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Cultural Dates
(for Ages 19-21)

Take some paints and an art pad. Along with these, carry a packed picnic basket with fried chicken, potato salad, and other tidbits as well as punch and homemade pie. Take your date to a beautiful spot to paint. Compare paintings. On a follow-up date, your masterpieces can be completed in frames of your own creation.

Go to church together. If you are both religious, take your date to your church and then go to your date's church the next week. Before you attend, ask about what happens during the service, and what you need to know. What is the appropriate dress? How long does the service last? Who is responsible for the service? Do members of the congregation participate? Be sensitive and seek to understand.

Share your talents with one another. Sit your date down and play him/her a musical number. Then have him/her share one of his/her talents with you.

Pick a type of music you donít usually listen to and go listen to a live performance. Take note of the people there who enjoy it. Try to listen through their ears. The local newspaper's entertainment section is a good place to look for venues.

Be tourists in your own city. Take a foot or bus tour of the monuments, museums, landmarks, memorials, etc. Get brochures from your local travel bureau or information center. Donít forget your cameras. Seek out a popular restaurant for lunch or dinner.

Attend a summer rodeo. Almost every big city has a rodeo, and in some places, even high schools compete. Check the internet to find an event. Wear jeans, boots, and a cowboy hat. You don't have to wear boots and hat, if you don't have them, but you can check out the local thrift store.

Have a cultural progressive dinner. Eat an appetizer at the first house (Italian ice to cleanse the pallet), soup at the second (Chinese egg-drop soup), main course at a third home (Mexican fiesta with tacos and beans), and dessert at the last home (French pastries). To add additional authenticity, add music and decorations at each location.

Attend an art show. Study each artist's creation and try to understand his feelings and symbolism. You could go to an art gallery, an art exhibit at a local college, an art museum, or perhaps an art fair. If you are visiting a museum, you can often receive materials for a self-guided tour to gain greater insights to the art and artists. At an art fair, you can talk directly with the artist.

Attend a good local stage production (university, high school, community, church, or theater group). Check your local paper's entertainment section for alternatives. Go afterwards for a light snack or dessert.

Visit a museum or historical site. Arrange to take a guided tour. Often, museums offer headphones and/or a brochure for a self-guided tour.

Take a dance class and learn a new dance. Classes are offered through private dance studios, local recreation departments, churches, and schools. Dance lessons are also available online. Or invite an instructor to teach your group. Remember, practice makes perfect, but it takes perseverance.

Have a poetry party. Tell everyone to bring their favorite snacks and prose. Then get together and take turns reading. Or at a cookout, bring along your favorite poetry to read by the campfire.

Listen to a radio countdown of the "Top 10" songs. Together rate each piece on artistry, value of words, overall effect, and music.

Select a play. Bring enough scripts, props and costumes (everyone can bring something). If there are more parts than people, no problem. Video tape the play. If you have enough people, select more than one play and have a competition.

If you live close to a zoo, spend a whole day there. See if you can name the native countries of animals. Check to see if your zoo has geocache sites to test your treasure hunting skills. Bring your siblings or other relatives to learn about how your date interacts with children.

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