By Melissa Lindley
Dating is a time-honored ritual that can often be as redundant as it is expensive. You’ve heard it all before: dinner and a movie, a chat over coffee or a walk on the boardwalk that usually ends in a girl winning a teddy bear after the boy demonstrates some feat of strength or ring-tossing ability.
Sure, they’re classics, but these tried-and-true dating favorites have worn out their welcome in movies and romance novels. There are plenty of gems in the area for Rider students to take their significant others out for the evening or a free afternoon, both around Lawrenceville and in the nearby Princeton area.
Grounds For Sculpture: Hamilton, N.J.
Founded in 1992, Grounds For Sculpture was built on the former site of the New Jersey State Fairgrounds. At 42 acres, the park is filled with a variety of year-round exhibitions of sculptures and nature. Visitors can take guided tours around the park and attend educational lectures and workshops to learn about the history of the sculptures, as well as attend special events that are featured throughout the year. The park also contains a gift shop, a gallery with rotating exhibits and Rat’s Restaurant, which offers a varied menu of comfort food in a fine dining atmosphere.
Terhune Orchards: Princeton
Located on the rural back roads of Princeton, Terhune Orchards is a popular farm among local residents and families. The orchard offers a myriad of activities year-round for its visitors. Guests can go apple picking, pumpkin picking or take a walk on one of the farm’s trails. There is also a winery where guests 21 and over can go wine tasting to sample unique flavors such as apple and blueberry. After a trip to the winery, you and your date can check out the farm store, which features a plethora of home-baked goods, fruits and Terhune Orchards’ famous apple cider and apple cider donuts.
Fedora Café: Downtown Lawrenceville
Open for all meals of the day, Fedora Café is a mellow place for you and your sweetheart to have a quiet meal together in Lawrenceville’s historic downtown district. With a comfortable atmosphere and creative décor, you’re bound to feel right
at home with the friendly staff and menu full of your favorite comfort food. The café features freshly made muffins from the bakery inside the restaurant. Fedora has a tasty selection of omelets, eggs benedict, pancakes and other options to choose from. Its lunch menu is filled with creative sandwich, soup and salad combinations to accommodate a craving for any appetite. If you have a sweet tooth, you and your honey can share one of the many delicious desserts that are made fresh.
The Alchemist and Barrister: Princeton
If you’re in the mood for some cocktails and dinner, The Alchemist and Barrister is the place to get your drink on and whet your appetite. Located in the heart of Princeton, it’s the perfect environment that attracts students and locals for a delicious drink and a scrumptious meal. The bar features a wide selection of handcrafted cocktails, wine, hard ciders and beers that can appeal to the taste of most patrons. You and your date can choose between an assortment of imported fine wines from all across the country, beers with funky flavors (banana nut bread and cherry, to name a few) or a clever cocktail creation of an adult root beer float, complete with ice cream, root beer schnapps and spiced rum. If you have worked up an appetite, the late-night menu will do just the trick. You can get anything from typical bar food like chicken wings and French fries to savory crab cakes and filet mignonettes. With a comfortable pub-like atmosphere and a fabulous drink selection, you and your significant other will be able to spend the evening dining in style.