How many times can you go out to dinner and a movie? Not that there’s anything wrong with the quintessential date standard, but it gets boring after a while. Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for any length of time, you’re probably running out of date ideas. You are still going on dates, right. Even long-term relationships need to go on a date occasionally.
So, for those of you who feel stuck in the “dating rut” here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Do a restaurant tour – Pick an area with a bunch of restaurants. Start with cocktails and appetizers at a restaurant with a bar or lounge, head somewhere different for the main course and finish up someplace else with fabulous desserts.
Look for treasure – Browse antique stores, flea markets, second hand shops or yard. You don’t have to buy; just looking is fun.
Movies with a twist – Instead of haggling over drama vs. action and settling on a comedy flick to keep the peace, why not leave it up to chance. Close your eyes and pick. Whatever it is, both have to agree to honor the choice or it’s not fun.
Explore the nearest state park – Pack a picnic. Go for a hike or hit a nature trail.
Rent bikes – Go on a biking tour of your area. There are often organized bike tours or routes already mapped out for you.
Rent a boat for the afternoon – If a sailboat is not your thing, rent a rowboat, paddle-boat, or kayak.
Attend a festival in a neighboring city.
Broaden your dinner horizons – Choose a new restaurant, someplace neither of you have ever tried. Bonus points if it’s a different ethnic cuisine than you normally eat.
Do some stargazing – Get a book on constellations, aim your telescope at the stars see how many you can pick out. Prefer a more professional venue? Visit a planetarium.
Ghost tour – If you’re into the supernatural craze that’s storming our country, go on a ghost tour. Many towns now have “haunted houses” open for guided tours
Mini Golf – Old-fashioned fun, friendly competition and inexpensive, what’s not to love.
Cooking night – Make your favorite dishes together—work as a team on a brand-new recipe.
Dinner Cruise – Whether you live by the ocean or near a lake, you can easily find dinner cruises. Brunch or moonlight cruises are also another good option.
Have an indoor picnic – Serve dinner on a picnic blanket laid out in the living room. Open a bottle of wine with some favorite finger foods. An indoor picnic can be even more fun and romantic than a traditional outdoor one. It’s quieter and no interruptions!
Visit a museum – Nearly everyone has a museum or several within driving distance. Plan an afternoon wandering around the exhibits. If art isn’t your thing, try a history, sport, or cultural museum.
Learn a new activity together – Take a dance or photography class or learn how to play shuffleboard.
Go to the theater – The Theater is a date favorite. It’s a little classier than a movie and you get to dress up and soak in some culture.
Art gallery – A trip to the local art gallery is a wonderful date idea.
Try new cuisine – Check out a new ethnic cuisine — something neither of you have tried before. The element of adventure will add some excitement to your date, and, who knows, maybe the two of you will find a new favorite.
Be tourists for the day – Go sightseeing around your city. Stop inside places you often pass but never go into.
Reawaken your inner child – Stop at the toy store to pick up a few goodies. Try a Frisbee or kite for some outdoor fun.
Recreate a memorable date – Think of a favorite past date, something that means something special to you as a couple; where you first met, your first date together, where you professed your love or popped the question.
Take in amateur night – Visit a local bar, club, or coffeehouse and watch the amateurs display their talent. If you’re adventurous, get up there and try it yourself.
Bowling – Bowling is an old-school date idea with a casual, relaxed feel. It not only makes a fun date, but also makes a great first date.
Be daring – Go rock climbing, bungee jumping or sky diving.
Outdoor theater – Think Shakespeare in the park. Theater is so much more fun and relaxed under the canopy of the sky than in a stuffy theater.
Bingo – Playing bingo is actually more fun than you might think. Find a local community organization, buy your cards, and get ready to shout “Bingo!”
Game night – You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. Try a play date instead. Pick up a deck of cards and a board game for an indoor date.
Go skating – Roller-skating is always fun, even if neither of you have ever done it. Ice skating is a great option as well in the chilly months.
Mystery trip – Plan a day or an afternoon and take a trip to nowhere in particular. Just get into your car and drive. Stop when you want to eat or get a closer look at something of interest. Wing and have fun, but you might want to bring your smart-phone or GPS just in case you get hopelessly lost and can’t find your way home.
Engage in some friendly outdoor competition – Have a date at the driving range, batting cages, or go-kart track.
Take the gaming indoors – Visit a local arcade or gaming center. Don’t know where to go? Just ask some local 13 year olds, they’ll know.
Drive-In – Another old- school date idea that’s making a comeback of late. There’s something so cozy about watching a movie at the drive-in. Maybe it’s that you feel 16 all over again or maybe it’s just the fogged up windows…
Amusement Park – Ride roller coasters, eat cotton candy, get your picture taken in the photo booth, try your hand at some carnival games, and check out the view from the top of the Ferris wheel.
Play sports – Hit the golf course, tennis court, or ski slope for some sporting fun.
Dinner Theater – Interactive murder mystery-type dinner shows have become very popular. Good food, lively entertainment, and fun. A perfect date combination.
Visit the Aquarium – Aquariums aren’t just for schoolchildren, they’re also a great place for a date. Take a leisurely stroll while you survey the sea life.
Go on a picnic – A tried and true, but often overlooked date option. Pack up your picnic basket, add a bottle of wine, and choose a great spot. To make it more interesting, choose an ethnic cuisine, do a breakfast, or moonlight picnic.
Take in the sunset – Walk on the beach, sit on a dock, find higher ground, or just choose a quiet spot to soak in the sunset together. While you’re at it, pack some food and turn it into a simple sunset picnic.
Visit your local ballpark or stadium – Get tickets to a professional game or cheer for your hometown favorite.
Attend a concert – Live music is always a great way to spend a date. Get tickets to a big name act or enjoy a local band in the park, or a local club.
Wine tasting – Take an organized wine tour, or visit local wineries on your own (or with another couple.) Just make sure you have a designated driver please.
Go to the beach – Lie in the sun, take a swim, or skip some rocks. A day at the beach is a fun date.
High-school musical – No, not the movie…attend an actual high-school musical. Most high schools put on an annual musical or play. Tickets are inexpensive and you might just see some budding actors.
Go horseback riding – Find a local stable and either take a guided ride, a lesson or rent horses if you already know how to ride. Giddy up!
Volunteer – Spend some time at a local shelter or food kitchen or even join a community beautification project. Helping others can actually be a great way to spend time together and do some good in the process.
Casino night – Either visit a casino if you have one or go to a “casino night” fundraiser for a local organization. It’s thrilling and fun. Just don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.
Up, up and away – Take a hot air balloon ride. Glide over the roof tops pointing out sights of interest or just enjoy floating on air.
Factory tour – It sounds kind of lame, but it’s actually fascinating to see the inside of a local brewery or manufacturing plant. You’ll see things you never imagined.
Movie marathon – You each pick a couple of movies of your choice, (no arguments,) and cozy up on the couch with snacks and the remote.
There are so many dating options out there to choose from, depending upon your interests, budget, and location. There’s something for every couple. Remember, whether you’re 20 or 60, dating should be fun!