Harvard did a landmark study that looked at finding the keys to health and happiness and one of the biggest takeaways from that study was those who were the happiest and healthiest reported strong interpersonal relationships. Those with poor relationships or those who were alone, had declines in both mental and physical health as they aged.
What does that mean? It means there’s more to health than just eating right and exercising. You’ve got to get out there and work on your relationships!
Here are 6 wonderful date ideas for those of you living here in the valley:
- Blackfriars and the Yelping Dog. One of the most special and iconic venues of the Shenandoah Valley is the Virginia Shakespeare Center in Historic Staunton, VA. I used to visit the Shakespeare center ALL.THE.TIME when I was studying — you guessed it — Shakespeare, at JMU. But you don’t have to be an English nut to enjoy the performances. In my opinion, the comedies and the dramas are oftentimes the best and easiest to follow. I’ve seen audience members cry, scream, and laugh until they cry some more. The stage is built just as Shakespeare would have built it, and you can even sit on stage during performances. Go! You won’t regret it.But before the show…you’ve GOT to stop in to the Yelping Dog, which is just a short walk away and has an excellent selection of wine, cheese plates, and charcuterie. It totally sets the evening up for a romantic adventure!
- White Oak Lavender Farm and the Purple Wolf Vineyard. Located just a short drive east of Harrisonburg, is the family owned farm with picturesque views and unique wines. You can shop, sip, try special lavender infused wines, and even have lavender flavored ice cream! Check the website for hours and special events like their salsa/dancing nights!
- Stable Craft Brewing. Disclaimer. This place is just a mile or two from our babysitter’s house (thanks Mom!) so this is our go-to date spot. Located in Augusta County, this horse farm turned premiere venue is a wonderful getaway. They have a wide selection their own craft beers and the food is delicious. I highly recommend the pork nachos!
- Court Square Theater and a downtown restaurant. Looking for something a bit closer? Well downtown Harrisonburg has so many great restaurants. Choose one that fits your mood and couple it with a trip to the Court Square Theater. Court Square Theater offers comedy, films, and you can even watch pre-recorded screenings of live opera.
- Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. If live acts and theater excite you then check out JMU’s Forbes Center. JMU’s arts complex has 5 theaters and showcases a wide range of musical performances, dance and drama. Pro-tip, if the weather is nice take a stroll around JMU’s iconic Quad — just through the tunnel from the Forbes Center.