Going to the movies is one of most popular date night activities. When Viola Davis won her Oscar on Sunday for best supporting actress, she pointed out that Fences is a movie “about people and words.” August Wilson’s writing is fantastic, but it drove home an idea that bubbled up while reading about the art gallery group in The Word Escapes Me. When you’re experiencing aphasia, sometimes it’s nice to leave the well-travelled date night path to the movie theater. Instead, spend time with an activity that transcends words.

Here are five activity ideas to get you started, and we’d love for you to add a few of your favourite activities in the comments below.

Listen to Music

You don’t need to leave the house to enjoy music. Cuddle on the sofa and listen to a whole album from beginning to end. Of course, it’s equally fun to go out and attend a concert. The newspaper often lists free performances in your area, or splurge and get tickets to your favourite show. And don’t just head for the concert hall. You can find music in Irish pubs and jazz clubs. In fact, make it a game to try a different music venue every week.

Tour an Art Gallery

Take a slow stroll through an art gallery, enjoying the paintings and sculpture. Afterward, head out to the art supply store and get your own hunk of clay or blank canvas. Strolling through the aisles of the store may spark your creativity or remind you of an art technique you’ve always wanted to try.

Become Photo Tourists

You don’t need a fancy camera to document an outing. You can use the camera on a phone or get a disposable camera at the drug store. Look closely and take in the world around you. Give yourselves a goal for the outing such as photograph as many textures as possible or all objects of the same colour. When you get home, look through the pictures you took together.

Be in Nature

You don’t need to go on a hike to get out in nature. Simply pick a beautiful spot — maybe a national park — spread out a blanket, and soak in the outdoors. You can engage in an activity, such as birdwatching, or simply sit still and enjoy the scenery and each other.

Take the Wrong Turn

One of my favourite things to do when I have time is to opt for the turn not taken. I look for roads that I’ve never turned down or intersections that I’ve passed through without wondering what is to the left or right. Taking a different turn sometimes means that you find interesting places close to home. Taking a train to nowhere falls under this category, too. Small, local trains sometimes run scenic, roundtrip routes that last a few hours at most. Watch the landscape unfold out the window while you relax on the train. To find train routes, Google “scenic train ride” for your area.

What are your favourite activities for spending time together?

Image: Personal Creations via Flickr via Creative Commons license