This month, my husband and I will celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. This is a significant one to me, because I was 21 when we married. Sometime this year, I will have been a part of this unit longer than I was ever single.
We’ve had far from a fairy-tale marriage. In those 21 years, we’ve battled debt and dug out and gone back in and dug out again; we’ve lost people we love and added unexpected family members (who we love); we’ve hurt each other, sought forgiveness, held grudges and forgave as best we could. We found our faith together, lost it separately and are seeking to rebuild it stronger together again.
Through all our ups and downs, I’ve maintained a deep belief in the importance of romance. I don’t need expensive get-a-ways or fancy dinners. Coffee on the back porch is one of my favorite romantic dates (even with an oversized puppy who thinks if I’m sitting I should be tossing a ball and a toddler who sees it as lap time). We don’t have family nearby, so dates need to be pre-planned and budgeted or include our children. I’m okay with this. We find other times to be alone, and I understand there is a season for everything. Someday it will be just us again.
July, to me, is the most romantic month. The days go on forever — with dusk falling somewhere around 9 p.m. There are fireworks and ice cream socials and countless opportunities for picnics. So I thought this would be a good month to think about dates we can go on even when with a tight budget and kids. In celebration of my anniversary month, here is a list of romantic things to do this July – with or without the kids.
July 1st: Minnesota History Center – Nine Nights of Music – Café Accordion Orchestra
July 2nd: Sample Night Live.
July 3rd: Bloomington Summer Fete – Festival and Fireworks
July 4th: Minneapolis Red, White & Boom – Festival and Fireworks
July 5th: Summer Wildflower Walk – Eloise Butler Wildflower Gardens. You don’t have to own them for flowers to be romantic.
July 6th: Spend the Day at the Beach and Grill Out
July 8th: A trip to Como Zoo to visit the Summer Flower Show
July 9th: Romantic Picnic in the Park (Here is link to a list of 25 Romantic Little Foods to Bring on a Picnic. Most of them are also really kid-friendly)
July 10th – Music in Mears with Fort Wilson Riot & Communist Daughter (followed by a movie if you want)
July 12th: Second Saturdays at the California Building – Like An Art Crawl – without the crowds (and don’t forget to view the full moon tonight!)
July 15th: Coffee Date (go out or stay home with these recipes)
July 16th: Meet for Lunch (at your favorite restaurant or bring a brown bag lunch to share)
July 17th: Third Thursday at the MIA (I suggest getting there by 6 p.m. and leaving by 8 p.m if you plan to take the kids on this date)
July 19th: CommunityMosaic – St. Louis Park
July 22nd: Buy Fresh Ingredients and Make a Gourmet Meal Together
July 23rd: Fourth Wednesday Heart of the City Tour (Reservations required:651.292.3237)
July 24th: Ordway’s Summer Dance Series – Ballroom
July 26th – Free Ink Day at Highpoint
July 27th – Music in the Parks – Como – Como Pops Ensemble
July 28th: Get Soaked together at a Splash Pad
July 29th: Take a Sunday Drive to Somewhere Special or Nowhere in Particular – Stopping Whenever You Want.
July 30th: Take a Late Night Dip – Skinny or Not.