My husband and I started dating again not too long ago after becoming new parents. I say “new,” but our daughter just turned two this past summer. We were beyond ready to get out and take on the dating scene again, but this time as a married couple with a family. That was a first for us. I can recall the only date we went on before my daughter’s first birthday, and that was dinner and a movie. Now, I’m all for that classic date once we’ve been steadily dating, but for rekindling that spark and learning about our new personalities after becoming parents, we needed dates that would encourage a conversation, give us some stress relief, and of course amazing eats! It was time to get creative and perhaps a little unconventional with exploring what the Coastal Bend had to offer, even more so with social distancing in mind. Here are some ideas and businesses around the Coastal Bend that my husband and I have delved into.
1. Interact & Communicate
The Riddle Room Escape Room is the perfect environment to engage in discussion and work together to make your way through the escape room you choose. There are a few different themes to decide from including a Harry Potter and Waking Dead theme! Due to some anxiety I had going in about being locked in a room (Yikes!), I was a bit apprehensive to give the room a try. However, my husband assured me we would work through it together, and he even chose the least “threatening” Harry Potter room both to calm my nerves and because I’m a huge Potterhead. We had an awesome time figuring out the clues and bouncing ideas off one another, even though we did not “escape.” My husband is determined for us to try again soon!
Tac-TX offers a variety of activities from an escape room, to laser tag, to an arcade, and even axe throwing. Laser tag here would be an ideal situation to work as a team to complete missions in a tactical arena and communicate your way to victory. My husband and I didn’t try laser tag while we were here, but we’ll definitely be back to give it a go.
2. Let Go of Some Stress
What brought us to Tac-TX was axe throwing. If you have never thrown a hatchet axe with some force at a wooden wall, you are missing out on some prime expulsion of stress and negative energy. What made this even more fun was the game-play Tac-TX brought to the activity. A guide instructs how to hold and throw the axe safely, runs through the rules, then explains how the game is scored. And who’s not up for a little friendly competition? Just for the record, I won both games! We loved this activity so much, we plan to visit the Corpus Christi Axe Haus in the future for a longer throwing experience.
Starry’s Gun Range is an outdoor gun range tucked away from the city near Oso Creek and offers two different target areas: one for long distance practice and the other for mid-range. My husband and I just purchased our first handgun recently, so learning how to actually shoot it safely and accurately are essential. My husband had a touch more experience as he did most of the research, and this was yet another opportunity to communicate with purpose but also relax and let the kick of the gun and release of the blank be an opportunity to let stress go.
3. Wine & Dine
The classic date night outing. But perhaps you’re tired of some of your usual eateries. Previously having lived in Houston, my husband and I are kind of foodies, and now, I eat Paleo due to being newly diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. With that, I want to enjoy amazing foods while still being mostly compliant, the proverbial “have my cake and eat it too” if you will.
The Post at Lamar Park is a favorite among locals, I’ve found, and for good reason! Their menu has something for everyone, including me and my Paleo needs. The staff was so understanding and patient with my questions as I asked about preparation on a couple of items I had my eye on. I ordered the Bacon Wrapped Duck Diablos with a side of their brussel sprouts and paired it with a Fence Hopper cocktail. Needless to say the food was an explosion of flavor, and the overall ambience of the gastro pub was reminiscent of the trendy chic restaurant scene of Houston.
For a more low-key and intimate setting, check out Tannins Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant. The environment is quaint and romantic with a small interior but also offers outdoor patio seating. We went on a Saturday evening when they had live music on the patio. Though we were seated inside, the option of having live entertainment was appealing. As tapas goes, my husband and I shared the Mahi-Mahi Ceviche and the Ahi Tuna Tower. Both were fresh and flavorful and came with a side of plantain chips for dipping, which was unexpected as the menu did not mention this. And being at a wine bar, I ordered a glass of the most delicious sangria.
Regardless of how long your relationship has upheld time, the importance of dating your significant other and continuing to grow your relationship as each person is constantly changing is non-negotiable. Take solace in knowing you navigate the uncertainty of life together, and learn from one another. Dating is an opportunity to learn about someone after all. In this case, it’s your spouse!