52 Dates a Year

Having fun together!

Brave New Workshop: Brett Favre’s Christmas Spectacular – The Immaculate Interception January 15, 2010

For Robyn’s birthday (way back in September!) we decided to give her two tickets to see a show at Brave New Workshop. After some discussion we decided to see the Christmas show but unfortunately were not able to fit it into our schedule prior to the new year. So…Saturday, January 9, 2010 Robyn and Josh joined us for dinner at Green Mill (where you get a 25% discount on food when you show your BNW ticket for that day) and then we caught the late night show.

This year’s Christmas Show was really, really funny. They opened the show with a rap song about the Vikings and Brett Favre and besides one other mention, that was it for Mr. Favre. I think some of the favorites included “The 12 Days of Christmas” sung as My Mother Said to Me and My Father Said to Me in place of “My Truelove Gave to Me”, an attempt at videoconferencing with the parents and a couple skits that included a Santa suit!

We also stuck around for the post-show Improv session which proved to be pretty funny as well! Overall, a very good night filled with quite a few laughs.

Chris’s Review
Dinner with Nikki’s brother and girlfriend was great, and the timing worked out great to make it to the show. We all laughed out loud, and had a great time.

Best Part:Hearing all 4 of us laugh out loud! Sketch comedy is great when it is on, and they did a great job on the Christmas show.

Worst Part:Somewhat expensive… we did plan on a Saturday night, and I know sometimes there can be deals on the weekday shows (join the insider club). The 25% off food at Green Mill helped.

This is a great night for any couple that is just starting to date, or have been dating for a while. I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone that gets offended easily. Some of the skits are pretty political, so it may create some conversation after watching. RATING: 4/5

Nikki’s Review
We had been waiting to go to this show for so long that I was worried it might disappoint, but thankfully it didn’t! I guess my memory isn’t great because I didn’t remember most of the skits, but that’s okay!

Best part of the night: The two different versions of the 12 days of Christmas were hilarious and easily my favorite part of the show.

Worst part of the night: We were hoping to get a table in the bar at Green Mill to watch the Wild game but a) the bar was completely full and b) only the Cowboys/Eagles football game was on.

BNW puts on a few different shows each year and all the ones I’ve seen have been funny. The only drawback is that the tickets aren’t cheap, but for a night of good laughs it’s worth splurging every once in a while! RATING: 4/5

Brett Favre’s Christmas Spectacular is showing at Brave New Workshop through January 30, 2010 and you can find other reviews by clicking here.

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Last Polaroid Show @ Como Zoo January 14, 2010

Filed under: Free,Just Us,Out & About - Minneapolis/St Paul — Nikki @ 6:27 pm

Conservatory

On Sunday, January 10, 2010 we headed over to the Como Zoo to check out an exhibit that Nikki had heard of from MPR’s State of the Arts blog. The Last Polaroid Project exhibit will be at the Como Zoo through Tuesday January 19, 2010.

flowers

What is “The Last Polaroid Project”? It is a series of photographs that were taken with a Polaroid camera and then modified before the picture dried completely which makes a super cool look. The original Polaroids were not on display but we did get to see large prints of the results (which were on sale too).

Tools

After viewing some of the Conservatory we checked out the exhibit and then we walked around the zoo a bit. It’s a little bit depressing being at a zoo during a MN winter because so many of the animals are inside, but we had a good time checking out the buildings. A lot of the animals were the same ones we recently saw in the wild in Costa Rica: monkeys, sloths, fish and birds.

giraffe

Chris’s Review
I’ve never been to the zoo in the winter, but it was pretty fun. No one was there, and we were able to walk freely throughout the grounds. We had a good time, but it was a bit depressing for some of the animals… Como seemed much bigger when I went there as a kid.

Best Part: The rainforest area felt amazing on a -5°F afternoon. Just walking somewhere with some humidity was worth it!

Worst part: It was cold enough that EVERY outdoor animal was stuck inside. The zebras, giraffes and gorillas were stuck in their tiny indoor areas. It was a little depressing. One of the giraffes had OCD and just kept licking a piece of wood.

This is a good idea for a cold winter day to get into the rainforest and arboreautem. I would recommend this for a new couple, or anyone looking to get away from the cold for a few hours. On a sunny day it feels amazing in the glass enclosed areas at Como. Como is free year round ($2 suggested donation) and worth seeing in the winter. RATING: 2/5

Nikki’s Review
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the exhibit was smaller than I thought it would be. The images are really neat – it’s fun to think about what the original looked like before it was modified, especially as we were standing in the Conservatory where the photos were taken.

Best part of the date: Being in the Conservatory and at the Zoo brought me right back to our honeymoon in Costa Rica as we stood in the humid/tropical green houses and saw the monkeys!

Worst part of the date: I wish they had displayed one or more of the actual Polaroid photos, but otherwise it was neat to see. As for the Zoo, it was depressing seeing the animals inside in because the outside living appears to be a lot better for them.

I would recommend checking out the Last Polaroid Show IF you’re also interested in spending some time at the Conservatory and Zoo. Otherwise, I think the Como Zoo would be a better date in the summer when all the animals are outside as long as you don’t mind crowds. RATING: 3/5

NOTE: This is marked as free but the Como Zoo recommends an optional $2 donation per adult and $1 per child.

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A hard puzzle and bad movies

Filed under: Home Sweet Home,Inexpensive ($),Just Us — Nikki @ 9:11 am

Our first official “date night” of 2010 was a little unique in the fact that we ate leftovers and Nikki had to work at 9:45PM, but we still had a good time!

For dinner, we had leftover Pulled Pork from the weekend and (inspired by Metrodome concessions) Chris thought we could turn it into a good meal on a wrap. He sauteed up some onions and green peppers, mixed in the pulled pork and eventually topped it all with some Munster cheese and it was delish! We had a salad on the side and homemade peanut butter cookies for dessert.

Puzzle

After dinner, we got started on the puzzle Chris had purchased at Target. He went a little crazy and picked out a 1000 piece puzzle with lots going on and no real pattern…definitely a good challenge! So, we set up the card table and got started on the border. Meanwhile, we decided to put in a movie to watch while working on the puzzle. Nikki happened to have Camp Cucamonga from NetFlix and since Chris hadn’t seen it (and really wasn’t looking forward to it) this seemed like a great time to watch. Camp Cucamonga was a made for TV movie from 1990 and it’s still as good/bad as it was back then! Of course, Chris got to pick the second movie and he found National Lampoon’s Vacation on the NetFlix Instant View list. By the time Nikki had to start working we had finished 99% of the border and were slowly making progress on the interior parts. Here’s hoping that card table isn’t in our living room for weeks to come!

Chris’s Review
Well, the night was fun, but a 1,000 piece puzzle definitely takes too long for a date ‘night’. Also, it was good to have some distractions in the background since the puzzle was so hard. We ended up watching a made for tv movie from the 90’s, where Urkel was the jock… pretty awesome.

Best part of the night: Having to sit next to each other to be able to work on the card table we had setup, was able to steal a kiss or two when we were working across from each other.

Worst part: Not finishing the puzzle… it took a couple more days to finish, and I kind of gave up. 500 or 750 piece would be a much better idea.

I would recommend this for couples that have been together for a while, and are comfortable with a lazy night in. Definitely get a smaller/easier puzzle. I think having the puzzle finished by the end of the night would have been much better. RATING: 3/5

Nikki’s Review
I was expecting maybe 500 pieces, so when Chris came home with 1000 pieces I knew we were in trouble. We were able to find the border pieces fairly easily & then just started looking for things that were easy to identify. I enjoyed the “bad” movies in the background as a little distraction when the puzzle pieces all started looking the same too.

Best part of the night: Chris’s face when I started singing along with the Camp Cucamonga song! I still maintain that Camp Cucamonga is better than Vacation…but I’m also fairly certain that I’m standing very alone on that. Oh well!

Worst part of the night: Not making very much progress on the puzzle.

This is a perfect date for the middle of Minnesota winters! We’re thinking next time we’ll hit up Savers or Goodwill for a puzzle rather than paying full price at a store like Target ($10) and definitely a smaller puzzle that could possibly be finished in one evening. RATING: 3/5

What do you think? Is this something you would enjoy doing together?

UPDATE
As of 10:00PM CST on Sunday January 10, 2010, Nikki finished the puzzle!!
completed puzzle

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Welcome! January 2, 2010

Filed under: Other — Nikki @ 7:56 pm

Welcome to our blog about date nights! We are a newlywed couple in our early 30’s living in Minneapolis who want to make sure we keep having all the fun we had before the wedding. The plan is to have at least one date night every week of 2010 and we’re hoping that we can come up with 52 unique things to do.

Dates will be categorized by price, size of the group and in/out of the house.  Each date will include a summary of the date as well as a review from both of our perspectives.

If you have any ideas, please let us know in the comments.

Thanks & Happy Dating! ~ Nikki & Chris