13 Fun Seattle Date Nights to Go On this Winter
Why should your kids have all the fun?
Hey, we parents spend so much energy making sure that our children’s lives are enriching and fulfilling (which is terrific). Our kids are lucky! However, we forget to spend energy making sure OUR lives and relationships with our spouses are also fulfilling and fun.
According to Seattle-based relationship experts Drs. John and Julie Gottman, of the Gottman Institute, we all need to “be more proactive about improving our most important relationship.”
In a Gottman Relationship Blog article about New Year’s Resolutions, April Eldemire, LMFT points out that although “finding love” is high on the list of 2019 resolutions, “improving the relationship with my spouse or significant other” is missing from that list. Eldemire suggests that scheduling weekly date nights is one of several measurable actions that can improve relationship satisfaction.
“It’s easy to let a busy schedule take over your life. Couples who make time for quality time with each other create wonderful opportunities to bond. Plan for major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc.) as well as new and novel activities (trips to a museum, new restaurants, sporting events, day hikes, etc.),” Eldermire concluded.
Are you motivated yet? I know that I am! What are you waiting for? Pull out your calendar and schedule your next date night, secure childcare for your younger kids (College Nannies & Tutors is one local option if you don’t have a neighborhood babysitter or family members who can help). Then check out my list of favorite Seattle date nights for inspiration.
Live Music Date Nights
1. Yearning a romantic dinner and conversation with your hunny and then some live music to stir your soul? Check out our favorite seafood restaurant, Rock Creek, and live music at one of Fremont’s small live music spaces: the Abbey Arts Center next to Rock Creek, the High Dive or Nectar Lounge down the street.
2. Are you foodies and young rockers at heart? Head to Ballard’s historic avenue and have a roving meal by stopping into any of the local restaurants’ bar seats for a pre-show dinner and drinks (our favorites are Bramling Cross and Stoneburner) and then check out the Tractor Tavern for a carefully curated live music performance (advance ticket purchases highly recommended).
3. Does a live music listening experience in a room with amazing acoustics, your own reserved table, great service and a delicious Wild Ginger Pan-Asian meal sound appealing? Then see a show at The Triple Door, fashioned after an old-school supper club.
The Musicquarium bar outside the Triple Door theater is also a great place for pre-dinner drinks or even just to hang out for happy hour when they have free live music and an extensive bar menu from Wild Ginger.
4. Are you indie music lovers? Check out the KEXP website for the live, in-studio and community gathering space performance schedules. Look for the performances that state “public sign up”. Show up at the KEXP gathering space 90 minutes before the scheduled performance. Sign in at the front desk and get a ticket (the first 75 people are granted free tickets). They also have free public tours that are fantastic for musicophiles.
Afterward, head to nearby Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar for a lovely local seafood meal.
5. Feeling like a neighborhood stroll to check out local art? Seattle is lucky to have monthly art walks in many of our neighborhoods. Check out this calendar for details. The Georgetown art walk is my favorite.
6. How about some weeknight culture? For a Thursday date night, visit the SAM when it stays open until 9 pm and consider a nearby dinner at the Sushi Kashiba or Matt’s in the Market.
7. Do you want to spend a little time on the Puget Sound? Take the 30-minute ferry to Bainbridge Island, check out the exhibits at the Bainbridge Island Museum Of Art or take a stroll at the beautiful Bloedel Reserve and then have fresh, local seafood and American cuisine at Hitchcock, or delicious Neopolitan-styled pizza at Bruciato. Both restaurants belong to James Beard Award-nominated chef Brenden McGill.
8. Lovers of glass, light, and color will be delighted by a winter’s late afternoon visit to the Chihuly Glass & Garden at the Seattle Center. This small collection of Dale Chihuly’s work is artfully displayed and truly spectacular. Make sure you time your visit for a dark stroll through the outside garden donning dramatically-lit colorful Chihuly creations among a beautifully landscaped backdrop. The gift shop is also fantastic and the adjacent Collector’s Cafe has delicious lunch items served amidst Dale Chihuly’s personal collections.
If it’s a sunny day, consider visiting the new Space Needle Observation Deck (there is a package price for visiting both) before heading to Chihuly’s, and don’t miss the new lower level cocktail bar. For a nearby lunch or dinner option that you can walk to, check out Tilikum Place Café.
9. Interested in taking your relationship to the next level? Consider booking a 2-hour flying trapeze date night for couples at Emerald City Trapeze and then either head to Ciudad Grill in Georgetown or Derby, at The Shop, in SODO (a must-visit for gearheads and car lovers; be sure to sign up for a tour of the car warehouse at the front desk).
10. Do you want to breathe in some fresh mountain air, just a 45-minute drive from downtown Seattle? Go on a snowshoe trek or hike (depending on conditions---you can inquire with the Snoqualmie Forest Ranger). Head to Gold Creek Pond near Snoqualmie Pass' Hyak Trails. A snow pass AND Discovery Pass are both required to park at Sno-Parks for the 2018-19 season (I recommend purchasing those online, ahead of time). Make sure you turn right at the end of the road where you see people with sleds and continue down the road until you see a porta-potty on the left side. That is where you enter the trail for Gold Creek Pond.
Consider warming up after your snow-hike by dining afterward at the cozy Salish Lodge Attic restaurant, The Commonwealth at the Snoqualmie Ski Resort or the Iron Duck Public House in North Bend.
11. Interested in architecture, jungle plants, Italian food, and amazing cocktails? This is the afternoon/evening for you! Marvel at the tropical jungle biospheres that Jeff Bezos built for Amazon employees by making advance reservations for a tour on the 1st or 3rd Saturday of the month.
After your tour of the Spheres, don’t miss having an exquisite cocktail in the theatrically decorated sultry bar at Deep Dive. Critics are saying that it is the prettiest bar in Seattle! First, check to see if there is a wait for one of the 30 tables. If there is a wait, put your name on the list and head upstairs to James Beard Award-winning Chef Renee Erickson’s recently opened Roman-Italian restaurant in the Spheres named Wilmott’s Ghost and have dinner.
12. Are you new to town, or looking to meet new people who share your love of exquisite food? Check out a Pretty Fork small-group progressive dinner in one of Seattle neighborhoods or their destination dining option, in places like the Olympic Peninsula.
13. How about wood-fired, New York-style pizza, wine tasting, and a movie? Head to Nine Pies and then next door to Nine Hat Cellars SODO tasting room for and their cult movie night, the last Tuesday of each month.
I hope this list of ideas and the Gottman Institute’s advice inspires you to get out, get moving and get local. Parents deserve to have fun, too, don’t you think?
About the Author
Tanea Stephens is a self-proclaimed Ambassador of Fun. Her passion is finding everyday reasons to celebrate and matching those with experiences that evoke a sense of escape and reconnection. Once she finds someplace she loves, she is driven to inspire others to experience it too, through her website ExperiencePNW.com.