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4 Outdoor date plans

Jamie Beckman is the lead blogger for the Sexcerpts blog on SheKnows.com. She has written about relationships, health and lifestyle trends for Redbook, USA TODAY, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Best Life and First for Women magazines, as w...

Sweltering heat means hot dates

They didn't write a song called "Summer Nights" for nothin': One of the best parts of the season is getting to spend time with a hot guy in even hotter weather. Here are a few outdoor date ideas to surprise him with when the temps rise:

Couple having a picnic

1. Cozy up at an outdoor film.

Check to see if your city has an outdoor film festival — they're usually held in a local park and are often free. Bring a blanket and maybe even a bottle of wine. Some cities let you BYOB — or at least look the other way if you imbibe. If you're tippling, consider bringing along this super-cute Barossa wine tote, which contains two acrylic wineglasses, two cotton napkins, a corkscrew, and a botttle stopper for only $35.

2. Take a trip to the zoo.

The zoo isn't just for kids: As a date spot, it can renew your sense of childlike wonder and help you connect on an innocent level. Plus, you can steal a kiss in the jungle-like aviary. Exotic! To psych yourself up, follow the Twitter feeds of the two animals who escaped from New York City's Bronx Zoo this year (separately): a cobra and a peacock (@BronxZoosCobra and @BronxZooPeacock). The cobra was found (whew), but the peacock is still on the loose.

3. Pack a DIY picnic.

You don't have to go all out to have a nice meal outdoors. Grab a basket (or buy this adorable banana-leaf basket from target.com for only $25). Pick a simple picnic menu, like this one from Real Simple: Make sandwiches with prosciutto, Asiago, mustard, and roasted red pepper on a baguette ahead of time, and tote along frozen grapes and licorice twists (or a nice bar of chocolate, like the crazy ones from Ritter Sport — try the cornflake-chocolate bar). And you're done! Enjoy the sun.

4. Rent a couple of bikes.

Check out your local bike shop (they're not just for biking fanatics only) and see if you can rent a pair of two-wheelers. Most shops dole out loaners. Then take your honey on a cruise he'll never forget. Even if you haven't been on a bike since you were 11, that novel feeling of the wind in your hair as you race him will equal intense relationship-charging chemistry. And we're all for anything that re-energizes a relationship.

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