No matter how long you’ve been with your partner, it’s still vital to go on dates. Keeping the romance fresh is fun, it fills up your heart, and it can help you reconnect with your favorite person.
Marriage therapist Michelene M. Wasil, LMFT, says that connecting on dates is the most important part of keeping relationships close. “Dates where you are in the same room together, like going to a movie, are okay, but not truly connecting” says Wasil.
So how can you go above and beyond to invest in the health of your relationship? Enter a carefully curated list of fun date-night ideas that will have you engaging with your special someone in no time. There’s a little something for everyone, and not a dinner-and-a-movie situation in sight.
Active and Sporty Dates
If getting out of a slump is what you need, skydiving is the way to go! Nothing gets your adrenaline pumping quite like jumping out of an airplane. After the big jump, find a relaxed restaurant where you can refuel your body and share a toast to having made it! Stay as long as the restaurant will let you and have a good chat.
2. Play Each Other’s Favorite Sports
If you’re a basketball kinda gal and your partner loves hockey, make time to play both. This is especially helpful if one of you isn’t too familiar with the other’s game of choice. Lots of tender teaching moments and close embraces will be necessary as one of you shows the other how to bust all the right moves. You’ll have that rom-com sparkle in your eyes in no time.
3. Couples vs. Couples Game
Pick a sport you and two or three of your favorite couples know like volleyball, soccer, softball, or touch football. Winning team gets to pick dinner, losing team buys. This is a great way to get yourself and some friends out of that infamous dinner-and-a-movie rut.
4. Hike to a Lookout
Not only is hiking good for your body, but it will involve a bunch of romantic stops along the way to a beautiful lookout. Pack your favorite snacks, plenty of water, lip balm for post make-out session lip care, and your camera so you can capture the ultimate vista.
5. Mini Golf
Odds are you aren’t hitting up the local mini-golf course for a weekly round. But, if it’s some low-key fun you and your favorite person need, two putters await. Mini golf is basically just putting, but it can be a fun way to get out of your comfort zone and connect.
6. Visit a Greenhouse and Pick Out a Houseplant
Both cohabitating couples and those who live separately can appreciate a new houseplant. Walking through a greenhouse you can spy all kinds of cool plants that one or both of you may never have seen before. Adding a little bit of greenery into your space is always a positive thing. It cleans your air and can bring you joy. Plus, who doesn’t love a date that involves a souvenir?
7. Take a Walking Tour of Your City
Play tourist for a day. Even if you’ve lived in the same city for years, there is always something new to see. You can download apps like Detour, Tourpal, or Urban Walks to get guided tours on your phone. Invest in a headphone splitter or go for the one-earbud-apiece approach, walk hand in hand, and explore your city together.
8. Try an Escape Room
Wasil says she frequently recommends that couples try an escape room. “It gives couples a chance to work together as a team and solve a problem”
She recommends this date specifically for “couples who just need to have some fun together outside of the kids and all the other life stressors.” We feel that! After your escape room victory, celebrate by indulging in some good food and drink at your favorite spot.
9. People Watch Your Town Square
Find a restaurant with outdoor seating facing an interesting street and plunk down. You can order some appetizers and watch the world go by. Turn your date into a playful game by guessing where people are going or what they’re up to. This can spark so many deep conversations. Weather permitting, give it a try this weekend.
10. DIY Picnic
For couples who need some time to chill out, a do-it-yourself picnic is just the ticket. Wasil says you should find a serene setting and go through some of the 36 Questions In Love. The food is really just the cherry on top of having a deep conversation with your partner.
11. Take a Cooking Class
Cooking together can be a great activity for couples who need to reconnect. You’re working together on a project and at the end you get a tasty meal to share. Taking a cooking class can be a fun way to get both of you started in the kitchen if you’re still feeling your way around meal prep and fresh ingredients.
Choose a class that focuses on a food you both love. Learning how to make your favorite dish is an enjoyable investment, and once you have that knowledge, you’ll be able to recreate it for a future date night at home!
12. Homemade Personal Pizza
Everyone loves pizza, right? Making pizza (that doesn’t start in the freezer section) at home is surprisingly easy. Follow along step-by-step with our favorite pizza recipe from The Kitchn. You can each choose your own toppings and can use your time in the kitchen getting ready for some of the best pizza you’ve ever had.
13. Find an Undiscovered Restaurant Gem
You could go to any old restaurant, but then again, why not take your weekly night out up a notch by really investing in your restaurant choice? Scour your local Yelp pages to find a little hole-in-the-wall spot you’ve never tried. You can make it into a game with your partner (a little competition never hurts). Go back and forth seeking out and choosing new, under-rated restaurants. Maybe you can even write a review together!
14. Attend a Local Brewery
Chances are there is a large brewery or microbrew pub not too far from where you live. Breweries often hold tours (some involve ticket sales that include beer samples, others are free) that will allow you to see how your favorite lager, ale, or stout is made. The same thing goes for wineries and distilleries depending on your locale. Learning about something together (while sipping on the good stuff) is always a wonderful way to connect with your favorite person.
15. Do Trivia Night at a Local Restaurant or Bar
Trivia nights, especially themed trivia nights can be a whole lot of fun. This is another date where you can invite your couple friends out as a group!
16. BYOB Painting Class
Painting classes that invite you to bring your own beverages can only be a good time. These types of classes often have instructors who will guide you as you paint a rendition of a specific piece of art. You’ll learn some new techniques and have a freshly painted canvas to hang in your personal gallery, also known as your abode.
17. Visit a Gallery or Two
While hanging your own art at home is definitely satisfying, seeing an art gallery can be moving and enlightening. Lisa Cooper, owner of Elisa Contemporary Art in New York City says a gallery date is a great idea. “It provides a fun, engaging environment and it provides insights into each person based on what artwork they respond to and why.”
As we’ve discussed before, connecting with your partner and talking about something new is a great way for long-term couples to revitalize their relationships.
18. See a Play at a Local Theater
When’s the last time you saw a play? Taking in a play (instead of a movie) can give you and your partner so much to talk about, and the joys of local theater are not to be missed. It’s also an easy way to support local businesses and your own neighbors.
19. Attend a Podcast Taping
Have a podcast that you just love? See if they’re touring or if they have open tapings. In the last few years, podcasting has really taken off and many bigger podcast productions go on tour. Seeing a taping live can be exciting and give you endless conversation starters for afterward.
20. Find a Local Music Night
Local bars and restaurants that have live music are gems when it comes to exceptional dates. Get a good meal in and enjoy a band you may never have heard before. The best way to find smaller music nights is by checking out different restaurants’ social media pages for updates that include their music lineups.
Basically Free Dates
21. Rent a Bike and Tour Your City
Not down for a lengthy walking tour? Rent (if you don’t own) bikes to see your city in a new way. Bike to a part of town you don’t get to enjoy often and just explore.
22. Volunteer Together
Giving back is good for your community and your relationship. Volunteering can really fill up your heart and is a good way for the two of you to connect over a cause you’re both passionate about. Find a local shelter and help make dinner, or call your local animal rescue to see if they need some helping hands.
Pro-tip: Many animal shelters need people to socialize with animals, which basically means playing with puppies for an hour.
23. Learn How to Give Massages
Learning to give each other massages feels lovely and can also help both of you relax. There are a bunch of different resources that can show you how to use professional techniques in the privacy of your own home. We suggest starting with Carrington College’s beginner’s guide to massage. It’s thorough and helps you get down the basics so you can help (not hurt!) your significant other.
Date Night At Home
24. Screen-Free Date Night
Turn off your phones and computers, light some candles, and get in touch with your boo. You can read to each other, chat about the future, or get giggly and tell each other jokes. Having a no-electronics rule will compel both of you to think outside the box and do something that differs from your day in, day out routine.
25. Game Night
Break out old-school Mario Kart if you have it, or turn to other nostalgic games you used to love. Check out two-player board games like Carcassone, Yinish, and Mancala, or opt for a casual game of checkers. Playing board games means engaging with both your partner and your inner child.
Warm Weather Dates
26. Go Swimming
Grab your sunscreen, find a local waterpark, pool, lake, river, or wherever, and don your favorite swim suit. Swimming with your significant other is fun exercise and a satisfying way to cool off in hot weather. Getting a little sun is always wonderful, too!
27. Go Fishing
If either one of you is a seasoned angler, teaching the other to fish can be exceptionally relaxing (and potentially entertaining). Bring snacks and drinks, your fishing gear, and a permit if you need one. Fishing allows you to chat (quietly so you don’t scare the fish away!) and enjoy some time in the great outdoors.
28. Water Balloon Fight
Don’t laugh! A water balloon fight may feel a bit childish, but it can be a sweet way to cool down and have some laughs. Plus, you’ll get to talk about your epic water balloon fight for years to come.
Cool Weather Dates
29. Visit a Holiday Market
Festivals are fun all year long, but during the winter holidays they’e especially romantic. Wrap up in warming layers, nurse a cup of mulled wine, and get cozy with your one and only. Holiday markets usually have booths with trinkets that make for great in-law gifts, too.
30. Snowball Fight
If you can water balloon fight, you can snowball fight! Really, it’s one of the best kinds of fights a couple can have. Finish your snowy war with a couple of cups of hot chocolate (more on that below!) and a warm blanket to share. Curling up by a toasty fire afterward shouldn’t be missed either!
31. Build a Snowman Together
Creating together is one of the best ways to connect and get to talking with your partner without the humdrum of everyday life distracting either of you. If you have kids, this can also be a great way to have family fun all together.
32. DIY Hot Cocoa Bar
Hot cocoa is a cold weather delight. Not only will it warm you up during winter’s chill, but a little bit of sugar and cocoa will have you feeling like a cheerful couple in no time. Line up your favorite chocolate with peppermint sticks, cinnamon sticks, marshmallows, you name it! You can make your hot chocolate the exact way you like it then snuggle up for a comfy chat.
No matter what date you choose, spending quality time with your significant other is crucial to a healthy relationship. Making sure you have conversations about more than just the daily grind is essential for connecting on a deeper level. Take it from us, the more dates you enjoy, the happier you’ll be!