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The Journal Gazette

  • Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Jen Walters, left, and Adam Murphy take a surrey, rented from Pedal City, for a spin.

  • Courtesy ACRES Trust Geocaching

  • Courtesy ACRES Trust Geocaching

  • Courtesy Try stand-up paddleboarding at an area lake.

Thursday, December 03, 2015 5:27 am

More than dinner, movie

Keiara Carr | The Journal Gazette

Your date buys the big bucket of movie theater popcorn, and you never have to order from 2 for $20 menu. Clearly, things are getting serious.

But with the summer winding down, you’re looking for something more exciting to share than appetizers.

Here are a few active date ideas that will have you pedaling around downtown or zipping 1,000 feet across a lake.

Surrey bike rides

It’s all the joys of a tandem bike ride without the awkward view in back. Hop on a surrey bike and explore downtown and the nearby bike trails side-by-side.

Pedal City, 1215 W. Main St., has two- and four-person bikes, if you’d like to make it a double date.

"I think you can totally make a date out of the experience," says Adam Murphy, a partner in Pedal City. "You can come before or after your ride and hang out. You can enjoy some live music (Fridays and Saturdays) and enjoy some food. You can basically make a whole day out of it."

For singles, owner Janelle Ford says Doggy Date Night on Tuesdays also could be promising.

"(Doggy Date Night) is actually taking off really well," she says. " It seems people are really getting to know other people with dogs, and instead of coming in by themselves every Tuesday, now they are starting to group together."

Geocaching

Geocaching is an inexpensive mini-adventure where you and your date will put your heads together to find hidden trinkets using GPS.

Lettie Haver, outreach manager for the ACRES Land Trust, says the organization encourages geocaching within the region’s nature preserves but participants must adhere to guidelines that help prevent damage to native plants and wildlife.

You can download the free Geocaching.com app for beginners on your smartphone.

"Anytime that you can engage in an adventure outdoors, you’re going to learn more about your companion and yourself," Haver says.

Stand-up paddleboards

Kelly Bailey, owner of SUP 101 Lakes in Angola, remembers one guy who was so determined to impress on a first date that he scheduled a paddle board lesson the day before he brought his date up to the lake.

However, Bailey says learning to balance together could be half the fun.

SUP 101 Lakes offers complimentary lessons for each paddleboard rental or sale. Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot has rental paddleboards, as well.

"I would guess that it kind of eases the tension, especially if you’re both learning something new," Bailey says. "You’re learning a new sport together, and once you find your center of gravity, you’re good to go."

Once you have your balance, follow up with SUP 101’s yoga and fitness paddle board classes or level up the romance with sunset paddleboarding hosted by SUP 101 at different lakes every Thursday.

Zip line

Talk about stepping out on a limb. Jonathan Kline, owner of Zip Timber Lake at Camp Timber Lake in Huntington, says there has been one marriage proposal to happen 70 feet above the ground so far.  

"It’s about the experience and overcoming challenges," Kline says. "If you have a fear of heights, you will overcome it together."

With eight canopy zip lines that include aerial bridges and a climbing tunnel, Kline believes the course is a workout you’ll feel the next day.

Also, the course will be open through the fall, so there’s still time to bundle up and zip through the autumn leaves.

kcarr@jg.net