April showers are giving way to May flowers, and there’s no better way to enjoy this change in weather than a romantic outing with that special someone in your life. Whether you’re planning a date with a person you’re just getting to know or with a long-term love, this season offers a variety of sunny settings for romance. From a classic picnic spread to a nature-filled hike, there are many vegan-friendly ways to share the joys of springtime with your love interest. Here are five of our favorite ways to get romantic with someone you love throughout spring.
1. A picnic in the park
Spring is a great reminder of nature’s simple offerings, making it the best time of the year to have a picnic. Even for those of us who aren’t accomplished cooks, assembling a collection of outdoor goodies is simple when you use vegan cheeses, olives, fruit, bread, spreads, and plant-based sandwich stuffers such as Chao sliced cheese and Tofurky Deli Slices. Or, if you’re an experienced chef, you can concoct more intricate creations for a gourmet outdoor experience. For some international flair, pack savory Chinese wontons or gluten-free pizza wraps. Regardless of what you pack, spreading out on a blanket together in a park, a country clearing, or on a riverfront are perfect romantic settings for a new couple or a committed pair. Pro tip: parks often have areas for barbecuing with stinky smoke that vegans want to avoid, so find a space far away from the grills, and enjoy the smell of fresh air and flowers instead. Doing so will allow you to focus on your hot date instead of being distracted by offensive odors.
2. A hike
Hikes in the woods, up mountains, or around hidden lakes offer a beautiful opportunity to commune with nature and enjoy the warming weather with a love interest. You can talk about the beauty around you as the season comes to life with budding trees and chirping birds or quietly take in the scenery together. If you’re planning a lengthy stroll or climb, you might want to tote some energy-boosting snacks. Vegan energy bars abound, but sticking with whole, plant-based food such as dried fruit and nuts can bring you even closer to nature. Why not toss a bag of them in your backpack before you head out?
3. A day trip to a botanical garden
Botanical gardens offer acres of peaceful beauty, even in buzzing metropolitan cities. Stroll the paths, and witness firsthand the many blooming flowers and trees around you. If you’re planning to have lunch on-site, call ahead to see if the garden’s restaurant or café offers vegan options. If not, ask about the garden’s picnic policy. You might be able to bring along your own plant-based delights while being surrounded by the budding blossoms.
4. Time on the water
Whether you live in a big city or out in the country, there’s a good chance that a body of water is nearby. Though spring temperatures might be too cold for a swim, we can still enjoy lakes and rivers safely seated in a boat (or from the shore). Whether we go on a sunset canoe excursion with our beloved or spend hours touring a city from the deck of a riverboat, being out on the water is one of the best (and most romantic) ways to enjoy the outdoors. If you sign up for a riverboat tour, you’ll probably want to pack some vegan eats to take with you, or heck the tour’s menu for vegan options—if they don’t have anything appealing, bring your own!
5. Plant your own garden
Inspired by that trip to a botanical garden? Then consider planting your own! There’s nothing quite like digging into the warming spring dirt with your own two hands and nurturing homegrown fresh vegetables. So, if you and your partner are earthy types, gardening can be a fun joint project, as nurturing a garden can help couples grow closer while creating something together. Those living in more rural areas can plan vegetable gardens for their backyards, but with so many community gardens in urban areas, city-dwellers are not excluded. With a little research, you might find that there’s a plot calling your name not too far from your apartment building.
Maya Gottfried is the author of Our Farm: By the Animals of Farm Sanctuary and Vegan Love: Dating and Partnering for the Cruelty-Free Gal.
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