In a Date-Night Rut?

Here are 10 ideas to help get you out of it.

Let’s face it, date nights of dinner and a movie have the potential to become predictable and, honestly, a little boring. Come on, people, isn’t the whole point of pairing up to actually experience life together? Break out of your romance rut with an entirely new plan for date night, one that combines quality time with new and exciting things to do together.

Show Your Artistic Side
Have a zero-pressure artistic experience at Cheri’s Art Uncorked, where budding Picassos produce a frame-worthy painting from a pre-sketched work of art. In this informal setting in Winter Park, participants sip BYO wine as they’re taken step-by-step through the process of creating the “piece du jour” on canvas. The result is a memento to keep forever. From $35 per person.

Indulge With Chocolates
Partake in the making of an age-old aphrodisiac during a date-night chocolate party at Farris and Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory, with three Orlando-area locations. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the chocolatiers add a touch of romance with dimmed lights and Michael Bublé tunes while couples whip up sweet treats using molds, dips and even the conveyor belt. $29 per couple.

Wish Upon the Stars
Take your date night out of this world, literally, with a visit to the planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, where weekly interactive shows bring thousands of stars and the stories behind them into clear view. During the winter, planetarium staff also host “Sidewalk Astronomy,” a series of outdoor telescope viewing events designed to enlighten smitten stargazers about Central Florida skies. $6.

Take in Shakespeare
Experience the legendary romantic train wreck Romeo and Juliet on stage through March 17 at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. One of six signature shows billed each season, this dramatic classic is presented in a traditional setting, with the epic sword battles arranged by a certified fight choreographer. $15-$38 per ticket.

Laugh With Each Other
Get a healthy dose of hilarity at Sak Comedy Lab, where a troupe of actors unfurls a screwball series of improvisational sketches reminiscent of the show Who’s Line is it Anyway? February marks Sak’s second anniversary at downtown’s CityArts Factory, where a completely off-the-cuff show is presented Tuesday through Saturday each week in a 200-seat theater. $2 and up per person.

Paddle Under Moonlight
Toast a full moon on a kayak excursion through the Winter Park chain of lakes with Adventures in Florida. After the two-hour jaunt, paddlers congregate on Dog Island for wine, nibblies and fireside conversation. $40 per person.

Put Your Heads Together
Get some intellectual stimulation courtesy of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College, which hosts a series of thought-provoking and sometimes controversial high-profile figures throughout the year. Upcoming speakers include former CIA Director Porter Goss (Feb. 20) and legendary animal and environmental activist Jane Goodall (April 19). Free.

Know Your Wines
Join a small group of fellow wine lovers for an evening of tastings at The Wine Room in Winter Park. Held in the downstairs wine vault, the sessions generally focus on six wines paired with cheeses. Besides basic know-how on wine tasting, participants also learn about wine storage, serving and decanting. $30 per person.

Get Naked
If you’re comfortable in your skin around each other, make a date to attend Nude Nite (Feb. 9-11) in Orlando. Live nude artistry and nude art, interactive installations, burlesque performances, music and wine combine to create a tastefully done event. $20 per person on opening night, $25 thereafter.

Kristen Manieri regularly posts date-night ideas on her blog,

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