Look, we get it. Life is hard enough as it is. You commute to work and try not to stress about the day ahead, you get through the grind (and whatever that entails), you commute back home, and then you’ve got to figure out the whole dinner situation before you fall asleep and do it all over again. If there are kids in the mix, that’s a whole other level of complication. Lather, rinse, repeat until the weekend, when you can finally get all of the stuff done that you couldn’t tackle during the week. And if you’re really lucky, you’ve got someone who loves you and wants to hang out somewhere in there. Who’s got the time — or the mental and emotional capacity — to plan a fun and exciting date night with all of the demands of modern life? No one, that’s who. Except us. We’ve gathered a list of our favorite date ideas, for every kind of couple.
Try a new restaurant. If you’ve got the menu just about memorized at your favorite feed bag, check out someplace new. Pretend you’re restaurant critics and pick apart the food — not your partner, for a change.
Play tourist in your hometown. When was the last time you took advantage of the things everyone always wants to see when they visit? Probably the last time you had out-of-town guests, that’s when. Take an afternoon or an evening and hit up your local landmarks or must-see attractions and fall in love with your locale all over again.
Make a fun new recipe. Even if you’re not much of a cook, trying out a new dish can result in lots of laughs. Not to mention, you get to eat the fruits of your labor.
Go on a picnic. If it’s nice outside, there’s nothing more romantic than packing up some al fresco food and bev, spreading it on a blanket, and enjoying the great outdoors. If it’s not, do the same in your living room.
Take a hike. Something about getting your blood pumping while exploring nature really gets the heart going in other ways, if you know what we mean.
Hit the beach. Sun, sand, surf, and lots of skin. Come up with a better afternoon. We dare you.
Go skiing. Not beach weather? Hit the slopes instead. If you don’t get hot cocoa afterward, it didn’t count.
Play a board game. Drag out the classics or try a brand new one, for a healthy dose of competition.
Throw a casino night. If they call you Lady Luck, see if your partner can roll snake eyes and win your heart. That, or play cards with that week’s chore list on the line.
Build a campfire. Ignite the flames of passion in a Smoky-approved way by gathering around a campfire in your backyard. If your municipality doesn’t allow fires, huddle by the fireplace instead or even make s’mores in the microwave.
Have a spa night. Hit up the drugstore for face masks, mani-pedi supplies, and massage oil for a DIY pampering sesh that will improve your bond and your skin.
Take a day trip. Hop in your car and see where a tank of gas can get you. Even checking out the next town over can feel like an adventure, especially when you’re doing it with your favorite person.
Go grocery shopping together. Need eggs and bread? Turn a boring chore into a fun couple activity. Split your list in half and race to see who can finish it first, or just wander the aisles hand-in-hand.
Learn a new skill. You don’t need to invest in a lot of fancy equipment to try something new. Give origami, drawing, or even card tricks a shot. You’ll love bonding over how bad you both are, at first.
Play hide ‘n seek. It’s not just for kids anymore.
Look through old photos. Pull out the photo albums and get ready for an awwww-fest. Share stories of your childhoods and your awkward teen years to learn something new about your sweetheart and grow to love them even more, check tips on how to make your man happy and more for your dating life !
Go antique hunting. You’ll be amazed what kinds of gems you can find at an antique store, not to mention the creepy AF tchotchkes you’ll run into.
Take a dance class. Even (or especially!) if you have two left feet, taking a dance class can make a unique date. You’ll be the talk of the dance floor at the next wedding or party when you bust a move.
Volunteer together. Sign up to serve at a soup kitchen, a book drive, or other local initiative to make a difference in your community and see how hot your honey looks when helping others.
Visit the zoo or aquarium. Come on, even fish are cute. Show your sensitive side and squee over some new fuzzy or finned friends.
Read each other romance novels. Grab some steamy reading from your local library or used book store and take turns reading to each other. You’ll be in the mood before you can say “once upon a time.”
Arrange a scavenger hunt. Bonus points if you create one that recreates your first date and all of your special spots.