I’ll admit it…I’m 35. Thirty. F*cking. Five.
What does that mean for me? Well besides now having to consider such horrifying things as freezing my eggs and Botox, it also means that I’ve been dating for over 15 years. In that time, I’ve had countless story-worthy experiences, made a ton of mistakes, and learned a lot of valuable lessons.
Anyone will tell you:
Once you leave your twenties the game changes–especially the game of dating.
Besides all of the wisdom you’ve accrued, there are definite benefits. You have more disposable income. Things like Craigslist roommates and rail vodka are a thing of the past. And as your peers are more keen to settle down, you’re able to enjoy more quality courtship and less sloppy hook-ups.
But dating in your 30s has its challenges as well. Besides no longer having the same 20-year-old ass, serious pressures start to mount. Your pool of potential partners has inevitably shrunk, and it can seem like the clock is truly ticking–especially if you want to start a family.
This means every date has to count.
So, it’s time to think outside the box, up the ante, and try something new. Read on for some more grown-up (but still fun!!!) date ideas for your dirty 30s and beyond.
1. Fall in Love with a New Kind of Opera
As a trained opera singer and all-around music buff myself, I can undoubtedly tell you that modern day opera is not as boring and stuffy as you may think. In recent years, the Met has completely revamped some of the most beloved classical works making them more fresh and relatable. What hasn’t changed, unfortunately, is the exorbitant price tag--up to $500 a ticket! How are us normal folk supposed to get some damn culture in our lives?
That’s when you have the genius idea of getting tickets to LoftOpera for you and your special someone. The productions are staged to feel edgy and hip, while the exceptionally talented troupe of singers interact with the audience and are more interested in realism than the overdone “schmacting” typically found in conventional opera. (No Divas here!) Aptly named, the operas are staged in large open loft spaces or avant-garde theaters. Playing now until mid-June is Rossini’s comic masterpiece, Le Comte Ory. So if you prefer flannel to fur, PBR to expensive flutes of champagne, and you want to partake in some exceptional theater for an insanely low price, this is the hottest ticket in town.
PRICE: $30 per ticket, Buy HERE
2. Catch Some Culture at Tribeca Film Festival
It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of this world-renowned, Deniro founded film fest. Whether you’re a true moviephile or just an art and culture buff, you’ll be able to find some truly satisfying and stimulating flicks at the Tribeca Film Festival. Now that you’re in your 30s and swimming in more mature waters, you’re gonna need a little something more than a matinee at the AMC Loews. If you’re a Zosiah Mamet fan (or Shosh to the lay person,) you’ve got to check her out along with the fabulous Steve Buscemi & Jane Krakowski in the much talked about Mildred and the Dying Parlor. If you follow the DJ world and want something pumping with energy, check out the exhilarating documentary, I’ll Sleep when I’m Dead centered around one of the industry’s most influential and dynamic: Steve Aoki. And if you’re a theater buff like me, a great choice would be The Mulberry Bush, written by award-winning playwright and director, Neil LaBute. You might not have been cool enough for Coachella, but Tribeca is for everyone.
Price: $10 for single matinee to $1250 for the whole shabang, Buy HERE
3. See What Cool Tastes Like at Lupolo
Now that you’re in your 30s, you should be a bit more financially sound (aka having more than $30 in your checking account.) Long gone are the days of Two-for-One Apps and “Would you like to Supersize that?” You’ve now entered a world of wine lists, mood lighting, and salt cod croquettes. So strut your high-class stuff over to Lupulo for some upscale Portuguese fare. Meaning “hop” in Portuguese, Lupolo is a rustic but trendy restaurant in the chic Chelsea neighborhood. As the name suggests, Lupolo has an impressive and sophisticated beer collection–16 craft beers on tap! And those keg days are over kids — this is the real deal. While the dishes are understated, the quality is superb. I highly recommend the Espargos and Acorda de Camarao for starters and the Borrego Asado and the Arroz de Lulas Ameijoas. For a grown up first date, you’ll have to “hop” down to the fantastic restaurant right away!
Lupolo: 835 Ave of the Americas, New York, NY
4. “Troll” Through your Past
OMG KIDS OF THE EIGHTIES REMEMBER TROLL DOLLS ?!?!
Sure they were creepy as hell, but one flash of these flamboyant little weirdos always brings me back to a simpler time chock full of ring pops, beanie babies and snap bracelets. Those twenty-year-olds may have their annoyingly speedy metabolisms and wrinkle-free foreheads, but they can’t partake in this little nugget of nostalgia!
So, if you if you and your date enjoy something a bit eccentric and have a penchant for collectibles, go on down to NYC’s very own Troll Museum. Suitably situated on a funky street in Soho, this sixth-floor walk-up is a total blast from the past featuring exclusively, you guessed it — Trolls. Every troll you can imagine, in fact. Created by Jen Miller, the notorious Elf Reverend Jen, this odd but truly unique date is sure to be a *hair-raising* experience the two of you won’t soon forget.
124 Orchard Street, New York, NY, Free Admission, By Appointment Only
5. Zone out Together at Silent Yoga
Yoga has rapidly become one of the most trendy activities for mind, body, and soul. Lately, it’s gotten a bit gimmicky with Topless Yoga or Downward Dogging on a Bounce House (Yes, those are real.) But when I read about the new Sound Off Yoga at the W Hotel Union Square, I immediately thought: What a hot date idea! Yoga undoubtedly is one of the best ways to center yourself and loosen up any physical and emotional tightness. Plus, I always advocate for couples to sweat together (outside the bedroom,) because experiencing those kinds of highs together can truly make you feel closer and connected. And of course you’ve heard about the whole Headphone Mingling movement of Quiet Clubbing. Sound Off Yoga combines the best of all worlds. Perfect for the fourth or fifth date, this is also an excuse for the ladies to go makeup free (hey it’s gotta happen sometimes.) You also won’t have to worry about making awkward conversation. You’re merely two silent bodies in motion, hearing nothing but your instructor’s voice paired with soothing music, both of which are flowing from your personal headphones. The studio feels like a mix between a yoga studio and a discotheque, but it will absolutely get you in the zone. After your final Savasana, a nice walk around Union Square will be a great way for both of you to reconnect after this new experience. And since you burned all those calories, a little trip to nearby Amorino Gelato is the perfect treat to give you both some inner peace. Namaste.
Remember dating in your 30s doesn’t have to be boring. You’re just getting to the good stuff!