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150 Date Night Ideas

I’m in love. I mean, I’ve been in love for many years now, but I’m just as in love (if not more so) with Dave as I was the first time we kissed. Super cheesy, right? I know it is, but I wouldn’t be saying it if it wasn’t true. Dave and I laugh every day, we love on each other all day long, we’re considerate of one another and we rarely fight. I’m not saying this to rub it in your face. I get told a lot that we’re goals, and people always ask what my secret is. I think the answer to that is fairly complicated. I mean, we are like-minded individuals in a lot of ways, such as politics and religion, so that makes a relationship a lot easier. We also don’t have children (unless you count our furry ones), which also simplifies things significantly. That being said, I honestly think one of the biggest pieces to the puzzle is simple. We never miss a date night. Never ever ever ever. Historically, we did have a little date night draught. It lasted about two months when Dave and I were super busy with work. This was for a little stretch last year. We’ve had lots of times in the past where life got very busy and hectic, but we had never let it interfere with date night. This last time, we let date night slide for one week. We were just so tired. Then another week and then the next and slowly it snowballed into no date night. All of a sudden, we were ordering in and watching Netflix on Fridays. This led to our love life suffering. We weren’t as sweet to each other or cuddly. Things were still good overall, but there was less joy. Finally, we added a date night back to our schedule. We were both sort of grumpy about getting dressed up and having to go out when we were so tired, but let me tell you what: the second our feet hit the pavement and we were heading to dinner, we knew we had fucked up by letting the romance slide. It felt really good to be out and enjoying each other again. I am a firm believer that date night NEEDS to happen every week, no matter your situation. I don’t care if you’re busy. I just don’t. Don’t tell me you work three jobs and don’t have time. Make time. Don’t tell me you’re broke and can’t afford it. You can do date night for free. I want to say don’t tell me you can’t find a baby sitter or the kids complicate things. I’m not a parent, so I’m sure I’ll get grief from this, but I firmly believe that when there’s a will, there’s a way. Here’s the thing, it’s hard to be a good parent when you’re not nurturing your relationship with your significant other. I know that the kids “come first”, but should they? I’m not talking in a life or death instance. I’m talking about day to day life. EVERYONE in the family will be happier if their parents are happy. You know I’m right. So, let’s chat date night ideas. Dave and I tend to keep things pretty consistent most Fridays because we always do dinner, but we try to keep it fresh one way or another. We always dress up, we always try a new restaurant and we always have dessert (whether it’s at the restaurant or elsewhere). I think there always needs to be some thought put into appearance for date night. Both for Dave and for myself. I want to feel good about myself and I want him to feel the same way. I also want to experience something new, which is why we always pick a restaurant we haven’t been to. It keeps things exciting. I know a lot of people don’t have this luxury, so I suggest at a minimum not repeating a date night for at least two months so it’s fresh the next time you do it. Olive Garden is not exciting weekly. It’s sad. It’s not sad that you love Olive Garden, it’s sad because you’re not stimulating yourselves by repeating the same evening over and over again. That wouldn’t keep my relationship vibrant. Although, to each their own. If that genuinely is keeping your relationship alive, more power to you. Anyway, we mix it up a fair bit, too. Sometimes we’ll add a museum, a gallery, a walk in the park, a festival or other experience, etc. Honestly, we generally have one day on the weekend that’s a date day, so we save the other stuff for that. We’re still heavily dating five years later. Lol. Back to ideas. One of my favorite things I’ve ever done was a date night jar. I keep a pretty long list of things I’d like to do around the city, so it’s not really necessary for me. I made it for a friend of mine as a bridal shower gift. All you need is colored popsicle sticks. Each color is a category and you write one date night experience on each stick. Categories can be things like restaurants, date nights at home (although I really think this should be kept at a minimum), date nights that take some planning, fancy date nights, activities, indoor/outdoor, etc. You can categorize however fits your lifestyle. I love this though because it keeps you on your toes and it’s so exciting. Let’s talk some real ideas. There are the obvious things like dinner, movies, museum, etc. There are also the date nights in like cooking and Netflix. I’m going to include those, but I also want to drudge up some new ideas from my date night repertoire and things I would like to do. Perhaps some things you haven’t thought of. Here are 150 ideas for your next date night. Let me know how I do!

 

  • Try a new restaurant
  • See a movie (and see how many of your own snacks you can sneak in)
  • Netflix and popcorn (If you do simple date nights at home like this, you have to make it interesting. Pop your own popcorn and try making a little popcorn bar of ingredients! Or make a new, fun snack together).
  • Cook a meal together, but challenge yourselves. Try something you’ve never thought of attempting before. And if things don’t go according to plan, remember to laugh and keep a box of mac and cheese on hand just in case! Don’t forget to set the table and add some ambiance!
  • Take advantage of a free gallery on a First Friday!
  • Check out Facebook events to see what’s happening locally.
  • Enroll in a cooking class
  • A night at the museum
  • Go for a walk in the park and pack a picnic
  • Have a craft night and create something for each other or for the home
  • Take a weekend road trip
  • Dinner theater/mystery theater
  • Stay a night at a Bed & Breakfast
  • Stargaze in your own backyard. Bring a blanket, some wine and put together a plate of charcuterie. This is perfect when you’re a parent and just can’t get away. Just add the baby monitor to the mix.
  • Make a blanket fort. Seriously. You’ll have a blast and feel like a kid again. Don’t forget the flashlight and bring a copy of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
  • Karaoke
  • Do a science experiment! There are endless cheap and easy ones on the internet. This is another great one to do at home!
  • Game night (whether this is board games, cards, or even a Wii night – I just recommend video games that two can play) Make it extra fun by theming your snacks to your game.
  • Pick a country or time period and plan a night at home around that. If you’re having a Marie Antoinette night, watch the movie, eat bon bons and petit fours and drink pink champagne. If you’re having a Mexican night, eat tacos, drink margaritas and buy a piñata!
  • Theme park
  • Rock climbing wall – if you like your date nights challenging
  • Write a song together – I don’t care if it’s legit or it’s terrible. This has nothing to do with skill and everything to do with having fun. Wine must be included.
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Apple/peach/whatever the fuck grows on trees picking
  • Watch some live jazz – this is a favorite for Dave and me.
  • Make a personalized scavenger hunt for each other
  • See a band you’ve never heard of – bonus if it’s in a genre that makes you feel uncomfortable. Trust me, it’s the most fun.
  • Take pictures of each other. Hold on a minute, this doesn’t have to be dirty! Try to get “artistic” (whether you’re serious about this or not, it doesn’t matter) and take some photos on a Polaroid or disposable. Film will really enhance this one. This Ilford is my favorite disposable. Just be sure to use the flash in even slightly low light.
  • Carnival – don’t forget the camera!
  • Comedy Show
  • Browse a bookstore and bring your finds to a local coffee shop and read together.
  • Make a bonfire with your own smores bar. If you’re not in a home where you can do something like that, I suggest this smores kit for the home.
  • Upgrade that into a weekend camping trip, if you have the time.
  • An ice cream or dessert date will always please!
  • Take a dance class
  • Go bowling
  • Go watch a high school sporting event and definitely hit up the refreshment stand. Don’t forget a flask! (I’m starting to wonder if I have a drinking problem as I constantly remind you to bring booze.)
  • Table tennis
  • Pool hall
  • Antiquing
  • Spend a night in a tiny house/cabin
  • Pub trivia night
  • Go to a big department store and act like children. I suggest throwing jumbo balls at each other, playing with any toys you can get your hands on, trying on clothes you know will look silly, stealing grapes and other small bits from the produce section, and purchasing a gag gift for one another.
  • Find a discount class online from Groupon or some shit and try something new, like yoga or karate.
  • Painting class
  • Take a night cruise
  • Miniature golfing
  • Take over a playground – I suggest doing this later when there won’t be kids there. Bring snacks and booze.
  • Hit up some garage sales and barter like mad.
  • Find a street fair or locale with lots of food trucks and treat it like tapas night!
  • Go for a hike
  • Have a movie night with only movies from your childhood. Throw in snacks and games that feel nostalgic. For me, there would be some Mall Madness and Kool-Aid involved.
  • Play HORSE on the basketball court
  • Video arcade
  • Skating rink
  • Batting cage
  • Go for a walk on a college campus and pretend you’re in school again. Dave and I did this at Brown and had soooo much fun!
  • Go karting
  • Go to a sporting event
  • Dancing
  • See a burlesque show
  • Even better, see a drag show! (This is one of Dave’s favorite date nights.)
  • Go fishing, and if you can afford it, go fly fishing with a guide
  • Play frisbee
  • Swimming at a local community pool
  • People watch like it’s Mystery Science Theater 3000
  • Play with squirt guns and water balloons
  • Laser tag
  • Learn how to make a dessert – whether you’re tackling macarons at home for the first time or going to a local chocolatier and making something in house
  • Horseback riding
  • Bike ride
  • Find a local poetry reading or open mic night
  • Create a time capsule of your lives and bury/hide it, not to be opened for at least a year.
  • See a tourist destination in your city you’ve never experienced – Dave and I have yet to do Top of the Rock, Lady Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, etc.
  • Order some fun things for your home bar and learn to make some new cocktails! Last weekend, Dave and I tackled some egg white drinks. I LOVE anything with gin and egg whites, but I’ve always been intimidated by making them. Turns out they’re super easy! I bought this lavender syrup for my drinks and have also used it for morning buns and a cake. Delicious!
  • Volunteer together at a local animal shelter
  • Spend a day at a petting zoo or farm
  • See the orchestra
  • Get super dressed up to eat fast food – bring the camera!
  • Pamper each other – facials, foot rubs, lotions, wow this sounds like it might lead elsewhere 😀 I highly recommend these face masks.
  • Visit a local historic site that you’ve never seen.
  • Get on Atlas Obscura and find something weird in your area that you never knew existed!
  • Go to the strangest museum you can find in your city.
  • Play Pokemon around the city
  • Rent silly costumes and get into some shit.
  • See an old movie at the cinema
  • Tour a winery/brewery or visit a vineyard
  • Smoke some weed – only if you don’t usually. If you smoke on the regular, this does not count as a date.
  • Brunch at the most Instagrammable spot you can find
  • Make throwback playlists for each other and have a dance party
  • Pick up your favorite pizza and take it somewhere interesting to eat – local park, somewhere with a view, someone else’s lawn
  • Explore the aquarium
  • Make a bucket list together – everyone needs one, damn it!
  • Find some blue prints and learn how to make origami
  • Go for a scenic drive
  • Fly kites
  • Take a walk on the beach
  • Birdwatching
  • Whole Foods Challenge – the concept is that you split up and each person gets a $20 budget to find things for the date. Of course, this can be done anywhere! If you’re really on a budget, do this at the dollar store.
  • Dress like it’s the 1950s and have banana splits or root beer floats at your local diner!
  • Visit a fortune teller – I’m still trying to convince Dave to do this one >_<
  • Water activities like paddle boarding or kayaking
  • Find a great vantage point to watch the sunset together and pack some snacks.
  • Find a local astronomy club and go to a public event
  • Geocaching
  • Mosey through the mall – I highly recommend Build-A-Bear and Cinnabon, if you have them. Just do the fun stuff. No real shopping!
  • Feed some ducks/pigeons/rats – whatever local wildlife tickles your fancy
  • Fondue night – this is my absolute favorite fondue pot!
  • Play a game of truth or dare
  • Take an improv class
  • Find a coffee shop or game store that has game nights like Settlers of Catan or D&D. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.
  • See a movie at the drive-in
  • See an obscure play you’ve never heard of.
  • Make paintings of one another
  • Take the train to a city you’ve never seen!
  • Google Roulette and let the internet decide your night
  • Visit a hobby store and pick out supplies for a surprise craft session.
  • If you’re married, watch your wedding video or browse your wedding photos. If you haven’t printed them, here is the time to design your album!
  • Take a wine making class.
  • Do something extra fancy, like the ballet or opera!
  • Forage for mushrooms – I’ve always wanted to do this!
  • Escape Room
  • Find the shittiest local dive bar and people watch while you get lit.
  • Get some inflatable tubes and spend an afternoon at a local river/lake.
  • Take a pottery class
  • Go to the toy store and pick out some toys you would have loved as a kid.
  • If it’s raining, play in it!
  • If it’s snowing, get the fuck outside!
  • Go to a comicon or renaissance fair
  • Explore a local cemetery
  • Take a haunted house tour
  • Have a B movie horror film marathon
  • Go grocery shopping (seriously) and only buy ingredients you’ve never used before. Go home and create something interesting.
  • Check something off your bucket list.
  • Head to a nursery and pick out some plants for the home.
  • Go to a jump park
  • Go to the spa.
  • Skinny Dipping???
  • Make breakfast together, but eat it in bed.
  • Interview each other – grab your phone and record. I guarantee you’ll learn things about each other, even if you’ve been together forever.
  • Grow magic rocks or crystals
  • Visit a local haunt – drive down that local haunted road or stay a night at a haunted hotel
  • Have a hotel slumber party! Sometimes I love checking into a hotel just to do nothing but cozy up and order room service.
  • Experience a Michelin star restaurant – everyone should at least once in their life
  • Write poems to one another, seriously or as a joke.
  • Take a helicopter ride.
  • If you’re in NYC or an apartment and have access to your rooftop, dine there!
  • Get your aura photographed
  • Go for drinks at a fancy cocktail bar.
  • Learn molecular gastronomy together. After going to ABQ in London, Dave and I have really wanted to do this.

And there you have it! 150 ideas for your next date night. And I could keep going! These were just the tip of the iceberg because the possibilities are endless. So, next time you don’t know what to do for date night and attempt to make any excuses, I will come after you. Tell me your favorite date night or what you want to try next in the comments!

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