By Kim Hone-McMahan
Beacon Journal staff writer
It’s date night, and your turn to decide where to take your sweetie. To help you, we asked readers to give us some examples of favorite Akron-area dates. Here’s what you came up with:
“My wife works downtown and on Friday I pack a picnic dinner (or more often I cheat and buy a bag of burgers from Swensons) and meet her at Lock 4.
“It is cool and shady and we can listen to the water move through the canal, as we have the setting to ourselves.
“After dinner, we walk along the Towpath or stay and listen to the music at Lock 3. It might not sound exciting or romantic but after a long week, it is a great way to kick off the weekend together.”
For information, visit www.downtownakron.com/.
Mark Wisberger, Akron
“Take a trip to Kidron on any Thursday to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Amish livestock auction and flea market.
“Take a seat in Ohio’s oldest auction barn to watch the bidding. It’s a step back in time with horses and buggies tied at the hitching posts and the joyful, barefoot children enjoying a trip to ‘town.’
“You will see traditionally clad men backing their farm trailers with livestock, produce and crops for the sale. You will be amazed at their skill in handling the horses that provide true horsepower for all their chores.
“Shop at the market for just about anything you could imagine, fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, cheese, and usually free puppies and kittens.
“Walk across the street to Lehman’s Hardware store and enjoy the old and the new in a mixture of displays that will delight all. If you are shopping for anything unusual, they will have it, from gasoline-powered washing machines to modern kitchen appliances.
“Eat at the restaurant on the grounds and enjoy old-fashioned home-cooked fare. You will be dining with a cross-section of the Amish and ‘English’ community.
“Top it all off with a dish or cone of homemade ice cream, made on site, using gas generators to power the churn.
“It is a day that will be remembered for years to come, especially if your date has never visited this best-kept secret in Northeast Ohio.”
For information, go to www.kidronohio.com.
Jan Harmon, Chippewa
“Summer evenings are beautiful in Northeast Ohio. Now imagine packing a picnic basket complete with a nice bottle of wine, strawberries, cheese and crackers and grapes or whatever favorite snack you choose; spreading a blanket on the green lawn and having a picnic with someone whose company you enjoy. Sounds good so far, huh? But the best is yet to come.
“As the day fades into dusk, the air begins to fill with the sound of instruments, and then the sounds of the world-class Cleveland Orchestra fill the air.
“As dusk gives way to the evening, you soon find yourself sitting under the stars enjoying a treat for the senses and the mind. Whether you like classical music or show tunes, you are sure to find something on the Blossom Festival schedule that will be entertaining.
“It is a great way to relax and share an evening with someone you are just getting to know, or your favorite date.”
For information, visit www.clevelandorchestra.com/about/blossom-festival.aspx.
And another date idea: “Do you prefer wine or beer? It really doesn’t matter, because if you check out the West Point Market website, you will see that one Friday a month, the gourmet food market offers wine or beer tastings. These themed events include appetizers and are a fun way to expand your appreciation and knowledge of whichever libation you prefer. This is a great forum to get to know someone you just met or learn more about the preferences of someone special.”
For information, visit www.westpointmarket.com.
Deanna Fletcher, Ravenna
“My idea of a perfect date in Akron would be a romantic evening out on the town. My date and I would first go to the Highland Theatre to watch a movie, eat popcorn. … Then we would drop by Mary Coyle’s for some homemade ice cream before strolling through Schneider Park.”
Anne Wright, Uniontown
“Outdoor concerts; miniature golf; fairs; Akron, Cleveland, Canton art galleries; Akron, Cleveland, Canton and Columbus museums; Akron and Cleveland art walks; Akron’s Summit Artspace.”
Paula Simmons, Akron
“Area dates I’ve enjoyed:
“Sharing a carafe of wine at Sarah’s Vineyard. Feeding the chickadees in the morning at the Nature Realm. Portage County Fair — dare your date to eat a rabbit sandwich.”
Diana Esempio, Cuyahoga Falls
“Really, one of the best and a very unique date is playing disc [Frisbee] golf at the new course in the Portage Lakes State Park on Manchester Road.
“It’s a very beautiful course, and I love the trees and the water and just the way the course winds through all the natural surroundings. Truthfully, I am really not the best at playing the game, but you do not have to be good. All you have to do is be able to throw a Frisbee.
“Taking a picnic along with you is a great idea, as there are picnic tables in the area. Or there are some great restaurants in the area. The price is right, too — free.
“It’s a regulation 18-hole course. It really is a lot of fun and it can get the competitive juices flowing. … If you’re feeling real competitive — loser buys.”
For information, see www.portagelakesdiscgolf.com.
Kim Godar, New Franklin