9 Creative Date Ideas and 9th Wedding Anniversary Gifts

9 years of marriage. Can you believe it? If you’ve met us in person and know how much we love to bicker, it might come as a surprise to you. Plus, it’s not like we haven’t had our fair share of marital issues.

I don’t know what goes down behind closed doors for other couples or what the in between moments are in everyone’s curated lives, but I think most (if not all) of us have things to work on. Two imperfect people never equals one perfect couple, but perfect is overrated anyways.

Somehow, we managed to fight it out and wipe the slate clean over all these years. I’m sure there will be simpler and more difficult times, but we think it’s always important to have fun along the way. Maybe it’s time to carve out part of your week for that much needed date night.

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Last Updated: August 25, 2019.   First Published: August 6, 2019

9th Anniversary Traditional Gifts and Symbols

Traditional: Pottery and Willow (Copper in the UK)

Modern: Leather
Flower: Poppy or Bird of Paradise
Gemstone: Lapis Lazuli, Amethyst, Green Spinel
Color: Terracotta, Lapis Lazuli, Purple, or Green

9 Creative Date Ideas for Your 9th Anniversary

One of our strengths in marriage is that we know how to have fun. Since we’re all about collecting experiences over things, we put together some fun and creative date ideas for you to try out. We also think traditions can be fun, so we also put together some gift ideas as well.

We had fun putting together this list and hope it will give you lots of ideas for your anniversary.

1. Visit a Poppy Field

This one is time sensitive or considering that you have one driving distance from your hometown. Our anniversary is way past poppy season, but if yours happens to be in Spring, we highly recommend you add this to top of your list for anniversary date ideas.

Note: Don’t worry, we were on a trail though it may be hard to see. No flowers were harmed in the making of this photo.

2. Have Afternoon Tea

I love afternoon tea! Jacob, not so much, but he’s always willing to indulge me. This is a photo from when we went to the Plaza in NY.

3. Take a Pottery Wheel Class

Or if you have a pottery wheel at home, make it an at home date night where you can channel your inner Ghost in private. Namsayin?

4. Painting Pottery

We’ve done this a few times for date night just to mix things up. We ended up painting pottery last year for our 8th anniversary, since the traditional gift was bronze or pottery. Color Me Mine is a chain in most major cities, but most cities have other options as well.

For those of you guys who like learning something new together, try a Basket Weaving Class. If you can’t find one in your area, you can even take one online.

We’ve always loved leather crafted products and thought it would be really fun to learn how they do it. This is another one where you can look for a local class or find one of the online classes to take together. If you don’t want to work with real leather, you can also use vegan leather.

Go on a picnic with your willow basket that you either weaved in your basket weaving class (twofer!) or you can buy one online.

8. Take a Trip to Willow

If you prefer putting your money towards travel, here are places named after Willow.


  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Florida – unincorporated area in Manatee County. There is also a Willow Oak.
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky in Bracken County and one in Lee County
  • Oklahoma
  • Wisconsin, a town in Richland County
  • Willow (LACMTA Station), Los Angeles, California


  • California, USA (formerly Willow)
  • Saskatchewan, an unincorporated community in the Rural Municipality of Lake of the Rivers No. 72, Canada

The Willows

  • Queensland, Australia. There is also a Willows Shoppingtown and a Willows Sports Complex in Townsville, Australia.
  • Saskatoon, a neighbourhood in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
    Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Salford, home of Salford City Reds rugby league club, UK


  • Indiana – Willow Branch
  • North Dakota – Willow City
  • San Jose, California – Willow Glen
  • Nebraska – Willow Island
  • Houston, Texas – Willow Meadows
  • Willow Street, Pennsylvania, USA
  • New South Wales, Australia – Willow Tree
  • Glasgow, Scotland – Willow Tearooms
  • Victoria BC, Canada – Willows Beach
  • Stoke St Gregory, Somerset, UK – Willows and Wetlands Visitor Centre
  • Oxford, UK – Willow Walk AKA Ferry Hinksey Road


  • Willow Heights Trail, Utah (2.2 mi loop, 629 ft elevation gain, easy) – If you’re near Big Cotton Canyon in Utah, Willow Heights Trail is a great and short hike to consider for your 9th anniversary. One of these days our anniversary will line up with a good local hike.

We did a motorcycle tour in Jasper that had all the gear for us, but you can easily make this a DIY date. Ride or die!

9 Willow Anniversary Gift Ideas

A willow tree stands firm and has weathered a lot of challenges. It represent strength, stability, and structure. 

Before we get into the gift ideas, let’s talk about the difference between willow and wicker (because I definitely had to look it up).

Willow is the raw material that goes into making a wicker product such as a wicker basket. At the same time, wicker products are made by weaving strands of fibers, usually willow, rattan, palm, reed, bamboo, or fiber rush. Most of the time, they don’t go into too much detail on what type of fiber is being used, so we’ll count wicker as willow.

If you can’t find a basket weaving class near you, you can check out one of the online classes.

We always love the idea of picnics, although we don’t go on them very often (probably my fear of bugs). Regardless, I always wanted a nice picnic basket to recreate the scene from UP.

This custom gift is something you can use as decor in your home or office. I love that you can personalize the laser engraving. You send them an image of what you want engraved and pick the size and shape of the willow wood. This is what it looks like in our living room.

A lot of times we buy something we both can use or something for our home. How gorgeous is this chair? Can you imagine having two of these on your porch, growing old and knitting together. Or maybe just watching the sunset.

More Furniture Ideas: Bar Cart, Lamp, Mirror, Ottoman, Shelving

If you love burning candles at home, these candle holders are perfect.

This bag isn’t made of wicker but made in that style, so we’ll say it counts. I also found a lot of cute sandals that could pass as a wicker gift.

If we get this tray, does it also come with all the breakfasts in bed?

During the 18th century, the willow pattern was popular for ceramic housewares in England. This is a great way to stay in the willow theme even if wicker products aren’t your style.

If you’ve been meaning to get a new rug, your anniversary could be a great time to make it a memorable addition to your home.

9 Pottery Gifts for Your 9th Anniversary

At the beginning, your marriage was just a ball of clay. After 9 years, pottery symbolizes how you’ve shaped and molded it into what it is today. Another reference mentioned how it’s a vessel that carries water and represents home and family.

We always like looking at the different themes just so we can find gifts that fit our taste and personalities. If you don’t like the look of willow / wicker, check out these pottery themed gifts.

How do you like our anniversary mugs? Before we received them, I thought they were the typical mugs, but these are a little bigger and much better quality.

If your SO has been wanting to get more into pottery, a pottery wheel would be a great gift to encourage them to pursue their hobbies.

You know what goes well with a pottery wheel? Some classes. Most cities should have them, but if you can’t find one near you, here are some online classes to try it out.

Lately, we’ve been drinking more sake and learning the in and outs of it. We only learned recently how there’s an entire sake culture similar to wine. The sake set in the photo has sold out since we posted this article, but there are plenty of beautiful handmade sake sets here.

Our plate is on the way and has our whole family (us and our two cats). We’ll be sure to update the photo with ours so you can check it out.

Pro Tip: It actually looks better with an odd number of people and pets. Maybe it’s time to get another cat?

We loved all our meals in Morocco. If you like cooking, a tagine might be a great addition to mix things up in the kitchen.

We’ve always wanted to have more plants in the house but we tend to kill them all. If you have a green thumb, these are the cutest planters.

Neither of us bake, but this would be the perfect gift for your SO that bakes.

We’ve never owned a cookie jar, but we sure do love our cookies.

More Ideas

9 Leather Anniversary Gifts

Leather is both durable and flexible. After 9 years of marriage, it’s easy to see the symbolism. It’s the modern gift for your 9th anniversary and also the traditional gift for your 3rd year, so you may see some repeats if you try to do them all.

Some of our favorite travel accessories are leather products so it fits with our lifestyle.

While researching gift ideas, I also learned about the different qualities of leather. In case you didn’t know, there are 4 basic grains or qualities of leather.

  1. Full Grain Leather is the best quality and these smooth an have few or no flaw.
  2. Top Grain Leather is more pliable and thinner since some layers have been separated and there is usually a finish coat on it.
  3. Genuine Leather is not a statement of authenticity. It’s the lowest quality made from the leftover leather after the higher-end products are made.
  4. Corrected-grain Leather or lesser-known grain means that experienced leatherworkers have removed imperfections and put in something artificial to fix it.

Gift an online class that teaches them a skill that can give back to you. Ha!

This leather backpack has been perfect for our local adventures. It’s made of full grain leather, gets better with age, and probably the highest quality leather product we own. It comes with a 25 year leather warranty. Plus, doesn’t it photograph beautifully?

This is a great gift for the travel lover.

If your spouse loves the feeling of pen to paper, a personalized leather journal would fit perfectly.

I had no idea they made leather bowties. Pretty cute IMO.

I’ve been seeing this reversible leather tote everywhere. It’s popular with travelers. Depending on how much you want to splurge you can go for a designer handbag or something more budget friendly.

This leather phone case is also great for photographers since you can add lenses to it.

This vintage style suitcase would be perfect for travel photos.

You can also get something less functional but nice for home decor.

Favorite Anniversary Gift Ideas

More Resources

Which gift would you most want for your 9th wedding anniversary? Which gift fits your husband or wife best?

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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

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