So, it’s date night, but what do you do? And what even is a date? Well, since we live in a world with the internet, let’s start by asking Google what a date is.
“Hey Google, define date.”
Date definition (noun): a social or romantic appointment or engagement.
Date definition (verb): go out with (someone in whom one is romantically interested).
“Thank you, Google. That gives us a starting point.”
When communicating with pretty much anyone, it’s usually a wise idea to define terms. So before your next date night (or date morning or date afternoon since there isn’t a time of day requirement for a date), have a conversation with your significant other about what a date is. This is a good exercise to help understand and set expectations.
For us, we’ve come to realize that a date is simply spending time together where that is the primary purpose. This could mean a dinner date night, going shopping together, or even an evening at home if we’re setting aside specific time to just be together.
Here are 13 date ideas to help you plan your next date night!
Dinner at a Restaurant (Obviously)
This is the classic “date night” experience. Of course, this is a good option for a date, but don’t feel like you have to get all dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant to have a good date. Fancy restaurants are fine, but so is fast food. Time, budget, and preferences are all factors in deciding where to dine. Here’s an idea to mix things up:
Sit next to each other instead of across from each other. We prefer sitting next to each other wherever we go. We find it’s easy enough to turn and look at each other, and when there are quiet moments we can just look around at our surroundings. It’s neat to share the same perspective with each other. If we’re at a restaurant that has interesting items on the walls, we can easily point things out and make comments to each other. In addition to sharing the same perspective, we enjoying sharing a plate or bowl. There’s something sweet and quaint about sitting next to your special person while eating from the same plate.
Go to a Movie
Before we dig into more unique ideas, let’s get another classic date night option out of the way — going to the movies. However! Let me throw in an idea to make this outing more fun and memorable, find a small theater. You know, one that looks like it’s straight out of the ’90s. For all the people reading this in the Rogue Valley, we suggest the Ashland Varsity Theatre. Pro tip for the Tinseltown theater in Medford, the armrests fold up! You’re welcome.
Go on a Walk
This one is nice because it can start right at your front door. Go for a loop around your neighborhood, or for those living in the country, go for a stroll around your property. Use this time to talk about whatever, take photos of cool things you see (and each other), look around and explore, and simply breathe and enjoy God’s wonderful creation.
Get Takeout, Find an Empty Parking Lot, and Eat in the Car
The title of this one is pretty self-explanatory, and this is inspired by COVID-19. But we’ll probably keep this in mind long after The Rona has passed. This is a fun way to be alone. Typically at a restaurant, there are waiters coming and going as well as other people dining, but in your car, it’s just you and your honey! Our go-to is Chipotle (we share a bowl, naturally) and then we find a parking spot with few cars around so we’re more alone. We sit, eat, and talk, and when we’re done, we just buckle up and head home.
Go on a Picnic
There’s a park close to our house that we’ve nicknamed “Our Picnic Park” because we’ve gone on quite a few picnics there. It’s special to have a physical location that we feel is “ours” because we’ve made so many memories there. For this picnic, you could cook a meal at home and take that to a park, or you could simply pick something up (Chipotle or Panda Express anyone?). And of course, parks aren’t the only picnic location, feel free to head to the lake, go for a hike, drive out in the country somewhere, or even your own backyard!
Go for a Drive
Speaking of driving in the country, do that. Just go for a drive through the countryside. Turn on your favorite music, roll the windows down, and make it up as you go together. We love discovering roads we haven’t been on before. It’s a simple, fun way to go on an adventure together.
Tennis (or Something Similar)
This is a new favorite of ours. I’ve had two tennis rackets for years that I’ve never used. So we decided to head down to the tennis court and test them out. By no means are we phenomenal tennis players, but we have a blast trying to hit the ball back and forth. We laugh, make silly faces at each other across the net, take fun photos of each other, miss the ball, and get a little workout in. You could substitute tennis for ping pong, badminton, or even pickleball!
Root Beer Floats
This one is a nice follow-up for your tennis date. Oh yeah, back-to-back dates, that’s a thing! One night, two dates. Ice cream is pretty much always a great complement to physical activity, especially in the summertime. Pro tip, right now this summer Arby’s has $1 root beer floats. You’re welcome. If root beer floats aren’t your style, feel free to switch this out for Cold Stone ice cream, an açaí bowl from Yumberry Bowl, or froyo from Yogurt Hut.
Before all of you guys out there groan about how much you dislike shopping, hear me out. First, if your wife likes doing something, even if you don’t like it, it’s good to do that with her. It means a lot to her and makes her feel loved. Second, just give it a shot and try to have fun! Willpower goes a long way in changing our attitude. Your wife probably just wants to spend time with you, so if that means walking around Target for 3 hours, then do that!
Before you start thinking that this is weird or creepy, it’s not. Everyone does it whether they admit it or not. This can be done almost anywhere since all you need to people watch are people. One of our favorite locations is the mall. Sometimes we’ll go there, walk around for a bit, and then find a bench and simply watch people. We have fun with it — making up stories about what we think people might be thinking. It can be quite entertaining. And it’s free!
Plan a Fun Evening at Home
Sometimes you may not feel like leaving home, or you may not be able to (especially if you have kids). While there are many things you can do at home to spend time together, we found it to be special and fun to be intentional about it. Sometimes I’ll give my wife a note at some point in the day with a detailed list of the evening plans. It might look like this:
- Have dinner
- Talk about our day
- Play a game while listening to music (Dutch Blitz is a favorite)
- Watch a movie while eating popcorn and ice cream
- Lay on the couch together and talk
- Go to bed
Obviously, you could put whatever you want on your list, but we’d encourage you to be detailed and specific. This is a way to express creativity in your love for each other. Plus, it takes some decision making out of the evening, which for us can sometimes be the hardest part of a date.
Work on a Project Together
When we were first getting to know each other, this was one of the things on our list of ways to spend time together to get to know each other better. And it only became more and more prominent after we got married. After all, we are constantly building our life together, which is the biggest and best project to work on. But throughout the long-term project of life, we like working on smaller projects together, such as painting our interior house doors and trim, working on our backyard, organizing our garage (yes, I love organizing!), babysitting for family and friends, writing blog posts, making short films, etc.
[Insert Your Date Idea]
It takes effort to have a good relationship. People put lots of hard work and creativity into their work, and they should put even more into their relationships! So this 13th and final date idea is up to you to come up with. We’ve given you 12 other ideas to kickstart your creativity. Now think of a new date idea that’s different than the ones mentioned above. Maybe you already have a go-to date idea that we didn’t mention, and if not, that’s fine, we believe you can come up with some great ideas!
Leave a comment below with your date idea. We’d love to have some new ideas to try, and I’m sure others reading this would love it as well.
Be creative, have fun, and enjoy your dates!