9 Great Non-Dinner Dates
Tired of the usual eating-out options? Try one of these fun new ways to nosh and get toknow someone.
1. Pick your own produce:
No matter where you live, chances are there's a local farmwith fruit that's ripe for the picking, whether that means Washington state apples or NewJersey tomatoes. An afternoon at a "pick your own" farm is a memorable way to spendtime together outdoors-and depending on how much you gather, you'll be able to enjoythe fruits of your labor long after the date's over. For an ultra romantic twist, pack a blanket, a bottle of wine, some cheese and crackers and turn your harvest into a happyhour. To find a farm near you that offers this option, log on to www.pickyourown.org for nationwide listings.
2. Farmers Markets:
Treat your senses to a stroll through an outdoor market, in some parts of the country called 'greenmarkets.' Not only are they fun places to people-watch,you and your date can fill up on free samples of farm-fresh produce, locally made cheese,and fresh baked goods. And if you're still not full after making the rounds, there's no better spot to pick up a delectable picnic spread to share together. The USDA'sagricultural marketing service has national listings for greenmarkets. Log on towww.ams.usda.gov and click on "Farmers Markets."
3. Dessert bars:
Why waste time with dinner when you can skip straight to dessert?Instead of hitting up a bakery with little to no seating (and even less ambiance), enjoy aromantic meal of shared sweets at an all-dessert restaurant. From the cozy ChocolateRoom in Brooklyn (thechocolateroombrooklyn.com) to Chicago's scene-y Sugar: ADessert Bar to Philadelphia's romantic café Dessert (www.dessertphilly.com), these spotsare popping up all over the country, offering an entire menu of mouthwatering creations,candlelit tables, and often "dessert flights" with wine or liquor pairings. To find one inyour area, log on to www.openlist.com and search for "dessert" under your city for listings. And if the trend hasn't spread to your town, head to any top-notch restauranttowards the end of dinner time, skip the main course, and dig into something sweet!
4. Wine flights/beer tastings:
Toast your relationship and try something new byindulging a wine flight (samples of a variety of wines versus ordering a whole bottle). Not only can you sample wines by the region, many wine bars are also offering flights based on season (hint-think rosés this summer). If beer's more your thing, there are all