Atlanta Cyclorama | 12 Months of Dates

My husband is a very difficult man to shop for when it comes to gift-giving.  He changes his mind all the time so I never know quite what it is he really wants, but one thing he never gets tired of is quality time with me!  For Christmas, I put together a fun gift of 12 Months of Dates and he was so excited!  I want to give you some ideas to put your own gift of dates together, and share our January date with you!

12 Months of Dates - A Date Through History | Sweet Tea & Saving Grace

Whether it’s for an upcoming anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s Day, or even a wedding gift, you can’t go wrong with 12 Months of Dates.  I want to share my tips for putting your own personalized date gift together.


Tips for Creating 12 Months of Dates:

Be realistic:  Dates are awesome, but you don’t need to be elaborate to create great dates.  The whole idea is to spend time together, so keep the dates realistic for your family.  For example, my husband and I would much rather spend time on a walk through the woods in North Georgia than taking in a play at the theater.  It’s just our style, so keep that in mind when you plan your dates.

Be budget-conscious:  Don’t break the bank!  You don’t have to actually go somewhere and spend money on all of your dates.  Movie nights rock my socks, and those walks through the mountains I mentioned a second ago?  Yea, we’re down with that, too.

Be open-minded:  Take into account things that your spouse really enjoys, even if they’re not your favorite thing, and try to create a nice mix of dates that suit both your interests.  Our January date wasn’t something I would have picked for myself, but my husband loves history, so I created this date just for him.  And you know what?  I had an awesome time!

Be a tourist:  Chances are pretty good that there are places in or near your hometown that you’ve never visited.  Monthly dates are the best way to really tour your city and see some fun places.  We live outside the Atlanta area, and there are TONS of things to do – a lot of which we’ve already done.  But there are some spots, like the location of our January date, that were yet undiscovered (at least by me!).  So have some fun, discover your hometown, and be tourist right at home!

I spent quite a bit of time curating ideas and narrowing them down to 12 dates for my hubby’s gift, and I’d love to share them all with you today, but he reads my blog!  I can’t give the secrets away!  (Sorry hon!)  So, I’ll give you a monthly recap here on the blog, and by the end of the year, you’ll have 12 date ideas!  Sound fun?  Great!

This was a Christmas gift for my husband Mark, so I found a cute box at Michael’s that also allows us to keep up with our ticket stubs and other memorabilia from our dates.  I typed up a cute letter that explained the gift and put it in one envelope he opened on Christmas Day.  Then, I put every other week’s date letter in it’s own envelope, which he opens on the first of each month.

Our January date was A Date Through History!

12 Months of Dates - A Date Through History | Sweet Tea & Saving Grace

Mark loves history, and he’s mentioned several times that he wanted to go back to the Atlanta Cyclorama, which he last visited when he was in high school (a lot of years ago!).  So of course, I made this our very first date of the year!

The plan was to spend the day visiting the Atlanta Cyclorama, then walking through the historic homes & gardens at the Atlanta History Center, and ending our date with dinner at the history Mary Mac’s Tea Room.  The weather turned out to be pretty gross, so we had to skip the History Center, but it’s all good.

12 Months of Dates - A Date Through History | Sweet Tea & Saving Grace

I honestly knew nothing about the Atlanta Cyclorama, but was blown away by the history of this place. The Civil War was fought right where we live, and the Cyclorama displays the history of the Civil War, and has incredible displays of Civil War artifacts.

It was so cool checking out all of the artifacts, including an actual Civil War-era train right in the middle of the museum floor.

I loved having Mark explain everything to me, and watch him get excited about all of the old maps, guns, and other pieces from our own hometown’s history.  He made sure to point out every person with the name “Thompson” on the soldier rosters posted along the wall, too.  Kinda cool to think we may be related to some of these brave men.

12 Months of Dates - A Date Through History | Sweet Tea & Saving Grace

After reading about the history of the Civil War, we headed into the actual Cyclorama.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures in there, but y’all, it was amazing!

The Cyclorama is a round room with seating that revolves so you can see the entire painting and diorama that tells the story of the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War.

A few cool facts about the Cyclorama:

– Painted by artists in Milwaukee, WI in 1885, the painting measures 42 feet tall and 358 feet in circumference.
– The painting weighs over 10,000 pounds!!
– The painting was donated to the city of Atlanta in 1898, and has been located in Grant Park in Atlanta since 1921.
– The diorama was added in 1936, portraying 3-D soldiers, horses, and genuine red Georgia clay.

Fun fact: We were told that, during the filming of Gone With The Wind, the cast toured the Cyclorama. After the tour, Clark Gable (aka Rhett Butler) noted that the only thing that would make it better was if he were in it.  So, they added him…as a dying soldier.  🙂

If you visit Atlanta, it’s so worth it to spend about an hour and a half learning more about the history of Atlanta at the Cyclorama.  It is so fascinating.

For dinner, we headed to the historic Mary Mac’s Tea Room, and y’all, let me just tell you…this place is SO GOOD!

Mary Mac’s has been in business in it’s current location in Atlanta since 1945, and it is officially “Atlanta’s Dining Room”.  The food is as Southern as it gets – think fried okra, real Southern fried chicken, dumplin’s, chicken fried steak – and the tea is as sweet as it should be.

We ate (and ate and ate) until we couldn’t eat anymore, then got some banana pudding and peanut butter pie to take home.

This was such a fun date!  We toured a huge piece of history in our hometown & had a fabulous date together.  I can’t wait for our February date!

Your turn:

Have you done 12 months of dates?  What were some of your favorites?

What are some dates you’d love to go on with your honey?

9 Responses

  1. Kirsten, you just flew off the coolness chart in my book.

    This is a fantastic article and for the four-letter-word day I’ve had, my wife helped me hold my brain together and I wanted to do something extra nice for her.

    I’m making a list of my new fiends to visit tomorrow (yup, your names on there)…and your name was brought up on a blog I was on. So I thought, “Why not” and click over–it takes me to your faith page.

    Myself–I like to start at the beginning, so I guessed, “Bottom of page?”

    Here I am. Glad I am.

    Fun thing is, my wife would do something similar when i traveled on the road for work with my partners across the country. I adore here and the kids–and have a bad homesick complex.

    (sue me)

    Anyway, to help me cope for more than a week, Kathi would write letters that I could open daily. She’d talk about our favorite places and dates–taking my mind to great places and find memories and I’d be fine until I got home.

    Ok, it’s NOT the same, but I made the connection…and I’m the reader…and it made this experience special for ME. Which made me like your post even MORE…

    I don’t make sense, do I…..


    Ok, gonna go home now.

  2. Jaime you are too kind 🙂 My husband LOVED this gift, and he looks forward to the first of each month to open his next date envelope. 🙂 It’s so nice that, as busy as life can get, we carve out that time to spend together, just the two of us.

    I love that your wife leaves you notes! I think that is too sweet! I occasionally drop little notes in hubby’s lunch bag or leave in his cup holder in the car. 🙂

    I’m with you on the homesick thing, too. In those rare times when my husband has to be out of town, my heart physically aches until he’s home again. I hate it. That’s a good thing, though – you know?

    Thank you for the mention on your blog! I read the post this morning and pinned it, too. 🙂 You’re awesome!!

  3. This is really awesome! BUT…I just found it and I’m dying to know what the other 11 dates were!!! Do tell, pretty please 🙂

  4. I love this idea!! We are very strapped for cash this Christmas and this is a great gift that can be used throughout the entire year!!! Thank you so much for this idea! I did a “12 days of Christmas” as a way to show him how much he means to me even though I cannot spend much on him!!! And he is loving it so far. So this will certainly please him to have an idea already set up for us to do every month of the upcoming year!! Thanks again!!

  5. Oh YAY! I’m so glad you found something he’ll love! My hubby isn’t much of a gift person anyway – he truly doesn’t care if there’s anything for him or not. But he truly loved his 12 Dates gift. Merry Christmas!

  6. Hi Kirsten,

    This is a fantastic idea! Hope you both had a great time this past year on the fun and mystery dates 🙂
    My husband would thoroughly enjoy this. But I am the least creative person 🙁 If you can share your 12 date ideas, that would be great inspiration to me..

    Thanks in advance!

  7. I would love to see the recap. We’re stuck in a rut and I’m looking for ideas. Having been together for over 10 years and with 2 kids, we need to focus on us a little more, but the romantic part of my brain seems to have atrophied. Please post the recap, or just an update with the list of dates. Such a cute idea!

  8. I LOVE this idea. I am going to use it for my husband for Christmas this year. Could you share the rest of your ideas/date nights.
    Bravo on a fantastic gift =)

  9. I see that your post was done in 2016 and your dates started in 2016. We are now stating 2018. Could you please let us know what your other monthly dates were?


I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace supports women seeking to find balance in the busy, deepen their faith, and instill joy and love in their homes, lives, and blogs by providing encouraging and inspiring content and valuable resources. My prayer is for you to leave here better than when you came. Be blessed!