105 Fun Date Night Ideas to Inspire Romance
Date night is important—not just for getting to know a love interest, but to share experiences and spice things up throughout a relationship. But coming up with romantic things to do as a couple or fun ways to spend date night is harder than it seems! That's why we polled the experts to reveal their best advice and favorite date night ideas for couples.
"You need to set aside time to be together and enjoy your shared activities and hobbies," says Dr. Jane Greer, New York-based marriage and family therapist and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship. "You're prioritizing your time with your partner so that you can create more intimacy between the two of you. With everything going on in people's lives, you can wind up flipping into creature comfort and not wanting to bother going out or doing anything."
Deeper into a relationship, regular reconnections can help keep your bond solid. "Dating can be extremely beneficial toward keeping romance alive, and making a practice of going on regular dates can be a great way to jump-start that habit," says Denise Limongello, a licensed psychotherapist based in Manhattan, who points out that lack of romance is a common reason for breakups or divorce.
"Dating, whether it's your 15th or 150th [date], is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your relationship healthy and long-lasting," adds Esther Boykin, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of The Date Deck. "Dating gives you the opportunity to nurture intimacy, practice communication, demonstrate commitment and create a meaningful history together. These elements are foundational to any quality relationship, be it dating or marriage. When you are consistent about having date night together, you are reminding each other that your relationship is a priority no matter how busy life gets."
Whether you're looking for at-home date night ideas, double dates, perfect date ideas by season or anniversary date ideas for married couples, we've got lots of inspiration for you, whatever your relationship status.
In this article:
Fun Date Ideas
Planning a fun date from time to time adds joy to any relationship. "Fun" has different meanings to different people, so choose something that speaks to your and your date's personalities. What makes you smile? Let loose? Act silly?
Here are some fun ideas for your next date:
1. Plan a Slow Food Picnic
Spend quality time together preparing and grazing on good, clean, locally-sourced foods.
2. Be Adventurous
Try biking, hiking on a trail or kayaking; enjoy an afternoon in nature.
3. Sing Karaoke
Who cares if you can't carry a tune? Pick a few favorite songs, and we're sure you'll lower your inhibitions a bit.
4. Go Dancing
What's great about going dancing is that there are so many different types and genres of music to dance to. Choose a spot that plays your favorite tunes or try something completely new and different.
5. Take a Pottery-Making Class
This DIY activity can be romantic too. Remember the sensuous scene from the movie Ghost? You don't even need to go out—get creative with a DIY pottery kit at home instead.
6. Visit an Amusement Park
Share the adrenaline rush of a roller-coaster ride or the hilarity of walking through a funhouse.
7. Drive a Go Kart
Test your driving skills and create some friendly competition with a spin around a go-kart race track.
8. Try Axe Throwing
Speaking of competition... put your axe throwing skills to the test. If you haven't tried this exhilarating activity, it's worth giving it a go. If you really love it, you can even join a league together.
9. Play Mini-Golf
Mini-golf is a tried and true date idea. Whether it's a classic outdoor course or a new indoor design at an arcade, navigating your way around the holes is pretty fun.
10. Go Shopping
Not just any old shopping—go to places that are new and novel to the two of you. Browse through vintage shops, buy vinyl on Record Store Day, explore art galleries or other specialty shops that pique your curiosity.
Romantic Date Ideas
Whether you're looking to ignite or rekindle romance—or simply keep it aflame—it's not just what you do on the date, it's how you treat your significant other while you're on it.
"Romance is created through affection between the two of you, like compliments, light touching or remembering what your partner likes—like their favorite ice cream or a single stem of their favorite flower," Greer says. "Romance can be found when you pay attention to your partner, remember what they like and show them they matter to you."
"Flowers and candlelight can be romantic, but so can hot dogs and a baseball game," Boykin says. "It is a balance between doing what you know your partner loves and taking a little risk to try something you think they may like. The idea that there's still more to learn and be surprised by in your relationship is what fuels the sense of romance."
Some romantic date night ideas for her or for him include:
11. Dinner Date Night
Have dinner at a quiet, quaint restaurant or make something at home, paired with a good bottle of wine. Make it extra special and dress up, even if you're dining in.
12. See a Comedy Show
The couple that laughs together, stays together. "Laughter is the fiber of intimacy," Greer says. "Laughing together helps people bond."
13. Book a Spa Day
Put a focus on self-care and wellness by booking a couple's massage, manis, pedis and other treatments. Spoil yourselves to some time at a spa or invite a Soothe professional to give you a treatment at home.
14. Get a Couple Tattoo
Seal the deal and proclaim your love to one another with some permanent ink. The design can be a subtle nod to your relationship or a more obvious declaration of love. It's up to you.
15. Plan a Weekend Away
Plan a ski trip, a stay at a cozy cabin, or a quick getaway to a nearby city. A change of scenery is a great way to recharge your relationship.
16. Take a Wine Tasting Tour
This is a great date for wine enthusiasts or newbies interested in learning a little more about wine. Head to a wine region to tour some wineries or keep it close to home and visit some local wine bars in your area.
17. Rent a Rowboat
Recreate a romantic scene from The Notebook and paddle around a pond or river for the afternoon. Surprise your partner by reciting some passages of poetry.
At-Home Date Night Ideas
"I love to cook a great dinner, open a favorite bottle of wine and lay out a blanket in front of the TV," Boykin says. "Research has shown that watching movies with relationship themes and talking about them can be as effective as premarital counseling," she adds. "The secret? Couples must be intentional about the conversation they have after the movie."
Here are some intriguing at-home date ideas:
18. Start a Couple's Bucket List
Regular date nights are great but dedicate an evening to making some loftier plans and capturing them in a bucket list journal.
19. Make a Playlist
This date idea can be a joint effort or you can surprise your partner and make a playlist for them. Spend some time really listening to and discussing the music and lyrics. Dancing is encouraged too.
20. Binge on a TV Series
If you've fallen into the trap of using your screen time to each of you watching different TV shows, schedule a Netflix and chill night to binge on a show together or watch a movie —choose one with a relationship theme that you can discuss afterward, as Boykin suggests.
21. Listen to a Podcast
Ted Talk, crime show, comedy act... listening to a podcast together can lead to a lively conversation about a topic you've never discussed before.
22. Rearrange your Living Room
Switch up your living space for a change of scenery. It doesn't have to be permanent. Make it a temporary change for a coffee table dinner date or a comfy pillow crash pad in front of the fireplace or TV.
23. Research your Family History
Share what you know about your family history. Take it a step further and do a DNA test with a service like Ancestry.com.
24. Create a Video
Edit together old video clips on your phone using an app like Splice or shoot some new footage of something fun—a funny pet, party tricks, a dance routine.
25. Make a Slideshow
Prefer stills to video? Go through your old photos to create a slideshow that documents your relationship, a trip or a joint project.
26. Read to One Another
Read poetry, a novel, song lyrics, a children's book to help you both escape for a while.
27. Make a TikTok
Get creative making a TikTok video. Who knows, it may even go viral. P.S. Don't forget to follow The Knot.
Cute Date Ideas
Okay, so your partner says they want to "do something cute." You're probably wondering what exactly that's code for. Well, when we want a cute date idea, we want to break the mold and turn the typical date on its head. "Research shows that many satisfied couples report appreciation when their significant others take the time to surprise them," Limongello says.
"Pick a cuisine you're not very familiar with or make something from scratch—such as fresh pasta, charcuterie, candy or beer— together," suggests Melody Li, a nationally certified counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist associate based in Austin, Texas.
Don't tell your partner you have something planned, and create a fun night. Or, create a date night jar filled with ideas and select one so the activity will be a surprise to both of you.
Get cute with one of these adorable date ideas:
28. Plan a Date Night Surprise
It can be having a simple candlelit dinner waiting when they get home, but the fact that it's a surprise will make it special.
29. Have a Lunch Hour Date
Whether you have conflicting schedules or just need to switch things up a bit, it will be fun to rendezvous in the middle of the day for a change.
30. Cook Something New
Cooking a new recipe for the first time can be challenging and rewarding. And if you're stuck for ideas or the right ingredients, meal delivery services like Hello Fresh can help.
31. Plant a Garden
Whether it's an herb garden, cacti or mini fruit trees, this is a fun, sweet activity that can be as labor-intensive or simple as you want it to be.
32. Frame your Favorite Photos
This is a fun activity for an established couple. "Give new life to old frames from thrift and vintage stores by filling them with photos you cherish," Li says.
33. Go to a Drive-In
Kick it old school and catch the latest movie release at a drive-in theater. Watch it from the comfort and privacy of your front seat or back seat;). Or for a classier vibe, go to the oldest movie theatre in town and take in the ambiance, as well as the show.
34. Order a Subscription Box
We love the idea of signing up for one of these cute date night subscription boxes.
Cheap Date Ideas
Don't feel as if you need to spend a lot of money on a date. "It's not the amount of money you spend or what you're doing, rather than the fact you're setting aside time to be together and build intimacy," Greer says. "Wish you could take a cooking class together? Find a video or recipe online and learn how to cook a great meal together," Boykin suggests. "If you love the idea of those sip and paint evenings, create your own art studio at home with inexpensive paints and canvases from your local art store."
Cheap and free date night ideas include:
35. Movie Night At Home
Order a pizza or affordable take-out!
36. Take an Exercise Class Together
Couple's yoga is a good bet! Or, if one of you is a gym member, get a guest pass and bring your date along with you.
37. Sit by the Water
Relax by the lake, pond or river. Feed the ducks, people-watch or gaze at the sunset.
38. Go on a Ferry Ride
Another affordable way to get out on the water is to hop on board a ferry.
39. Spend the Day at the Beach
Bring along a picnic and some games; collect seashells and rocks.
40. Re-Create a Class at Home
If you like the idea of going out to a class or workshop, but need to keep costs down, search the interweb for some videos to re-create the experience at home.
41. Volunteer Together
Donating your time to a food bank or local charity is a great way to connect with your partner and your community. It's easy to find nearby volunteering opportunities online.
42. Explore a New Neighborhood
Take a stroll through a part of town you've never visited before.
43. Ride Public Transport
Choose a famous bus or train route and ride it to do some sightseeing and people-watching.
Creative and Unique Date Ideas
Use your imagination to come up with a few unique date night ideas your partner won't see coming. Some of our favorite dates are unexpected, creative and adventurous. Give these out-of-the-box date ideas a try for a new twist on the same old date. "Make something beautiful," Li says. "Put your creative minds together—bury a time capsule, make a short film, homebrew with seasonal ingredients or make jewelry."
Make it memorable with one of these unique date ideas:
44. Go Glamping
Let's say one of you loves to "rough it" and the other would rather stay in a fancy hotel. Meet in the middle for a little "elegant camping," Limongello suggests. You can still enjoy the great outdoors together but with some creature comforts.
45. Get Crafty
Attend a paint and sip class, jewelry-making workshop or glassblowing studio.
46. Foster or Rescue a Pet
This is a fun idea for couples that live together. Share the love by welcoming a furry friend into your home!
47. Do a Food Truck Tour
Support local entrepreneurs while you enjoy a range of tasty treats.
48. Take a Photo Walk
"Wander around and capture anything that catches your eye with a camera or phone," Li says. "Try shooting from a different perspective than you usually do. Have fun and be silly!"
49. Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Surprise your partner with a list of items (or make it together) to search for in and around your neighborhood. You might even find a fun city scavenger hunt nearby on Let's Roam. Or why not create a romantic scavenger hunt at home using Scavenger Box? The kit comes with everything you need to plan a memorable surprise for your other half.
This is probably the most thrilling idea on this list. If jumping from a plane is too terrifying, but you'd like to give skydiving a try, you can always go to an indoor skydiving wind tunnel.
Double Date Ideas
Double dates can be really fun, but make sure you choose to go on one with a couple with whom you both get along. "If the four of you vibe and have fun together, then it's a great double date," Boykin says. "Research actually shows that double dating can be good for your relationship because it often sparks deeper and more meaningful conversation than when we go out alone." "A double date over brunch or dinner is a great, simple way to connect with friends and each other," Boykin says. "A gallery opening, museum or lecture can provide fodder for your double date conversation," Boykin says.
Spend quality time with friends with one of these fun double-date ideas:
51. Do Sunday Brunch
A brunch date is always a good idea, but a brunch double date is twice as fun.
52. See a Play
Going out to the theater can be pretty special. Discuss the play afterwords with your pals over a drink.
53. Watch a Sports Game
Cheer on the home team with your fan friends for some lively debate on how well they're playing.
54. Go to a Museum or Art Gallery
Plan a cultural excursion to take the time to appreciate the exhibits together.
55. Run a Race
Create some healthy competition and motivation.
56. Attend a Charity Event
Double your contribution to the charity by inviting your friends along.
57. Go to a Trivia Night
Many local pubs hold a trivia night making for a fun date night idea with friends.
58. Host a Game Night
Alternatively, you can host your own game night at home.
Engaged Couples Date Night Ideas
If you're engaged, you probably have a wedding checklist to work your way through. Make it a joint effort and turn some of the tasks into fun couple date night activities.
Here are some date-worthy wedding tasks:
59. Do a Wedding Cake Tasting
Many wedding cake designers offer a tasting package so turn it into a sweet date.
60. Create a Wedding Registry
Creating a wedding gift registry is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Make planning your future home together, a fun and romantic excursion.
61. Tour Wedding Venues
Spend a weekend doing wedding venue site tours. You may even get to sample their food and drink specialties.
62. Practice Wedding Photo Poses
You're going to want to make the most of your time in front of the camera on your wedding day, so make a date to practice couple poses.
63. Go Antiquing
64. Take a Mixology Class
Anniversary Date Ideas
When you're planning an anniversary date, think of doing something special and celebratory—and reflecting on your relationship a bit. "Couples should plan a date that reflects their interests and history together," Boykin says. "Some of my favorite anniversary date night ideas are really low-key but nostalgic."
"I encourage couples to use their anniversary as a time to create special rituals too," Boykin adds. "Take a selfie every year and add it to the back of your wedding album, or take turns surprising each other with unexpected adventures. After all, what is marriage if not an unexpected adventure together?"
Celebrate with one of these romantic anniversary date night ideas:
65. See a Band
Have a night out listening to a local band that plays covers of your favorite artist or a band you saw together early in your relationship.
66. Relive your First Date
Go back to the restaurant or coffee shop where you had your first date. Before you go home, consider re-creating your first kiss too.
67. Relive the Wedding, if You're Married
A double date with your maid of honor and best man or another favorite couple can be a really great way to share your love and memories.
68. Plan a Staycation
Take the whole weekend to celebrate this special occasion. Stay in a swank hotel, get drinks at the hottest new bar, see a show and have fun!
69. Start a New Tradition
Whether it's taking a selfie each year to add to your wedding album or reading your wedding guest book, make it an annual tradition.
70. Book a Helicopter Ride
Plan an OTT date for a special anniversary date experience—booking sites like Viator can help. Score bonus points by planning a stop along the way on a mountain top or another remote location for a private moment together.
Indoor Date Ideas
If you're stuck indoors because of rain or intense heat, there are plenty of fun date night ideas. And just because you're not out in the sunshine doesn't mean your date has to be boring. "Be adventurous," Li says. "Get sweaty!"
"Dancing together is a date you'll be glad you tried," Boykin says. "It's not just a good excuse to get closer, it's also a good way to practice your nonverbal communication with each other. Sometimes you need to let your body do the talking."
Here are some indoor activities for a great date:
71. Take an Aerial Yoga Class
Not your typical yoga class, but an anti-gravity one where you'll be suspended in air.
72. Learn to Trapeze
Swinging your partner through the air is the ultimate thrilling couple experience.
73. Try Indoor Bouldering
Clambering about a rock climbing gym is a great way to work together and break a sweat.
74. Take a Dance Class
Ballroom dancing, Zumba, salsa, swing—there's a dance class for every genre.
75. Take a Cooking Class
This is another date night idea with lots of options and the chance to try cooking a new cuisine. You could even sign up for a meal subscription like Blue Apron, so you can make delicious, chef-designed recipes at home with fresh, pre-measured ingredients.
76. Escape Room
Enjoy the rush of entering the unknown and working together to solve a riddle.
77. Murder Mystery Night
Also intriguing, solving a crime at a Murder Mystery event. If you haven't tried one before, you're in for an experience. Hunt A Killer's at-home mystery subscription boxes are a fun alternative to going out that'll give you and your partner hours of fun sleuthing.
78. Go to an Arcade
Love the nostalgia of old-school arcade games, or, an immersive virtual reality gaming experience? There are lots of options to try.
79. Indoor Beach Volleyball
If it's miserable outside, get those summer vibes with an afternoon playing indoor volleyball.
80. Play Board Games
Play a couples board game at home or head to a board game cafe for a whole new selection of games to play.
Fall Date Ideas
As the nights get shorter and temperatures drop, date night becomes even cozier than usual. It's the perfect time of year to snuggle up with your sweetie. Embrace the changing of the season with these pumpkin-spiced ideas.
Fall in love with these autumn date ideas:
81. Spook Yourselves
Tour a haunted house or take a haunted hayride. P.S. Check out these spooky Halloween date ideas.
82. Go Apple Picking
Head to the countryside for a stroll through an apple orchard. Bring home some apples to make a pie.
Mingle with your fellow football fans.
84. Go Stargazing
Escape the city on a clear night and seek out a good dark viewing point.
85. Head to a Pumpkin Patch
Select the perfect Jack-o'-lantern to carve together.
86. Go Leaf Peeping
See the beautiful autumn colors and take some cute couple photos.
87. Read Spooky Stories
Set the scene with a roaring fire and cozy blanket.
Winter Date Ideas
When the weather cools down and you're planning a date, you've got two choices: Plan something warm indoors or embrace the chill! Whatever you plan to do, take some time to get cozy with a little hot chocolate or some cuddling at the end of the date. (Bonus points if you spend quality time making your own hot chocolate!)
"The potential for you to do something spontaneous and find an adventure is a great way to bring that sense of newness back to your relationship," Boykin says.
Here are a few winter date ideas:
88. Do a Winter Sport
Take your pick: skiing, ice skating, snowboarding or snow tubing.
89. Have an Indoor Picnic
Sprawl out on the living room floor and graze on picnic-style food and drink.
90. Go to a Museum, Science Center or Art Gallery
Take advantage of all the attractions in our own backyard or a nearby locale.
91. Start a Blog
Li suggests starting a blog "Your blog can be a collection of your favorite poems, photos and inside jokes. Or, if you have a shared interest like baking, juggling or upcycling, consider starting a themed blog to grow your community."
92. Visit a Christmas Tree Farm
Sure you could get a tree at your local store, but make driving to a tree farm an annual tradition.
93. Make Holiday Decorations
Design wreaths, put up Holiday lights or try something ambitious like making your very own gingerbread house.
Spring Date Ideas
There's nothing like sunshine and freshly-bloomed flowers to ignite your romance. Consider these date night ideas the next time spring rolls around. "Outdoor activities can bring out a more playful and easygoing side to your personality," Boykin says. "The less you have to think about what to say or what to do next, the more fun you'll have."
Welcome spring with one of these fun date ideas:
94. Visit Your Local Farmer's Market
Pick up fresh produce to cook a delicious meal together.
95. Go to the Zoo or Aquarium
Marvel at the exhibits and learn about your favorite animals together.
96. Rent a Convertible
Go cruising through scenic parkways and rural back roads.
97. Dine Al Fresco
When the weather is nice, there's nothing better than a meal and a glass of wine outside! (Psst, this wine tumbler set will make sure your drinks stay refreshingly chilled.)
98. Fly a Kite
You'll need a steady breeze, serious teamwork, and, of course, a kite to fly.
99. Go on a Garden Tour
Contact your local horticultural society to learn about any garden tours in your area. It's interesting to see all the variety of plants and get ideas for your own garden.
Summer Date Ideas
The good news is: As the weather heats up, the date idea options increase. (That is if you live in a climate with bitter cold winters.) For summer date ideas, you can get outdoors, get moving and get romantic. Hike, mini-golf, bike, walk the dog or do something else outdoorsy!
"Music festivals are particularly great if you get your dance on," Boykin says. "The physical contact combined with the emotion of music and the joy of being outdoors can be a catalyst for a lot of fun and intimacy during and after the date."
Get outside and enjoy one of these summer date ideas:
100. Go to a Local Fair or Festival
How fun is it to play fair games, eat cotton candy and ride a Ferris wheel?
101. Attend an Outdoor Concert
Nothing beats the sweet sounds of live music filling the summer air.
102. Take a Road Trip
Road trips also encourage you to be collaborative with each other as you plan where to go and how to get there.
103. Ride a Motorcycle
The added level of physical closeness and trust involved when riding a motorcycle or scooter can turn a casual afternoon into a very romantic experience without much effort.
104. Build a Campfire
Spending time sitting by a campfire is a summer must. Be sure to bring along the ingredients to make S'mores.
105. Go Horseback Riding
Ride off into the summer sunset together on horseback.