Whether it’s a weekly date night, or a once a month affair, date nights are important to a healthy relationship. This is true no matter how long you’ve been dating (or married for that matter)! I’ve been dating my high school sweetheart off and on for more than a decade. Because of this, I’ve learned a thing or two about date nights, and how to be creative.
Sometimes all you need to do is cozy up for a Redbox flick and enjoy the company of the person you’re with. However, if that routine is getting a bit too frequent or stale, then hopefully the tips below will help generate some great date night ideas you’ll both enjoy!
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I’m Just Here For The Ideas, Nothing Else:
- Go to a craft beer brewery
- Visit a vineyard and do a tasting
- Plan a trip to the zoo or aquarium
- Visit your local roller skating or ice skating rink
- Rent bikes, or go for a scenic walk
- Go kart racing
- Grab sweets at a local eatery
- Try Sherlock-ing your way to their heart with an escape room
- Laser tag – team up or face off!
- Concert – music is the universal language
- Try a fun driving range, batting cage, or mini-golf
- Carnival, festival, or fair
- Cabin getaway
- Go for a ferry or boat ride
- Wine and paint, or cooking class
- “Dinner and A Movie” combined in one
- Double date with close friends
- Find an arcade or make your own 🙂
- Pretend to be a Tourist
- Laugh it up at a comedy club
- Find a local speakeasy
Know Your Partner
Alright, this shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. Presumably you know a little bit about the person you’re with. Even if you are still in the puppy love or honeymoon stages of dating, you’ll know what your partner enjoys. Use that as a jump-off point to do some digging.
Take some initiative and do a little research. If your partner enjoys beer, maybe suggest you go to a craft beer brewery. Got a wine lover? How about taking them to that vineyard down the road and doing their wine sampling? The possibilities are endless.
If you are like me and my lady friend, we’re animal lovers. How about a trip to the Zoo? If you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere that has an Aquarium, that’s also an option. Even if you don’t own animals, but you love nature shows, give one of these a try and see if you don’t build a few memories.
It’s Not About The Date, It’s the Experience
I’m a big proponent of experience gifts. Date night is where this shine’s more than most. I mentioned maybe doing a date at the Zoo. Guess what, I’ve done that. While the theory was sound, the expectation versus the reality didn’t match up. And that is ok!
In my mind, the weather was going to be perfect. Slightly overcast so we didn’t get too hot, and sunshine peeking through the clouds. We’d go to the animal cages, and the animals would be on full display with a few even coming up to the front of their enclosures to greet us. This was a fantasy.
In reality, the weather wasn’t super spectacular. In fact, by the end it had started to drizzle off and on. The animals we had come to see were nowhere to be found. But you know what, it was memorable. Because of that we had to invent our own entertainment. We played “Where’s Waldo” at most of the animal cages. It turned into a game. We also read about the animals together, often unintentionally taking turns and describing what the other had failed to read.
Don’t get hung up on making this the best date ever. Sometimes great date night ideas are all you need, after all, the best dates are the one’s that don’t go according to plan!
Spice Things Up For A Great Date Night
Right now you’re probably thinking “I’ve already wracked my brain doing just that.” Alright, no problem. How about taking it to the other extreme? Pick an activity that neither of you has any experience with. That’s right, this one might be a bit terrifying to the both of you. But we established that execution doesn’t really matter all that much.
Unless she’s a roller-derby goddess, or you played hockey on your college team, why not try some form of skating. Take your partner to a roller skating rink, or if it’s winter time, try an ice skating rink. This past winter, my girlfriend suggested this to me. We never did get to the ice skating rink, but you can bet that this winter we will.
Perhaps the threat of physical injury will deter you. Why not try something a little safer. While my girlfriend and I were in Atlanta, we rented bikes and rode the bike path in the afternoon. Not only did I get to listen to tunes while we biked, but we got a bit of a workout. Also, we saw some awesome graffiti which sparked up conversation both during and after the trail ride. Similarly, you could go on a hike on a local trail, or even just a scenic walking path. Grab ice cream or other sweets afterwards. Try to pick something that isn’t a chain, then talk about your favorite sections of the trail.
Another fun idea for date night is trying your luck with an escape room adventure. The premise of these is that you are locked in a room and have to decipher clues that will ultimately lead to your escape. Make sure you stay close to your partner, I’ve been separated from mine before. Although, absence does make the heart grow fonder. Don’t fret too much, escape rooms typically last less than an hour, but there’s a lot of fun packed into that time.
Are You Not Entertained!
There are literally businesses that run solely on entertainment value. Chances are if you look in your local area, or an area you’ll be visiting, you can find some form of entertainment. Think concerts, festivals, and fairs for a great date night. Not only is there a ton to keep you both entertained, but these events also have food. If you’re lucky they also have beer and/or wine.
Don’t think there’s an event coming up in your area that qualifies as a great date night idea? Try finding a go-cart or laser tag facility near you instead. You won’t have as much time to be talking as you’ll be stacking up your body count no doubt, or smashing it Mario Kart style.
Three’s Not A Crowd…Sometimes
Speaking of businesses that run on entertainment value, have you tried one of those “wine and painting” classes yet. The gist of the whole experience is the teacher predetermines what you will be painting. When you arrive you get your paints, and the instructor walks you through how to re-create the painting on display.
I’ve done this twice. The first time was a bust. Well, not completely. The painting class date was sound in theory, the venue itself was a bit sketchy. The second time it was a slam dunk. Granted we were in Hawaii, and already on cloud nine, but the date was a success. Actually, I’m staring at my painting from that date as I write this.
Anyways, our classes came with a “free” glass of wine, which I’m sure we paid for in the cost of the class. Also, if you don’t drink all that often (like me), give your complimentary glass to your partner. The venue will typically offer additional glasses on request, but you’ll have to pay for those. Fine art not your cup of tea? Perhaps you could give the culinary variety a chance. I think there’s a similar concept with cooking classes.
Whatever your scenario, you’ll be glad to have the instructor around. When painting they’ll do their best ensure your paintings don’t end up looking like and abstract expressionists nightmare. Cooking wise, they’ll do their best to make sure the food is edible…for a human.
Location, Location, Location
Activities are great, but not every date night has to involve doing something. Occasionally, a change of scenery is really all that’s called for. Part of what makes the whole Redbox movie night a problem is the setting never changes. Unless of course you’ve moved the furniture around recently. Even then, watching a movie on the same TV you always watch, on the same couch you always sit on, is what makes the experience less than ideal. You’re not actually doing anything when you watch the movie.
Here’s a suggestion, why not see if there are any ferries nearby. Take a boat ride together. Even if the destination isn’t exciting, schedule it around dusk so you can see the beautiful colors in the sky. Just “being” together can make all the difference. You’ll see things you never saw, or at least from a different perspective.
Got a little extra scratch and want to make the date night into a date weekend. My buddy recently took his girlfriend on a cabin getaway. These can get pricey, depending on what your needs are. However, sometimes the best way to connect with your partner is to disconnect from the world around you.
Be A Tourist For A Date…I Meant Day!
This one may sound cheesy, but if you’re running low on ideas and nothing so far sounds appealing this may help. Every city has tourist attractions. I live near DC and usually when people find out, the follow up question is usually something along the lines of “Don’t you love the National Mall?” As far as monuments and memorials go, there are quite a few that I haven’t been to. And, truth be told, I despise going into the city. However, I’m willing to brave it for a few short hours to make date night a success.
If there is a major metropolis nearby, you can head on over and hit some of the “tourist traps.” Take pictures and document your travels. You may be able to use these little gems to piece together a sweet Christmas gift experience.
New Twists on the Classics
Alright, so none of these seems appealing to your or your partner. Given that you have that much insight, I’m confident you’ll figure something else special out. If not, you can try doing a new take on an oldie but goodie. That’s right, dinner and a movie. I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not talking about separate events. I’m literally talking about a place like the Alamo Drafthouse, where you can get the food delivered to your seat. Enjoy conversation over dinner, then watch the latest blockbuster. Need a refill, let the house handle that!
Another overlooked classic is the double date. Grab your partners best friend and their partner and do a couples date. Between the two of you, I know you’ll figure something out. Maybe try golf.
FORE! Driving Range Date
Driving ranges have come a long way since the days of old. They’ve got driving ranges with giant targets (no, not a guy in a cart) and you accumulate points based on how close you are to the center. Often times there’s different game modes. Also, there’s food and drinks at a lot of these types of place.
Once you’ve finished at the driving range, refine your short game at a nearby mini golf course. Chances are your partner will enjoy beating you at one of these golf related activities. I never said friendly competition wasn’t beneficial to a healthy relationship!
Swing For The Fences on A Batting Cage Date!
If your partner is a former baseball or softball player, like mine, you could try the batting cages. Getting into the slow pitch softball station is probably the way to go if neither of you has any baseball or softball experience. If you haven’t ever seen “Bull Durham” here’s a clip of their batting cage date. Usually, batting cages are also in close proximity to the golf activities. Best out of 3?
“The High Score” Date
If you’re fortunate enough to have a Dave and Busters near you, you can go the gaming route. That’s right, I said it! Take it old school and go to an arcade. Challenge her to the basketball shootout game to really show off your athletic prowess. Bonus if you can get enough tickets to score her the cute teddy bear, or another trinket, to remember your great date night by.
Don’t have an arcade, or if the local ones are all a little run down, then try making your own. Game night doesn’t have to be board games, although that can also be a success. Try taking game night in a different direction by going digital. Grab your game console, and get some of the classics online. If you have a Playstation 4 there are a ton of games to download. Keep this simple though, if your partner isn’t a gamer, introducing them to Call of Duty on game night probably isn’t going to go over well.
Just A Tweak Will Do Ya
You don’t necessarily have to blow things out of proportion. Just take your regular date night plans and make them a little more interesting. Lets take a night out for dinner and drinks. You likely have “your” bar that you go to afterwards. We’ve established that repetition is a recipe for disaster on date night.
Why not grab an early dinner, and then pop on over to a local comedy club. You’ll be supporting local talent, and you get a show out of it. Not a comedy person, look for a bar that has live music, but be prepared you may have to dance. If you’re low key, you can try and find a local speak easy, but this will take some research on your local area.
Not Just Flowers Fellas…
Ladies, this section is for the fellas. Perhaps the days of flowers on the first date have long past. Still, I don’t know any woman who wouldn’t appreciate a little extra something to kick off a great date night. Like the last section mentioned, sometimes the classics are great. Flowers are never a bad idea as an add on. I don’t recommend you rely too heavily on them. Think of it as more of a garnish.
You could also go unconventional. Check out some of the gifts for women on the site to find something your lady friend will love. If you’re diligent and followed the general guidelines of gift giving you’ll do wonderful. This starts the night off with a bang, and makes any mishaps that may occur less intrusive on your good time.
Get To Work!
If you’ve made it this far, and haven’t found at least some guidance for great date night ideas, then you are outta luck. Not only are you the most interesting man (or woman) in the world, but you’ve got some work ahead of you. However, you should be able to use the tips in this article as a jump off point for a great night or day on the town.
This site (TheGiftasaurus.com) is owned and operated by Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC also participates in affiliate programs with Clickbank, CJ, and other sites. Graphite Designs Unltd. LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.