Get creative with pre-formal summer dates

By Alexandra Johnson, The Dartmouth Staff | 8/2/13 9:00am

There’s only one thing scarier than the fact that 13X is nearing its final weeks: formal season is almost upon us. While there is still a solid amount of time before desperation kicks into gear, consider making some moves now so you’re not stuck asking your lab partner’s housemate’s trippee — that’s an awkward blitz. To impress that special someone, you’ll have to go beyond the simple Foco dinner date. Before we get too bogged down with finals to care about our love lives, use one of these date ideas for inspiration.

The outdoorsy date:

If the Classics cutie is the crunchy type, opt for a date in the beautiful outdoors that he or she is sure to enjoy. Rent a canoe and paddle your little hearts out on the Connecticut River.

Physical activity is the best way to build a bond, and when your biceps strain against the current you’re bound to feel a spark. Pack a picnic dinner to enjoy post-canoeing. For the best views, cross the bridge to Vermont and settle into the Adirondack chairs overlooking the river to enjoy your meal. If the conversation is really flowing, kick back and watch the sun set.

The crafty date:

Unleash your inner Picasso and check out Tip Top Pottery in White River Junction. You and your date will choose your pottery pieces, receive a brief tutorial on the painting process, and then be left to create your masterpieces. This activity might take you back to childhood birthday parties in pottery studios, but a little nostalgia never hurt anyone, right? When you have put the final touches on your pottery, head next door to Tip Top Café to continue getting to know your date over a delicious meal. Bonus: since you leave your creation to be fired in the kiln and picked up a few days later, you and your date already have an excuse to get together again.

The classic Hanover date:

For the traditionalist, stick to the classic combination of dinner and a movie. Choose your restaurant wisely: Pine might just break the bank, and stuffing your mouth with Yama sushi rolls isn’t all that conducive to conversation. Try Murphy’s or Molly’s for a classy but more reasonably priced night on the town.

After dinner, stroll down the street to the Nugget Theater for a film that you’ve (hopefully) both agreed on beforehand. Consider a trip to Morano Gelato afterwards to debrief about the film and bond over the utter deliciousness of Italian desserts.

The quintessential New England date:

Jump in the car and drive to Cedar Circle Farm where you will spend your summer afternoon in open fields picking blueberries. Chat with your date as you stroll leisurely through the berry field, scoping out the ripest blueberries. Once you’ve filled your cartons, head down the road to the farm stand, which features an adorable little café with homemade baked goods. Grab some caffeine if all that berry picking wore you out, and marvel at the selection of fresh veggies for sale. If you and your date are feeling ambitious (and compatible!), drive back to campus and bake something delicious with your findings. Blueberry cobbler with vanilla ice cream? Highly encouraged.

The ambitious, yet romantic, date:

If you and your date both happen to be early risers (or are just looking for something to cross off your 13X bucket lists), set your alarms for 4 am and head to Gile Mountain. Yes, it’s early and yes, no one looks good at such an ungodly hour, but you’ll be looking at the sunrise, not each other. A quick 30-minute nature walk to the fire tower will reward you with the best views around. If you need extra incentive to rise at the crack of dawn, treat yourselves to Lou’s once you get back to campus.

You’ll have seen the sunrise, eaten a delicious breakfast, and potentially have found a formal date, all before your 9L.

Alexandra Johnson, The Dartmouth Staff