We may be a small town, but Franklin, Tennessee, is the perfect place for grand romantic gestures.
So, to inspire you to plan the date of your partner’s dreams, I’ve listed everything I’ve wanted to drag my boyfriend to (ahem, every adventure he’s just been dying to go on) and racked my brain for rom-com-worthy clichés.
I even looked up “barbershop quartets for hire.” Between that and “bath bomb making class near me”—intentionally spelled wrong to keep from being put on some kind of watch list—there really is no hope for my search history. But I digress.
Whether your sweetheart is into learning to make heart-shaped ravioli together (who wouldn’t be?) or destroying you on the mini-golf course, they’re in for a real treat the next time you take them out in Franklin.
Because you’re a romantic through and through, showing up sans love letter and bouquet is out of the question. Select a clever card from the vibrant items on shelves lining Rock Paper Scissors. Then take a stroll through The Franklin Farmers Market to pick the best blooms from one of the locally stocked booths.
Once you’ve bestowed gifts upon your love, it’s time to whisk them off in a unique fashion: via hot air balloon ride. We have not one but two companies lifting couples into the clouds throughout the day.
Waking someone up with breakfast in bed is tired. Instead, rise and shine and lift off in the early morning hours on Middle Tennessee Hot Air Adventures’ Dawn Patrol. Once the two of you have seen the sun climb from below, there’ll be mimosas waiting when you land. (Hey, I slighted breakfast in bed, I didn’t knock mimosas.) If you’d rather snuggle up to your significant other as the sun sets, book a private charter with Ace High Ballooning.
Does your partner like four feet on the ground while moseying around? The sky isn’t the only way to see the city. Saddle up at Creekside Riding Academy & Stables. You can schedule an hour-long Beginner Trail Ride and Mini-Lesson Combo and then set out into the woods with each other.
If you both travel with horses in tow, pay a visit to the scenic Equestrian Trail winding around The Park at Harlinsdale Farm. The farm is also a favorite for those of us who wouldn’t know how to get on a horse if we tried. With its tucked-away river access, perfect for skipping rocks, and three-acre pond, ideal for waterside walks, it’s a natural oasis on the outskirts of downtown and a backdrop for conversations and connection.
Maybe you only speak the language of dance (and you haven’t been able to decide where you want to get dinner because there’s simply not enough space in your hotel room to express how badly you’re craving tacos). Or, the less likely option, you’ve just always wanted to take a ballroom dancing class together. Either way, Champion Ballroom Center has the space and the instructors you need to have a good time on the dance floor. Choose between swing, Latin, or ballroom dancing and sign up for a private lesson. Before you know it, you’ll be waltzing your way to a food truck.
Romance doesn’t have to revolve around activity. (She writes, knowing full well her boyfriend will bring this up next time she tries to take him on a hike.) In the case of The Spa at Leiper’s Fork, all you’ll need to do is choose which massages you prefer to be pampered with. After, you can meet up to lounge in the spa’s relaxation room and chat about how much you love its Bourbon Lavender bath collection—file that away in your future-present Rolodex.
Once your stress has been kneaded away, you’ll need to trade your robes for aprons at Black Diamond Culinary so you can knead some dough. Sure, it requires more effort than your previous outing, but the trade-off is appetizing.
During Black Diamond’s Delicious Pasta Dinner class on February 10, 2022, you’ll create red, heart-shaped ravioli. If you happen to be in town on February 12, attend its Prix Fixe Valentine’s Dinner and experience a five-course meal, with highlights including lobster bisque, steak au poivre, and multiple glasses of wine and champagne.
You may be thinking: The only type of pasta I want to be making is the kind we can eat “Lady and the Tramp”-style, so why bother? Well, I’m not sure how to argue with you on that one, so I’ll offer up Sugar Drop Café and Dessert Boutique’s baking classes as your culinary substitute. On February 5, you two can take Royally Fun: Box of Chocolate, a Basic Beginner Cookie Class that’s themed around Valentine’s Day. Sugar Drop also sells a Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cake, which you can order for your sugar plum if picking up a whisk isn’t in the cards this year.
Most likely, any kiss you have beneath the high, purple ceiling of The Franklin Theatre won’t be your first. Unless you’re absolutely adorable and reading this article to get ideas for a first date, in which case, you’re reading the right paragraph—maybe don’t trap yourselves thousands of feet in the air until your second date. With its prominent popcorn aroma (want to get some to share?), hushed pre-movie chatter, cascading curtains, and seats small enough to lean into one another, this theatre has the perfect amount of charm to earn and keep the title “home of first kisses.”
Competitive couples…excuse me, lovebirds will be happy to see SOAR Adventure Tower on the list. In warmer months, you can discover who’s better at—and braver while—scrambling up and around the four-level structure during a Twilight Climb. And if you’re wondering when you’ll get to crush your crush in mini-golf, you’ll be pleased to find SOAR’s 18-hole, music-themed course beside its wooden tower, open now.
No need to return to earth just yet—spend some time on Vintage Vine 100’s rooftop, sharing a wine flight around a tabletop fire pit. And if you have stars in your eyes whenever they’re around, check out Dyer Observatory’s schedule to see if astronomy events have returned and when their next Bluebird on the Mountain Concert will be.
But be careful. As you fall in love with Franklin, you may also find yourselves falling harder for each other. Or, you’re just tripping over one another’s feet during the Foxtrot.
Either way, we hope to see you hand in hand on Main Street soon. When you stop by the Visitor Center, tell them Cupid sent you!