There’s something so romantic about summertime. The warm summer breeze, the smell of flowers and cut grass, the sounds of fun and laughter, summer has a wonderful sense of casual lightness. It’s a great time to get out of the dating rut and dust off your playful side. Whether it’s a first date or a date night with a long-time partner, it’s always fun to try out some new date ideas. Summer offers many dating options that aren’t available at other times of the year…and best of all, many of them won’t break the bank.

Looking for a romantic summer date idea? Give one of these a try…

  1. Outdoor movie - Drive-Ins are making a comeback. Seek out your nearest drive-in and pack the snacks.
  2. Pull up a blanket - No drive-in nearby or just not your thing? That’s ok. Many cities show outdoor films in the park. Don’t forget your blanket and refreshments. Or do it yourself – set up your lounge chairs in your backyard or on your deck, open a bottle of wine and watch a movie on your laptop.
  3. Bowling is so old school that it’s hip again - Just about everybody has a bowling alley somewhere nearby. It’s a casual, fun date night. Invite some friends and make it a group date. Have a beer or soda and a slice of pizza and unwind while engaging in some friendly competition.
  4. Visit the zoo - You don’t have to have young children to enjoy the zoo. Wandering among the animals, taking in their habitats and behavior, even their antics is a great low-key date. Top it off with some popcorn or an ice cream cone and it’s a fantastic date.
  5. Take a wine tour - Either join an organized wine tour, where someone else will do the planning and take you from winery to winery to do your sipping or plan your own, grab another couple and a designated driver and let the tasting begin.
  6. Go on a dinner cruise - If you live near a body of water (ocean, lake or even some rivers) you can probably find a dinner cruise. Don’t be afraid to mix it up; try a breakfast, lunch, or evening cocktail cruise too. There’s just something so romantic about eating on the water while someone else is in charge of the driving.
  7. Live music is everywhere - Summer concerts are a great way to spend a date. Get tickets to a big-ticket concert in the grandstand; enjoy a local concert in the park, or find a local bar or tavern that offers live music.
  8. Visit the fair - Be a teenager again. Buy some cotton candy or some terribly unhealthy, but delicious fair treat. Ride the Ferris wheel, roller coaster, or whatever twirling, upside down ride strikes your fancy, (preferably, before you eat your cotton candy.) Try to win a prize or check out the prize pigs!
  9. Make a romantic picnic - Pack up your favorite picnic fare and a blanket and off you go. Bring some wine and cheese or pack a themed menu – think Mexican, French, Italian or whatever cuisine suits your mood. Choose a nice spot at the local park, gardens, or by the water. To make it even more fun, try a breakfast or moonlight picnic (be sure to pack the bug spray.)
  10. Get out on the water - Rent a sailboat, rowboat, paddleboat, kayak, or canoe. Grab a pole and go fishing or don your swimsuit and jump in.
  11. Play tourist - See your town from a visitor’s perspective. Visit your local tourism office or chamber of commerce for information on events, festivals, and local sights you may never have thought of.
  12. Go camping - Pitch a tent (you can borrow or rent one if you don’t have your own, grab a couple of sleeping bags, pack your food and necessities and sleep under the stars. Being away from the rest of the bustling world allows time to really pay attention and enjoy being with another person.
  13. Outdoor Theater - Attend an outdoor performance or live play. Think Shakespeare in the park or attend an outdoor symphony or music festivals. Theater is so much more fun and relaxed under the canopy of the sky than in a stuffy theater.
  14. Produce can be romantic - Spend a morning wandering a farmers’ market checking out the fresh local produce or spend the afternoon at a “U-pick” farm picking berries or other delectable, then bring your ingredients home and cook something fabulous with your date.
  15. Take me out to the ballgame - Visit your local ballpark or stadium. If you’re lucky enough to have a pro or semi-pro team near you, a ball game can be a fun date. Even with a $6 hotdog and $5 soda, it’s still a cheap date. For an even more low-key (and free) option, visit a local ball field and watch local kids (or grown “Kids”) play their hearts out.
  16. Go the natural route - Visit the nearest state park. Pack a picnic. Ride bikes. Go on a hike. Walk the nature trails. Play Frisbee golf. Bird watch. Look for wildlife tracks. Try geocaching. Play photographer.
  17. Resurrect some old favorite summer activities - Play mini-golf. Go to the batting cage. Race go-karts. Fly kites.
  18. Take a tour - Take a walking tour, a boat tour, a bicycle tour, a ghost tour, an architectural tour old buildings or a “gourmet eating” tour.
  19. Visit the aquarium - Aquariums aren’t just for kids and field trips. They’re also a great date option. Wander through the tanks, taking in the underwater life, but watch out for the sharks!
  20. Take a mystery trip - Buy or download a map of your state or region, close your eyes, and randomly choose spots on the map to visit. Plan a day trip or weekend getaway to one or several and explore.

Grab that someone special, get out there, and enjoy the plentiful dating options that summertime has to offer!

(Photo credit: Back View of Amorous Couple via Shutterstock)

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