For nature enthusiasts, going up to a mountain park and barbecuing tasty meats is a fun idea. You get to blend amazing scenery with cooler weather, especially during summer, and just enjoy the great outdoors. Also, food usually tastes better in the mountains! One of my favorite things to do on this group date is to make beef kabobs. In order to liven it up, barbecue the beef kabobs in a park, then sit down afterward and watch a movie on a laptop or play night games. Parks in the mountains make the best get-away, but even the neighborhood park will do as a last resort. So for a fun group date idea go grill in the mountains.
What you need for this grill in the mountains date:
This date is quite simple. You need to bring blankets, and snacks to go with the barbecue, a laptop (with extra batteries), and Frisbees, footballs, etc. Obviously, all the ingredients you’ll use for the barbequed meat is necessary, and don’t forget the small things like spices and skewers. You’ll need a park that has grilling accommodations, or you could bring your own portable grill. Don’t forget the charcoal or wood!
For a great dish, you can see the video I have for the kabobs on my cooking show.
Shish Kabob Recipe
I make it different every time but these are the main ingredients that I use.
- Bamboo or Metal Kabob Skewers
- Red Bell Peppers
- Green Bell Peppers (the mildest)
- Orange Peppers
- Pineapple (fresh works and tastes the best, but canned works fine too) Save the pineapple juice
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sirloin or Tri-Tip steak cut in small bite-sized pieces (Or any other cut of beef)
- Kielbasa sausage cut in bite-sized pieces
- Mushrooms (buy the ones that are already cut or use the whole ones)
You can add almost anything you want to the kabob. The above ingredients are my favorite ones to use. Make sure everything is cut into bite-sized pieces; usually a little bigger than a quarter. Set them aside as you make the sauce, or you can have someone else put them on the skewers while you work.
The sauce is the key to making a delicious kabob.
- Pineapple juice (I usually use what is leftover from the can of chunks or buy some)
- Soy sauce (about ¾ cup)
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar (you can use normal vinegar too)
- 1 Tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 Tsp. ginger
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
Combine all of the above ingredients in a small saucepan. On low heat, bring the mixture to a boil and let bubble for two minutes. Put sauce aside.
Take the kabobs and grill them. Make sure to turn them about every 3-4 minutes. The kabobs usually take 10 to 15 minutes to cook, sometimes faster, depending on the heat from the barbeque grill. When the kabob is done dip it in the sauce. ENJOY!!!
My experience with this group date idea:
It was a dark and stormy night. The road was slick from the pelting rain; our car slid several times, each time a bit closer to the edge of the road, with a five hundred foot cliff to its side. No doubt the railing wouldn’t hold if we crashed into it. My date squeezed my arm in terror as we wound our way up the narrow mountain pass. Lightening, then thunder, then more rain . . . it was terrifying. Okay, I’m joking; I just always wanted to start a story that way.
I’ve made the beef kabobs numerous times for group barbecues, however one summer I had the opportunity to do it as a group date. The girl I asked out, Kelsey, was someone I met while playing volleyball with some of my friends. She actually had just moved in with a few girls that I knew and seemed like a fun girl to get to know, so I asked her out. I wanted a buddy of mine, Dave, to come along, but he was visiting from out of town so I had to find a date for him, which wasn’t a problem.
Rule #1 Don’t be late!
This is where things get interesting. First, my friend took forever to get ready. Seriously Dave, don’t you know that rule number one in dating is, don’t be late? So we didn’t wind up picking our dates up until 20 minutes after we told them. They didn’t say anything, but I could see Kelsey peering at me, eyes narrowed, as if looking into my soul and asking, how could you be late, Matt? How?? Or maybe she was just thinking about how great I looked that evening. Could’ve been either.
Heading to the mountains to grill
Kelsey looked really good, beyond good, breathtaking even. Finally, we started driving up the canyon to where the park in the mountains was. I planned it so Kelsey and I would be in my car alone. Dave and his date drove up with another friend, Mike, and his date. As we were driving, Kelsey told me that she really doesn’t like camping or outdoorsy stuff. Oops. I told her that she would like this date.
We get there and it’s dark already, thanks to Dave and his tardiness. Not to mention it’s frigid. Kelsey then mentions that she also really hates the cold. Oops again. Eventually, we get everything ready and start to make the kabobs, and I find out Kelsey doesn’t like most of the ingredients that go on them. Oops, a million times over. As the bitter air chilled our bones, the gas for the grill we brought ran out. Oops, oops, and oops forever. But since Dave and I are big strong men, we didn’t panic; we improvised and used wood instead.
Oh that darn cold weather
After we were done eating, we decided that it might be too cold to watch a movie in the park, like we’d planned, so we decided to go back to Mike’s house to watch the movie. Just to add more disaster to the date, the only movies that we had with us were ones Kelsey had already seen a bunch of times, not to mention that while we were watching it, Mike’s cat kept snooping around the group. And guess what? Kelsey is allergic to cats. She sniffled and sneezed the whole time during the movie. Yikes.
I still had fun on the date, and even though Kelsey said she had a good time, I’m not so sure that she did. But it was okay; she and I didn’t connect, otherwise, I would have asked her out again. Moral of the story: a little research goes a long way, and oh yeah, don’t be late! And just in case you’ve forgotten one of the most important parts of a date, here’s a reminder: don’t forget to bring treats.
Check out this video I made for this grill in the mountains date idea
Do you have experience with this creative date idea? Let me know in the comments how it went and if your date, spouse, significant other liked it. You can buy a copy of the book 101 Creative Dates: ideas, tips, and personal experiences from the life of a hopeless romantic here or visit the shop.
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