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Who says date nights have to be a big planned out costly affair? Not I!

Last Friday while reading the newspaper I came across an article about the Baltimore Improv Festival. It’s a week long event featuring workshops and performances by improv comedy groups from all over the mid-Atlantic region. I decided to be spontaneous (a big step from the over-planning-planner that I am) and snatch up a pair of tickets to one of the evening performances that night.

I planned to keep it a secret and create a whole “surprise date night” for Z!

When he got home from work I told him to get himself ready and we would be leaving the house at 5:30. The phrase I kept repeating was an ominous, “all will be revealed…”

At 5:30 I had him grab a blanket and away we went…but to where?

Z carrying picnic blanket

Surprise Date Night Part 1: Picnic in Patterson

We headed down the road to Patterson Park and found a nice grassy area to set up shop.

Z picnic in Patterson Park

I had prepared a “Chipotle-inspired” burrito bowl.

Taco Salad

romaine + cilantro-lime rice (homemade) + ground turkey w/taco seasoning (homemade) + tomato + dollop of plain Greek yogurt
not pictured: no-salt added corn chips for scooping

Z and K picnic

See? Who needs pricey restaurant week?! We enjoyed a lovely meal all with food we had at home!

Surprise Date Night Part 2: Baltimore Improv Group

Our next stop required no driving, but rather a two block stroll to the Patterson Movie Theater.

The Patterson Movie Theatre

The theatre itself dates back to 1930, and since 1998 has been the home of The Creative Alliance. This non-profit performing arts group, “builds communities by bringing together artists and audiences from diverse backgrounds to experience spectacular arts programs and engage in the creative process [source].”

The Creative Alliance

Creative Alliance LobbyCreative Alliance Theater

The building has a restaurant lounge, art galleries, performance spaces and artist lofts. 045

We took our seats in the theater, which had a décor that transported you back in time. There was even a bar/bartender right in the room!

Creative Alliance Theater with bar

The show was an hour and a half and featured three different groups. Audience participation was encouraged and we were asked to provide them with things like “things from the 90s” (scrunchies, OJ Simpson trial, TRL), “a non-geographical location” (desert) and “something that happened this week” (lost my cat). Based on those suggestions each group was collectively able to create a weave an entire story. Improv Comedy Show at the Creative Alliance

The Verdict

I’ve always been a fan of improv (did anyone else watch Whose Line Is It Anyway?) so this was right up my alley. Z had never experienced it and definitely enjoyed himself.

As I mentioned at the start, date nights do not have to be expensive. By packing a picnic lunch, and forgoing the tempting drinks/popcorn at the theatre:


I had fun coming up with this little surprise and bringing out my spontaneous side. Now to see what Z can come up with. Our next date night is up to him to plan…

I want to know…

What is your favorite thing to eat on a picnic?

Did you ever watch Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Ever been to a comedy show?