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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