Going on dates can be a great way to get to know a new partner or maintain an ongoing relationship. Dating can be very fun, especially when it is thoughtfully planned out. Unfortunately, given the increase of dating apps and websites, dating nowadays often has a reputation as being old-fashioned and outdated. And while the dating scene may be changing, that does not mean that dating should be overlooked entirely. There are many fun and creative ways go on dates. Below are a few date ideas to make dating an exciting experience for everyone.
Hiking: Hiking is also a great, low-intensity way to exercise. Exercise boosts an individual’s endorphin level which, in response, lifts an individual’s mood.1 It is important to discuss this idea with your date beforehand if you opt for a more strenuous hike as your partner may be averse to demanding hikes when they are trying to get to know a partner. Hiking is usually free of cost, but there may be a fee for parking. Hiking is an ideal date for any age range.
Beach Outing: Enjoying the beach with a partner can be fun and exciting. Whether you choose to jump into the waves or sit on the sand and watch the sunset, time at the beach can be an incredibly enjoyable way to spend time with a partner.2 The beach is the perfect place to relax with your partner while enjoying nature at the same time.This date is the perfect option for someone looking for a low-cost, but lively, way to spend time with a partner. Couples can pursue a number of different activities at the beach, including jumping in the water, sun tanning on the shore, and eating a picnic on the sand.
Stargazing: Stargazing is best done a couple hours after sunset in an area relatively removed from city lights. Spending the night outside and under the stars with a date can be an incredibly romantic experience. Stargazing gives partners time to talk and enjoy one another’s company alone. With proper consent, stargazing can also provide the perfect atmosphere for a first kiss.2
Camping: Camping can be a fun way to enjoy time alone with a partner. Pitching a tent anywhere from your backyard to the nearest campground sets the scene for a new way to spend time together. You can spend your time roasting marshmallows, stargazing, sharing funny stories, finding unique hiking trails, and enjoying each other’s company. This may be a better idea for partners who have been together for some time and are looking for a change of scenery to enjoy with one another.2 It is important to discuss this idea with your partner to make sure that they feel comfortable spending the night alone with you out in nature.
Kayaking or Boating: You can also opt for a nice kayak or boat ride in the nearest body of water. Whether you take a guided tour or choose to rent out your own equipment, an ocean, river, or lake will provide a peaceful and quiet atmosphere to spend quality time with yourpartner. Being alone on the water with a partner requires trust and cooperation from both people and can be a great way to learn more about a partner’s habits and behaviors.2 This can also bond a couple because both partners may be experiencing an activity that is out of their comfort zones. Because being on the water can be stressful to some people, it’s important that if you choose to spend your date on the water that you discuss this with your partner beforehand so that they can consent to this type of date.
Horseback Riding: Horseback riding combines the perfect amount of adrenaline and nature.2 You can choose a guided tour in the mountains, a valley, or even right along the ocean. A tour guide will teach you everything you need to know about handling a horse and riding safely. You can ride side-by-side with your partner or opt to ride in a single file line so that you can enjoy the views. If you go on a private tour, you can have wonderful alone time to talk to each other. A group tour can also be fun for newer partners because the other people on the tour can serve as conversation buffers. You may want to discuss this with you partner before making reservations because horseback riding may be intimidating to your partner if they are not properly prepared. If both partners agree to go horseback riding, it can be a unique way to enjoy each other’s company while experiencing something new.
Live Show: Attending a concert, play, or musical can help partners learn about each other’s interests. Discovering new musicians or enjoying a partner’s favorite band can create an opportunity for a couple to bond.4 Looking at the local listings for live shows is a great place to start. Talk to your partner about their interests and share your own interests beforehand to come up with a plan for an evening or afternoon. Depending on which event you’d like to attend, tickets may differ in price so it is important to do some research beforehand to find something within your price range.
Haunted House: Going to a haunted house with a partner can create a fun and playful atmosphere for a romantic night. This date is optimal for the months of September and October when haunted houses are open all over for Halloween. You can start off the night with a light meal and then head over to the nearest haunted house If your partner consents, holding their hand can serve as a way to ease fear while allowing yourself to get more physically intimate with your partner. Fear can help bond a couple and can be very fun as well!4 Checking with a partner in advance if they are comfortable with this kind of date is recommended because some people may not enjoy jump-scares and confined spaces.
Zoo or Aquarium: Visiting a zoo or aquarium provides a good opportunity to see exotic animals and sea creatures that can spark fun conversations. If you choose this date, you can walk around the park with your partner and learn more about various creatures. Different zoos and aquariums vary in price, so it is important to first decide on an appropriate budget and then choose which venues fit into that price point. Visiting a zoo or aquarium is a perfect date idea for any age group. Learning about different animals can even inspire new interests and hobbies.4
Amusement Parks: Visiting an amusement park or water park can be an adventurous way to spend time with a partner. This date is an all-day commitment. Be sure to make driving arrangements with your partner beforehand. Once you make it to the amusement park, map out a plan of the attractions each of you would like to visit. Be sure to check in with your partner periodically to make sure they are comfortable with the attractions and are not too shy to ask for a food break. Amusement parks can also work well as double or group dates. Research shows that adrenaline-spiked activities mimic the feeling of falling in love.3 In addition, because amusement parks provide a great deal of entertainment, they are a good date idea for newly acquainted partners in order to alleviate any tension or awkwardness. It is best to discuss this idea with a partner before purchasing park tickets because not everyone feels comfortable on rollercoasters.
Batting Cages or Mini Golf: Taking a partner to a batting cage or a mini golf course can be a fun way to get competitive and close with a partner. Mini golf courses and batting cages areusually connected to arcades, so you can spend your entire date on the course or field, or choose to spend some time competing in the arcade. Physical touches like high-fives, or gentle assistance can help bring partners closer to one another in a casual setting. Miniature golf is not particularly strenuous, so neither person needs to be athletic to have a good time. It is important to keep things light and remember not to take things too seriously; playful competition is always fun, but serious rivalry can ruin the mood of the date.5
Sporting Events: Going to a sporting event can be exciting. You can start the day or night off with a light snack or some drinks and then head to the game together. Be mindful of allowing space during the game for conversation or explanation if your partner is not familiar with the sport. Even if a partner is not particularly fond of sports, sporting events can still be very entertaining and lively. Developing a connection to a particular team can also help bond a couple. Sporting events vary in price based on sport and time during the season so keep this in mind while searching for tickets. It may be wise to discuss this date plan with your partner beforehand in case your partner is completely uninterested in attending sporting events.5
Go Karting: Go Karting is a fun way to let loose and act like a kid again. Once you choose a Go Kart arena, check in with your date to make sure they are comfortable with this date plan. Go Karting and fast moving activities may cause discomfort for your partner so it is wise to check in beforehand. You can choose to ride side-by-side with your date or opt for some friendly competition by riding in competing Go Karts. A friendly tap or two can initiate some flirtatious banter as well.6
Bowling: Bowling is a great idea for a group date. This can be a fun, comfortable way to have a partner meet one’s friends in a casual setting. Once you get to the bowling alley, you can order some food and drinks, rent a lane, and begin a game. Engaging in friendly competition with a partner and friends can also be a great way to have a good laugh.5 This is a perfect date idea for all age ranges.
Roller Skating or Ice Skating: Skating in a rink is the perfect mix of activity and romance. You can choose to race around or opt to hold hands in the rink and take it slow. Depending on the rink, skate rental prices vary but usually range from 5 to 15 USD. To warm up after you spend time on the ice rink, it may be a good idea for you and your partner to drink some hot chocolate and enjoy one another’s company. This date is a great opportunity to get more physically intimate with your partner if they are comfortable with hand-holding. Be sure to check in with your date about this idea beforehand just in case they feel uncomfortable or unsafe on an ice rink or roller rink.
Alternative Date Ideas
Volunteering: Volunteering is a great way for partners to connect with one another over an activity or cause that is meaningful to both individuals and good for the community. You can choose to start off the day with a hearty breakfast and then head to a volunteer program of your choice. This type of date will probably require a significant portion of time. Helping a worthy cause while spending time with a partner can initiate feelings of positivity. Volunteering at a local animal shelter or soup kitchen with a significant other can be a fun way to give back! Ask your partner if they’d like to spend time volunteering with you before committing time to an organization. Your partner may not feel comfortable with the idea so it is important to confirm plans with them beforehand.
Art Gallery: A trip to the local art gallery is a great first date for a lot of couples. Viewing art can be a great way to facilitate meaningful discussions. This can also be a great way to spend more time figuring out your partner’s interests. Entrance to art galleries is often free of charge but in some cases may cost around 5 to 10 USD for entry to larger or more popular galleries. It may be fun to follow up this date with some coffee or ice cream so that further discussion about the artwork or your partner’s interests can be explored.
Museum: Learning new things with a partner can be a bonding experience. It may be fun to find a museum that focuses on a topic that your partner will be particularly interested in. This will show that an individual cares about the interests of their partner. You can plan to grab something small to eat either before or after you head to the museum, or research food options that may be available at the museum itself so that you can incorporate this enjoyable activity into your date as well.
Massage: Booking a couple’s massage can be a good de-stressor for you and your partner. It can also be an incredibly romantic experience to share with a partner because massages are both intimate and secluded. You can choose to spend the day with your partner at the spa or follow your massage with a relaxing day free of high intensity activities. This type of date can be somewhat pricey so it may be wise to share this experience with a long-term partner on a special occasion. Discuss this date with your partner beforehand so that they can consent to it before booking. Some partners may be averse to this idea because massages are incredibly intimate and can make some people feel uncomfortable.
Dance Class: Learning how to salsa, tango, zumba or ballroom dance can be a romantic experience for a couple. Once you find the perfect dance class for you and your partner, you can head over to a studio or bar to learn something new. It doesn’t matter if either partner masters the dance. Instead, it is important to let loose and create a stronger physical connection. If your partner is comfortable with this type of date, it can make for a very intimate experience. Most dance classes are open to couples 18 years or older, but some are restricted to 21 years and older because their venues may serve alcohol. Prices vary depending on class size and studio location, so keep this in mind when looking at different courses. Taking a dance course opens the opportunity for laughter, consensual intimacy, and lasting memories for a couple.
Hotel Room: Renting a hotel room for the night or weekend can create a space for intimacy and romance. You can rent a room and use hotel amenities for the day or weekend. After dinner, you can spend time curling up to your favorite movie in bed. This type of date is more appropriate for couples who are comfortable spending an extended period of time with one another. It is important to confirm this type of date with your partner beforehand because they may not feel comfortable spending the night quite yet. This date is also somewhat pricey so it should be reserved for special occasions.
Sunset Walk: Walking near the beach or mountains during sunset can be both beautiful andromantic. You can pack some snacks to enjoy and even a blanket to sit on while watching the sunset as well. This date will not cost anything but will provide the privacy and space to become more intimate and romantic with a partner if they consent.
Dinner: Partners can spice up a classic dinner date by going somewhere neither partner has visited before. Trying new foods and sharing new experiences together is a great way to create lasting memories and build a connection with someone. A fun way to make dinner even more exciting is attempting to order food for each other. Prices for dinner can range based on the restaurant, so it is important to keep this in mind when choosing a restaurant to go to. In addition, keep dietary restrictions in mind when choosing food options and dining venues.
Movies: A great way to make a movie date more exciting is trying a drive-in or outdoor theater. If you choose a drive-in theater, the movie will be projected onto a big screen and you will be able to watch a film from the comfort of your own car. Drive-in theaters give couples privacy and a chance to talk during the film. Outdoor movies allow couples to enjoy nature and the outdoors while watching a movie. It may be wise to bring a blanket or chairs to sit on so that you and your partner are comfortable. You can even prepare your own picnic basket with snacks to enjoy during the film. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather in either of these types of movie venues because discomfort with the outside temperature can be a major distraction.
Ice Cream: Looking up new frozen yogurt shops, ice cream parlors, or candy stores can be an enjoyable way to add sweetness to a simple date. This type of date is good when you are first meeting a partner and would like to introduce yourself to them in a casual setting. Alternatively, you can tack an ice cream date onto any date as a fun way to enjoy desert together. Be sure to keep your partner’s dietary restrictions in mind before settling on an ice cream date.
Coffee or Tea: Getting coffee is an easy and cheap way to spend time with someone you are interested in getting to know further. Many coffee shops offer public seating areas that provide individuals who are not particularly close to get to know each other in an unintimidating setting.
Dating is an important part of getting to know a partner. Dating can be intimidating, so it is important to be prepared with fun ways to create memories with a partner. There are many ways to spend time with a significant other, so going on dates can be a great way to introduce novelty and intimacy into a relationship.
- “10 Reasons Why Hiking is Always a Good Date Idea.” ModernWifeLife.com. November 2016. 12 November 2017.
- “The 18 best outdoor date ideas of all time.” Mensfitness.com. Men’s Fitness. 12 November 2017.
- “10 Reasons Why Theme Parks Are Perfect for First Dates.” femalefirst.com. Female First. August 2017. 12 November 2017.
- “37 Romantic and Adventurous Date Ideas for Fall.” twodrifters.us. Two Drifters. September 2017. 12 November 2017.
- “Make It a Summer Date: Batting Cages.” Popsugar.com. June 2009. 12 November 2017.
- “37 Romantic and Adventurous Date Ideas for Fall.” twodrifters.us. Two Drifters. September 2017. 12 November 2017.
- “Go-Kart and Super Mario Kart Date Night.” Thedatingdivas.com. June 2014. 12 November 2017
Last Updated: 28 November 2017.