Time with friends. It might not happen often but when it does I am so energized afterward. It’s like hitting the recharge button for an instant jolt of happiness.
When meeting up with friends, I tend to default to wine related things, but there are so many additional options (but wine is still an option).
Here are some great ideas right here in the Quad City region!
It’s a short drive from the Quad Cities (between DeWitt and Maquoketa) and the place is gorgeous. I recommend going on a day when you can enjoy their beautiful patio. My favorite wine was the champagne. They will tell you it’s not real champagne but I don’t know it’s real name. I just know it was delicious and my friends agreed.
Run/Walk the Bridges
It’s a little over three miles to make a trip starting at the Centennial Bridge to the Arsenal Bridge and back. It just happens that there are several local breweries on this route. It’s one of my favorite Quad City things to do and the view from the Centennial Bridge is always an awesome reward.
Miss Effie’s Flower Farm
You can pick your own flowers! Like a good friendship, a vase of flowers immediately makes everyone happy. Grab a glass of their lemonade to enjoy with the picnic lunch you are welcome to bring and stroll through the farm. It’s perfect for conversation and laughter.
Codfish Hollow Barnstormers
It’s about 45 minutes from the Quad Cities and you can experience great live music in an old barn. They host live, local and national indie bands and you can even take a hay rack ride to the barn. It’s a jewel nestled into the nostalgic views of the Midwest, and the ticket prices are very reasonable. We are lucky to have some amazing live music venues in our area like River Music Experience and others.
Maquoketa Caves State Park
I grew up in Maquoketa and didn’t realize what an awesome natural attraction was in my backyard. Once I left for college, I didn’t go back for years. Recently, I started taking my kids there and they love it (and so do I). While there, I kept running into my Quad City friends … that’s because it’s perfect for a nice workout and walk-n-talk date with a friend.
Quad City Trails
We have so many amazing trails and bike paths in our community! One of my favorites for a short walk with a friend is Blackhawk State Park. This fall I took my kids and my aunt came along, too. We were able to chit-chat (as my kids call it) and it was the perfect setting for them to collect leaves. I also enjoy using the many trails along the river and it’s usually pretty quiet and sparse of people. This website makes it so easy to find the perfect trail.
I think I have visited every coffee shop in the Quad Cities … I think. They provide a nice setting for a quick or long chat. Some of my favorites include Dunn Brothers on Middle Road and Dunn Brothers on 53rd Street. My absolute favorite though is Coffee Hound on Devils Glenn in Bettendorf. You can have coffee or wine or beer or coffee or all the options.
It’s perfect for an afternoon date or an all day adventure. You can saunter the adorable shops, stop for a wine tasting, explore a distillery, and so much more. There are some great food options as well! Recently I spent three hours with some girlfriends just walking around with a cup of coffee in hand.
Artsy Bug has been recommended to me numerous times and I have not scheduled a friend date yet. It’s certainly on my list though. A little creative vibe with a good friend sounds fabulous to me! The Figge also offers art classes that are on my must-do list (and came recommended from two friends).
Yes, I said bowling. This is what I request for my birthday every year, and every year I want to do it again. It’s the kind of activity that allows you to be active but not too active that you can’t have some great conversation. There are numerous bowling alley’s in the Quad Cities but I like Bowlmor because their bar has a fireplace and it’s very low key!
Of course, your date can be at a local restaurant or in your backyard. It’s the company that really counts, but it’s fun to explore new things with those that know you best!