Best Unconventional Date Ideas in Connecticut

August 4, 2011 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

By Vanessa Willoughby

Looking for something special to do with that certain special someone? Naturally, the typical Friday night dinner and a movie date can lose its luster. Check out the following suggestions for unconventional date ideas that will surely add a well-needed kick to your date night.
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Photo Credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images

Hot Air Balloon Ride at Castle View Balloons
1476 Highland Ave
Cheshire, CT 06410
(203) 276-6116
Hours: Call for availability
Rates: Group Excursion, 1-5 passengers – parties fewer than 5 may be combined to fill the flight
Passengers under 100lbs: $250 each; Passengers from 101-250lbs: $275 each
Private Excursion- 1-2 passengers reserve the balloon ride for your party only
Up to 2 passengers: $800

Feeling a bit adventurous? Let your wild side take over with a hot air balloon ride. Enjoy a clear view of the Hubbard Park castle in nearby Meriden and marvel at your picturesque surroundings.  Make sure to wear seasonably comfortable, casual clothing and flat-soled footwear. These expeditions via 66 feet tall balloons will surely create an experience that will last for ages.

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Photo Credit: Jonathan Edwards Winery

Wine Tastings at Jonathan Edwards Winery
74 Chester Main Road
North Stonington, CT 06359
(860) 535-0202
Hours: Wed to Sun – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wine tour given at 3 p.m.

For the wine aficionado, visiting the local winery would be nothing less than a stellar treat. Located in North Stonington and minutes away from Foxwoods casino, Jonathan Edwards Winery offers tours and wine tastings for visitors. The stone fireplace and custom built wine bar create an amiable atmosphere, while the 48-acres of land provide a charming country backdrop.

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Photo Credit: Huck Finn Adventures

Canoe Trip at Huck Finn Adventures
21 Waterville Road
Avon, CT 06001
(860) 693-0385
Hours: Call to reserve a boat
Rates: 1 Canoe, $55; 2 Canoes (One family), $90; 2-4 Canoes, $50 each; Group (5+ canoes), $45 each; Solo Canoe, $35 each; Kayak, $35; Tandem Kayak (Sit-on-top), $60 each; Kid’s Kayak (sit on top), $20 each; Guides usually $50 per two hours

Founded in the 70’s by owner John Kulick, Huck Finn Adventures provides canoe trips down the Farmington River. With thirty years of experience, John is proud to live up to his title as one of the most “knowledgeable and trusted guides in the area.” Visitors can either take a one of two trips: an excursion down the Farmington River, which is slow-moving and shallow and close to shore. The other is on the Park River Underground in Hartford, where visitors could explore the tunnels beneath Hartford. However, due to circumstantial issues, the Park River Underground tour is temporarily on hiatus.

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Photo Credit: Foxwoods High Rollers Facebook

Bowling at Foxwoods High Rollers Bowling Alley
Foxwoods Resort Casino
350 Trolley Line Blvd
Mashantucket, CT
(860) 312-2695
Hours: Monday-Friday, 3PM-11PM, full menu; 11PM-1AM (Friday 2AM), pizza only; Saturday and Sunday, 12PM-11PM, full menu; 11PM-1AM (Saturday 2AM), pizza only
Rates: $6 per game per person; Friday & Saturday after 7pm, $9 per game per person; Rental Shoes: $4/Socks – $5

Want to bowl in style? Then check out Foxwoods High Rollers in the MGM Grand. Complete with Las Vegas style décor and state-of-the-art technology, High Rollers attempts to bring the atmosphere of Sin City to Connecticut. At 35,000 square feet, this venue is anything but your neighborhood alley. Additionally, High Rollers has two full-service bars, four professional billiard tables, two-level lounge, and three private rooms that can accommodate 20-100 guests.

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Photo Credit: Flickr care of Matt Kemberling

Laser Tag at New World Laser Tag
423 Main Street
Middletown, CT
(860) 343-3899
Hours: Tues- Thurs, 1PM-7PM; Fri, 1PM-Midnight; Sat, 11AM-Midnight; Sun, 11AM-7PM
Rates: $8.75 per person for one laser tag game

Who said laser tag was just for kids? Get your heart-rate pumping with a fun game of laser tag. New World Laser Tag offers 7,000 square feet of laser tag arena, complete with black lights, interactive bases and blasters, a fog machine, music, and more. Need a little cool down? Take a quick break from your game and visit the 30 game arcade, air hockey, and pool table.

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Photo Credit: Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Swing Dance Lessons with Connecticut Swing Dance Society
1204 Main Street
Apt 313
Brandford, CT
(800) 789-9440
Hours: Second Saturday of the Month 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Rates: Membership, $15 for one year. Includes discounts on dances, classes, and workshops.
Basic swing dance lesson is provided at no extra charge preceding each regular monthly dance.

Formed in September 1993, the Connecticut Swing Dance Society is a nonprofit society organized for the “purpose of preserving and promoting swing.” The CSDS holds workshops, practice sessions, and sponsors dances open to the general public. All of the dances are held at varying locations, including Dance in Rhythm in Brandford and MECA in North Haven.

Vanessa Willoughby lives in Waterford. A recent graduate of The New School’s MFA program, she also blogs for the entertainment and music website,

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