Couples who play together, stay together – and have a much more fulfilling relationship. So why not ditch the TV, book a babysitter and try something different this summer? Here are 10 suggestions to get your adventures rolling.
1. Get moving
The best way to maintain an exercise program is to have a partner – so why not work out as a couple? You don't have to go to the gym to get fit. You can walk, run, bike -- or try a completely new sport, like rock climbing or kayaking. And afterwards, back rubs should be easy to come by.
2. Journey to the unfamiliar
Is there a neighbourhood in your city you've been dying to explore, or a backwoods hiking path you've always meant to check out? Now's the time. You might be surprised at what you find – a new favourite restaurant, perhaps, or a fabulous view.
3. Upgrade your skills
Maybe you've always fantasized about whispering sweet nothings to each other in Italian – or maybe you just want to cook Italian food. Enroll in a class at a nearby college or university. You'll learn something new and have fun at the same time. Not in the mood for school? Take a book out of the library and read up on something new at home (but don't forget to take lots of study breaks).
4. Get some culture
Cheap theatre abounds in the summer months – why not take in a play? If you're in a major city, there's sure to be a Fringe Festival or something similar going on – or maybe Shakespeare performed outdoors, like Bard on the Beach in Vancouver. Not into theatre? Visit an art gallery, or pick up a classical CD and listen to the symphony under the stars.
5. Donate your time
Share your free time with someone who needs it. Try volunteering together – you'll be socializing and helping a worthy cause at the same time. Browse your local newspaper for ideas, or visit volunteer.ca to search for opportunities across the country.
Page 1 of 2 – Discover five more unique ways to spend a summer day with your partner on page 2.
6. Eat fresh
Nothing tastes better than perfectly ripe, freshly picked fruit, so head straight to the source and harvest yourselves a bounty. There are U-pick operations across the country (see our article on picking your own fruit for details), and you can even grab ingredients for dinner at the market on the way out. Then take the goods home and enjoy the rewards -- strawberry shortcake or peach pie (after a salad, of course).
7. Just relax
Maybe the change you need is just to do nothing. In that case, plan your nothing right. Pack a picnic lunch and a blanket, journey out to your favourite spot and do nothing together. It's a great way to unwind and share your thoughts with each other without the outside world interfering.
8. Take up a cause
Is there something you're both passionate about, like animal rights or better funding for schools? Well, do something about it! Whether it's joining an existing campaign or starting from scratch, you're sure to find fulfillment through your efforts -- and maybe even make a difference. Not sure where to start? Read How to Save the World in Your Spare Time by veteran activist Elizabeth May.
9. Be a tourist
Pretend to be tourists for the day! Visit your local tourist information centre for suggestions on what to do and where to go, and then see the sights like you've never seen them before. Whether it's a boat tour of the harbour, a ride in a horse-drawn carriage or a visit to your local museum, you'll be sure to learn something new about where you live.
10. Dance the night away
When's the last time you went dancing together? If it was the high school prom, you're probably ready for a refresher course. Try taking a dance lesson -- you can find classes in everything from salsa to ballroom to two-stepping. And when you're done, maybe you can mosey down to the burger joint for a milkshake.
No matter what you try, remember -- what's important is that you're spending time together, on purpose, and having fun. And who knows? You may just pick up a new favourite pastime.
Page 2 of 2