the cracks, sanded it and painted it.  When I look at that piece of furniture, I feel such pride that we made this beautiful piece of furniture together.

24) Explore the wonders of your world

Take a day/weekend/extended weekend trip to explore what else is out there.  I can think of a few in New York State:

Niagara Falls
The Great Lakes and the Finger Lakes
Herkimer Diamond Mines
Adirondack Park (the biggest national park in the country)
New York City (the biggest city in the world)

25) Write a love letter

There is nothing more powerful than the written word.  Take a moment to express how you feel to your lover.  Any format works: chances are that your partner will be totally surprised and deeply moved by your notion of thoughtfulness.  If there is one thing that you can do today and right now to share with your lover how much they mean to you – express it to them in the form of the written word.  This way, they have a tangible piece of your heart that they can read and indulge in over and over again.

No matter what you have going on, it’s so important to remember to stop and savor life with your partner.  Sharing new experiences together is a wonderful way to keep your bond strong and your relationship fresh.  My partner and I are so important to each other.  I will do anything to make sure it stays that way.

Stay warm!  ::C