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November 22, 2018

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” “You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. 

1) Go horse riding! There is nothing quite like the thrill of mounting a large, gorgeous quadruped for the first time to get the adrenaline pumping. There are reputable horse riding activity providers throughout South Africa that can get you up in the saddle no matter what your experience level may be. 

Newbies may want to stick to a few rounds in a nice, controlled paddock or beach environment, while seasoned riders could head out on a moonlight adventure or even opt for a cross-country endurance ride over the course of a weekend. 

2) Put on your dancing shoes! Dancing is said to be a vertical expression of a horizontal desire and at Date Night Ideas we tend to agree. Turn up the romance by getting all up in each other’s space – you can professional lessons at a dancing studio in your area or you can simply put on some tunes and boogie in the living room. 

Bonus points if you can recreate a famous dance scene from a movie like Grease, Pulp Fiction or Dirty Dancing and post a video on our Facebook page! 

3) Cook something complicated! We all have that one recipe that intimidates the living daylights out of us when it comes to performing in the kitchen – you know, those MasterChef creations that look like it took 20 people about a week to prepare. 

This week, up the ante in your home kitchen by finding a challenging recipe, spending some time as a couple breaking it down into steps, shopping for the ingredients and assembling your masterpiece. 

4) Declutter & play dress-up! This week your couple’s challenge is to throw out all those clothes you don’t wear anymore. It may sound like a chore, but you can make it fun. 

Open a bottle of wine, model a few ridiculous outmoded outfits and clean your closets of all the clothing items that are only taking up space. Best of all – you can donate it to a local charity to support a worthy cause. 

5) Challenge each other to leave your comfort zone! This week it’s time to lace up those tekkies, head out and find a sporting event that challenges you both to leave your comfort zone. Avid runners could try a nice off-road trail run, while less sporty couples could keep it simple and make a point of going for a walk every day after work. 

No matter what your fitness level may be, take this opportunity to inspire each other, push your boundaries and have fun while you’re at it.

6) Get a little foolish! This week, get a little silly with your man – challenge him to do your makeup! Get out the rouge, eyeliner, shadow mascara, lipstick and gloss and let him try his hand at this complicated endeavour that keeps us girls in front of the mirror so long every morning. 

Who knows, he may just have a knack for it! At the very least, he’ll be more understanding about your reason for running late when you’re heading out on a date.

7) Test your taste buds! If you and your partner enjoy wine tasting, a blind tasting of some interesting vintages could be a great stay-at-home date or couple’s evening with friends. 

Source three different wines from your local wine shop (ask for recommendations – speciality shop proprietors really know their stuff!), remove the labels or cover it with a blank piece of paper and challenge your partner to identify the cultivar and area of origin. 

Not quite that knowledgeable yet? No problem! Choose an interesting varietal, read up on food that compliments its bouquet and treat your partner to a beautiful meal. 

8) Get your game on! Two-player video games can be a LOT of fun, especially if you’re not in the mood to head out of the house on a rainy winter evening. 

Get comfy on the couch, order a pizza, crack a beer if you want and challenge each other to your video game of choice. Cool video games for couples include Borderlands (a colourful and quirky sci-fi-meets-Western shooter) and Overcooked (a goofy co-operative multiplayer game based on the restaurant Sim genre), but ultimately the choice is yours.

9) Get crafty! Winter’s almost here and it’s time to get out those knitting needles. Not only does knitting alleviate symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression, it can also help to provide warmth and comfort for South African AIDS orphans. 

Knit-a-Square is a local NGO that uses knitted squares from the world over to make blankets, hats, handwarmers and cuddly toys for children who have been affected by the AIDS pandemic. Think you can’t be seen knitting because you’re a man? Guess again – male celebrities like Russel Crowe, David Arquette and Ryan Gosling love spinning a good yarn. Why shouldn’t you? 

10) Be tourists in your own town or city! This week, plan an outing to that touristy spot in your town or city that you always recommend to visitors, but have never been to yourself (shocking, right?). 

We highly recommend the Johannesburg Zoo, Boulders Beach in Cape Town, the Durban Botanical Gardens, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in PE and Faerie Glen Nature Reserve outside of Pretoria. Bonus points if you take some pictures of your touristy outing and share it our Facebook page to inspire other couples to embark on adventures in their own backyard! 

11) Organise your memories! Back in the day when photographs were taken on film and printed at great expense, it was relatively easy to keep track of all your precious memories. These days, it’s a little harder – your photos can easily end up on as many as five different devices between the two of you! 

This week, take some time to collate your photo collection by copying it onto a single drive or cloud-based storage facility. While you’re at it, choose a few of your favourite shots and have it printed. Alternatively, invest in a digital photo frame and create a revolving slideshow of your precious memories to beautify your home. 

12) Go all Indian! With the colder weather slowly creeping up on us, it’s about time to whip out those curry recipes. Instead of just cooking it and tucking in, turn curry night into a full-on theme evening with Indian music, henna tattoos and a sparkly sari and turban if you feel like dressing up. Round things off by watching a movie like Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

13) Support the local arts! South Africa has some of the most talented artists, actors and musicians around – this week, make a point of going out to see a stage production, photo installation, live music set, or a local movie. It’s not only a lovely date night idea, it’s the best way to ensure that local productions get the recognition it reserves and more funding to continue their exceptional work. 

14) Tickle your partner's reading fancy! One of the most rewarding gifts you can ever give your partner is a subscription to their favourite magazine – it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. They’ll be reminded of your love and affection every month when they open the post box to find their favourite glossy has arrived. 

There are so many great South African titles to choose from, so you can really tailor this gift to your partner’s personality. Is he active and outdoorsy? Sign him up for Men’s Health. Does she like crafting and cooking? Woman & Home has wonderful ideas to provide some inspiration. Best of all, you can both read it and pass it along to family and friends once you’re done enjoying the publication. If not, go green – recycle responsibly or donate the magazines to a local playschool to use for arts and crafts. 

15) Go on an affordable winter getaway! In wintertime, many accommodation venues have specials to entice couples to ditch the self-imposed hibernation period and enjoy a nice getaway. Take advantage of these low-season rates and head out on a splendid adventure at a fraction of the price it would cost you during summer. Odds are you won’t be heading to the beach to work on your tan, but you can still bundle up and go on a lovely hike in the brisk morning air. Have a look at specials in your area and surprise your partner with a romantic weekend away without breaking the bank. 

16) Learn how to make sushi at home! Have you ever tried your hand at making your own sushi? It’s a little tricky, but once you master the art of cooking the rice, prepping the seaweed and assembling the ingredients, you’re all set. Teach yourself and your partner how to make sushi by watching some how-to videos on YouTube, or sign up for a class – many restaurants and cooking schools offer special courses. Once you’ve mastered the art, you can treat yourself to sushi any time you please! It’s also great fun to invite over a few couples for an Asian-themed evening with some sake, oriental music and homemade sushi.

17) Revive the fondue trend! Wintertime calls for rich, warming dishes that can be enjoyed in front of the fire. This is the perfect time to dig out the fondue set and plan a date night around this trendy 80s pastime. Did you know fondue is the Swiss national dish? It was popularised by the Swiss Cheese Union in the 1930s to encourage cheese consumption, and still remains a firm favourite up north. Choose a few of your partner’s favourite meats and veggies, throw on an 80s soundtrack and enjoy a nice, lingering fondue session with a glass of red wine or two. We highly recommend the Van Loveren Merlot. 

18) Invest in a couples Spa experience! South Africa is known for having discerning spa-goers who demand excellence at every turn. This is why we were thrilled to discover Life Day Spa, a series of health and beauty facilities that include no less than four spa destinations in two of South Africa’s best-loved metropoles.  

As part of the wellness revolution and in line with their mission to deliver an extraordinary experience in spa wellness, the team at each of these spas is committed to assisting clients in their quest to look and feel better. From top to toe, their variety of treatments and tailor-made spa packages will ensure a sought-after experience that combats the effects of aging and stress, leaving clients feeling rejuvenated and content. 

19) Go on an adventure filled date. Adventure Zone offers quite a variety of unique and exceptional services. They are an adrenaline activity provider that facilitates school camps, team building exercises and corporate retreats, as well as a variety of fun, outdoor activities for couples, families and individuals. This includes extreme zip-lining, archery, abseiling & rap jumping, horseback safaris, quad bike safaris and bongo drumming. In short – everything you need to get your heart pumping and the adrenaline flowing.

19) Looking for an outdoor adventure to enjoy on your next date outing or family getaway? Look no further than Acrobranch - a treetop experience featuring various obstacle courses (including high ropes, tricky crossings and zip lines) suitable for children, teenagers and reasonably fit adults respectively. 

Acrobranch has branches in Pretoria North, Centurion, Pretoria East, Johannesburg (Huddle Park and Melrose) along the Garden Route at Timberlake Organic Village, as well as Constantia Nek in Cape Town. Book your spot today to enjoy a fun-filled, active date night, family adventure or group outing – Acrobranch caters for the whole gang. 

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