How Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz Keep Their Marriage Strong: 'We Like Going on Secret Weekend Dates'

"We've found some undiscovered gems," she tells PEOPLE

Photo: Aurora Rose/Patrick McMullan via Getty

A little spontaneity goes a long way for Alicia Keys.

The 15-time Grammy award-winning singer has a packed schedule between recording new music, promoting a new album and coaching on The Voice, so a few moments of peace and quiet are something to celebrate — and the key to keeping her marriage strong.

“[Swizz and I] like surprising each other and going on secret weekend dates,” Keys, 36, tells PEOPLE about her favorite dates with her husband Swizz Beatz, 38.

“One of us plans it and the other has no idea where we are going,” shares Keys, who has two sons with Beatz – Egypt, 6, and Genesis, 2. “We’ve found some undiscovered gems and moments to take hikes or walks or just discover new things about life and each other. Those are my favorite times.”

Keys is set to attend the Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic — hosted by Neil Patrick Harris — for the first time on June 3 at Liberty State Park in New Jersey with her husband. After the match, the “If I Ain’t Got You” singer will take the stage for a special performance.

“Veuve Clicquot is stepping up to the plate and making a special donation to my charity, Keep a Child Alive, which does such important work for children with AIDS,” she says about their partnership. “I’m proud to be a part of something that wants to make a positive impact like this.”

And while she and Swizz wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves professional polo match attendees, they’re excited to try something new.

“I’ve actually never been to a polo event before,” she admits. “We do have friends that ride and compete and it’s pretty crazy!”

Six studio albums later, Keys continues to inspire with her musical talent, but the star says she’s still taken aback by her own success.

“One of my biggest surprises is the ability to write a song,” she adds. “To me, it’s totally magic. You can’t predict it. It literally comes out of thin air and then if you’re lucky, it becomes something everyone can feel and remember for all their lives. That’s definitely one of my biggest surprises.”

She continues, “This year, one of my biggest surprises has been to get to know myself better, to really connect with the vulnerable side of myself and just honestly becoming more acquainted with being myself.”

Tickets to see Keys perform at the 10th Annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in New Jersey are on sale now.

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