When Mark and I began seriously considering starting a family, I was both excited and nervous. I imagine for the readers of this blog, the excitement needs no explanation. But, why was I nervous? At that point in time, Mark and I had spent every day of the prior seven years together and most of the five years prior to that. We had a strong relationship that I loved, and I was truly worried about how it would change with the addition of a little person to our family. When I expressed this concern to him, I found that he too worried about how we would find time to continue to nurture our relationship. We made a promise to one another that we would not lose ourselves and, in turn, our relationship once the baby arrived. We made a promise to never stop dating each other. Since Jane’s arrival, we have found that fulfilling this promise is not always easy, but I can’t tell you how exciting my week is when I know I have a date with my husband scheduled for the weekend ahead.
There are so many date night options living in this amazing city, but I find that we often get stuck in a rut when it comes to new date night ideas. I’ve put together a couple of fun things to do that are inspired by the amazing weather we’ve been experiencing as Autumn has finally made her introduction. You will find that I tried to provide ideas for both the traditional date “night,” but I also included some week night and daytime activities too. After all, variety is the spice of life!
It’s a date night (for the traditional weekend evening affair)…
- Do it like Don Draper: Have drinks at the mid-century modern inspired bar Bouligny Tavern (I recommend the Aperol Spritzer) followed by dinner next door in the courtyard at Lilette (the roasted chicken is divine).
- Be a hipster: Head down to Frenchman Street and put your name in for a table at my favorite Italian spot in the city, Adolfo’s. It’s quaint and quirky and always crowded. The best part, besides the cannelloni and the ocean sauce, is that you can wait for your table while listening to live music downstairs at the Apple Barrel.
- Go the distance: Roll your windows down and take a drive to Mosca’s in Avondale, LA. To keep the conversation on the drive interesting, grab a set of TableTopics question cubes.
- Walk this way: Leave the car at home and walk your way through your neighborhood. If you’re Uptown like we are, stroll down Magazine Street and grab a blueberry mojito to go from St. Joe’s Bar. Walk your way down to Martinique Bistro and dine in their courtyard. For dessert, stroll on over to Creole Creamery and share a delicious double scoop at an outdoor table.
- Heading to The Vineyard: Head over to Bush, LA to take in some music, local food, and Pontchartrain Vineyards’ wine one Saturday night from 6:30-9:00.
Weeknight fun (aka take a quick break from a hectic week)…
- Dinner and a movie: For a quick weeknight escape combine both dinner and a movie at the The Theatres at Canal Place.
- Arts and Entertainment: Every Thursday evening from 6-8, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art hosts a happy hour and live music performance. It’s a fun way to explore one of the city’s great museums.
- Sip and See: The Wine Institute of New Orleans offers very intriguing classes on everything from Rieslings to Scotch.
- Stir the Pot: Join Chef Frank Brigsten on Thursdays for cooking classes at 5:30 at the New Orleans Cooking Experience.
Spend the day away (when you find yourself together for the day)…
- Pack a Picnic: Grab a baguette at La Boulangerie before heading to the Wine Seller for a bottle of red or white. Be sure to pop in next door at St. James Cheese Company for a sandwich and cheese plate. On your way to Audubon Park, stop by O’Delice French Bakery for an oder of their amazing pecan sandies. Park yourself under the oaks at Audubon and daydream together.
- Be a Tourist: Grab beignets and cafe au laits at Cafe du Monde before grabbing a carriage ride through the French Quarter. Walk through Jackson Square to the Napoleon House for a Pimms Cup. With your strolling beverage, take in the shops along Royal Street. Or, you can ride the St. Charles streetcar ride down to Camellia Grill and enjoy breakfast at any time of day.
- Love is in Bloom: Have brunch at the very romantic French bistro Cafe Degas followed by a trip to the New Orleans Botanical Gardens.
- Stay Calm and Fest On: Plan to attend one of the four festivals taking place in New Orleans during the month of November.