Whether you have kids at home or not, we know that scheduling date nights can be a struggle. Something always comes up – be it external obligations or internal naggings to stay on the couch. So when you do have a chance to have some time to yourselves, why waste that moment on something ordinary? St. Augustine is home to all sorts of unusual activities that you might never consider for a date night out outing. From zip lines to kayaks to cozy wine classes, there’s no shortage to the out-of-the-box opportunities. So we’ve created a bucket list of date night activities in St. Augustine – partially for you, our readers, and partially for ourselves when we’re racking our brains on a random weekday night.
KAYAK ADVENTURING WITH RIPPLE EFFECT ECO TOURS
Though the expanse of sand and the salt air is alluring to anyone, St. Augustine is home to more than just the beach. We also have our own little slice of the Intracoastal Waterway, the Matanzas River. This estuary opens up wide the possibilities for local outdoor exploration. Just a short drive down to Marineland will take you to Ripple Effect Eco Tours, where the guides are full of both incredible local knowledge and enough clever quips to keep you entertained as you paddle up-river. Luckily, you don’t have to have any prior kayaking experience to join a tour. And if you want to heighten the romance, you can book a private tour to explore the water.
LIBATION LEARNING AT CARRERA WINE CELLAR
Sure, you could just head to one of the local restaurants to order a bottle or two of wine and call it a night. But if you’d rather mix things up (and get to sample lots of vino in the process), Carrera Wine Cellar will turn you into a wine expert in only a couple of hours. Their teaching method is fun and approachable with a purpose to demystify wine, and they offer all sorts of classes on different types of wine, different regions, and different wine-related skills. And if you want to grab a couple of friends for a double date, you can book a private class and brush up on all the basics. Come next dinner party, you’ll both be able to impress the whole table.
MUSIC MAKING AT COLONIAL OAK MUSIC PARK
There’s no shortage of live music in St. Augustine, this much is true. Wander past practically any restaurant (especially in downtown), and you’ll hear the sounds of a local band. But we’re particularly partial to the atmosphere at Colonial Oak Music Park. Sitting under a sprawling oak dotted with twinkling white lights, the music surrounds you in a delightful, intimate way. The Park’s music schedule is full and diverse, so you’ll never be lacking for music choices. And since it’s situated right there on St. George Street, there’s plenty of choices for pre-concert dining.
SMOOTH SAILING ON THE SCHOONER FREEDOM
Sailing along at an unhurried pace past the trees and houses lining the Intracoastal, nothing could be more peaceful than a date on the deck of the Schooner Freedom. You’ll join an experienced crew and a lively crowd to sail into the sunset or under the moonlight. And trust us, it’s a far more pleasant to sail under the open Bridge of Lions than idle in a line of cars, waiting for it to close. The view is unbeatable, and the downtown-adjacent location will let you continue the date with dinner or a bayfront stroll.
MASTERPIECE CREATING AT PAINTING WITH A TWIST
Use your date night to discover your inner artist! These creative painting nights at Painting with a Twist will guide the two of you through the creation of a beautiful (but not too difficult) art piece, and you’ll get to enjoy some libations along the way. Which, let’s face it, makes the creative process a whole lot more fun. You can browse through the online schedule to find a painting that you’ll both enjoy working on. They’ll provide all of the art supplies, and it’s BYOB so you can enjoy your favorites drinks.
ZIPLINING AT THE ST. AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM
If you find romance in an adrenaline rush, then date night should involve a little adventure. And what could be more adventurous than dangling above alligators and crocodiles and all manner of tropical species? At the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, you can experience all their creatures in a crazy new way. Swing from the treetops and maneuver around obstacles as you wander the length of the park. Date night just got taken to the next level.
CLASSY COOKING AT A. CHEF’S COOKING STUDIO
Date night and learning a practical skill all in one? Sign us up! Chef Andrea and A. Chef’s Cooking Studio team teach all sorts of different kinds of cooking in all kinds of different environments. You can join a hands-on Friday night cooking party, or you could sit and watch the pros during a Demo & Discuss class or hone your kitchen techniques at the Home Chef Series. From the mouthwatering food to the passionate instructors, there are a hundred reasons why you’ll be back in the studio again and again.
WILD SIDE WALKING AT THE ST. AUGUSTINE WILD RESERVE
This one will require a little extra planning since tours are offered at certain times and by appointment only, but it’ll be worth the wait. Deborah Warrick and her team at the St. Augustine Wild Reserve takes care of big cats and other exotic former pets at this nonprofit rescue. You’ll meet eleven tigers, three lions, three leopards, two hyenas, fourteen wolves, a cougar, and a variety of lynxes and bobcats – plus a macaw or two. Whew. That’s quite a date.
TOE TAPPING AT ARTHUR MURRAY DANCE STUDIO
Dancing will dazzle any partner, so why not learn together? And since you’ll need a few lessons to really get the hang of it, then you’ve got at least a couple of weeks of date nights built in. You can start with an introductory lesson and pick and choose the dances you both want to master (we’d say that the tango is a classic that will look classy in your kitchen). And since Arthur Murray Dance Studio also hosts regular social nights to practice, you might find a few new friends too.
What’s on your St. Augustine date night bucket list? Let us know in the comments below! Featured image by Brian Miller.