Get Schooled

01/23/2013 4:46 PM

01/28/2013 11:57 AM

Swing Time

Whether you’re newbies on the course or long time golf enthusiasts, an afternoon on the driving range offers the perfect opportunity to get outside—and get close—all while polishing your swing. The Dana Rader Golf School in Ballantyne features a variety of instructional classes for those looking to get serious about the sport. But for the casual day date, grab a bucket of balls ($15) and hit the driving range complete with three putting greens and a picturesque hitting bay.

Chocolate Pairing

Cooking up romance is easy at The Ritz-Carlton’s Cocoa Lab, a class dedicated to all things chocolate. Here you can heat up the kitchen as you try your hand at gourmet techniques and indulge in rich deserts. Located inside Bar Cocoa’s kitchen, the small classes offer personal and lively instruction from the hotel’s top chefs. Each class, which has a maximum of eight students, serves up the chance to prepare tantalizing pastries and chocolates—and, more importantly, to eat them. This month you can seriously indulge at the Chocolate and Champagne Lovers Workshop on February 16, featuring three desserts alongside plenty of bubbly.

On a Roll

You may think that there’s nothing more romantic than a tandem cooking session at home. But the end result just might be a little tastier with some professional assistance, so dig in to a hands-on sushi-making class at Upstream. For $40, learn the basics from a hand roll to nigiri, and take home the tools you’ll need, like the bamboo sushi mat, to recreate your meal at home. “For me, dining should always be an experience, especially on date nights,” says proprietor Ken Higgins. “These courses inspire the creativity to do it yourself at home and make it special.”

Drinking and Thinking

For weekday romance set to soaking some wine and beer knowledge, try a low-key excursion to Common Market in Plaza Midwood. Tuesdays are for wine tasting, with $5 flights and a $5 wine coupon, and Wednesdays bring new brews with free beer tasting and $3 drafts. Planning a night out has never been easier—or cheaper.

Paddling Partners

As the sun sinks over the water, show off your paddleboarding skills—or at least your sense of adventure—in a two-hour standup-paddleboard course for two ($198). Each experience is suited for beginners and starts with familiarizing yourself with the paddleboard, but you’ll likely be gliding along the water by class’ end. Held on Mountain Island Lake or Lake Norman (depending on the conditions) each class gives you and your date the chance to paddle at your own pace. Classes run from May through October so start practicing those core workouts now.

More date ideas? Up next: Dinner and a Show.

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