On the First Day of Christmas…I Went on a Date
Where to take your special someone for a festive night on the town
Words By Molly Britt
Do you ever think to yourself: Winter is the absolute best time to be single? Yeah, me neither. I know all of you single 20-somethings are thinking of ways to get through the holidays without one more family member asking if you’ve met anyone special yet. Well, I am here to help…not the finding someone part (sorry I am perpetually single as well) but the one time you work up the nerve to ask someone out on a date this holiday season, you’ll be prepared.
The holiday dating scene…it’s something. I refuse to believe anyone would not like a classic date enjoying the holiday season, and if I just described the opposite of you or your significant other….that’s rather unfortunate for those around you. Kidding…mostly, don’t be a Grinch.
So, you worked up the nerve to ask someone out: Congrats the hard part is over (and by hard part I mean overcoming the fear of rejection)! Where do you go? You can’t just bring them to some basic dinner or grab a drink at the same bar you go to every weekend (I’m describing myself). Lucky for you, there is plenty of festive fare, fun and feels around Northeast Florida.
Looking for a casual drink with someone you may have just met or are still getting to know? I recommend a stop at the Grape & Grain Exchange through December. They will be hosting the Miracle Pop-up Bar for those who like their eggnog a bit stronger and their holidays a bit livelier. Grab your date (metaphorically) and head over one night to enjoy an old fashioned Santa mug or a “ho-ho-ho” barrel filled with your favorite festive spirits. It’ll be like you’ve entered Santa’s winter wonderland. If you’re lagging in the conversation department, just bring up the decorations, holidays, or the most embarrassing thing you have ever done could be fun. Maybe start with the latter, end it on a good note and soften the blow.
Don’t want to do the bar scene? Head over to Jacksonville Beach’s Deck The Chairs exhibit with your other half or first piece, depends on when you met, I guess. There you’ll find over 40 lifeguard chairs decorated with lights and props by various local companies and non-profits in an effort to promote the arts and arts education in children . This event will leave you with plenty to discuss and see, not to mention the romantic aura from the Christmas lights if you’re into that kind of thing. Make sure to visit before Jan. 1. If you’re loving the lights, maybe make a whole night out of it. Start here and visit the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens for Dazzling Nights, showcasing nearly a mile of lights and holiday-themed sets. They even have hot chocolate, wine and beer for purchase before you go exploring. They boast the use of one million lights, including an 8,000-square-foot lighted maze and a tunnel of stars. After that, drive around to explore all the fun decorated houses around the area. We Floridian’s like to show off, especially during the holidays.
Last, but obviously not least, considering we all knew it was coming … Nights of Lights in St. Augustine. This nationally-recognized event is a tradition for those looking to enjoy a bit of everything with their date. Make a whole night out of it. Stroll the famous St. George Street and get lost in the lights put up in every window, tree, nook, and cranny. Make a pit stop for food at one of the many amazing eateries, then continue on your journey through the lights, and maybe end up at one of the multiple sweets shops if you’re looking to really impress your date…aka me.
Now, I get holidays are hectic with family, friends and everything else, but make sure you take time for yourself. Ask out that certain someone you’ve noticed. Find a fun holiday happy place and just get to chatting. Who knows…it could end up being the first of many. Or not…that’s all up to you two, but good luck and happy viewing!