By Maya Gottfried
You’ve made a connection with someone special who shares your veg lifestyle, and now it’s time to plan a date. This is going to be fun! As a vegan or vegetarian, there will definitely be some dates you’ll want to avoid, but there are an abundance of delightful, cruelty-free date destinations to be enjoyed by you and your animal-loving love-interest. Here are 8 great vegan date ideas for you.
- Farm sanctuaries – Since you are both living compassionate lifestyles, why not do something that reflects this beautiful part of both of you. If you live close to a farm animal sanctuary, and there are more of them opening every year, you can take that special someone to one of these peaceful shelters and spend time together with rescued farm animals who are living happy lives of freedom.
- Museums – Whether they celebrate art, history, design, or decorating, museums are great for dates. Though not everything in a museum may be vegan, a visit to a museum can be a fun and educational date for vegans and vegetarians. Strolling around, taking in the masterful works, and talking about what you see is a nice, relaxed way to get to know someone, and their tastes. If you plan to eat while you’re there, be sure to call the museum restaurant(s) ahead of time—though some museum eateries will offer veg options, not all will have a good selection to choose from. If the art calls to you but the dining doesn’t, all is not lost: simply locate a veg-friendly restaurant in the area of the museum to visit when it’s time to eat.
- Historical sites – Whether it’s an expansive mansion that housed a president, or a favorite poet’s humble home, there are myriad intriguing historical sites worthy of exploring on a date. You’ll want to be sure that you find one that you and your companion are both interested in, and then enjoy the immersion in another time together.
- Gardens – Who doesn’t love a stroll among beautiful blooms? Botanical gardens are found in many major cities throughout North America, and are usually easily accessible by public transportation. Walking in lush gardens filled with acres of paths through colorful flowers and trees is a wonderful way to spend time with someone with whom you have a spark. Again, you’ll want to call ahead to check restaurant menu options. If there’s nothing cruelty-free to be had, ask if the garden permits a picnic. What could be more romantic than spreading out and eating al fresco in such a delightful setting?
- A walk in the woods (or the park) – Many of us live within a short distance of nature: whether it’s a trail through the woods, or a beautifully manicured public park. Strolling down a path, under a canopy of trees, with birds chirping and squirrels going about their day is a lovely setting to get to know someone. If you and your love-interest are experienced hikers, why not take on a more challenging uphill trail? Or go snowshoeing in the winter!
- On the water – Bodies of water are beautiful to look at, but also offer a variety of fun activities to be enjoyed with someone else. Many cities with rivers, such as Berlin and New York, offer short cruises with stunning views. Perhaps you live in the country and want to share a favorite watering hole with that special someone. Or take them on a day trip to the beach. Being on (or in) the water can feel otherworldly, offering a feeling of adventure without traveling too far from home.
- Dinner and a movie – There’s a reason that “dinner and a movie” is a common expression. This tried and true evening plan makes for a great date. You can suggest a veg restaurant that you love and find out your date’s tastes in order to pick a film that you’re both excited about. Dates are about having fun, so no one should feel like they’re being dragged to see something they have no interest in. Show your love-interest you care by going to a movie they’ll enjoy, too.
- A home-cooked evening – Once you’ve gotten to know someone, and trust them to be in your home, why not prepare a fantastic vegan dinner for both of you? You can light candles, play your favorite music, and let them see the belongings that are meaningful to you. For something a little different, pull out a board game and have a laugh together while you relax in your own home.
Maya Gottfried is the author of Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal (Skyhorse), and books for children including Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary (Knopf). Her articles have been published in outlets including VegNews, Lilith Magazine, Our Hen House, People online, and The Huffington Post.
We hope these ideas will help you make the most of your Veg Speed Date experience —and hopefully connect with someone wonderful! Find out where the next Veg Speed Date event is located and be sure to sign up in advance, as seats sell out early!