The old dinner-and-a-movie date night may be a classic but it’s certainly not all that creative. So why not mix things up with some new activities?
The following cute date ideas and first date tips are divided into categories to help you figure out the perfect excursion for you and your main squeeze (or potential partner).
Whether you’re going on a first date, or your fiftieth, these fun date ideas will surely inspire your next romantic outing!
Cute date ideas for a first date
Ah, your first date. Such a milestone, right?
When choosing the very first activity you’ll do together while getting to know each other, consider the following: First, you want the conversation to flow so it’s important to go somewhere where there’s enough distraction to keep you talking—in short, finding a place with lots of stimuli is key.
Second, you don’t want to accidentally drink too much alcohol because you’re nervous so it’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of bars on a first date. And, finally, it’s always best to meet in a public place for safety and to give you an easy out if the date is not going great.
Got all that? The following first date ideas fit all of this criteria and more for making this initial activity together a success.
By far the most popular first day idea these days, grabbing something at a coffee shop is a low stakes way to get to know someone. If you two hit it off, you can continue getting to know each other by taking a walk, window shopping or getting a meal together. If you don’t quite click, no biggie.
After finishing your respective beverages, you can just go your separate ways.
Walk your dogs
Not only is this a great cheap date idea if you’re on a budget, it’s also a super cute date idea as well. Plus, it’s the perfect way to see if your furry friends hit it off, too.
Don’t have dogs? Why not visit an animal shelter and give some lonely pooches some love? You’ll get to see each other’s softers sides and do something nice for animals in need.
Play games at an arcade
This first date idea is interactive, fun and casual, making it an ideal choice for people just getting to know each other. An arcade isn’t super romantic but it can get cozy when you’re standing shoulder to shoulder battling each other in Street Fighter. Plus, a little healthy competition can be a good ice breaker.
Take a trip to the farmer’s market
Meeting up at your local farmer’s market is a great way to get to know each other’s culinary tastes and make easy conversation. If your date turns romantic, you can even feed each other produce samples, making this the perfect date to help you segway into date number two.
Browse your local bookstore
If you’re both into reading, what could be more fun than swapping literary tastes at your local bookstore? You can read each other passages from your favorite books, talk about your favorite authors and perhaps even pick out a book for the other to read before your next date.
Fun date night ideas
If you’re looking for a little adventure, the following fun date ideas focus on activities and experiences that can really bring a couple together. Doing new things, together, is a great way to bond and connect on a deeper level. Some research even shows that having novel experiences together can even strengthen a relationship.
So, jump into the following fun date ideas and get ready to laugh, play and get out of your respective comfort zones.
Take a painting class
Look for a local painting class (or a painting and wine class) in your area where you and your date can channel your inner artist together. You don’t need to consider yourself creative to take an artistic class together (and, actually, it will be even more fun if neither of you has any natural talent).
At the end, swap your paintings so you can each take the other’s home with you.
Do something thrill seeking
Trapeze lessons, bungee jumping, braving the rides at a local carnival—there are a number of ways to get your adrenaline pumping together. Thrill seeking together is a fun way to bring you closer and have an experience you can look back on for years to come.
Go to a sports game
If you prefer spectating, get tickets for a local sporting event. You can root your team on, share some stadium food and spend some time together as sports fans. If you don’t have a professional team in your area, college sports teams are sometimes even more fun to watch.
Find your local karaoke bar and make a night out of it. If you’re feeling brave, sign yourselves up for a song or two. Or, just watch and cheer on the locals belting out their favorite tunes. Either way, you’ll have a blast.
Do a winery or brewery tour
Taking a tour of a winery or brewery gives you all the fun of a bar experience with a little more novelty. Even if you know nothing about beer or wine, you’ll still have a good time trying different options, and you might even learn a thing or two about the varieties you sip.
You can recreate this wine tasting date at home by buying different types of beer or wine and doing your own tastings as well.
Visit a theme park
Channel your inner child by heading to a theme park for the day. Ride the rides, see the sights, watch the fireworks—find that inner sense of wonder together and you’ll see a new side of yourself and of your partner.
Romantic Date Ideas
If you’re looking for more romantic date options, the following ideas are meant to be a little more private and personal. Making special time for you and your other half with an activity for two can give your relationships a needed boost or help you celebrate a milestone, like an anniversary.
Go to the drive-in
Whether you love romantic comedies, dramas or horror movies, seeing a film at the drive-in is definitely more romantic than being smushed next to strangers in a traditional theater. You can bring your own snacks, blankets and drinks to customize your date and cuddle up together in privacy.
Take a cooking class
Cooking together can be very romantic. But sometimes you might not know where to start, or have the skills needed to pull off a delicious meal at home. That’s why taking a cooking class can be both romantic and practical at the same time.
After learning how to cook a few dishes, you can then recreate your meal at home for your anniversary or Valentine’s Day, if you so choose. However, if cooking doesn’t interest you, dancing classes could be another fun and romantic way to learn a new skill and spend some special time together.
Go to a concert
Choose a band or solo act that’s special to you both and book tickets. Being able to look forward to a date in the future builds anticipation and gives you something fun to write down on your calendar. The night of the show, you can get dressed up, get dinner and make a whole celebration out of it.
Pack a picnic
Going on a picnic is always a cute date idea. It’s lowkey, it’s easy and it’s also super romantic. Either DIY your picnic at home and pack food for your excursion or order food you can take to-go. Then, choose a spot with beautiful views or good people watching that’s secluded enough so you can feel a bit removed from the action. Finally, enjoy your spread—and time with each other.
Go on a staycation
Get a break from your everyday life and book a night at a posh local hotel. Sit by the pool, order room service and act like a tourist for 24 hours. This is a great idea for an anniversary or birthday to celebrate you and your partner with a bigger date activity.
If you prefer the great outdoors over a luxury hotel, try camping for a night or two. You’ll need to work together to put up the tent,build a fire and make meals, then you can spend the night cuddling for warmth. Bonus points for bringing an astronomy book so you can star gaze together and pick out the constellations.
Daytime Date Ideas
While we often think of dates as being nighttime activities, there are a number of fun things you can do during the day that can have romantic potential.
The following date ideas are great ways to take advantage of daytime hours and can add some variety to your life if you typically only go on dates at night.
Dinner dates may be the go-to for couples but brunch dates are highly underrated. Start your day with breakfast (and mimosas, if you’re feeling extra fancy) and then you can just lounge and chill the rest of the day (slash night).
Breakfast in bed is another great option if you’re just not feeling like getting out of your pajamas.
Take a hike
Not only does this count as one of the best cheap date ideas, getting outside with your partner and having a sweat out in nature is healthy too! Pick a hike with some gorgeous scenery, pack some snacks (and water!) and take in the sights around you.
If you’re feeling like making this date extra adventurous, you could try horseback riding through the woods or on local trails with a guide to point the way.
Go thrifting or antiquing
Check out your local secondhand shops to see what gems you might find. You could come away with some amazing vintage t-shirts, cool knick knacks or even keepsakes like records or jewelry.
Not really into rifling through other people’s stuff? Visit some high end furniture stores and try out all of the fancy couches while imagining your future dream home.
Visit a museum or a botanical garden
For some culture, go to your local art museum and see which paintings and sculptures speak to you. You don’t have to know anything about art to appreciate what the museum has to offer—and there are always guidebooks and tours to lead the way. You’ll come away with new knowledge, and added appreciation, for the arts.
You might also check out your local botanical gardens for a stroll among the flora, giving you a chance to appreciate the plants, flowers and trees that are native to your area. Chances are, you’ll learn a lot about the natural world right around you.
If you’re a more athletic couple (but don’t want to try rock climbing), why not rent kayaks or paddle boards for a sporty outdoor date experience? As long as you live close to water, you’ll get the chance to do something fun outdoors together—don’t we all spend too much time in front of computers and phones?—while doing something great for your bodies, too.
After all of that paddling, you can grab a nourishing meal, and maybe a drink or two, to reward your hard work. And if it’s winter? Well, there’s always ice skating!
Group Date Ideas
Sometimes it’s fun to get together with other couples for a group date. Doing this shakes up your typical date routine, gives you a chance to socialize and provides new ideas for what you can do on your dates, all of which help keep things spicy and interesting in your relationship. (Novelty is always a good thing, right?)
The following ideas are all activities you can certainly do just the two of you, but you’ll probably be even more fun with a group.
More fun than going to the local library, bowling is definitely more of an old school activity, but it’s great as a group date. You can hang out and chat, while also doing something somewhat active, as well as compete with each other.
However, if the idea of sticking your finger into random balls and wearing rented shoes gives you the heebeegeebees, you can opt for another group sporting activity like miniature golf, actual golf or pickleball.
Try to get out of an escape room
Escape rooms have become more and more popular recently. If you’re not familiar with the concept, basically you’re locked into a room filled with clues and riddles and you have to figure out how to get out, typically by working together as a team.
This is a fun group date activity because it’s easier to escape when more people are working on a problem and everyone can find a way to contribute, solving the codes to unlock the final door. After your big accomplishment of escaping, you can celebrate with drinks.
Take a city tour
Your town likely offers a number of tours that are fun to do as a group. From ghost story tours to food tours, there’s something for any kind of group that will give you the inside scoop on local history. You’ll learn a lot and even see your city in a new light, plus make a lot of memories along the way.
Book tickets for dinner theater
Dinner and a show, anyone? From comedy shows to magic shows to mystery dinner theater, going as a group to one of these events is always an experience. Dinner theater is a great idea for group dates when people don’t know each other all that well because you’ll definitely have something to talk about when the show is over.
Play laser tag
Another date idea for channeling your inner child, playing laser tag is a fun way to stir up some competition with your partner. Plus, it’s way more fun playing among friends than random people.
Breaking up into teams, you can opt to band together with your other half or be opposing to each other—whatever sounds more enticing to you. If laser tag is too tame for your group, you can always go paint-balling, which is a little more intense.
This is not always available, but if you can find one, think about attending a local fundraising event. Choose a good cause that shows off the spirit of giving in your heart, and you may come away with more than a good feeling. Showing off your generosity and participating in something as a couple may teach you that by giving, you’ll actually receive.
At-Home Date Ideas
If you’re not able to get out of the house much these days—maybe you have kids but no reliable babysitter, maybe the pandemic has encouraged you to avoid crowds—there are plenty of date ideas you can do right at home.
With the following date ideas to guide you, you’ll have so much fun that you’ll almost forget that you haven’t even left the house. Just be sure to set a day and time with your partner so you can both anticipate the date and prep accordingly.
Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest. Instead of ordering in, take the time to cook together. Chances are that you don’t do a lot of this during the week, especially if you have kids and you divide and conquer tasks in those few hours between work and bedtime. Pick a recipe that fits your cooking abilities and work together to create the perfect meal.
Do a board game night
There are plenty of games you can play with just two people, from classic games like chess to modern games like Hive, as well as a number of video games. Playing games together lets you have some easy fun while also engaging in a bit of healthy competition.
If you’re not into games per say, you can always do a puzzle together and help achieve a common goal.
Plan a movie night
A little more structured than binge-watching, you can choose a movie together, pop popcorn and maybe even make a themed cocktail or mocktail to go along with the film. Then, cozy up under some blankets and settle in. Watching movies at home can be far superior to squishing into theater seats—especially since you can always hit pause when you need to use the bathroom or grab a snack.
Take a virtual class
In light of the pandemic, you can learn nearly everything from your laptop these days, with skilled people offering tutorials on their talents via paid platforms like Masterclass or for free on YouTube. Pick a skill you’d like to learn, from guitar to painting to cocktail mixing (even a dance class!) and spend some time together perfecting your abilities. You’ll come away with new knowledge and fond memories.
Build a backyard campfire
Turn your backyard into a cozy place to cuddle, stargaze and eat s’mores together. Even if you’re tight on space, you can easily fit a small, portable fireplace to burn some wood and find some romance by a roaring fire. You may still be at home, but creating a new setting can make your space feel like new.
Making time for each other
In the end, all of these fun date ideas are about creating special moments for you and your partner (or for your potential love interest if you’re just getting to know each other). It’s one of the best ways to achieve your goals in a relationship. You don’t need to go on the perfect date in order to get that quality time in, you just need to find an activity that speaks to you and have an open mind about trying new things together.
Know that it’s more about the company, not about the activity itself. Take the pressure off by choosing joy, having fun and making lasting memories together.