jump up & get down

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I got asked on a date Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, and I’m feeling pretty good about a weekend lineup of brunch, movies and a kite festival.  Lucky for me, my husband is out of town. 

A little preview into what I’m taking about here:  

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Just to be clear, Kitty Cat Klub is a coffee shop/wine bar in downtown Minneapolis.  I feel like the name leaves too much to the imagination not to provide an explanation.  But anyway, I digress.

Books and movies and blogs and magazines consistently offer advice on dating as it pertains to romantic relationships, but where is the discussion as it pertains to friends?  Perhaps most people call being with your friends ‘hanging-out,’ but my friends and I take our girl nights pretty seriously — we dub them “friend-dates.”  

Friend dates are different than simply watching movies or going for walks or chatting over tea — they are designed to ensure that some of our best experiences our happening with our closest friends.  Every Wednesday, I’m doing something called “Surprise Night” with my friends Chrissy and Lauren.  Come again?  Surprise night means we take turns planning a fun adventure for each other.  Today we went to a trampoline center:
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I came up with some other fun ideas for ‘dating your friends’:
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1.  A-Z:  This is a dinner club that goes to restaurants according to the order of the alphabet.  The first week you go to a restaurant that starts with the letter A, the second week you dine somewhere that starts with the letter B, and the dining continues til you reach the letter Z 🙂

2.  Sip:  Why take wine and cheese classes when you could learn with a weekly girls’ night?  This group works by making a list of wines you want to try, and then meeting once a week to share the bottle.  Red, white and vine.  

3.  Groupon:  Each week someone picks a Groupon to try, and then everyone gets together for the painting class or workout session or concert on a designated day. Bonus that it’s on a sale, right?  

4.  Surprise:  As I mentioned above, this is something I do with my friends: simply take turns surprising each other with fun nights out on the town.  Good for the adventurous bunch.  

5.  Cook Book:  Pick a cook book with your friends, and then get together each week to create a new recipe.  Eventually you’ll make everything in the book and, as a bonus, become pretty skillful in the kitchen.  

6.  Neighborhood Night:  The name pretty much says it all: pick a night of the week, and then plan an adventure in a local neighborhood or suburb of the city.  A fun way to get outside your comfort zone and learn about the hidden gems lurking nearby.

7.  Read It:  The good old fashioned book club.  The most popular girl on the list because it doesn’t get much better than discussing good books with great friends.

8.  Make it:  We all have unique talents and skills, so why not enjoy learning from one another?  My friends and I do this pretty frequently, and it works like so: one person picks a recipe/craft/project that they want to do, and then everyone gets together to do it with them.  More convenient than signing up for classes at the local college.

9.  TV Show:  This one is just too easy/fun to leave off the list.  If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already watching your favorite guilty pleasure with a gaggle of girls every Monday night at 7pm on ABC.  Yep. I admitted it.  But, really, your show can be anything – just an excuse to get together.  Make sure someone brings popcorn and/or cupcakes. 

10.  Connoisseur:  Is there something that all of you enjoy?  sushi or artwork or music or hiking?  If so, make it your mission to find the best handroll/painting/band/hill in the city.  When everything has been tried, vote on the best.

Do you date your friends?  Do you have a standing girls’ night of some sort?