When it comes to first dates and getting to know the real person behind a potential mate's OkCupid profile, sometimes dinner and a movie just don't cut it. It doesn't take Dr. Phil to figure out that a boring courtship can lead to a boring relationship life, which of course leads to fighting, cheating, and the inevitable resulting heartbreak that ruins relationships before they even had the chance to blossom into something real.
Better, then, to spice things up from the start. And now's the perfect time. October is Miami Attractions Month, brought to you by the good people behind year-round monthly promotions like Miami Spa Month and Miami Spice, and offering 19 one-of-a-kind experiences at two for the price of one. With bargains like these, you'll have an entire month's worth of out of the ordinary first date experiences.
5. Miami Seaquarium
Marine life parks aren't just for fourth-grade field trips; they're also a great place for a first date. Underwater tropical marine life are colorful, slimy, toothy, and weird enough to keep conversation interesting. If you're feeling extra adventurous, check out the new Sea Trek Reef Encounter where you can walk underwater among tropical fish and other marine creatures. You and your date can thrill to the high-flying antics of bottlenose dolphins; maybe she can even kiss one. Just don't go into a jealous rage; no woman likes a clingy, possessive man.
Who to Bring: The cute surfer you met at the beach
9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy., Miami, 305-361-5705, miamiseaquarium.com
4. Fruit & Spice Park
Keep in mind that not every first date idea will work for every person. A high-maintenance type will want to spend as little time outdoors as possible so her makeup won't melt off or to keep his French cuffs clean. But if you already have an outdoorsy girl's digits, Fruit & Spice Park is a solid first date choice. The 37-acre subtropical botanical paradise nestled in the heart of the historic Redland community and is home to more than 500 varieties of rare fruits, herbs, spices, and nuts from around the world. Together, you and your date can sample fruit, take up a cooking class, picnic under a tree, or simply stroll beneath the African Baobab trees. It's the kind of date that lets you you can show off your exotic side -- or better yet, bring out your date's exotic side.
Who to Bring: The vegan yoga instructor you met a the pub
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead, 305-247-5727, fruitandspicepark.org
3. Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
We're confident Vizcaya was built specifically for first dates. The early 20th century former palatial estate of James Deering is perhaps one of the most romantic landmarks in Miami. Prime first-kiss spots include the "Secret Garden," one of the estate's many Italian Renaissance rooms, or Vizcaya's famous stone barge facing Biscayne Bay.
Who to Bring: That girl who you already knew you wanted to marry before you even had the chance to remember her name
9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 3251 South Miami Ave., Miami, 305-856-8189, vizcayamuseum.org
2. Thriller Miami Speedboat
Our list's runner-up is one of the most out of the ordinary and unexpected ways to have a fun first date without the need of a parachute or a hand-glider. Impress your date Miami Vice style on a Thriller SuperCat55 catamaran and explore Miami's waterscapes and coastlines with narrated guides. Manned by a U.S. Coast Guard-certified crew, you only have to worry about locking hands with your lady -- not going overboard.
Who to Bring: Anyone who shares your need for speed
Daily tours 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-371-3278, thrillermiami.com
1. Schnebly Redland's Winery
A good first date allows for conversation, and alcohol can be a good way to ease into interesting or not-so-interesting stories about yourself. What better way to take the edge off than with a little vino tasting? The southernmost winery in the United States offers Sonoma-style tastings in the tropics. For $9, visitors receive a glass to sip five local fruit wines. Keep the glass -- at best, it's a keepsake of the best date you've ever had, and at worst, it's good for a lifetime of free tastings.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Who to Bring: A female foodie
Price: Tasting, $9; tour, $7
Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun., noon to 5 p.m., 30205 SW 217th Ave., Homestead, 305-242-1224, schneblywinery.com
Miami Attractions Month offers two for one admission through October 31. Visit miamiattractionsmonth.com.