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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: August 11, 2015

9+ great date ideas: Impress your sweetheart with these memorable Maine dates

Written by: Shannon Bryan
dateidea_800_nowords photo

Whether it’s a first date or 30th anniversary date, you want it to be something fun and memorable (because you’re fun and memorable, so every date you plan is just an expression of yourself). To help you plan, here are 9+ date ideas that are sure to impress your sweetheart. photo photo

Free Oyster Friday and a Film in Damariscotta

Oysters are aphrodisiacs, everyone knows that, but nothing puts love in the air quite like free stuff. Schooner Landing Restaurant and Marina (40 Main St., Damariscotta) hosts Free Oyster Friday starting at 4 p.m., which means you and your date can get to know each other over budget-friendly bivalves on the waterfront deck. You might want to stay there all evening, but you can take things up the street to Lincoln Theater (2 Theater St., Damariscotta) for a movie. Or head across the street to King Eider’s Pub for a burger, crabcakes or more oysters.

Schooner Landing, Damariscotta: or 207-563-7447
Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta: or 207-563-3424
King Eider’s Pub, Damariscotta: or 207-563-6008

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald file photo

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Press Herald file photo

Full Moon Canoe Tour and Cocktails in Scarborough

Let the moon set the mood during a guided full moon canoe tour of the Scarborough Marsh (136 Pine Point Road, Scarborough). You and your sweetheart can keep your eyes peeled for black-crowned night herons and snowy egrets. And love. Advanced registration is required for the tours, which cost $14 per person ($12 for Audubon members). There are also daytime canoe tours of the marsh through Sept. 7 for $12 per person and you can walk there (maybe holding hands?!?) any time of year.

For dinner, hit Pine Point Grille (240 Pine Point Road, Scarborough) just up the road for a pizza, roasted Brussels sprouts and maybe a cocktail that pairs well with paddling. Or head over to Rising Tide Restaurant (96 King St., Scarborough) – a super casual seafood restaurant tucked behind the Pine Point Fisherman’s Co-op and overlooking the water.

Maine Audubon Scarborough Marsh, Scarborough: or 207-883-5100
Pine Point Grille, Scarborough: or 207-883-8383
Rising Tide Restaurant, Scarborough: or 207-883-1792

Claire Jeffers photo

Claire Jeffers photo

Trivia Night and Chicken Noodle Soup in Biddeford

Flaunt your smarts and impress your sweetheart during Tuesday night trivia at Elements Books Coffee Beer (265 Main St., Biddeford). Trivia starts at 7 p.m. and it’s free to participate, but you will want to spend some dough on a draught or cup of coffee to fuel your genius. You and your date might even walk away with prizes.
More area trivia nights: 10+ Maine bars for pub trivia
For dinner, check out the new Custom Delux Northcountry Kitchen (140 Main St., Biddeford). The menu includes chicken noodle soup, beef brisket, moules Normandie and warm chocolate chip cookies.
Read more: Bar, café and bookshop all in one (and Trivia Night Tuesdays!) at Elements in Biddeford

Elements Books Coffee Beer, Biddeford: or 207-710-2011
Custom Delux, Biddeford: or 207-494-7110

A movie in Congress Square Park. Photo courtesy Portland Summer Films

A movie in Congress Square Park. Photo courtesy Portland Summer Films

Free outdoor film and Fennel Fizz in Portland

The Portland Summer Films series continues through August on Sunday nights in Congress Square Park in Portland. It’s free to watch the evening screenings, but you’ll want to bring a couple of chairs to sit in…and only one blanket, because sharing a blanket is so nice). Your frugality is sure to send your date swooning.

The bar at Congress Squared (157 High St., Portland), conveniently located right next to Congress Square Park, is open until 11 p.m. Their list of craft cocktails includes the fennel fizz, makde of Tanqueray No. Ten, fennel, sugar, grapefruit juice, egg white and lemon juice. Or pop into nearby Vinland, Downtown Lounge or any other place that suits your fancy and is open on a Sunday night.
Read more: Congress Squared, Portland: New chef, new menu and new energy

Portland Summer Films, Portland:
Congress Squared, Portland: or 207-517-8831

Shannon Bryan photo

Shannon Bryan photo

Bike ride and Wine in Kennebunk

Say, “I like you” in bicyclese with a self-guided bike tour around the Kennebunks. Coastal Maine Kayak & Bike (8 Western Ave., Kennebunk) rents bikes by the hour or the day from a shop just off Western Avenue (in front of Federal Jacks). They’ll give you a map and point out some area highlights for you, but there are a few can’t-miss stops: The St. Anthony Franciscan Monastery, Aunt Marie’s for ice cream or lemonade, Blowing Cave and the beach. Oh, and you can’t forget to cruise past the Bush compound.
After your afternoon behind the handlebars, head into Old Vines Wine Bar (173 Port Rd, Kennebunk) for a glass of something special. Old Vines is pretty on the outside and super cozy on the inside, just like you.

Coastal Maine Kayak & Bike, Kennebunk: or 207-967-6065
Old Vines Wine Bar, Kennebunk: or 207-967-2310
Federal Jacks, Kennebunk: or 207-967-4322
The Clam Shack, Kennebunk: or 207-967-3321

Press Herald file photo

Press Herald file photo

Cliff Walk and Piano Bar in Ogunquit

You can learn a lot about your date during a romantic walk along the mile-or-so-long Marginal Way footpath in Ogunquit. It’s outdoorsy but accessible (save Katahdin for another day) which means you won’t be too out of breath to chat up your date and remark on how darn good-looking Maine is (here’s where you turn to your date and say, “But Maine’s got nothing on you.” Win!)

Then get thee to the upstairs Piano Bar at The Front Porch (9 Shore Road, Ogunquit) for live music and more gettin’-to-know-ya. The piano lounge is open every evening at 5 p.m.

Marginal Way cliff walk, Ogunquit: or print this map [pdf]
The Front Porch Piano Bar, Ogunquit: or 207-646-4005

Press Herald file photo

Press Herald file photo

Drive-In and Dinner in Bridgton

The drive-in is a date classic, because drive-ins are cool and you can make out in the middle of the movie without irritating the people sitting behind you, yet you still have the benefit of real movie-theater popcorn (the microwave stuff will never compare). Take in a new movie or two at Bridgton Twin Drive-In (383 Portland Road, Bridgton). See what’s playing at the drive-in this weekend.
But before you both fill up on Twizzlers and Milk Duds, have a bite at Standard Gastropub (233 Main Street, Bridgton), which is just a couple miles up the road. The food is creative and delicious.

Bridgton Twin Drive-In, Bridgton: or 207-647-8666
Standard Gastropub, Bridgton: or 207-647-4100

Heather Steeves photo

Heather Steeves photo

Breakfast and Flea Market Bargains in Arundel (or lunch and flea in Woolwich)

Flea market treasure hunting meets hash brown sandwiches during this morning date in Arundel. The Arundel Flea Market (corner of Route 1 and Log Cabin Road, Arundel) features over 100 tables of antiques, collectibles and other intriguing things that you and your partner can explore. And when you find something cool (maybe something for yourself or something neat for your date) be sure to haggle. Good bargaining skills make you irresistible. And when you get hungry, step over to Slacktide Cafe, which is on the flea market grounds. Their menu includes milk shakes, frittatas, hash brown sandwiches, pulled pork and hand cut fries.

In the Woolwich area, go to the Montsweag Flea Market (6 Hunnewell Lane), which is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (also Wednesdays for antiques and collectives only) and have lunch at Montsweag Roadhouse (942 U.S. 1).

More treasure hunting: Your Route 1 antiquing guide: 4 treasure-filled shops you can hit in an afternoon

Slacktide Cafe, Arundel: or 207-459-0408
Montsweag Flea Market, Woolwich: or 207-443-2809
Montsweag Roadhouse, Woolwich: or 207-443-6563 photo photo

Scooters and Skee-Ball in Old Orchard Beach

Some friendly competition at the Skee-Ball machines is sure to get the romance flowing. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of other options at Palace Playland’s arcade. And if that doesn’t work, pull out the big guns: go rent scooters. Coastal Scooter Rentals (29 Old Orchard St., Old Orchard Beach) rents scooters by the half-hour, for a few hours or as long as all day, which means you can ride those bad boys down to Pine Point or Camp Ellis or tool around downtown OOB. For extra credit, cap the whole day off with a ride on the ferris wheel.

Palace Playland, Old Orchard Beach:
Coastal Scooter Rentals, Old Orchard Beach: or 207-299-5207

More date ideas

Bingo at Salvage BBQ in Portland
6 p.m. Sunday Nights. Free!

Take ferry to Long Island in Casco Bay for a beach picnic and lounging about
Ferry schedule:

Sea Dogs Game in Portland
While the season lasts. Check the game schedule:

Stop in at Roy’s All Steak Hamburgers and Golf Center in Auburn
For some swinging fun at mini-golf, the driving range and batting cages.

Go on a hike
10 easy Maine hikes anyone can do: Great views for the casual hiker

See some theater
Plan your evening with dinner, theater and drinks

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