While writing my latest release, THE RULES ACCORDING TO GRACIE, I was looking for a fun date idea that would help my characters get out of their comfort zones…well, get the heroine out of her comfort zone anyway.
Gracie Greene takes all her first dates to the same restaurant. While the dates don’t ever go well, her friendship with the owner of the restaurant (and her bad date saviour!) leads to something special.
It got me thinking about dating. Now, it’s been a long time since I dated as my husband and I met at the slightly crazy tender age of nineteen. Now, I enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine as much as the next person, but restaurant dates are kind of boring in the beginning, are they not?
There are a few elements to a great date. You need an activity that will allow you to talk and connect, something that will help the conversation along if it slows down (first dates can be so awkward!) and you want something that will make a great memory if you move onto date number two and beyond.
If you’re looking for something to spice up date night then here are a few things you might want to consider:
1. Take your food outdoors – How about a Night Market for a fresh take on the dinner and drinks date? These markets usually have a great atmosphere and, while they can be crowded, there’s plenty to do so you won’t risk awkward silences if the conversation is a little slow. Plus there will be plenty of yummy food to try out together.
2. Get active – Try a sport, preferably something that doesn’t make you too sweaty! I played croquet for the first time at a Hen’s Day and it was so much fun! Mini-golf is an old favourite, so try something new. How about lawn bowls (it’s not just for the blue rinse set) or the Italian version, bocce.
3. Walk with the animals –Places like Zoos and Aquariums often have great events on that would be perfect for a date! There’s something magical about watching underwater life at an aquarium. Plus you might learn something new.
4. Be a tourist in your own town – Pick a tourist attraction in your local town that you both haven’t been to. It could be a museum, gallery, monument or something else! Exploring the place where you live together can make for a great memory.
5. Play a game – There are a ton of funky places that offer board games and drinks in the one venue. Have a wine over Snakes and Ladders or a coffee and quick round of Jenga. This gives you something to do while you talk, you could even make it even more fun by sharing something about yourself with each round of the game.
A few honourable mentions go to: taking a class together (try cooking, photography or coffee art), downloading a walking tour of your city and taking it together, or going to an old-school video game arcade.
About THE RULES ACCORDING TO GRACIE
Rule number one: don’t fall for the wrong guy.
Gracie Green has a shopping list for men. Career, financials, family…and a long list of rules to determine a guy’s suitability. She’s already disappointed her socialite mother once—now Gracie needs to find Mr. Perfect. Too bad she keeps getting distracted by her super-sexy, six-feet-of-tattooed-hotness friend, Des, who is so many shades of Mr. Wrong…
Bar owner Des Chapman has vowed never again to get involved with society girls. Yet he’s irresistibly drawn to Gracie—those lush curves, those lips, and her ridiculous ability to date the wrong guys. As Gracie’s discouragement grows, Des realizes it’s time to show her what she really needs in a man—and it has nothing to do with a briefcase and generous bank account. He’ll teach Gracie the Rules According To Des…even if it means breaking his rule in the process.
About Stefanie London
Growing up, Stefanie came from a family of women who loved to read. Her favourite activity was going shopping with her Nan during school holidays, where she would sit on the floor of the bookstore with her little sister and painstakingly select the books to spend her allowance on. Thankfully, Nan was a patient woman.
Thus, it was no surprise Stefanie was the sort of student who would read her English books before the semester started. After sneaking several literature subjects into her ‘very practical’ Business degree, she got a job in Communications. When writing emails and newsletters didn’t fulfill her creative urges, she turned to fiction and was finally able to write the stories that kept her mind busy at night.
Now she lives with her very own hero and dreams of travelling the world. She frequently indulges in her passions for good coffee, French perfume, high heels and zombie movies. Recently she gave up her day job to write sexy, contemporary romance stories and she couldn’t be happier.