You may think that spouses or live-in significant others need a breather from each other after a year-long, 24/7 forced bit of “togetherness”. However, we think just the opposite! These longtime love birds need to jump back on the bandwagon of newly dating partners who have been longing for one-on-one time. As the weather turns and the nation re-opens, it is clear that more than ever we all need a little more fun and a lot less stress. That is why we have jotted down a few date idea favorites around the property.

Whether you are looking for a night of romance, a day of pampering or a basket of fun, Annapolis Town Center has what you need to keep that spark going.

A Pampering Experience

A rejuvenating escape may be the best date idea yet for 2021. Nothing says I love you more like a full day of relaxation and tranquility, side-by-side with your partner. Thanks to the Town Center, there are a number of ways you can get to pampering. Book a couple’s massage or bodywork therapy at About Faces Day Spa & Salon. Get her nails done at the highly sought-after Paint Nailbar. Or, have a couple’s makeover session at Salon Unlimited! It feels good to take care of yourself – together!

An Evening Out

Who else is ready for someone else to cook a great meal?! Or, maybe you are just excited to wear something other than lounge clothes. Get out of the house and treat you and your loved one to a casual or romantic dinner date. Annapolis Town Center boasts a variety of restaurants to fit everyone’s palate. Enjoy dinner and a show at Ziki Japanese Steakhouse with their Hibachi tables. Indulge in a Napa-inspired experience at Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant and Tasting Room. Share flavorful, Asian-inspired entrees and innovative cocktails at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro. Catch a game and a great brew at Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant. Or, keep it simple and visit one of the many quick-stop eateries like NEO’s, Burgers Grilled Right, Giolitti Deli, and Mission BBQ.

Shopping Made Fun

Shopping may seem like a bit of a bore for a date idea. But, there are plenty of ways to make it fun and exciting. Mix it up a bit and have a fashion show. Or, become each other’s personal shoppers. Set a spending limit and let the gift-giving commence. Annapolis Town Center has an array of retailers that boast the trendiest clothing items and accessories. Shop from tenants like Anthropologie, Charm City Run, J. Jill, Lou Lou Boutiques, and South Moon Under. Once you are finished, grab a few drinks at one of the many restaurants or head over to Bin201 for some take-home refreshments.

Hands-On Approach

Let your creative side shine. Muse Paintbar hosts a number of instructor-led painting sessions throughout the week. Bring your loved one and test your skills, all while sipping on wine for this fun and interactive date. Paper Source also hosts a variety of craft classes, workshops, and events to further explore your artistic side. Looking instead to create your own personalized date experience? Head over to Whole Foods and grab all the perfect fixings for a picnic. Annapolis boasts a ton of great locations to sit, eat, chat, and enjoy the great outdoors. Whole Foods has the snacks, refreshments, and cutlery for the ultimate spread.

Ah, Fall. Summer’s over. School’s back. There’s a nip in the air and pumpkin spice is everywhere. We’re on the slippery slope straight to the holidays, and it’s almost impossible to not feel just a little bit festive. Which is exactly how I felt recently on a cool, early fall evening when my husband and I considered having friends over to light the fire pit on our patio. As inviting as it sounded to gather with friends around the warmth of the fire, our kitchen was bare and we had nothing to offer anyone for dinner.  There’s a reason why someone cleverly posted on Facebook recently: “Who knew that the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your life until you die.”  Although equal parts humorous and dramatic, it does make a point. 

So, we rallied the troops and headed to Ziki Japanese Steakhouse in Annapolis Towne Center, a place where we could kick back, share some laughs while someone else cooked AND entertained us, all around, well, a fire!  

The minute we stepped into Ziki, we were met with the bustle of a Friday night crowd, a waitress whizzing by with a tempting plate of sushi, a vibrant bar scene, large hibachi grills scattered throughout the room, cooking utensils being tossed in the air like batons, smoking stacks of onion rings choo-chooing across the grill and gleeful diners trying to catch a flying shrimp or swig a stream of saki, hands-free. 

Ziki's Japanese Steakhouse

Image courtesy of the author

We settled around a hibachi grill big enough for the eight of us and placed our orders: some chicken, some filet, a little seafood, and one or two combos. Not able to resist the sushi, I ordered a few pieces myself. Out came the salad with ginger dressing and miso soup, which was perfect to warm up the soul. As the sushi arrived (and was quickly devoured), so did the hibachi chef. Part grill master, part showman, ours kept us easily entertained, yet still left us able to converse with each other as we would have back home around the fire.

Ziki's Japanese Steakhouse

Image courtesy of the author

Speaking of fire, the chef lit up the grill and then the show began. Flames! Spinning eggs! Yum Yum sauce! Noodles! Fried rice, sautéed veggies, various grilled meats and more of the aforementioned saki! (I said yes to the second go-around). 

Ziki's Japanese Steakhouse

Image courtesy of the author

Our chef was very mindful that one person at the table had a shellfish allergy. He kindly (and appropriately so) cooked and served her chicken before any seafood touched the grill. Once finished plating everyone’s meal, our chef said goodbye and left us to enjoy our dinner and each other.

Ziki's Japanese Steakhouse

Image courtesy of the author

It occurred to me that there was little difference between the fire pit at home and the hibachi grill at Ziki. Both are places that bring people together, around the warmth of the flames and in the company of those you love. Come winter, when our fire pit goes into hibernation, you’ll find us back at Ziki staying warm around the hibachi. 

Blog by Aimee Lubin.