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Go on better dates with these ideas



griffeylake

Then-senior Kayla Rhodes and then-junior Amy DiMatteo paddle their kayaks away from shore at Griffy Lake in 2009. Griffy Lake is one of several options for dog owners in Bloomington to take their pets. IDS file photo Buy Photos

Tired of the standard movie-dinner-bar hangout with your significant other or friends? It’s summertime in Bloomington, and nothing stands between you and some different date ideas. Here are a few ideas for next time you want to surprise your significant other, or want something new to do with friends.


Then-senior Kayla Rhodes and then-junior Amy DiMatteo paddle their kayaks away from shore at Griffy Lake in 2009. Griffy Lake is one of several options for dog owners in Bloomington to take their pets. IDS file photo Buy Photos


Nature preserve on Griffy Lake

Just north of Bloomington is Griffy Lake, a reservoir and nature preserve. Pack a bag and go hiking on one of the many trails along the water, or set up a hammock for a nice nap in the shade. If getting on the water is your thing, the boathouse offers rentals for canoes, kayaks, rowboats and stand-up paddleboards for $8 an hour, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.everyday. Parking is free. 

Griffy Lake also has picnic tables and geocaches for those interested in another outdoor activity. You have all year to be inside, but not all year to be in the warmth and sunshine.

Bring some wine, a hammock and relax after a couple hours on the lake.


Kirkwood Observatory

Live out your most beautiful cliches with a loved one at a Kirkwood Observatory open house. Every other Wednesday, the observatory opens for night sky viewing with the telescope, allowing for romantic glimpses of the heavens and the opportunity to impress your romantic interest with knowledge of the constellations. 

The open house schedule is available on the Department of Astronomy website. Where else can you view the stars through a powerful scientific telescope? Take a friend or romantic interest and remember how small our place is in the universe.


People walk through the aisles of vendors at the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market near City Hall on Saturday, June 16. Several different items were sold, from flowers and syrup to fruits and vegetables.  Ty Vinson Buy Photos


Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market takes place at Bloomington City Hall. A Tuesday version of the Farmer’s Market also takes place every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. between June and September, at the corner of Sixth and Madison Streets. 

The Farmers’ Market is a large community event for buskers, vendors and artists. Vendors sell products, such as unprocessed farm products, art, pet food, plants and others. Established businesses, such as Scholar’s Inn Bakehouse and The Inkwell, also have vending locations at the market.

The Bloomington government website has a list of products available at the market, which includes sassafras root, bee pollen, okra and other items that may be hard to find in stores.

If fresh produce isn’t your thing, A Fair of the Arts takes place at the market every second Saturday between May and October. The show includes displays, sales and demonstrations of visual arts and crafts by local and regional artists.

With so much going on, a trip to the Farmer’s Market without a plan can be as exciting as going with one. Plan with your friends or significant other to make dinner with products from the market, or watch the street musicians while sampling foods from different vendors.

Events from the Writers Guild at Bloomington

Looking to express your love with flair and eloquence, but having trouble doing it? Maybe a trip to a Writers Guild at Bloomington event would help. The guild offers open mic nights where you and your loved one can watch community members read poetry, and even read your own. 

On July 22, the Writers Guild will hold a Potluck Social & Open Mic at the Lower Cascades Park Waterfall Shelter. Bring a dish and some poetry, and it’s a date! 

A full calendar of the guild’s events is available on its website.

Even if you find poetry pretentious or difficult to understand, simply the experience of going to a reading will give you and your significant other something interesting to talk about. For a couple who enjoys it, what could be better than a date filled with powerful writing and visceral emotion?

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