EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 14, 2013

Date Night Revisited

Spark up romance this Valentine's Day weekend with off-beat date-night ideas

It’s a familiar piece of advice: Even when the responsibilities of kids and work reduce their daily lives to basic routines, married couples should make sure to have regular “date nights” so they can stay connected.

And yet, it may not be as simple as that, because research shows that merely getting out of the house together and going to the same old restaurants isn’t enough to shake you out of the long-relationship doldrums. Rather, couples need to reinvent date night by seeking out novel experiences, experts say.

Why? By regularly trying new things together, couples actually stimulate the parts of their brains responsible for those exciting, romantic feelings that are the hallmark of new relationships. So instead of sticking to the tried and true this Valentine’s Day weekend, why not use this most romantic of holidays to inject some new life into your marriage?

Here are some thoughts for how to get those brain love waves flowing locally:

Make Cheesey Love

At The Home Brew Barn in Hampton, N.H., couples can take classes about everything from brewing beer to making cheese to fermenting vinegar. Students in the beginners’ cheese-making class, for instance, learn how to make mozzarella, which only takes 30 minutes at home. They also get a chance to sample some homemade cheese while learning about the differences between making cheese with raw versus pasteurized milk and milk from different animals, like cows or goats. You can also try the intro to wine and cheese making or intro to home brewing classes and raise a glass to your love.

Channel your inner child

Strap on your vest and grab your laser for a game of grown-up hide-and-seek at a laser tag venue like LaserCraze, with locations in North Andover and Woburn. You’ll burn off some energy and get your competitive juices flowing as you run through the darkened, multi-level maze together (or on opposite teams!). Or hop into a racing suit and helmet to zoom around the track in go-karts at Checkered Flag Indoor Karting in Haverhill. They’re open until 9 p.m. on weeknights and 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; perfect for a fast-paced date night.

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