So let’s be honest here, how many of us actually get to go out with our partner on real “date nights” (or day dates)? Whether you have kids or not, it’s super easy to get stuck in a rut and maintain the same day to day routine. It’s time to mix it up and add some spice to your life! Spending quality time with your loved one doing new activities really does do wonders for your relationship.
As parents of a 18 month old, my husband and I tend to get stuck in that same rut of the “dailies”. Same thing, same routine, day in and day out. For awhile we took our daughter everywhere with us until finally our friend told us we needed to go out for a date night and she would babysit. That first time out – gasp! – childless – was a little tough for us. In fact we spent the entire time talking about our baby! When we got home that night, we both rushed into her room to give her a kiss goodnight – even at the risk of waking her up. My, how we have learned since then. We now make sure we schedule regular date nights, and sometimes, day dates too. Here are some fun ideas that I came up with, many of which are on our “date wish list” and some are ones we’ve already done. I created a couple fun printables as well for you to enjoy.
Create a “Date Jar”, using the Date Wish List Printable below, print 2 copies, one for you and one for your spouse. Each of you fill it out with possible (and realistic) date ideas that you’d like to do. Cut each one out, fold and drop in the jar. Take turns drawing a date slip out of the jar, then schedule your date for that activity. Be sure to take lots of photos while you’re on your date, and be silly too 🙂 Those are our favorite photos to look back on.
Fun Date Ideas
Spend the day at an amusement park: My husband and I did this a few months ago – we went to Six Flags Great America and relived the days when we started dating – where we spent a lot of time at other amusement parks (Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm). Our very first date was actually at Disneyland. Oh how I miss the days of living in southern California!
Horseback Riding: Go for a trail ride together! If you live in the city you may have to venture out into the country for this one but it shouldn’t be too hard to find some riding stables near you. Take some lunch and stop somewhere on your way to the stable for a countryside picnic.
Drive in theater: This one still remains on my wish list but it’s right at the top! Really though, a drive in theater – how fun does that sound?
Antique Shopping: We recently did this one as well and we were blown away by how much fun we ended up having. I’ll be honest and say it really never appealed to me before, just the thought of it I mean. But we thought we’d give it a whirl and we are both so glad we did. So many hidden treasures we found! And the place we went to was really cool and full of history, it was in a huge barn that was built in 1842 – and supposedly haunted. I love stuff like that!
Thrift Store Shopping: On that note of Antique Shopping – how about a little thrift store shopping? Similar yes, and can be just as fun. You never know what you’ll find. Both my husband and I enjoy trips to our local thrift stores. Some thrift stores can be yucky, but if you look around, you’re bound to find some nice ones.
Comedy Club: This is another one of our favorite date night experiences! We went with a group of friends and had a fantastic time – it really was so much fun and we all had a blast! I can’t wait to go again. (side note: we saw Joel McHale and he was hilarious)
Theater Performance: Since we live in Chicago we are close to all the major show productions (Wicked, Book of Morman, Blue Man Group, etc), but even if you don’t live in a major city with these shows, you can go to a local theater to see a live show. I have been to some small theaters before and the shows were amazing! Try something new.
Dinner Theater: Speaking of theaters, dinner theaters are a lot of fun too – especially those murder mystery type dinners where the audience is involved. I went to one many years ago but it was so much fun and such a different kind of experience.
Casino: I don’t necessarily like to gamble (but I’ll pop a few dollars in the odd slot machine just for kicks), but I love the atmosphere in casinos. Not sure why, but I do. The lights, the sounds, I could just eat it all up! Maybe that’s why I love Las Vegas so much. Anyway, a trip to the casino could be a fun time. Limit yourselves to how much you want to spend and don’t go over it. Casino’s usually have good restaurants in them too, so treat yourselves to dinner as well.
Library: ok, so my hubby and I are sort of nerdy sometimes. We love the library and totally go there together for an established outing. We love to browse all the aisles of books and pick a bunch of new ones to bring home with us. I tend to flock to the cookbooks and craft section, where he goes to the do-it-yourself section.
Museums: I have been able to cross a couple museums off my list but Chicago does have a ton of them, so there are more we haven’t been to yet. This can be a fabulous day date. No kids to be pulling on your shirt, whining, crying, running all over. Just you and your spouse, being able to take your time wandering through, being able to actually read all the information on the signs. Bliss.
Coffee Date: Sounds simple enough right? Even if you just have an hour, go to your local Starbucks or whatever your coffee house of choice is. (Yes, huge Starbucks fan here and I am thrilled that we have one within walking distance to our house). Get a drink and maybe a treat and sit in the corner together really talking and enjoying each others company. Make eye contact, and go on and flirt a little. Why the heck not? 🙂
Day Long Road Trip: We have done this several times (although I admit we took our daughter along for the most recent ones). Go somewhere that doesn’t take more than an hour or 2 to get there. Explore and go somewhere you’ve never been before. We discovered a couple cute little towns in Wisconsin doing this and we liked them so much that we’ve gone back more than once.
Game Nights: Have a game night for just the two of you. This one you can do once the kids are in bed and this is a favorite of ours. We love games!! Our favorites are the Monopoly card games (even if you aren’t a fan of Monopoly like me, these cards games are really fun), Catan, Ascension, and Mad Gab.
Other date ideas:
- Take a trip to a farm market or a local orchard
- Bake cookies together – this is more fun than it sounds! Or near the holidays make a gingerbread house together.
- Play games together on the Wii or have a dance off
- Go Geocaching (this is fun and can get addicting!)
- Visit a winery for some wine tasting
- Take a cooking class together (this is actually on both our lists!) If you have a Sur La Table near you – check them out!
- Go bowling
- Swimming at your local recreation center
- Play a sport like basketball or tennis
- Visit one of those paint-your-own-pottery places
- Take a walk on a beach at night
- Do a puzzle together
- Participate in a Trivia Night at a local restaurant (this is so much fun!)
- Rent kayaks and take them down a local river
- Go rock climbing – indoors or outdoors
- Go for a hike at a local forest preserve
- Play laser tag together
- Go on a scavenger hunt around your city
- Go paint balling
- Rent a paddle boat
- Have a fondue night at home
- Go for a long bike ride
- Watch the sunrise then make or go get breakfast together
- Go to the planetarium
- Visit some botanical gardens
- Go to an Art Gallery
- Go garage sale hopping
- Browse through a bookstore
- Visit a zoo or petting zoo
- Go see a live baseball, football or hockey game
- Play bingo
- Take a painting class together
- Be a tourist in your own town
- Go to a festival or fair (Renaissance fairs are really fun!)
- Go watch some fireworks
- Try a new restaurant
- Go out for a special dessert
- Take a yoga class together (We actually did this when we first started dating!)
- Go to a live auction
- If you have dogs, take them for a walk together in a new place
- Visit a waterpark (or indoor waterpark in the winter)
- Have a lunch date at a local bagel place
- Rent a tandem bike and go for a long bike ride together
- Go sledding (in winter if you have snow where you live)
- On that note have a snowball fight or build a snowman together
- Have a camp out in the living room: turn the fireplace on, make hot chocolate and lay in your sleeping bags
- Have a no-tech night. Turn the lights out and light some candles…the rest is up to you!
- Have a new-show marathon night. Hook up Netflix (or Hulu or Amazon Prime or whatever…) and choose a new series to watch together.
- Take a ball room dancing class together (I really want to do this but so far I have had no luck convincing my husband….)
- Go bird watching at a local nature sanctuary, bog or park
- Feed the ducks at a local pond (but not bread – it’s very bad for them! Buy some oats or barley and feed that that instead)
- Visit a local video arcade, especially the ones where you can earn little tickets and redeem for prizes
- Go ice skating at a local rink
- Go bowling! Night bowling is really fun, many bowling place have Glo-Bowl at night!
- Go work out at a gym together – cause why not? My husband and I actually did this a lot when we first started dating.
- Go running outdoors together
- Check out some local places that offer dinner cruises, many offer discounts on off season.
- Take a cupcake tour! Yes these actually exist! Search online and see what your city offers. There are also chocolate tours, wine and beer tours, etc.
- Go on a Haunted tour! Just like the one above, many cities offer these. I’ve been on one before and it was a lot of fun, and a little creepy!
- Visit a karoke bar!
- Sign up for a 5K run together
- Go to a local spa and get a couples massage
- If your city has one, attend a film festival
- Have a sushi night
- Volunteer together at someplace you are both passionate about (animal shelter, homeless shelter, etc)
- Go for a walk to a park and play on the playground equipment together
- Go to a symphony
- If you are really adventurous (and brave!) you could go skydiving. (I’m not nearly that brave. I admit it)
- Do a high ropes course together. (This I have done!)
- Take a tour of your city (bus, streetcar, double decker bus, etc)
- Go shopping at an outlet mall
- Visit one of those trampoline places (this is on my list!)
- Visit a country bar and do some line dancing!
- Go see a local outdoor concert
- Play mini golf (there are lots of indoor mini golf places around too)
- Visit your local planetarium or aquarium (or both!)
- Have a mystery date: take turns planning a mystery date for each other and take your date on an adventure!
- Take a photography class together then get out there and have fun taking lots of photos
- Visit a nursery together and choose new plants to put in your garden.
- During the summer: have an old fashioned water balloon fight!
- Go rollerblading or rollerskating
- Go to a Tapas bar and order things neither of you have ever tried before
- Make a bucket list of things you want to do together then try to cross something off your list at least once a month
- Wake up extra early to watch the sunrise together, then go somewhere for breakfast.
- Go to a driving range or actually go play a real game of golf
- Go karts! Always a fun time!
- Cook a 5 course meal together then eat it by candlelight on fancy dishes
Have a fun date night or day date idea to add? Please add it below in the comments 🙂