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Perfect summer date events in your city!

Sommer Caraway is a freelance writer and public relations specialist based in Arizona. Follow her updates on Twitter @sommerPR or check out her blog at SommerCaraway.com.

summer date ideas

Summer is here, which means warm days for enjoying the outdoors and cool evenings to snuggle up with your honey! So, throw on your cutest summer dress and check out these can’t-miss date events in your city.

Couple at beer festival

PHOENIX

Prescott Arizona Jazz Summit
Prescott is a growing town just two hours outside of Phoenix. At the annual Prescott Arizona Jazz Summit, meet the musicians, dance to some amazing jazz music and hear a tribute to some of the greatest jazz bands of all time with performances from the Harry James Orchestra, the Stan Kenton Alumni Band, the Count Basie Band and other guest artists.
When: August 27-29, times vary by day
Location: Hassayampa Inn/varies
Cost: Free/varies
More info: Call 928.771.1268 or http://www.bigbandjazz.net/

AZ Salsa Festival
You know what they say about men who can dance… Join live salsa DJs and the legendary Luisito Ayala and the Puerto Rican Power Orchestra at the AZ Salsa Festival 2010 for a concert and a dance show with international, national and local dance companies. You might even pick up some salsa dura moves to try later on the dance floor!
When: June 19, 2010
Location: The Venue of Scottsdale, 7117 East 3rd Avenue, Scottsdale
Cost: $40
More info: Call 480.445.9222 or http://www.azsalsa.net/

Garden Flashlight Tours
Scurry on over to the Desert Botanical Garden for their summer Garden Flashlight Tours for an adventurous date. You'll experience the desert in a whole new way as you keep your eyes peeled for nighthawks, snakes, insects and night-blooming flowers.
When: Thursdays, June, July and August, 7–9 p.m.
Location: Desert Botanical Garden
Cost: Adults, $15; free for garden members (no advance registration required)
More info: Call 480.941.1225 or http://www.dbg.org/

BBQ and Blues Festival
Want to show your sweetie pie how good of a cook you truly are? Enter the homemade BBQ sauce contest at the BBQ and Blues Festival. Traditional American foods can be paired with Kokopelli Winery wines for a great summer date.
When: June 11-12, 2010, Friday and Saturday, 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Location: Chandler
Cost: Free! $10 wine tasting package with six tickets from Kokopelli Winery
More info: Call 480.792.6927 or http://www.arizonaguide.com/events-calendar/bbq-and-blues-festival-06-11-2010

Movies at the Museum
Throughout the summer, Phoenix Art Museum holds screenings of thought-provoking films that relate to their current exhibits. Spend some time indoors with your lover and discover a new side of him, discussing the movie's underlying notions with topical experts at the museum or over dinner at one of the great restaurants in downtown Phoenix.
When: June 13, 27, 1 p.m.
Location: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Avenue, Phoenix
Cost: Free with admission into the museum
More info: Call 602.257.1222 or http://www.phxart.org/events/index.php

SEATTLE

Seattle International Film Festival
The Seattle International Film Festival is the largest of its kind in the US, showing more than 300 films from over 60 countries in categories such as alternative cinema, archival presentations, documentaries, stories of musicians, films focused on the planet and environment, short films and many more. It's a perfect date for getting to know the sensitive and maybe even zany side of your lover. Some of the festival's highlights include an opening gala, featuring the comedy The Extra Man and an Opening Night Red Carpet Experience fundraiser, in addition to other screenings, panels and workshops.
When: May 20 – June 13, 2010, times vary by screening
Location: Varies – Egyptian, Harvard Exit, AMC Pacific Place 11 Theatres, Broadway Performance Hall, Cinerama and Paramount Theatre
Cost: Individual tickets, $5–$11; ticket packages: $35–$180
More info: Call 206-324-9996 or visit click here

Seattle International Beerfest
Going on a first date? Head to the Seattle International Beer Fest to loosen up a bit, relax and have fun! This outdoor festival boasts a "Grande Beer Garden" and 130 beers from more than 15 countries. Live music, a cigar bar, and free games, such as darts, chess, checkers and backgammon, also make this a great summer event to attend.
When: July 2 and 3, noon–10 p.m.; July 4, noon–9 p.m.
Where: Mural Amphitheater in Seattle Center
Cost: $20 admission includes glass and 10 beer tickets, good for all three days; $5 for non-drinkers or DDs
More info: http://www.seattlebeerfest.com/Index2%20SIB.htm

Torchlight Parade at Seafair
A perfection celebration of summer is the Torchlight Parade at Seafair, marked by giant balloons, precision drill teams from local communities marching a two-and-a-half mile route, equestrian units, clowns, pirates, bands and lawn chair relaxation. Elvis and Chinese dragons may even show up to greet you and your date!
When: July 31, 2010, 7:30–9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Seattle (Fourth Avenue to Second Avenue), Seattle Center
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 206.728.0123 or http://www.seafair.com/events/torchparade/

Tibet Fest
Don't have the dough to take an exotic trip? No problem. Head to the Tibet Fest and experience Tibet's unique culture. You'll encounter music, century-old stories and legends, authentic costumes and rhythmic movements. Bring your coins to purchase handmade crafts, prayer flags and other mementos at a Tibetan-style bazaar.
When: August 28-29, 2010
Location: Seattle Center House, Fisher Pavilion
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 206.684.7200 or http://www.seattlecenter.com/

HOUSTON

ArtHouston
Feeling artsy? Want to be inspired? Grab your honey and be swept away by the emotional tails of artists living and working in Houston at this evening art walk, organized by Harris Gallery, throughout July. More than 30 local galleries will participate in ArtHouston, exhibiting their works, which include realist and abstract paintings, sculptures, mixed media work, photography, collages and many more types and mediums of art.
When: July 10, 2010 (event), exhibition spans the month of July, hours vary by gallery
Where: Local galleries in Houston
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 713.522.9116 or http://www.arthouston.com/arthouston/Home.html

Summer Symphony Nights: Independence Day at Miller Outdoor Theatre
Celebrate Independence Day outdoors at the Miller Outdoor Theatre where the Houston Symphony will perform songs inspired by the occasion, including a special performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture along with those good 'ol American tunes. Buckle up for some animated fireworks as the finale of the show!
When: July 4, 2010, 8:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 713.284.8350 or click here

Houston Shakespeare Festival
Houstonites will be celebrating the great works of William Shakespeare come August at Hermann Park's Miller Outdoor Theater for the 36th Houston Shakespeare Festival. Two plays will be performed by the Houston Festival Company: A Midsummer Night's Dream, believed to be written by Shakespeare for a wedding feast, and Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy about a man and woman's path to love.
When: A Midsummer Night's Dream: July 30, August 1, 3, 5 and 7, 8:30 p.m.; Much Ado About Nothing: July 31, August 4, 6 and 8, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Miller Outdoor Theatre
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 713.533.3276 or 281.373.3386 (box office), or visit Miller Outdoor Theatre's event calendar

SAN DIEGO

San Diego County Fair
Going to the fair is the perfect summer date, filled with simple juvenile, flirty romance! Laughter, great snacks that remind you of being a child, and putting your newfound interest's stomach to the test on crazy fair rides. Don't forget to stop and pet the goats!
When: June 11 – July 5, 2010; weekdays: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on, Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Location: The Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar
Cost: $7 - $13
More info:Call 858.755.1161 or http://www.sdfair.com/fair/

Del Mar Race Track
Ante up! Get your challenge on by heading to the horse race tracks and see just which one of you has the lucky bets. Ladies – Don't forget to wear your big My-Fair-Lady-inspired hat on opening day; this is the Kentucky Derby of San Diego!
When: July 21 – September 8, 2010
Location:2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar
Cost: Stretch run, $6.00 (Opening Day $10); clubhouse, $10.00 (Opening Day $20)
More info: Call 858.755.1141 or http://www.dmtc.com/

Coronado Summer Concert Series
Get your groove on at the Coronado Summer Concert Series throughout the summer and hear bands like the Corvettes, Navy Band Southwest Jazz, Cool Fever, Kearny Mesa Concert Ban and Rockola. This is a perfect double or triple date summer outing!
When: May through September 2010, Sundays at 6 p.m.
Location: Spreckels Park (Orange Avenue between 6th and 7th streets)
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 619.437.8788 or http://www.sandiegocoastlife.com/events/san-diego-bay/coronado-summer-concert-series.html

NEW YORK

National Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Teen Exhibition
Is your significant other a bit older – with kids? If so, show him you're cool with youngsters by viewing an exhibition of the top teen talent in the US. From video to animation, writing to photography, painting to fashion and more, this exhibition promises to be the launch pad for some of our nation's future Andy Warhols, Sylvia Plaths and Zac Posens.
When: June 22–25, 12–4 p.m.
Location: World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 212.945.0505 or visit www.artsworldfinancialcenter.com

Central Park SummerStage Concert
When the heat kicks up a notch in August, we all get a little testy and perhaps even exhibit signs of insanity at times. When temperatures soar, enjoy tunes from the Grammy-nominated British electropop band Hot Chip? This unique dance-music meets electronic experimentation, folded in poetry with acoustic guitars won't leave you wishing you had gone to another Shakira concert. It's a quirky date you and your sweetie pie surely won't forget! Curious what they sound like? Check out their YouTube channel.
When: August 4, 6:30–9:30 p.m.
Location: Central Park SummerStage, Rumsey Playfield in Central Park
Cost: $35
More info: Call 800.745.3000 for tickets or visit http://www.summerstage.org/index1.aspx?BD=21729

Laura Peterson Choreography: Everyone
Some pure, good entertainment is the perfect recipe for a great date. Check out this NYC-based dance company that creates highly physical and dynamic work, inspired by mass games, flash mobs, swarms and flocks. Everyone features a large cast and is sure to impress – perhaps even with some "did-they-just-do-that?" choreography!
When: June 22, 12:30 p.m.
Location: The Elevated Acre at 55 Water Street
Cost: Free!
More info: www.lmcc.net

CHICAGO

Tall Ships Chicago 2010
Ok, we admit, this is a bit out of the ordinary for a date. But who couldn't be curious about seeing tall ships from around the world arrive at the Navy Pier? This nautical rendezvous lasts six days just in case you miss the first parade! It is the perfect event for that guy who can't seem to find anything to talk about.
When: August 24–29, times vary
Location: North side of Navy Pier (600 East Grand Avenue), Chicago
Cost: $14–54, depending on viewing preferences
More info: Call 312.595.PIER or visit http://www.navypier.com/tallshipschicago/

Walking with Dinosaurs
You've probably seen Disney's favorite 80s dinosaur flick The Land Before Time, but this in-person production and worldwide tour boasts 15 life-sized replicas of these prehistoric creatures telling the story of their residence on earth before we showed up. The thrill of times past, that is 65 million years past, are returning to meet you and your date this summer!
When: July 28–August 1, times vary
Location: Allstate Arena, 6920 North Mannheim Road, Rosemont
Cost: $29.50–59.50
More info: Call 800.745.4000 or visit http://www.dinosaurlive.com/

Taste of Chicago
The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right? So why not take your beau to a feeding frenzy this summer? The Taste of Chicago event includes noshing on signature dishes from 50 restaurants plus live music. This is sure to be a fun – and satisfying – summer date!
When: June 25–July 4, times vary
Location: Grant Park, 100 E. Congress Pkwy
Cost: Free; $8 per strip of 12 food and drink tickets
More info: Call 312.744.3315 or visit http://chicago.metromix.com/events/fair_festival/taste-of-chicago-south-loop/1591219/content

MIAMI

IFE-ILE Afro Cuban Dance Festival
Bienvenido a Miami! Get in touch with your inner Latina this summer by strutting your stuff at the Afro Cuban Dance Festival, featuring dance and music workshops taught by the pros. There's nothing like a date where you're required to be touchy feely with your man!
When: July 15–17, times vary
Location: Dance Gala at Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Performing Arts Center, 10910 SW 17th St
Cost: $15–$220
More info: Call 305.476.0832 or visit http://www.ife-ile.org/

Fairchild's 18th Annual International Mango Festival
The annual mango extravaganza will feature mangos from India this year and include mango lectures, smoothies and the opportunity to purchase the fresh, hand-picked fruit. Shop the Fruit Market with your lover and soak up all there is to know about this indigenous fruit!
When: July 10–11, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Location: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Road Coral Gables, FL 33156
Cost: $20
More info: Call 305.667.1651 or visit http://www.fairchildgarden.org/Events/?date=2010-07&eventid=426

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim
Is your guy a little more metro than woodsman? If so, he may enjoy this summer swim fashion show just as much as you'll love eyeing the latest trends in swimwear. This runway show features designers' 2011 swimwear and resort collections in an upbeat event sure to impress.
When: July 15–19, times vary
Location: The Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach
Cost: TBA
More info: Visit http://www.mbfashionweek.com/miami/

ATLANTA

14th Annual Atlanta Tattoo Arts Festival
Learn a bit more about your new boyfriend by going to the Atlanta Tattoo Festival. You'll find out just have brave, risky and perhaps even risqué he is. After dinner that night, play a guessing game of where both of your tats are located. And what tat fest wouldn't be complete without the token tattoo and bikini contests?
When: June 4–6, times vary
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, NW Perimiter, 6345 Powers Ferry Rd
Cost: $20 for one-day pass; $30 for two-day pass; $40 for three-day pass
More info: Visit http://www.atlantatattooartsfestival.com

SCI FI Summer Con Atlanta 2010
According to the website, this sci-fi festival boasts lots of…well, stuff. Lots of: guest speakers on many subjects, indie film makers, dealers, music performances, Texas Holdem (tourney) and lots more! So if your date is that ever-mysterious eclectic type, this may be just the event for you. Sci-fi, fantasy, horror, comics and animated films are sure to keep you two talking for hours.
When: June 11, 6 p.m.–June 13, 6 p.m.
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, NW Perimiter, 6345 Powers Ferry Rd
Cost: $15–35
More info: Visit http://sfscon.tripod.com/

Artlantis
Check out 40 of Atlanta's artists plus 11 bands and a Craft Market at this notorious event hosted by local Beep Beep Gallery. It's for the artsy, the curious and the totally inartistically inclined alike!
When: June 5, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
Location: Lawn of the Druid Hills Baptist Church (Corner of Ponce De Leon Ave and N. Highland Ave)
Cost: Free!
More info: Call 404. 874.5721 or visit http://artlantisfestival.blogspot.com/

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