By – Amy Q. As much as I will admit that I am a thrill seeker, I am still fond of adventures of the mind too. In the winter when activities are limited by inclement weather, either lack of snow, or an over abundance you have to get creative and explore alternate date ideas. Coming up with new and creative dates can be challenging sometimes especially if you enjoy outdoor activities, but the important thing is to stay open minded and experience all the world around you has to offer. Don’t you ever throw in the towel on dating your spouse, trust me there is so much left out there to find and turn into memories.
For the past four winters now, Christopher and I pick a Saturday and we travel down to Travelers Rest State Park near Lolo. The park itself is nice to explore and the museum but we’re here for the Winter Storytelling Lecture Series. This annual event features Native American storytellers, historians, professors of ecology, and many more. Every Saturday from January through the end of March you can visit the Rest and listen to a variety of speakers. Over the years we’ve heard topics such as Lewis and Clark, Native American religion and naming methods, and even a very convincing Mark Twain impersonator. The lectures begin at 11:00 am and last roughly an hour, the Rest provides free refreshments, and admission is $5.00 each. This coming Saturday, February the 7th Poet and writer Phillip Burgess tells the story of A Black Homesteader’s Struggle.
I really enjoy these learning centered dates because it spawns interesting conversations between Christopher and I, and we discuss topics that we’d never thought of before. Continuing to learn is a great way to grow closer to your spouse because afterwards you can share your perspective on what you heard, and how it resonated with you. Ask each other questions, see what inspired them or made them think? A great addition to this historical date is to either go out for a nice breakfast beforehand in Missoula, or have lunch afterwards and talk about the lecture. For a good breakfast in Zoo town I’d recommend the Catalyst, or Burns Street Bistro. Or if you’re looking for a great lunch check out Riverside Café in downtown Missoula their soups are incredible.
Another recent date that entailed some history was a trip to the Flathead that I planned for us. We drove to Polson and explored the Miracles of America Museum. Boy was it expansive, so much to see, and so many articles and exhibits it would take you numerous trips to take it all in. We both enjoyed taking turns explaining things that we thought were eye catching, Chris liked the planes and science related things, I pointed out the history related. This is a great trip to teach you as a couple to give and take, stop so that he can peruse what he thinks is fascinating, wait there and listen to what he has to say, and then walk a little more and it’s your turn. Instead of exploring this enormous place solo, stick together, hold hands and learn to pace your spouse and hear what makes them engaged.
A date that features mental connectedness has numerous benefits, new conversation starters, opportunities to learn about the past, but also to learn more about your spouse. Win, win. When you’re stuck indoors this winter/spring consider alternative date ideas that will get your mind in motion and your relationship out of a rut.