“You have to start it from the very beginning or it won’t make any sense,” I said to my husband, Collyn, as we clicked through Netflix. It was right after they’d released “A year in the life” and I was debating watching it but I knew he would be totally lost and probably bored without the context of the original show.

“It’s not a big deal. Just watch it.” He said

With wide eyes I turned and said, “What if we just power through and then you can see all of them?”

And so, we spent many a night with Lorelai, Rory and a few of our other favorites- which don’t get me wrong was great and all buuut not the greatest use of time spent together.

Let’s be honest, it’s wayyy too easy to get into a Netflix bingeing habit or even worse, no date night at all. So we decided that 2017 would be a year where we broke out of our Netflix addiction and tried some new things. Today I’m sharing a few of our favorite local finds:

Here’s four fresh date night ideas for Orange County:

Date Idea #1

Farmers Market & Dinner In

This date is one of my favorites! We both LOVE food and while it’s easy to go out to dinner, we’ve found that cooking together and trying new recipes as a team turns the work into fun. Plus we get to eat amazing food! The first step is to pick out a recipe for dinner. Here are a couple of our favorites:

Seared Boneless short ribs with salsa Criolla From Bon Appetit (This one literally made me feel happiness)

Roast chicken with spring veggies from Food Network (Tastes amazing, stupidly easy to make)

Orange County is filled with farmers markets and there’s nothing quite like farm fresh produce. Explore, try new things, pick up what you need for your recipe. Then, open a bottle of your favorite wine (or scotch) and the rest is easy, just follow the recipe!

The husband’s thoughts: “I usually don’t cook aside from grilling, but this date combo is actually way more fun than I thought it would be. We cook together all the time now and it’s been a great way to get in some quality time, fun and eat great food. Plus it saves us a few bucks when we eat at home.”

Date Idea #2

Wine tasting and dinner at the SoCo Collection.Date night ideas orange county ARC Restaurant in Costa Mesa

Speaking of farmers markets, we recently stopped by the farmers market at the SoCo Collection and stumbled across this little wine shop that we fell in love with. The employees were so kind and knowledgeable that we ended up joining their wine club. On Fridays, non-member tastings are $10, on Saturdays they cost $5 and if you sign up for wine club tastings are free!

After your tasting, you can check out some of SoCo’s amazing food options. We haven’t tried all the restaurant options there yet, but so far we love Iron Press (waffles, beer, and burgers. heck yes!), ARC Restaurant (craft cocktails, HUGE plates and the most incredible slabs of bacon you’ve ever seen) or if you can get a table, the Restaurant Marin (You have to try the donut holes!)

The husband’s thoughts: “Well, I’m a huge bacon fan so ARC was probably my favorite of these places. I like how if you sit at the bar there’s a great view of the open kitchen and I loved that they make the cocktails the old fashioned way.”

Date Idea #3

Date Night ideas Orange County. Steal the glass night on Wednesdays at Eureka Huntington Beach Eureka!

If you like whiskey and craft beer, this is a great place to check out! Locations are popping up all over California and a few other places. Orange County is home two locations, Huntington Beach and Irvine. In addition to the great food and cocktails, they offer great brunch and weekly events. One of our favorites is “Steal the Glass” night. Each Wednesday a different brewery features one of their beers. If you order the featured beer you get to take the glass home too. We’ve been able  to  try some great brews and we’ve got a growing collection of glasses too! I usually check their Instagram to see what events are coming up!

If you’re at the Bella Terra location in Huntington Beach there’s a movie theater next door so it’s a great spot if you’re looking for a dinner and a movie night out kind of date. Not the movie going type? Barnes and Noble is across the parking lot and the beach is only a short drive away.

The husband’s thoughts: “I love that you can get flights of both whiskey or beer. It’s a great way to try new things and find out what you like! The fried chicken sliders are my absolute favorite thing to eat when we go there!”

Date Night Orange County Eureka! Restaurant in Huntington Beach

Date Idea #4

The Anaheim Packing District is filled with all kinds of good food finds, and reservations at The Blind Rabbit Speakeasy are a must!  You’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time at the Blind Rabbit, it’s incredible and I can’t wait to go back. Be sure to make reservations in advance and double check the dress code.

The husband’s thoughts: “I loved the vibe in this place, it was like stepping back in time. Didn’t try the food last time but we definitely want to go back because everything on the menu looked really good. The drinks were awesome!”

Tried any of these? I’d love to know it went! Leave a comment below or shoot me a message by clicking here


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