Date Nights in Vienna for Parents Who Need a Break

Then ...

As the parents of an almost 15-month-old, the hubby and I still struggle to spend quality time together regularly. We don’t have much energy left from work and a day of play with Bug, and are still getting used to spending money on babysitters.

But we were victorious recently, when a kind neighbor watched Bug as we scurried off over an hour away to see Mumford and Sons at

... and now.

Merriweather Post Pavilion. We left early in the afternoon to avoid the Beltway’s rush hour traffic, got dinner near the venue and arrived promptly at 7:00, for the 7:30 start time – only to learn that there would be two opening acts and the headliner wouldn’t start until 9:30! We get in bed most nights at that time!

We struggled momentarily about what to do: If we stayed so late for the show, we’d likely wake up our neighbors who surely would have gone to sleep by the time we returned at, say, midnight, to pick up Bug. We also knew we’d be super tired later, and the next morning. We felt old. We weren’t like those 20somethings in the lawn seating area, drinking the $10 beers and feeling fancy-free. We took our seats in the covered amphitheater, sipping our shared, overpriced beer that we hoped would lend us some calm.

Then it started to rain. Pour. Hail.

All those young folks on the lawn seemed like they were having a good time, until it was a torrential downpour for 30 minutes straight. We marveled at it, comfy and dry in our seats – our more expensive seats that we bought because we were too old to risk the weather on the lawn. We started to have a good time. We stuck it out and thankfully so, because Mumford and Sons rocked. Amazing. I swayed in the sound and the lights, remembering how good it feels to connect with simple things like music, thunder and love.

Since I don’t recommend Merriweather (too far, too expensive – and stay tuned for a post about the far-superior Wolf Trap), here are some ideas for local date nights for parents seeking to reconnect:

  • Bazin’s on Church. This seems to be the quintessential upscale restaurant in town, reserved for a night where you need an extra lift in life.
  • Choices by Shawn. In old town Fairfax, this restaurant is unique in that it offers on-site childcare while you dine in an adjacent room. Our Bug is still a little too small for this, but we can’t wait to check it out.
  • Molly’s Yogurt. If you don’t have all day and night, a quick run to Molly’s for delicious frozen yogurt at reasonable prices might tied you over until a longer rendezvous can be arranged.
  • Oak Marr Golf Course. Drew and I have had several dates at the Oak Marr Rec Center in Oakton, both hitting golf balls on the driving range and playing the nine-hole course. Fresh air and a good time. Or, go for a indoor swim and sit in the hot tub together after.
  • The Wine House. I passed this place recently in old town Fairfax, and it looks like it could be a great, nearby replacement option for the now-closed Church Street Cellars in Vienna. It has a chill vibe and robust menu and wine list. Another place I’m eager to check out.
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