Winter Date ideas in Newport Beach
That odd week in January when the weather decided to flip the script and turn warm? We all know that was a fluke, and we enjoyed it while it lasted. But now that we’re in the throes of winter again (as winter-ish as it can get in the Golden State), it’s hard to come up with date-night ideas that don’t involve the outdoors. Especially here, in Newport Beach, which boasts a treasure trove of beach-oriented activities. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, date ideas that don’t involve being outside, become a bit more difficult to plan. When everything turns gray outside, these date night ideas will be just what you’ll need to kiss your seasonal affective disorder goodbye—and have heaps of fun in the process.
Unwind at CHABA Traditional Thai & Sport Massage
You promised one another that you’d learn to practice self-care this year. You’ve been going on more walks, stretching, keeping an arsenal of essential oils in your work drawers. You even downloaded that meditation app your friends have been yammering on about. One thing left to cross off your list? A complete, head-to-toe relaxation sesh. Enter Chaba Traditional Thai & Sport Massage. Although the spa specializes in Thai massage—an ancient practice that incorporates gentle rocking, acupressure, a little bit of yoga, some assisted stretches and meditation—you can also choose from a number of other pampering styles like deep tissue, Swedish, hot stone or combination. (Optional: If you go Thai, you can have a therapist walk on your back!) A hour-long couples massage will set you back $130, but your bodies will thank you for it long after your appointment is over.
Cook up a storm Sur La Table’s “Date Night” Classes
That pan-seared salmon you guys make? It’s delicious, but since the dish has been on heavy rotation this month, you’re already getting bored of it. Instead of relying on your dogeared recipe book, how about you try something new. And while you’re at it, make a date out of the experience. Every day, Sur La Table’s Newport-Beach outpost plays host to a slew of cooking classes, but its “Date-Night” classes are what you want to register for. There are several options to choose from—take, for example, the “Bold Tuscan Flavors” class, during which you’ll learn how to cook strip steak with chianti pan sauce and potato gnocchi with basil pesto. Or the “From Paris With Love” class, during which you’ll learn how to whip up things like pan-roasted chicken with fine herbs and whole-grain mustard sauce and French vanilla crème brûlée. Whatever you opt for, the folks at Sur La Table will make sure you walk out fed and happy, with a new set of cooking chops to impress your friends and family with.
Catch a movie and a dinner at THE LOT Fashion Island
Sure, you can stay in and eat leftovers while watching your Redbox rental—or you can jaunt over to The Lot for a much, much more elevated experience. Nestled inside Fashion Island Mall, The Lot is a luxe space that houses a cafe, a bar, a restaurant and a movie theatre all under one roof. The restaurant serves up a menu that features everything from pan-roasted Scottish salmon and chicken schnitzel. And that movie theatre? With tray tables and plush, reclining leather chairs, the auditorium is a destination in its own right. This also means: no more elbow-fighting over the armrest and knocking over your half-eaten popcorn box with your feet. And before you ask— yes, you can totally sip on your aperol spritz and eat your dinner in front of the screen. All to say, The Lot gives “movie night” a whole new meaning.
Sip some vino at Orange Coast Winery
Nothing takes the edge off after a busy week better than a glass of vino. But before you commit to a bottle from your local grocery store, consider this: at Orange Coast Winery, you can taste a lineup of six labels, served with a cheese platter. (The establishment also offers a fully-fledged menu). During the wine-tasting, let the winemaker himself tell you all about where the winery’s finest sips came from. Because, really, how else are you going to really appreciate that earthy aroma you detected when you stuck your nose into the glass? Or that fruity note that walloped into your mouth when you swooshed the wine around your tongue? The winery’s experts will also answer your most pressing questions—i.e. what you’re supposed to drink with that grilled branzino dinner you love whipping up on weekends. At the end of all of this, you’ll walk out of the establishment feeling like a newly minted oenophile.
Find your inner dancer at OC Ballroom Dancing
Dancing? We know: you’re torn. Last time you tried the box step, you ended up, quite literally, stepping on some toes. On the other hand, you kind of really enjoyed swaying to the music. So it’s time to try again, and what better way to up your dancing game than with the help of a pro? Professional ballroom finalists Mikhail Avdeev and Olga Blinova—the duo behind OC Dancing studio, which offers up classes for both kids and adults—can teach you and your partner a slew of dance routines like slow waltz, tango, foxtrot and quickstep. Whether you’re serious about finding your groove or just want to have some fun with your date, OC Dancing will help you take that first step, step, step toward the right direction.
By Mariam Makatsaria