Theme Night
by Dave

Travel to a Distant Land with this Fun Date Idea!
Leave behind your city, job, weather, routine and everything else as you travel to a faraway land! How does relaxing on pillows and sampling dates in an Arabian castle sound? Eating olives and sipping wine in ancient Rome? Or maybe even fast-forwarding to summer and reclining in your bathing suit while you listen to the sounds of the ocean? With this date it's all possible - you're only limited by your imagination!

The basic idea is to pick a theme you'll both enjoy, prepare the right food and atmosphere, and surprise your date with an amazing night! Start off by checking out the themes below to see if any sound fun or give you an idea for an even better one. Once you've decided on a theme you'll need to choose some decorations, food, music, and possibly entertainment (belly dancing anyone?). Take this date only as far as you want to go; your idea of a fun night might be laying out some cushions, putting on theme music, and having take-out, or going all the way with decorations, costumes, home-cooked theme food, candles, and more!

Arabian Nights
Spend the night as a sultan or harem girl in your own private palace! Imagine the standard Arabian scene with lots of throw pillows and cushions, sheer, gauzy material hanging from the ceiling, throw rugs, metal goblets, and brass trinkets scattered about. Purple and gold are good colors and you might even set up some kind of a tent using sheets or other materials. Fun outfits include belly dancers or harem girls with veils, poofy pants, and bikini tops for the girls and robes, turbans, and plastic swords for the guys. Plus costume jewelry for everyone, the sultan needs his bling!

Food
Hummus with pita bread, kebabs, falafel, and dates are typical Middle Eastern fare. Take a look at some recipes here and here

Drinks
Try one of the many Middle Eastern drinks listed here or a bottle of date wine (invented in ancient Mesopotamia).

Music
The bellydancing section on last.fm has some good mood music. Select the artist you like and when it pulls up their page click the Play (artist name) Radio to stream the music. Or you could pick up an Arabic or Middle Eastern CD from your local music store. Maybe even the Aladdin soundtrack? I've set the following YouTube belly dancing video to loop, so that's also an option:

A Day at the Beach
Is it the dead of winter? Well then crank up the heat, pull out a few beach chairs, and turn on the sunlamp because we're heading to the beach! Beach umbrellas, towels, beach balls, buckets, surfboards, shells, starfish, and palm fronds or raffia make good decorations. Fill up a baby pool, get some buckets of sand and spread it out on a plastic tarp if you're near the real beach, or even string a hammock across the room if you really want to go crazy with it. Wear bathing suits, Hawaiian shirts, flip flops, sunglasses plenty of coconut oil, and just a little bit of zinc oxide for your nose.

Food
Cold fried chicken or sandwiches, watermelon or other fruit, potato chips, cole slaw, potato salad, and chocolate chip cookies.

Drinks
Soda, water, beer, or margaritas.

Music
You can pick up a "sounds of the beach" soundtrack with waves and seagulls at your local music store or use the following video which will loop:

Chinese
Enough of western civilization, why not spend some time in the Far East? A Chinese theme should make liberal use of reds and yellows, along with silks and cushions, Chinese lanterns, wall scrolls, Chinese dragons, fans with Chinese writing, animal cutouts for the current year (2009 is ox, 2010 is tiger), red envelopes, or anything else you can think of. Outfits include a sleeveless dress with a high collar or kimono robes, and maybe Chinese straw hats.

Food
Feel free to look up some authentic Chinese recipes online but I always think take-out is a fun, easy solution. Don't forget the chopsticks!

Drinks
Tea, lychee-flavored soft drinks, Chinese beer, or rice wine.

Music
Head over to the traditional Chinese music section of last.fm and choose one of the artists to pull up their page and then choose to play that station to stream music of that kind. The following Chinese music will loop:

Roman
As with the Arabian theme, plenty of pillows and cushions are a must, along with laurel leaves or ivy, and candles scattered about. Red and white were very popular in Rome and should be the primary scheme for your night. Costumes are fairly easy - you can either use sheets to make togas or head to the fabric store and pick up some cheap cloth. After that, put some laurel in your hair and you’re set!

Food
Olives, bread & cheese, grapes, and other great dishes. Make sure to eat with your fingers like they did!

Drinks
What can I say? They drank rivers of wine. Commoners enjoyed water.

Music
HBO's Rome soundtrack is excellent, last.fm has an ancient Greek section and while the following video is Greek, the music is very similar to the Romans'. It will loop, but it's only 4 minutes so you might want to look around for a better source.

Polynesian
This one is a lot like the beach date except decorations include things like tiki torches, palm fronds or raffia, and a cheap idol or two. You can go the extra mile by making a volcano out of brown (mountain) and red (lava) fabric. Think about Hawaii when choosing costumes with things like leis, flowers for the girl’s hair or a flower wreath, sarongs or grass skirts, coconut bras, and shell necklaces.

Food
Hawaiian bbq, roast pig.

Drinks
Fruity ones with pineapple juice, Mai Tai.

Music: drums, ocean
Last.fm has a section with Hawaiian music that may be good enough for your night.

Along with these themes you could do a snow date in the summer with lots of cotton (snow), cranked A/C, and hot cocoa, or Japanese, Indian, Viking, Pirate, Disney, or any other crazy themes you come up with.

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