Forks in the Road: Food and Travel in Central PA - A Community Blog

Adrienne Wolter shares local restaurant reviews, day trips and cooking adventures

5 Spring Fling Date Night Ideas

Written by Adrienne Wolter, Community Blogger | Apr 7, 2014 8:11 AM

Ah yes, love is in the air. With Valentine's Day in our wake, it's time for new love, young love, and rekindled love to flourish. Just like the springtime flowers blossom with rain and sunlight, this time of year is perfect for relationships to grow. As temperate weather ebbs in and out of our nights, the opportunities for the perfect date night are endless.

However, finding the right date night for your significant other can be a daunting task. The pressure to surprise them with a fun evening that isn't done by the books, old hat, or cliché is great, especially if you want to win over their hearts every time. Therefore, forgo the old dinner and a movie trick and think outside of the box. With extra sunlight in the evening and warmer temperatures, date night can become simply delightful.

If you're afraid that your ideas are becoming too predictable, try one or more of these five great date night ideas below. Have a spring fling you won't forget!


Photo by Nicholas A. Tonelli

Cherry Springs State Park in North Central PA boasts the darkest skies on the East Coast and is an amazing place to go stargazing with your beau.

1. Picnic Under The Stars

For the true romantics, fuse your delectable treats with stargazing. Pack a picnic basket filled with easy-to-store treats like cheese, crackers, strawberries and wine. Don't forget to grab a blanket and a light jacket or sweater as the nights are still chilly.

Pennsylvania has so many beautiful spots to get away from the city and actually see an abundance of stars on a clear night. Take a dear, loved one for an inexpensive getaway and relive a Nicholas Sparks moment. If you're really savvy, you can bring a telescope and plan to go when there is a supposed meteor shower or activity in the sky.

To make the night simply unforgettable, you can buy a star in your significant others' name. Then, the two of you can find it together. If you're just in the beginning of your relationship, bring along sparklers instead and have fun taking each others' pictures in the dark.


Photo by Bradley Gordon

Though they seem to be closing left and right, there are still a few drive-ins holding on. Better go quick before this piece of nostalgia dies out completely! Check this list to find a drive-in theatre near you.

2. The Drive-In

Some of the oldest drive-ins in the area are located in central Pennsylvania. If you're feeling nostalgic, look up your local drive-in and check for show times. Typically, these venues show a double feature, so prepare for a long, yet fun night ahead.

While this date night may take some planning, it is well worth the time. From swinging on park swings to sitting in the back of a truck bed, these nights are perfect for making great memories. Who can resist the old concession stands and intermission dancing hot dogs? Just don't be like John Travolta in Grease, "stranded at the drive-in."

For a flawless evening, here are a few things to bring when going to the drive-in:

  • paper money (many don’t accept credit cards)
  • packed food, snacks, drinks, popcorn
  • sleeping bag, pillows, blankets
  • cards, games, frisbee
  • flashlight
  • radio with batteries (or your car radio, if it's good enough)

Just remember to check the weather and be sure to get there before dusk. That way, you can secure a great spot.


Photo by Vicious Bits on Flickr

If you are looking for a fun, energetic activity that will bring you back to childhood, look no further than the nearest trampoline.

3. Bounce House

Channel your inner child and venture to a local bounce house. Who doesn't want to jump on giant, adult-sized trampolines and laugh until their blue in the face? This is a great idea for new couples or those that just want to spend time together.

Selinsgrove has an indoor venue called Bounce Fun Plex that grants affordable bouncing time by the hour. For a great way to release energy and exercise, jumping on massive trampolines sounds like the perfect way to bounce into a new relationship.


Photo by Brian Colson

Cuddling up by the fire isn't a Christmastime-exclusive activity. It's just as fun on a chilly night in mid-spring.

4. Bonfire Night

Are you a laidback couple looking for a night in or a new couple trying to get to know each other? Look no further than your own backyard. For a free night, literally kindle your love with some wood and a fire.

As one of America's greatest pastimes, sitting around the fire is anything but boring. Tell stories of each other's childhood or life, play and sing with a guitar, drink a beer or a glass of wine. Whatever the occasion, sparks will definitely fly with this date night idea. Hopefully, you won't need a mosquito fogging machine just yet! The weather is too temperate for them to come out of hibernation.

Plus, if it's a chilly night, you can cuddle up together for warmth. Don't forget the s'mores!


Photo by Brook Ward

The gorgeous Rickett's Glen is home to a number of waterfalls. Great for a romantic stroll, you'll find this little slice of heaven up near Scranton.

5. Stroll around the Park

Not only does Pennsylvania have some great views of nature, but this land is filled with beautiful walking trails and state parks. With easy-to-navigate trails and hikes, you can take each other down the path of love.

Looking for adventure in the great outdoors? Try some of Pennsylvania's memorable parks like Pinchot State Park, Little Buffalo, Rickett's Glen, Codorus State Park, Pine Grove Furnace, and Pole Steeple Trail to name a few. They are guaranteed to produce breathtaking views and scenery, especially when the sun starts setting. Just be mindful of their hours; many parks close at dusk, and your presence after that time can be considered trespassing.

If you're not into venturing past your city limits, find a neighborhood park or walk. Regardless of the trail, this date will give you ample time to talk about your day and your life together as a couple. Don't forget to grab some frozen yogurt for your long walk!

Take the opportunity to appreciate the beauty nature has to offer this time of year. No matter what you choose for your date night, make sure to live it outdoors as much as possible. Also, put your cell phones and devices down for a couple of hours and enjoy each other's company. It'll be worth every minute.

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