Green Music Center
1801 E. Cotati Ave.
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
www.gmc.sonoma.eduFor a truly special experience, consider taking your date to a concert on the lawn at the Green Music Center’s Weill Hall. This newly opened music venue is considered to be one of the finest concert halls in the world. The acoustics are spectacular. All of the wood used inside the hall is made from the same wood used to make musical instruments. It resonates making the entire hall come alive with sound. Now, as special as the hall is, for just plain enjoyment and great savings on the price of tickets, opt for the lawn seating. What could be better than enjoying a picnic and wine on a blanket under the stars, surrounded by the beauty of the Sonoma County hills while listening to some of the world’s finest music? Your choices of concerts range from classical through jazz, bluegrass, folk and contemporary.
Bartholomew Park Winery
1000 Vineyard Lane
Sonoma, CA 95476
www.bartpark.comIf you’re looking for an intimate outdoors venue, you couldn’t do better than an afternoon picnicking at Bartholomew Park Winery, just outside the town of Sonoma. This winery is on land that was part of the original Buena Vista winery, founded by Augustan Haraszthy, the father of California’s premium wine industry. It is a small winery producing superior wines, including fine old growth zinfandel. Beyond its fine wines, Bartholomew Park has one of the most perfect picnic facilities around. You sit at rustic tables on a terraced hillside under ancient California Live Oaks and look out across vineyards of old growth zinfandel to a pond replete with windmill and ducks, out across the Valley of the Moon to the beautiful Sonoma mountains beyond. Visit the museum and tasting room in the winery, select a bottle of fine wine and then take your picnic to one of the tables and enjoy one of the most romantic afternoons you will ever experience.
KJZY Jazzy After Work Concerts
19170 Geyserville Ave.
Geyserville, CA 95441
www.kjzy.comAre you and your squeeze jazz fans? Then this is the date for you. Throughout the summer and autumn, Radio Station KJZY sponsors its free “After Work Concerts.” Held at various wineries in Sonoma county throughout the season, these free jazz concerts bring the community together in beautiful surroundings to listen to great music, enjoy fine wine, food and dance and just have a great time.
Olivet Road Wineries
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
www.olivetroad.comIf you’re wine buffs, you couldn’t do better than to enjoy a day of wine tasting along Olivet Road. Olivet Road is sort of the Sonoma Wine Country in miniature. There are a handful of excellent wineries scattered along about three miles of Olivet, a rural road just outside Santa Rosa that rambles through vineyards, pasture land and small farms. Most are small, independent, family owned and operated estate wineries who welcome guests with open arms. The wine country is gorgeous in autumn. Bring a picnic. Most of the wineries have picnicking facilities. You’ll have a hard time finding a more pleasurable way to spend a day and you will taste some of the world’s finest wines. You can find a list of all the local wineries and contact information here. There is even a special event in April of every year called The Taste of Olivet Road and it is a spectacular experience to taste all of the wonderful wines.
River’s Edge Kayak & Canoe Tours
13840 Healdsburg Ave.
Healdsburg, CA 95448
www.riversedgekayakandcanoe.comThrow in some adventure with a kayak or canoe trip. Owner and operator Lollie Mercer is committed, in her words, to cure your NDD (Nature Deficiency Disorder). Her mission is to offer safe, affordable and hassle-free nature experiences through river excursions. This unique experience is a great way to bring families together in an enjoyable and healthy outdoor activity. When on the river, you aren’t just observing nature, you become part of it. A trip down the river would be a thrilling and memorable date providing memories that go far beyond those of “dinner and a movie.”
Geraldine Duncann is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.