Ever found yourself in a verbal tennis match of “What do you want to do tonight?” …only to (once again) end up at dinner and a movie? Well, this year, take a stand against the bore of standard dates like cocktails, coffee, a sporting event, bowling or a visit to the history museum — none of which lead to can’t-stop-thinking-about-it first dates or relationship re-ignition dates! Here are some super fun, creative date ideas that will have you dating outside the box.
Make this the year of the anti-dinner-and-movie-date night, and instead try one of these 16 ideas that will set the stage to present the best version of yourself — and also get to know your date much better than would be possible after a date in a no-talking-allowed movie theater.
16. Give back
Giving back to the community can bring you and your date closer together. A sense of peace and good fortune will bond you. Whether you opt to brighten the day of the elderly, serve food to the homeless, clean up a local beach or engage in countless other opportunities, be sure to choose a volunteering activity that is meaningful to both of you.
15. Taste test
Exploring new tastes together is not only delicious, it can also be very sensual. Consider attending a wine, beer, cheese or even chocolate tasting. Share with each other what you are tasting and give opinions about each bite. Bon appétit!
14. Cooking challenge
Meet your date in the cooking section of a bookstore. Mull through cookbooks until you find something delectable to cook for dinner. Shop for necessary ingredients and then create a culinary masterpiece together!
13. Reach for the stars
Grab a cozy blanket and a bottle of vino for nature’s best and most forgotten-about date — stargazing. A local park, beach or, my personal favorite, a high school football field is the perfect setting to absorb the wonder of the night above. If you are looking for a daytime version, cloudgazing is just as good.
12. Wax poetic
Nationwide, bars, coffeehouses and bookshops host weekly poetry slams where they turn the mic over to amateur poets. Hearing the rhythmic sounds from local minds and hearts is spiritual and will give you and your date a lot to wax poetic about among yourselves. Take it to the next level by writing a poem to read to your date (warning: this act should only be reserved for he and she who are in l-o-v-e).
11. Shopping on a dime
Together visit your local thrift, vintage or dollar store. Set a low price tag limit, say $10, and a time limit, say 30 minutes. Split up with the mission of rejoining after having purchased your date that perfect something for them. Explain why you chose what you did.
10. Go green
Explore the wonders of nature around you by taking an explorer’s walk. Collect interesting things along the way such as leaves, flowers or rocks. Trace shadows. Draw favorite scenes. Frame or scrapbook your memories.
9. Fruit of the gods
Apples, strawberries, blueberries, you name it… filling up a basket of juicy, sweet goodness is a great way to spend a weekend day. This date gets you out of the city and into the country allowing for a fun mini-road trip. Plus picking fruit can be very playful… and you will have a bushel full of yummies with which you can — together or solo — make a pie!
8. 36 kisses
For the seasoned pair (at least five dates in), try mastering all 36 of these kisses. Never heard of one? Interpret it as you like, or do your homework to uncover its meaning: French Kiss, Sniff Kiss, Nip Kiss, Eskimo Kiss, Butterfly Kiss, Basic Kiss, Spiderman Kiss, Flavored Kiss, Vacuum Kiss, Fish Kiss, Tease Kiss, Candy Kiss, Ice Kiss, Firm Kiss, From Behind Kiss, Slow Motion Kiss, Opposite Kiss, Downward Kiss, Tickle Kiss, No Lips Kiss, Blow Kiss, Woodpecker Kiss, Lady and the Tramp Kiss, Shocking Kiss, High Low Kiss, Kiss on the Hand, Kiss on the Cheek, Kiss on the Neck, Kiss on the Fingers, Kiss on the Shoulder, Kiss on the Ear, Kiss on the Back, Kiss on the Navel, Kiss on the Nose, Kiss on the Eyes, Kiss on the Forehead.
7. Target practice
Turn up the heat between you and your date while at the same time unleashing your inner bad girl (and a little stress, too!) at the firing range. Don’t be scared if you have never tried it before — most ranges offer training on simple point and shoot guns for rookies.
6. Tourist eyes
Explore your city through the eyes of a tourist by visiting historical landmarks, museums and food establishments. Inhale the wonder of seeing something for the first time. This is a great way to connect with a date and detox from the day… and it can be a super recession-friendly date.
5. Just play
Both you and your date should select your favorite childhood activity… swinging on the swings, playing Monopoly, making a mess with fingerpaint, having a pillowfight and so on. Do each other’s fave fun activities and, while doing so, share stories of what you were like as a kid. For a snack, whip up some of your favorite childhood treats.
4. A moment in time
For the mature couple, seal your time together by constructing and burying a time capsule. Gather memorabilia that symbolizes your love for one another. A wedding invitation, saved wine cork, concert/plane ticket, copy of children’s birth records, meaningful photos, love letters and anything else that is unique to the story of your love. Be sure to include a note to the capsule’s future retrievers.
3. Scale up
It is said in dating, one should always trade up, well how about scaling up… a mountain? That’s right, tap into your inner adventurer and try rock climbing on your next date — just don’t wear a skirt!
2. Brain candy
Consider salsa dancing, sushi making, pottery, comic drawing, cake decorating, even body painting (!!!!). Whatever it is that you want to learn, there is probably a class for it. Learning something together is always exhilarating… and, if all goes well, it could lead to subsequent classes/dates!
1. Photo scavenger hunt
Grab your camera and get ready to explore your city on this date. Scribble down a list of slightly far-fetched but still achievable places or things that would make for interesting photos (such as a classic car, a slide, an ice cream truck, a found penny, a bird on a wire, something that makes you laugh, a flower). Pre-determine an award — like a round of beers at a favorite pub — if you find everything on your list, then ahead off on your adventure in pursuit of said things. Good luck, and have fun!