They say there's nothing better than curling up with a good book and while we aren't exactly disagreeing, we like to think that curling up in the arms of the one you love is a little bit better.
Still, there are endless reasons why we swoon over love stories. The lovestruck characters carry out our most hopeful dreams and our deepest desires. If you and your sweetie are both bookworms, you'll love these date night ideas inspired by some of the most famous, well-written love stories of all time.
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A Helicopter Tour inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey
Admittedly, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey from E.L. James' erotic trilogy don't do a whole lot of "dating" before they ventured into the Red Room, but he first whisked her away in his helicopter for a breathaking tour of the city skyline. (Once they touch down on his upscale apartment, the BDSM-loving business executive makes her sign a creepy sex contract, but up until the point, it's romantic!) Getting a bird's eye view on a helicopter tour guarantees an unforgettable date night. If you want to further ignite passion, check into a swanky, upscale hotel and cash in on one of their 50 Shades-inspired packages. Christian and Ana had their first steamy encounter in a suite at The Heathman Hotel in Portland, Oregon. and The Heathman started offering two add-on packages called the "Charlie Tango No Limits" package (Charlie Tango is the name of Christian's helicopter, and included a helicopter ride) and the less pricey "Inner Goddess" package.
A Backyard Barbeque inspired by Gone With The Wind
The war-torn South doesn't exactly make for atmosphere, but it was the setting for the scandalous love affair between the debonair Rhett Butler and the Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara. For a romantic date night that evokes the sexiness of the South, host a backyard barbeque just like the party at Twelve Oaks where the two met. You can cook up a feast of Southern comfort food including fried chicken and biscuits, homemade pecan pie and sweet iced tea. To really loosen up, mix and pour yourselves a few Scarlett O'Hara Cocktails. Mmmm.
A Picture-Perfect Picnic inspired by The Time Traveler's Wife
Audrey Niffenegger's novel speaks to a romantic truth about relationships: Love is timeless. Henry, who suffers from a mysterious anomaly that forces him to flit back and forth through time involuntarily, first meets his past (or you might say future) wife Clare when she is 6 years old and he is middle-aged by materializing in a meadow. Even if you aren't a time traveler, you can evoke that same romantic reminiscence by setting up a picnic — with a nostalgic twist: Along with sandwiches and snacks, bring a photo album filled with your favorite couple selfies. You can fondly look back on the memories you've made together as a couple. This date is perfect for long-term couples.
A Ballroom Dance inspired by Pride And Prejudice
If there was one thing the English were known for, it was their regency balls. In Jane Austen's time, dancing was the way to meet young eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. Even middle-class families held lavish balls — such as the Netherfield Ball — for their daughters and sons to mingle and, hopefully, fall in love. Just imagine being whisked around a ballroom in the arms of a dashing Mr. Darcy. Swooning yet? Skip the nightclub for once and try to find a regency ball near you (they are out there) or at least a ballroom studio. Take it from the novelist herself who wrote, "To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love."
A Sailing Adventure inspired by The Odyssey
Even through seductive sirens, raging seas, hideous monsters and the wrath of gods, there is a love story at the center of Homer's epic classic: Odysseus, the hero king lost at sea and Penelope, his faithful (albeit, land-locked) wife. She is so faithful, that she resists over a hundred aggressive suitors in the years he is gone. To evoke their epic love, set out on the high seas for your own maritime adventure. You can either sail yourselves or book a sailing cruise complete with romantic music, delectable dining and a sunset-soaked ocean view.
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