Nothing feels better than going out on a date with your loved one after a long week. Especially in the warmer season, there are more options for the outdoor type of date ideas. If you or your loved one love the great outdoors, there are limitless ideas for date nights that can take place outside. Read on for our full list of outdoor date ideas in the Montclair area.
Brave an Adventure Course
For those thrill-seeking couples, adventure courses are popping up across New Jersey. The newest one is in our own backyard, built right next to the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. The TreeTop Adventure Course features a world-class aerial obstacle course, with an adult-only course that offers 30 unique challenge elements and an elevation of 35 feet. The average run time is one to one and a half hours, so this could be a great activity on its own or a stop as part of a long day date.
Read More: A Hike + Winery Date In Rockland County, NY
Grab an Outdoor Beverage
Photo Credit: Amanti Vino
If your idea of being outside is sipping cocktails on a patio, there are some great rooftops and outdoor bars in the Montclair area for this sort of date activity. One lesser-known spot is the patio outside of Amanti Vino, a wine shop in downtown Montclair. Wine lovers can pick up a bottle in the shop (be sure to speak with their staff who can help shoppers pick a bottle), and grab one of the tables on the patio which are equipped with wine openers. While this spot doesn’t serve food, it does sell charcuterie, cheese, crackers, and other snacks, or treat this as a pre-dinner activity before bopping to one of Montclair’s many restaurants.
Essex County is rich with opportunities for outdoor activity and has an entire park system comprising over 6,000 acres of open space. In addition to neighborhood parks, this also includes large undeveloped reservations. One such reservation is Eagle Rock, located between West Orange, Montclair, and Verona and made up of hiking trails and footpaths that crisscross the woodland. There are a number of routes that take hikers to the famous 9/11 memorial and lookout point across from the NYC skyline. MG pro tip: Take the Lenape Trail (yellow blazes) back from the lookout point and you’ll find a rocky area to sit for a more secluded view of the skyline. Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of other areas to hike in the Montclair area.
Go Horseback Riding
New Jersey is home to a variety of riding stables that welcome horseback riders of all levels, which is a unique (and romantic) way to see some of the scenic areas of the state. Check out our comprehensive list, and make note of Garret Mountain Equestrian Center and Saddle Ridge Riding Center which are closest to the area. The former is located in Woodland Park and invites visitors to take part in exclusive guided trail rides on horseback on over 550 acres of beautiful trails. The latter is in Franklin Lakes and offers intimate horseback trail rides through Bergen County.
Picnic in the Park
One of the best ways to spend time outside with your S.O. is picnicking in one of the many parks located in the Montclair area. We’ve identified some of the best spots for a picnic, one of which is in Verona Park. We love this one for its open areas and picturesque views. Pack a lunch from home, or take away from one of the many restaurants and cafes located along Bloomfield Avenue, and find a spot lakeside to enjoy your meal al fresco. End your date by taking a nice stroll along one of the many walking paths located in the park, or grab a paddle boat if it’s in season.
Play a Game of Pickleball
Last fall, we reported that pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in America, and it’s shown no signs of slowing down. New courts dedicated to the sport are popping up constantly (they’re even taking over landmarks like Central Park) and specialized clinics are becoming commonplace. All that’s needed are some paddles and a (healthy) competitive spirit and you can make pickleball your next date. For easy access to outdoor courts, check out Brookdale Park Tennis Center (you’ll need a reservation to play), Montclair Pickleball (which also offers great clinics), Memorial Park in Bloomfield, and Pickleball Palace in West Orange.
Take a Garden Stroll
New Jersey is in full bloom, and there are so many gardens in the area to be enjoyed. One of our favorites is Reeves-Reed Arboretum for its greatly anticipated daffodil lawn, which is only in bloom in April. And while it’s not quite a garden, Branch Brook Park is also at the top of our list for its cherry blossom festival in April. You can also check out other spots like the Presby Iris Gardens when it opens mid-may, or the rose garden in Brookdale Park for peak bloom in June.
Take a Rooftop Yoga Class
Photo Credit: Melanie Nycole
Calling all yogi couples: The MC Hotel hosts indoor/outdoor yoga classes on its rooftop. Thursday night Vinyasa classes are taught by PineappleYogi, where you can expect a flow that emphasizes breath, structure, and alignment followed by a therapeutic savasana + meditation. You can also catch instructor Melanie Nycole teaching Yoga HIIT on Wednesday nights and traditional yoga on Sunday mornings. Keep an eye on The MC Hotel event page for upcoming classes if you’re interested in downward dogging with a partner.