Do your date night right

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It’s a rare and elusive creature: date night for mom and dad.

After rearranging schedules, feeding the family early and laying out the essential bedtime stories, it’s finally here. The sitter has arrived, the kids are in their jammies, and it’s time to go.

But the typical date night of dinner and movie sounds a little tired — and with the price of admission for two adults nearly $20 without any movie treats, what are some other options?

Plan your date night for the first Friday of the month and enjoy Walla Walla’s ArtWalk, a self-guided tour of art galleries, tasting rooms and restaurants celebrating art and artists in Walla Walla. ArtWalk runs 5-8 p.m., May through December.

Be sure to stop at Willow gallery, 2 E. Rose St., where you can find a new exhibit and artist’s reception for each ArtWalk. Stephenson Cellars, 15 S.

Spokane St., is a cool oasis, and Brasserie Four, 4 E. Main St., brings a touch of continental style to Main Street.

The second-floor gallery at the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St., features "The Whitman Story" painting collection, a different look at the history of the Whitman Mission by artist David Manuel.

There is plenty to see — 21 venues between downtown and the Whitman College campus and an additional 10 at the Walla Walla Regional Airport.

And the best part? This walking tour is free! Maps are available in the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin’s weekly entertainment tabloid, Marquee, at the information kiosks on Main Street and at the Destination Walla Walla window, as well as at each venue or online at artwalkwallawalla.com.

If you can’t make it out on a Friday night but still want to enjoy the amazing art created in our Valley, take the walking tour of public art, put in place by Artwalla.

Working with the city, the Walla Walla Foundry, numerous public and private donations and the artists, this arts organization has been able to place 14 public art installations downtown.

Be sure to stop in Heritage Park, at Main Street between Spokane and Colville streets, to see the latest installation, Windows on the Past. The mural is composed of historic and contemporary photos from ethnic and cultural groups who lived in the Walla Walla Valley from 1850-1950. The photos are reproduced in porcelain enamel on steel panels.

A map of these installations is included on the ArtWalk map.

Feeling a little hungry? Stop in at Salumiere Cesario, 20 N. Second Ave., and split one of its box dinners ($8-10), with a selection of meats, cheeses and artisanal bread. Browse through the selection of meats, cheeses, oils, salts, spices and herbs from around the world, then enjoy your snack on the patio and watch the world go by. Salumiere Cesario is open Thursday through Monday and can be called at 529-5620. Also check out salumierecesario.com.

Opportunities to enjoy live music in Walla Walla have multiplied in recent years, especially downtown. Every Friday night, The Piano Bar at Sapolil Cellars, 15 E. Main St., brings in local musicians. Papa Loves Mambo, the house band, plays Latin-infused jazz on piano, guitar and bongo. The band inspired the latest Sapolil release!

Bill and Linda Schwerin bring groups in from the surrounding areas and can occasionally snag a touring group on its way to a bigger city.

Cover charge, usually just $5, varies, and wines are available by the glass or bottle to enjoy while you listen. For information, call 520-5258 or go to sapolilcellars.com.

Dinner and a movie? You can do better! Get out and enjoy the culture Walla Walla has to offer. And don’t forget to tip your sitter!

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