Tomorrow is National Day Of Unplugging! I know that may be a nearly impossible thing for some, or many of us, especially considering most of us have practically a computer/phone/planner/mail/music playing contraption in front of our faces all throughout the day. Sometimes being distracted with your phone isn’t something most people mean to do, but we are doing so many things at once, replying to messages and social media comments, sending out important work emails, and before you know it, you’re ignoring your date. I compiled a list of 5 date ideas that encourage you to put the electronics down, see the real Orlando, and enjoy quality time with your significant other, best friend, family, or whoever; dates aren’t just for couples!
Urban Trail Bike Ride/Museum Date
The Orlando Urban Trail is approximately 3 miles long each way and takes you through the heart of Orlando. If you don’t own a bike you’re in luck, there are several Juice Bike hubs located in close proximity to the trail, such as in front of The Hammered Lamb, by Florida Hospital Health Village, and in Mills Park. Juice bikes are super convenient and will only run you about $8 an hour. The Urban Trail will take you from Gaston Edwards Park in Ivanhoe Village all the way to Mead Gardens in Winter Park, and along the way takes you directly to the Mennello Museum of Art and the Orlando Science Center. A short bike ride away is the Mills 50 District, so a stop at Black Rooster for lunch and drinks at The Guesthouse are the perfect way to end your ride!
Downtown Orlando Date
Downtown Orlando has so many fun activities that get you to not only enjoy the sights and some fresh air, but your company too! One of the must-do activities downtown are the iconic swan boats! These are rented in half hour increments at a rate of $15, and can seat up to 5 people. Word of advice : don’t get too close to the fountain! This is not only a fun date to have with your honey, bestie, or whoever you please, it also counts as your workout for the day! On Sunday’s the Orlando Farmer’s Market takes place around Lake Eola, so a walk around the lake shopping the local vendors is also a great way to do a little physical activity and enjoy the gorgeous weather. There is also a donation-based yoga class (suggested donation is $5) that meets Sundays, just bring a mat! After you’ve burned some calories and probably worked up an appetite, a picnic on the lawn with your farmer’s market finds or lunch at one of the neighborhood restaurants will complete your downtown date.
Winter Park Date
There is no shortage of picturesque scenery to be seen when in Winter Park. A stroll down Park Avenue, a picnic in Central Park, and picking up your local produce at the Winter Park Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning are what comes to mind when I think of Winter Park. A wonderful way to see a side of this beautiful city that you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise is by going on the Scenic Boat Tour. This hour-long ride takes you through numerous lakes while providing Winter Park history. Once your boat tour is done, a food tour is a fantastic way to sample multiple Park Avenue staples. The walking tour is approximately 3 hours long, takes you to 5 eateries including light bites at The Parkview, pizza at Braccia, and Peterbrooke Chocolatier, where you’ll not only sample different types of chocolate, but also dip and decorate your own pretzel rod masterpieces.
Audubon Park Date
I love Audubon Park mostly because of the sense of community I get when I am there. There is an abundance of local shops and businesses that support each other, use each others’ products and carry each others’ merchandise at their locations. The belief that helping lift up another small business won’t hurt your own is a belief that I agree with 100%. East End Market is a shining example of this, as they are home to numerous local businesses who all support each other. There are many community events that take place here, such as Wine Wednesdays and Saturday Serenades. There are Juice Bikes that can be rented right out front, and the beautiful Leu Gardens is just a short bike ride away! Movie Nights are a regular occurrence at Leu Gardens, and will only set you back $6 a person, and you are free to bring food and beverages, even adult ones! The next one is scheduled for March 3rd (tomorrow night!) and the movie showing is Jurassic Park.
Enzian Theatre/Eden Bar Date
Home of the Florida Film Festival, Enzian Theatre has been an Orlando staple for over 30 years. They offer 6-12 classic films each week, first-run independent features, as well as some live shows. There is a theatre menu which you can order and eat while you enjoy your movie, including items such as Seasonal Baked Brie, Fried Chicken, or a Margherita Pizza. Conversely, you can dine al fresco at Eden Bar before or after your movie. The menu has some delicious items, some of which are also available on the theatre menu. Eden Bar offers daily drink specials, and this is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail! The area is surrounded by trees and twinkling lights, making the perfect romantic destination.