While getting my hair done recently, I flipped through one of those magazines I’d never buy but enjoy as a guilty pleasure every now and then. One page in particular caught my attention—a list of what’s currently “in” and “out.” I was pleasantly surprised to see that indoor dates are “out” while dates in the great outdoors are growing in popularity.
I agree wholeheartedly with this trend as my husband and I have been putting this into practice for nearly two decades. When we first met, we often went for long walks or hikes together, talking easily as we enjoyed the beauty of nature. He also introduced me to the sport of road biking, and our long rides together helped us to grow closer as a couple and stay fit at the same time. Later, after we had married and had children, we would often hire a baby sitter to arrive early so that we could ride together before heading out to dinner or a movie.
Spring is a perfect time of year to embrace the outdoor dating trend. With the time change this weekend, you’ll have more daylight hours to plan a fun outing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Plan a picnic in the park. Pack a picnic lunch from home or get takeout from your favorite restaurant and head to your local park. Bring a blanket, a Frisbee, or even a kite and get in a little activity before or after the meal.
Go for a romantic hike. Choose a trail that interests you and lace up the hiking boots (or comfortable walking shoes if the trail is not too strenuous or rocky). Pack some cheese and crackers and something sweet to enjoy on the trail.
Throw a star party for two. Find a clear, moonless night and bring along a star chart (or download an app on your smartphone) to a location where there is no or little light pollution. Pack a blanket and warm clothes and just lie down and enjoy the beauty of the stars and planets. Use the start chart to try to identify stars, planets and constellations.
Try Letterboxing or Geocaching. If you enjoy a scavenger hunt, you’ll love geocaching, or the less technical version, letterboxing. The general idea is to use coordinates or maps and directions to find a hidden box. For more information, see www.geocaching.com/  or www.letterboxing.org/america.htm 
Play a round of miniature golf. You remember how fun this was in college. Mini golf is low stress and a great way to get a little competitive while offering plenty of opportunities for laughter.
Go for a prayer walk at sunset. Hold hands, enjoy a beautiful sunset (or sunrise) and pray as a couple. This is one of the best ways to strengthen your relationship and to start out any date night on the right note.
So forget the movies and expensive dinners and head to the great outdoors. I can’t think of a better way to be a trendsetter!