As a couples counselor serving families in Houston, I believe strongly in the healing powers of a great date. Regularly scheduling time to have a good day with your partner can deepen your connection: By prioritizing shared positive experiences, you show each other just how much you value your relationship. Dates provide prime time and space to talk about life's stresses, have fun together, and get to know each other better.
Throughout this Great Houston Dates blog series, I'll be doing the leg work for you by providing a suggested itinerary for a neighborhood-specific date with your partner or spouse. If you want to follow along or read other entries in this series, click on the Great Houston Dates tag at the end of this entry. I don't have financial ties to any of the places I mention in this series; I'm just a local couples counselor passionate about helping fellow Houstonians have great relationships.
Downtown has been experiencing something like a renaissance lately, and it's been fun to watch (and even more fun to experience). Though always a hub for sports fans and theatre aficionados, Downtown is now adding more and more cool hangouts to make it more walkable and accessible to the average Houstonian. Whether you are wanting to spend a playful day exploring with the one you love or your tastes tend more toward the innovative and upscale, Downtown has a lot to offer for you to enjoy during a Saturday afternoon date with your partner.
Start your date by visiting one of Downtown's many new food halls. At Finn Hall at Rusk and Main, you can explore all sorts of different offerings or just start off your date with some coffee from Amaya coffee. One of the great things about food halls is how both you and your partner can get exactly what you want--no need to argue about whether to get Vietnamese or Mexican food! While enjoying each other's company over coffee, make sure to focus your attention on each other and talk about things that matter. Here's a list of ten great questions to deepen your understanding of each other so you can make the most of your afternoon.
After coffee and conversation, Downtown has all sorts of activities on offer. With some additional pre-planning, you can get tickets to any number of events on a Saturday night. If you are wanting to enjoy a concert together, check out the schedules at House of Blues or Revention Music Center. For sports fans, check and see if the Rockets or Astros are playing in town tonight. If theatre is more your thing, see if there are any shows at either the Alley Theatre or the Hobby Center. For a more budget-friendly activity, go for a walk along Main and grab some selfies in front of Downtown's many new murals (including the largest one in town). Take your time; remember that today is about being together and trying new things, not marking items off a to-do list.
Once you start to get hungry, Downtown has so many world-class options for a delicious meal together. For something more upscale, head on over to Xochi, recognized by the Houston Chronicle as the best restaurant in town. Make sure to get a reservation in advance! For something more casual but still delicious, head over to Phoenicia's MKT BAR for a good pizza and live music.
If you aren't ready for your night together to end, Downtown has a thriving nightlife scene for the two of you to enjoy together. One of the most romantic spots for couples is the popular speakeasy Tongue Cut Sparrow, whose entrance is located in an unmarked door at the back of The Pastry Wars. With the lights down low, you can snuggle up to each other in front of a fireplace over a craft cocktail. Reservations are helpful and can be made in advance.
Keep dating! Dating is such a wonderful investment in your relationship and provides great moments of fun and connection. Check back here in the weeks to come for more date ideas around additional Houston neighborhoods.