7 Active Boston Date Ideas to Take Advantage of Before Summer Ends


7 Active Boston Date Ideas to Take Advantage of Before Summer Ends
Because couples who sweat together stay together.

photo-1459947727010-6267d2c1232fReal talk: No one wants to be that annoying couple at the gym. You know the type — I once observed a guy kissing his girlfriend in between every set of leg presses and it took every ounce of my willpower to keep my lunch from coming back up. Still, there’s something to be said for sweating it out with someone you’re seeing. Research has shown that physical activity produces the stress-reducing, happiness-boosting chemicals in the brain, and according to related studies, this post-exercise “high” can intensify feelings of closeness between partners. Not to mention, working out together can enhance trust, strengthen communication, promote goal-sharing and offer an opportunity to celebrate each other’s accomplishments.

Besides, if you feel like you’re getting in a date-idea rut, an active experience together might be just what you need to shake things up. So before summer ends, be sure to take advantage of these fitness opportunities in and around Boston. Did I mention most of them are free?

Nothing says summer romance like gliding on the water past Cambridge and under the Smoot Bridge. And you can do just that with Charles River Canoe & Kayak, which rents both single and double kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards by the hour or day. The trip from the Kendall Square rental center to the other in Allston/Brighton is five miles, and on the way, you’ll pass by Harvard, MIT, BU, the Esplanade and the Hatch Shell, taking in a stellar view of the Boston skyline including the Prudential and John Hancock buildings as well as the State House dome. Best of all, the one-way option is just $10, leaving plenty in your wallet for some post-boating shandies.

Hear me out, here: While acting as a moving target and potentially ending up covered in bruises may not sound like a good recipe for a date, paintballing actually makes a lot of sense. For one, there’ll never be a dull moment throughout the adrenaline-pumping experience. And on top of that, you could get a solid read on the character of your potential S.O.-to-be based on how they handle themselves on the field. Boston Paintball out in Chelsea boasts two massive indoor playing fields, and you can either join an already open game or put together your own team with other friendly couples. Just keep in mind: Paintballing isn’t really ideal for a first date, but rather for once you’ve gotten to know someone a bit better. And be careful not to let pride get in the way — always have your date’s back no matter how intense the competition gets.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to take in some sights than a bike ride, and there’s no doubt that Boston is a phenomenal city for it. If you’re looking for some old-fashioned romance, consider renting a tandem bike from Urban AdvenTours — riding one requires so many of the same crucial aspects of any healthy relationship: balance of power, communication, trust and finding a common rhythm. If a bicycle built for two just isn’t your jam, grab a Hubway and cruise over to Castle Island, or if you’ve got plenty of time to kill, ride along the Charles River Bike Path (it runs 23 miles from downtown to Newton, with consistently stellar views of key landmarks). Pro tip: pack a picnic to spread out on the docks or a grassy patch along the way when your legs need a break from pedaling.

Republic Fitness is hosting a slew of free bootcamp workouts on the Greenway and in Seaport on Tuesdays and Saturdays through August. The style of training for these classes is Tabata, which features 20 second intervals of extreme exercise, followed by 10 second of rest, repeated through eight cycles. The advantages of these burst of intense work entail greater calorie burn and increased strength, as you’re working numerous muscle groups simultaneously while also bringing your heart rate up. Saving money + torching calories = all the more reason to splurge on a couple adult beverages afterward…you both deserve it.

ICYMI: Even bros are now doing yoga. Still need a little convincing? A local fitness instructor is teaching a happy hour yoga class on the outdoor deck at Alibi Bar and Lounge right under the Liberty Hotel. And afterward, reward yourself with a signature cocktail or a beer of your choice (included in the ticket). Early birds who are down for a morning date should scope out PopUpAsana’s all-levels yoga class on the ICA’s deck, which overlooks the Boston waterfront. Those classes are held every Sunday in August and September from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m, and include admission to the ICA the day of your class, so you can stroll around the museum afterward (or go crush brunch, either way).
Pro tip: Give each other full permission to poke fun at any inflexibility or poor performance after. The idea here isn’t to show off your impressive Chaturanga — just to get the blood flowing and open up your mind.

Before you scoff at this idea due to your two left feet, consider this: research has shown that tango dancers had lower levels of stress hormones and higher levels of testosterone after dancing with partners, and additionally, they felt both sexier and more relaxed. Not only does dance offer the endorphin-releasing benefits of exercise, but the social interaction aspect and concentration it requires is incredible for bonding on a date. And besides, learning a new skill is bound to boost your self-confidence. That said, consider checking out Tango in the Park at Rowes Wharf Place across from the Boston Harbor Hotel, which is totally free and goes down every Saturday evening through the end of August. Never danced the Tango? No worries — if you show up by 7 p.m. you’ll get an introductory lesson with a Boston pro. After that, you can show off your new moves while the DJ spins a mix of traditional and alternative tango music.

Outdoorsy types or those who are just looking to escape from the city grind should take advantage of the prime hiking opportunities at the Harbor Islands, which offer eye-opening views of downtown Boston and the harbor. Hike The Harbor offers a multitude of trails ranging from 1 to 5 miles, and you can even look up the number of steps and calories burned that correspond to each one on the website. Bonus points if you remember to pack lunch and a bottle of wine to share during or after your stroll.


Rebecca Strong

Rebecca Strong

Born and raised in CT and having lived in Boston for a decade now, it's safe to say Rebecca is a die-hard New Englander. (She tried moving to L.A. once...and was back on the East Coast in four and a half months). Since graduating from Emerson College, she's contributed to numerous local and national publications—which have included The Huffington Post, BostInno, Elite Daily, U.S. News & World Report, and Stuff Magazine—covering a range of topics from technology and travel to style and beauty. Now she's most interested in helping the men in Boston (and beyond) boost their sex, dating and relationship IQ. Meanwhile, she's currently pursuing her master's at The Boston Conservatory. When she's not writing, Rebecca can be found in a kickboxing class, drinking a generous glass (or three) of wine, watching a Bs game...or patiently waiting for hockey season to return.

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