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Cultural Dates
(for Ages 40-49)

Find a concert which features the works of a renowned composer. Prior to the performance, research that composer together, his/her life history and works. Attend a concert containing his/her works, then return home to refreshments and a discussion about the concert and how you were affected.

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.

Spend a quiet evening listening to beautiful music. Pick out some of the classics. Then sit back and enjoy. For variety, put together a dessert fondue.

Pick a type of music you don’t 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Get together with some others and do a readers’ theater. Go to a library and check out several copies of a play you’ve always wanted to see, assign parts, and have a dramatic evening.

Wander around a university or college campus any time during the day. Stop by the student union building for lunch. Seek out art and science exhibits. Ask about attending a planetarium lab. If you know someone in the drama department, you can watch a play during rehearsal or even during the casting try-outs. Check the music department for recital and concerts that don't charge admission.. If you plan to tour during the school hours, visit a class in an auditorium.

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.

Get a travel guidebook for your city (library or a bookstore). Visit attractions that are off the beaten path (or that you have never seen). A guidebook may also contain self-guided walking tours that are fun and interesting. Or get a guidebook for a nearby city and make a day trip there. Plan to grab lunch at an outdoor café.

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