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Features

Take Your Date Out of the Comfort Zone

If you’re anyone who’s anyone and old enough to read this inspiring issue of Long Island Weekly, then have we got some ideas for you. Surely, you’ve experienced a good old-fashioned date right? That’s part of the problem. Step outside that comfort zone. Do something in lieu of the unoriginal dinner and a movie plan. Face it, sitting in the dark silent and adjacent, barely able to see your partner (or where you’ve planted your popcorn) isn’t exactly quality time spent. Whether you’re single, engaged or even married — dating plays a huge role in your life. It’s important to delve into some out-of-the-box thinking.

“The act of physically going out and spending time with your partner is extremely important to the vitality of the relationship,” said Cynthia Piretto, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Hempstead. “Studies show that people who step outside their comfort zone and try new things are “happy” people.” Piretto added that when couples introduce new activities to their life together, excitement happens and the love between two people continues to grow.

Let’s get started on some ideas:

Consider A Rock Climbing Gym

That drink on the rocks can wait, unless it’s a cold bottle of Poland Spring after you’ve roped your partner into a date at Island Rock at 60 Skyline Drive in Plainview. Nick Puff is Island Rock’s director of youth programs and head climbing coach. He met his significant other Jenny a couple years ago at a rock climbing center and says it’s a great spot to meet people. “Climbing is great for couples for several different reasons,” Puff said. “For one, it builds communication, trust and a community of friends, not to mention a great workout.” Puff has been climbing for more than 20 years and has seen many relationships begin there. His recommendations are to wear comfortable gym clothes and “don’t try to out climb or compete with your date,” said Puff. “Just have fun, climb hard with your friends, never on a first date.” Challenge yourself to the 9,000 square feet of climbing area, over 100 routes, with locker rooms, showers and sauna and more. 516-822-ROCK or visit www.islandrock.net

Consider A Vineyard On The North Fork

The North Fork is known as Long Island wine country and has become known as one of the most reputable wine regions in the country. Long Island’s North Fork has become extremely popular for experiencing some of the best wine offered in New York. A popular winery, Castello di Borghese Vineyard & Winery, in Cutchogue has the oldest vines producing the finest wines in its region. The signature wines here are Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. There is also The Terra Cotta Art Gallery which has different art shows, and winery events that include food sampling. Sounds like an amazing place to discover together on a date. Owners Marco and Ann Marie Borghese invite all to visit their new tasting room called The Annex at 740 Main Rd. in Aquebogue. 631-779-3404.

Consider A Dance Class

Free introductory classes are offered at The Ballroom of Huntington at 586 New York Ave. in Huntington Village. Choose from salsa, tango, swing, waltz, cha cha, country western and more. Highly trained dance instructors teach more than just dance steps, but the skills needed to get you dancing right into that next date. “It’s a great social opportunity too if you’re single,” said owner Denise Defeo. “We offer a lot of difference dance classes, and people can schedule as late as that day,” she said. The last lesson booked begins at 9:45 p.m. Ballroom of Huntington also hosts a local singles group that comes in quite often, according to Defeo. “There are always people hoping to meet somebody.” 631-385-7271 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Consider A Cooking Class

Elegant Eating-Long Island Caterers based at 739 Smithtown Bypass (Rte. 347) offers fun, educational cooking classes. They offer an extensive calendar of upcoming cooking classes for couples. Email any questions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to sign up for their class mailing list. Learn how to make apple pies to easy portable picnic foods, to crab cake remake, strawberry and spinach salad, and engagement chicken. Their recipe for engagement chicken was so successful that once cooked, boyfriends were popping the question to their girlfriends. Couples can learn basic cooking skills — a perfect plan for newlyweds or fiancés moving in together. Don’t be misled by their Love Birds class — it teaches students how to prepare duck. Call 631-360-2211.

Consider A Night Of Comedy

Nothing is more fun than sharing some laughs together at a local comedy club. There are three popular comedy clubs to consider on Long Island — all under the same ownership. On 90 Division Ave. in Levittown is Governor’s Comedy Club which offers a full beverage bar and bar food. The Brokerage Comedy Club is at 2797 Merrick Rd. in Bellmore and Governor’s Comedy Club at McGuire’s is at 1627 Smithtown Ave. in Bohemia. Governor’s in Levittown tends to be where more of the major headliner comedians perform, according to manager Ginny Lund. Featured in the past have been Rosie O’Donnell and Drew Carey. “We offer a two-drink minimum to our guests: cocktails or coffee, tea, soda or water,” Lund explained. Shows are 90 minutes long and open 90 minutes beforehand to allow guests to mingle and have dinner. “We try and schedule the very best shows at all three locations,” said Lund. The first two weeks in May will feature Susie Essman from HBO favorite, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and comedian Bobby Collins. Tickets can be purchased through www.gobs.com Sign up for their email list to receive complimentary show tickets.

Consider A Spa Couples Massage Or Pampering

Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa in Woodbury offers an array of pampering packages for couples. There’s double manicures and pedicures where couples sit right next to one another, facials, and a private couples’ room for massages. Red Door Spa has been at 7917 Jericho Tpke. in Woodbury for eight years, and is a full service spa with other Long Island locations. Enjoy sharing anniversaries and birthdays at The Red Door. “The spa couples services that we offer at Red Door offers a unique and blissfully relaxing way to switch up date night,” said Andrea Berberian, marketing manager, Corporate Communications Red Door Spa. Call to book your next appointment for two, not just you, at 866-733-3667.

Consider Picking Fruit At A Local Farm

There’s nothing sweeter than picking your own local fruit, and healthy too. Just click to Pickyourown.org to get the names and reviews of local farms around Long Island where you can stroll a farm together and gather produce. In Nassau there’s Crossroads Farms at Grossman’s, a certified organic farm in Malverne. In Suffolk County, visit Anderson Farms, which is great for picking your own strawberries in June. There you can find apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches, plums and more. Fort Salonga Farm has great apples and raspberries. It opens August through October and is located in Northport — a charming, scenic town to walk around in, visit the shops and grab a meal.

Consider An Amusement Park

Talk about having butterflies on a date. For those thrill seekers, head to Adventureland Amusement Park located on Rte. 110 in Farmingdale. The park, open since 1962, is a carnival-style, family theme-based park with games and rides to turn you upside down. There is an arcade, many snuggly and fun toys to be won, and a dining area to grab some eats. Twirl and spin on the hurricane coaster, blast around on the musik express, sail the seas on the pirate ship, and drive yourselves nuts on the bumper cars. Boredom isn’t an option in this action-packed park.

Consider A Free College Lecture

Hutton House Lectures at Lorber Hall is a non-credit adult enrichment, or continuing education program held on the campus of Long Island University in Greenvale. The college offers one-day only, special event classes for an affordable $25-30. Subjects range from history, politics, the arts, storytelling and writing workshops. Classes are generally offered during the week beginning at 10 a.m. with the last class at 4 p.m. — just in time to grab dinner afterwards and share thoughts. No tests required to achieve this A+ for originality date. The classes are simply for the joy of learning and attract thousands of students. Call ahead to make a reservation or to inquire at the School of Continuing Education LIU Post at 516-299-2236 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Consider A Gallery Or Art Exhibit

One of Nassau County’s cultural treasures is the Nassau County Museum of Art at 1 Museum Drive in Roslyn. A great cultural resource with a range of visual experiences and quality art makes any date enticing. Upcoming exhibition on July 19 to Nov. 9 will be “China Then and Now.” Explore the wide-ranging forms and styles of Chinese art from ancient times to now. There will be “Bird Watching for Beginners” offered May 14 and June 11 at the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary with Rich Santangelo. Something fun and timely on Sunday April 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. will be Celebrate Earth Day featuring free style arts from New York City artists.