The dinner-and-a-movie date has been the standard go-to option for new crushes and established couples since restaurants and movie theaters were first conceived. However, while the pairing can still be a great date, many couples are searching for date ideas that are more imaginative, unusual, and fun. Not that we are saying there is anything wrong with dinner and a movie. However, you can do both at home, probably better and definitely for a lot less money than going out. With Jacksonville being one of the best cities for a couples date night in Florida, to help you spice things up with your better half, here are five fun date-night ideas in Jacksonville:
1) Couples Float Therapy
One of the absolute most unique and fun date-night ideas is to have a couples float session that will add a novel and relaxing spin to date night. Float therapy, or “floating,” is often referred to as sensory deprivation therapy as it allows all five of your senses to take a much-needed break from the constant onslaught of sensory stimuli. Research by the Laureate Institute for Brain Research in Tulsa, OK, demonstrated that floating is one of the best ways to relieve stress, being shown to have an immediate impact on stress-related disorders and provide a significant reduction in muscle tension. During your session, you and your crush will float effortlessly in a tank of warm water set in a room where all external stimuli are blocked out so you can reboot your mind and reset your body. The tank room is lightproof and soundproof, and you can adjust the tank lighting to suit your mood. The water is a high-salinity solution using pharmaceutical-grade Epsom salts that suspends your body on the surface, allowing you to relax completely. At the same time, you and your sweetie shut out all the distractions of the outside world. Be Still Float Studio, located in Jacksonville, offers several float packages and provides a special couples float therapy option.
2) Ride the Wind
Less than an hour’s drive from Jacksonville, you can take part in one of the most unique date nights a couple can ever experience. “A Hot Air Balloon Ride” in St. Augustine will take you aloft on a two-plus hour-long hot-air balloon ride over the North Florida landscape. You and your sweetie, along with your captain, will serenely drift through the sky on the gentle air currents and breezes. As the balloon is virtually silent in flight, you will be astonished at how clearly you can hear sounds from the ground and how far you can see. One of the most striking phenomena of a hot-air balloon ride is you become one with the wind, moving with it, so you don’t even feel it blowing. The ride includes a full safety briefing before the ride and a sparkling beverage toast after your flight.
3) Take to the Jungle
For brave and daring couples who want to be able to brag they literally looked into the jaws of death on their date, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park is just the ticket. Just about an hour’s drive from downtown Jax will have you and your sugar zipping through the treetops like Tarzan and Jane over alligators and crocodiles. The alligator farm is set on seven wooded acres with two thrilling and challenging zip line courses filled with 50 obstacles, lemurs, and various species of tropical birds. While we were just kidding about the death-defying part, as to the best of anyone’s knowledge, no one has ever been eaten at the park, it will make for a wicked cool date.
4) Enjoy Some Brewskis
For the beer-loving couple, Jacksonville is home to dozens of local craft breweries along what is known as the “Jax Ale Trail”, and several of the breweries have won awards at one of the two annual “Best Florida Beer” contests. Some of these award-winning breweries include the Aardwolf Brewing Company, Engine 15 Brewing Company, Intuition Ale Works, Pinglehead Brewing Company, and Veterans United Craft Brewery. Jacksonville’s craft-beer scene continues to grow in scope and popularity each year, so this is one date night you will want to make at least an annual custom. Additionally, the Jax Ale Trail Brewery Passport allows you to snag some free Jax Ale Trail beer swag, such as a beer koozie, a Jax Ale Trail t-shirt, and a special, super-secret prize by getting your passport stamped at a few of the over 20 participating breweries on the trail. Passports are available at any of the breweries or Jacksonville Visitors Centers. Be responsible and plan a safe way for you and your honey to get home, or a local hotel is always an option.
5) Float Trip
Taking a float trip down along the pristine waters of the Ichetucknee State River just outside of Jacksonville will transport you into an unspoiled world where flora and fauna rule the land. The Ichetucknee River is home to numerous species of wildlife and natural mineral springs where the water temperature stays a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit all year long. You and your sweetheart’s can depart on a two-hour-long journey down the river’s crystal-clear waters by canoe, kayak, or even float tube at the park’s north entrance. Guide maps of the trails and river entrances, along with tube rentals, are available at the park. Maps of the trail network and river entrances can also be found online.
Now that you have some new and fun ideas, there is no reason to be pedestrian when the next date night rolls around. Aside from the fun new experiences, all of these date-night ideas also offer a great way to unwind and shed the stress that life throws at you. Of course, there is no reason you can’t combine two or more of these activities for an extraordinary date night for such occasions as birthdays, anniversaries, or popping the big question. For example, you could start or end the date with float therapy in Jacksonville before or after hitting one of the parks, the Ale Trail, or taking to the sky.
If you are ready to try a float therapy session, Be Still Float is located just south of downtown Jacksonville at 1050 Riverside Ave. Be Still Float offers couples float therapy sessions along with several other wellness treatments, including infrared sauna and sound healing. Stop by their studio for a tour, find them online at BeStillFloat.com, or call 904-593-2458 to make a date-night appointment. If you are not in the Jacksonville area, you can find similar activities and a float studio by performing an online search for “float therapy near me.”