101 Romantic Date Ideas To Spark Romance (Or Keep It Alive)


Sarah Regan

Author:

December 30, 2023

Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

By Sarah Regan

mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor

Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor’s in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.

two people sitting outside together

Image by Priscilla Du Preez / Unsplash

December 30, 2023

Whether you’re dating someone new or you’ve been together for years, date nights keep your connection intimate and relationship thriving. And once in a while, it’s good to switch up your usual date night routine for something a little more romantic.

After all, spending intentional time doing something you both enjoy together can help the two of you bond and make memories—plus quality time might even be one of your love languages.

So, without further ado, here are 101 romantic date night ideas to keep handy whenever you need an extra special date night.

1.

Go out to dinner

Starting off simple, going out to dinner is a date night staple for a reason. You can converse over good food, wear your best outfit, and gaze at each other over candlelight. To make things interesting, go to a restaurant you’ve never been to—or at least try something you’ve never had.

2.

See a movie

Another classic, hitting the movies is the perfect opportunity to snuggle up in front of the big screen and indulge in some movie theatre popcorn. Bonus points if you have some discussion points on the drive home!

3.

Go to the drive-in

Switch up your usual movie date by finding your closest drive-in and enjoying an outdoor movie. You’ll have a bit more privacy than you would in a theatre, plus drive-ins often show throwback movies if you want to enjoy an old classic together.

4.

Have a pajama day

Take the day off work together, send the kids to grandma and grandpa, set your phones on silent, and put on your coziest PJs. Spend the day completely free of obligations together whilst you order takeout, eat it in bed, and binge-watch something mindless and fun.

5.

Do a coffee tasting

For a creative spin on the classic coffee date, consider attending a coffee tasting or even a coffee-making course instead. You can discover new things about each other while learning a cool hobby.

6.

Go for a hike

Any nature lovers out there? Going for a hike on a nearby trail is a great way to take in some nature and give you time to connect outside of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. (Easy walking trails are an option too!)

7.

Go for a bike ride

Want to take in more of your city in less time? Map your ideal route around town and go for a bike ride together. Even if you don’t have bikes, you could borrow or friend’s or see if your city has a local bike-share program.

8.

Play mini golf

It’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s classic: Putt-putt courses are everywhere, and many also feature arcade games and snacks, so you can make a whole evening out of letting your inner-child out for some fun.

9.

Visit the driving range

If one of you is more of a golf-aficionado than a putt-putter, you might consider hitting up your local driving range to work on your swing. Whoever is the pro can sweetly put their arms around the other to demonstrate—oh so romantically—how to get a hole-in-one.

10.

Go for a drive

Going for a country drive can feel like a welcome escape, especially if you live in a city. Make a roadtrip playlist together, pack some snacks, and hit the road for a scenic date that doesn’t even involve getting out of the car.

11.

Have a beach day

Pack the cooler, refine your beach playlist, and don’t forget your sunscreen! There’s nothing like laying on the beach on a nice summer’s day, and having your partner by your side makes it that much sweeter.

12.

Visit an animal sanctuary

If one or both of you are animal lovers, visiting and/or volunteering at an animal shelter is a nice way to give back to the animals, and spend quality time with your partner doing something that makes you feel good.

13.

Rent kayaks and go out on the water

Getting out on the water is an instant recipe for serenity—and an arm workout! Grab kayaks or a canoe (or rent them if you don’t have any) and take a leisurely row down your nearest creek or river.

14.

Get tickets to a dinner cruise

If you like the sound of getting out on the water—but without the arm workout—consider finding a local dinner cruise to attend. You and your date can enjoy a night of dressing to the nines, having a nice dinner, and dancing the night away.=

15.

Visit an amusement park

Any adrenaline junkies out there? Nothing will bring you and your date together quite like being at the top of a 150-foot rollercoaster—or unanimously chickening out and hitting the merry-go-round instead.

16.

Go berry picking in the summer

When you go berry picking, you’re connecting with both nature and your date. Plus, you can go home and make something with your harvest, like blueberry pie or a strawberry tart.

17.

Go apple picking in the fall

Apple picking is a classic autumnal activity for good reason—you can chat as you collect your basket of apples, and make a pie together later on. Tack on a hayride or pumpkin carving and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a romantic fall day.

18.

Stop by your local farmers market

Farmers markets are a great date option that allow you to simultaneously support local farms and get to know your date’s shopping habits. Are they going for the broccoli or the fresh-cut flowers? When you’re done shopping, try to come up with a meal you can make together with all your fresh ingredients.

19.

Try an escape room

Solving puzzles together gets the conversation flowing minus the awkward lulls. This is also a good opportunity to observe how your date deals with pressure, as escape rooms usually have a time limit.

20.

Go to your local history museum

Museums are a great way to learn something new and foster good conversation. If one or both of you is into history, don’t miss out on your nearest history museum to learn more about the area you live in.

21.

Visit an art gallery

Speaking of museums, history is just one option—art museums are another. You can gaze at paintings and discuss how they make you feel—or perhaps chuckle at the ones you’re surprised made it into an exhibit.

22.

Check out the nearest botanical gardens

Many cities have botanical gardens with a variety of plant species, which is a fun way to learn about plant life up close—plus admission is typically pretty affordable too, which never hurts.

23.

Explore a new science museum exhibit

Speaking of learning something new, see if your local science museum has any cool exhibits opening up. From workshops to biology exhibits, there’s usually at least one offering that could pique both of your interests.

24.

Visit a planetarium

Speaking of science, nothing says “I love you” like gazing at the whole known universe. Sit back in the dark and wonder at the beauty of the night sky, without actually having to camp out in the cold. Win-win!

25.

Scope out your local library

Some libraries offer events and exhibitions that are great for sparking conversation. You can also swap book recommendations and read together, exchanging your thoughts on your picks.

26.

Take a pottery class

Not only is this a fun way for you both to get your hands dirty and make something together, but you get to take home your creation! Talk about a win-win date night.

27.

Take a cooking class

Another win-win date night? Taking a cooking class together. You’ll learn how to make some amazing recipes—and get to enjoy eating them, too.

28.

Go to a paint and sip

Paint and sips aren’t just for ladies nights, and going to one with your partner is a low-pressure way to tap into your more creative sides. Plus, if you like your paintings enough, you can hang them up at home later.

29.

See a play or musical

From big Broadway shows to local theatre company originals, consider having an evening with arts by seeing a play or musical. Put on your fanciest theatre attire, grab a cocktail beforehand, and enjoy the show.

30.

Catch some live music

Want to see a different kind of show? Check out the concerts coming up near you! Don’t be afraid to take a drive to see a bigger artist, or get into your local music scene at nearby bars and venues.

30.

Go ice skating

Ice skating might be tricky if either of you aren’t the most graceful, but if you’re confident in your skating skills, it’s a super romantic date night idea. Even if it’s warm where you live, check out if there are any indoor rinks near you.

31.

Go fishing

Fishing can be relaxing (and momentarily exciting when you actually catch one), plus you’ll have plenty of time to chat with your date on the water. Bonus points if you go home and make dinner with your catch.

32.

Start a couple’s book club

Settle on a book you’re both interested in reading and start your own “book club.” You can read out loud to each other, and then when you’re done, make a whole evening out of book discussion questions, wine, and charcuterie.

33.

Have a picnic

Pick a romantic and picturesque spot near you, pack up your favorite picnic dishes, and take a trip out for the day. Don’t forget a portable speaker, sunscreen, and some fizzy drinks!

34.

Do some stargazing

What’s more romantic than laying outside in the summer and gazing at the stars? If you live in a city, use this date as an excuse to get out into the country and reconnect with nature.

35.

Take a yoga class together

Yoga is an excellent activity for strengthening the body and mind—plus it can improve your sex life. Hit up your nearest studio and try a style of yoga you’ve both never done before!

36.

Visit your local zoo or aquarium

Get up close and personal with your favorite animals at your local zoo or aquarium. Some of them may even offer volunteer opportunities, workshops, or demonstrations, if that’s something that interests the two of you.

37.

Watch each other’s favorite movies

When you first got to know your partner, you probably asked what their favorite movie was—and then maybe they watched it. If it’s been a while, rewatch your respective favorites with each other! They probably will love sharing it with you—even if it’s not the first time.

38.

Try rock climbing

For the adventurous daters in the bunch, find your nearest rock climbing gym and give it a go. Belaying each other can even foster a sense of connection and trust.

39.

Go dancing

Going dancing is a tried-and-true date night activity that, quite honestly, needs a renaissance. Just have fun with it and dance like no one’s watching!

40.

Take a dance class

Speaking of dancing—need to brush up on your skills? That works too! Find a local dance group or studio that offers classes and workshops for adults, and learn a few tricks to dominate the dance floor together.

41.

Recreate the night your first met

Re-stage the night you first met with as many details as you can remember, like where you went, what you were wearing, and the timeline of the evening. Relive the memories and fondly recall why you two kept dating after that night.

42.

Pretend you’re meeting for the first time

Even if you can’t exactly replicate the night you first met, you can still role play meeting each other for the first time, pretending for the whole night that you’ve only just met. Who knows, maybe you’ll even kiss on the “first date.”

43.

Eat your way around your city

Who says you have to have a five-course meal in just one place? Stop for cocktails at your favorite cocktail bar, apps at a local tapas joint, entrées at a swanky five-star restaurant—you get the idea.

44.

Have a staycation

Take a look at the hotels or bed and breakfasts near you and have yourselves a staycation. You can go out for a fancy dinner, take a dip in the hotel pool, and enjoy a night in a cozy suite.

45.

Get a couples massage

Everyone deserves a good massage once in a while, especially if you or your date have been stressed lately. On the off chance that getting a couple’s massage is out of your price range, you can look up massage tutorials online and massage each other (which, come to think about it, is kinda sexier anyway).

46.

Play 20 questions

No matter how well you think you know someone, there’s virtually always something new to discover, and asking deep questions is a great way to connect with parts of your date you’ve never seen. Here’s our list of 114 conversation starters for couples if you need some inspiration!

47.

Go through old photos together

Seeing pictures from your date’s childhood is an almost certain recipe a warm heart, plus a bunch of “aww’s.” You’ll undoubtedly hear stories from each other’s childhoods, plus learn more about each other in the process.

48.

Make a scrapbook of your relationship

From the day you first met until now, compile all the photos, ticket stubs, and tangible mementos you can and put them in a scrapbook to make a beautiful record of your memories together.

49.

Go on photo walk

Grab your camera, polaroid—or let’s be honest, your phones—and take a photo tour around a picturesque area. You can exchange visual inspirations beforehand and try them on the streets, plus this is great for discovering new spots around your city.

50.

Have a karaoke night

Whether you rent a karaoke machine for the night if you’re too shy to do it in public, or go all-out at your nearest karaoke bar, you and your date can let your goofy sides out, serenade each other, or find your new go-to duet.

51.

Attend a sound bath or breathwork ceremony

For a little spiritual connectivity and relaxation, see if there are any sound baths or breathwork ceremonies happening near you. It’s a chance to try something different and tap into your spirituality together.

52.

Try to make each other’s favorite family dish

Does one of you have a famous family sauce recipe, or another dish that’s been passed down for generations? Get a recipe from both of your families, and try to make the other’s signature dish for each other! (i.e. you make their family’s meatloaf, and they make your family’s paella).

53.

Draw or paint each other

Doing portraits of each other not only gives you an excuse to stare lovingly at each other for a bit, but you can let your creative sides out and have fun with it.

54.

Write each other love letters

This is an especially great option if one or both of you appreciates words of affirmation. Writing love letters is a classic way to get your feelings out on paper, and you can even read them out loud to each other if you really want to get sappy. (Here’s our guide on how to write one, in case you need it.)

55.

Build a fort in your living room

A true childhood classic, building a fort together is the perfect way to take your usual movie night to the next level. Reconstruct your living room into the fort of your dreams, complete with pillows, twinkly lights, and your favorite childhood film.

56.

Have a DIY spa night

Want a couple’s spa treatment without the spa prices? Hit up your nearest drugstore for sheet masks, bubble bath, massage tools, and more, and bring the spa in for a night of relaxation and pampering each other.

57.

Host a game night

You can put together a couple’s game night for just the two of you, or invite some friends over and host a whole evening out of it. All you need are your favorite board or card games, some cocktails (or mocktails), and your favorite go-to munchies.

58.

Plant a garden

Sow the seeds of your love by literally sowing seeds in a garden together. If you don’t have a backyard, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a cute little patio garden of small pots, or you could see if there’s a local community garden nearby.

59.

Go foraging in the wild

Speaking of plants, you can also forage in the wild if gardening isn’t an option where you live. From mushrooms to ramps to dandelions, there’s no shortage of dinner ingredients to use when the Earth is your grocery store.

60.

Hit the slopes

Whether you’re an avid skiier or more the bunny hill type, spending the day skiing or snowboarding is a great way to get outdoors together in the colder months, plus get a workout in, too.

61.

Build a campfire

From the warm glow of the fire to cozying up in a hammock together, sitting by a campfire is super romantic. You can swap memories, ask each other questions, tell ghost stories and make s’mores—whatever tickles your fancy.

62.

Volunteer for a cause you both care about

Are the two of you both big environmentalists? Or perhaps you’ve bonded over being vegan? Find a local charity you both get behind and commit the day to furthering the cause together.

63.

Attend a workshop

There are workshops for anything and everything, from poetry writing to acting improv. Find a local workshop that sounds interesting to the both of you and spend the night getting out of your comfort zone.

64.

See a speaker or attend a lecture

People go to concerts all the time, but when was the last time you went to see someone speak? Find out if there are any cool speakers giving talks near you—and check out local universities, too, which often have opportunities to attend events on campus.

65.

Watch the sunset

Whether you’re on a roof or a beach, watching the sunset together is a classic romantic move. Or, if you’re early risers, don’t let us stop you from venturing out early for the sunrise.

66.

Go to a burlesque show

Want to make your next date night a little bit spicier? See if there are any burlesque or drag shows coming up near you and get tickets for a night of sexy fun.

67.

Try a workout you’ve both never done

Going on a date that gets you both out of your comfort zones is a great way to bond, and trying a new workout is a great date option for the gym rats out there.

68.

Visit a winery from some wine tasting

Enjoying gorgeous wine trails and sampling wine? Talk about a simple but elegant date idea. Of course, if you’re not too into wine, you can also see if there’s a brewery nearby that you’d prefer.

69.

Cook together

Working as a team in the kitchen can be quite romantic—and remind you both why your work so well together! Browse online for a recipe that looks yummy to both of you, run to the store for the ingredients, and have fun cheffing it up with your favorite tunes playing.

70.

Get matching tattoos

If you really want to get adventurous, there’s nothing quite like bonding over shared pain. Plus, exchanging ideas over which design to get can be a great activity before the date.

71.

Go to a fair or festival

You can do several of the activities mentioned here at an outdoor festival. You can walk around, eat, get fresh air, enjoy carnival rides, and likely listen to music all while you’re there. This makes for a full day of fun, as well as plenty of in-between time for good conversation.

72.

Try your hand at axe throwing

Axe throwing venues have been popping up in cities all over the country, and you’d be amazed just how much fun and laughter can be had as you each attempt to perfect your throw.

73.

Book a hot air balloon

You read that right! If you really want to amp up the romance your next date night, consider seeing if there’s a hot air balloon service near you. Just an hour in the sky is enough for a lifetime of memories.

74.

Have a casino night

Whether you bet on who has to do tomorrow’s chores or who’s paying for your next dinner date, a fun game of poker (or blackjack, roulette—you name it) can bring on the laughter—and a little friendly competition.

75.

Learn a new skill together

Have you always wanted to master pasta making? Or maybe you keep eyeing the local tango classes around the corner from you. Whatever it is, grab your S.O. and tackle learning this new skill together. (Online how-to videos are great if you want to keep your date night cozy at home!)

76.

Go out for ice cream

Two spoons please! Nothing says sweet and romantic like literally getting a sweet treat together, and there’s something about ice cream dates that are particularly innocent and nostalgic.

77.

Go to a local sports game

Does your town or city have a sports team, big or small? From football to basketball to baseball, there’s no shortage of sporting events to attend, and you and your date can cheer on your favorite teams together.

78.

Make a playlist for each other

Long gone are the days of burning CDs for your lover, but playlists certainly haven’t gone anywhere. Making a playlist for each other is a cute way to show you care and express how you feel, and you can listen to the playlists together and talk about why you chose those songs.

79.

Pitch a tent for the night

For the nature lovers out there, there’s never a bad time to escape for the night with a quick camping trip. OK, well maybe if the weather is bad—but otherwise, camping for the night is a fun way to spend some quality time away from your usual routine.

80.

Go bowling

Who doesn’t love a classic trip to the bowling alley once in a while? It’s easy to make conversation between turns, you don’t have to take it too seriously, and you can invite some more friends to make it a group activity, too.

81.

Take them on a tour of your childhood

Even if you and your partner are from the same area, there’s a chance they don’t know about every single one of your favorite spots. Take each other on tours of your respective childhoods for a clue into how you each grew up. Think driving by your school, favorite park, childhood home, favorite place to eat, etc.

82.

Hit up a local trivia night

Trivia is certainly not everyone’s strong suit, but it’s all for fun and games, right? Find your closest trivia night and form a team, whether that’s just the two of you, or with the addition of some particularly brainy friends.

83.

Go horseback riding

Going for a trail ride on horseback with your date can be relaxing and allow you to connect with local nature, and it’s well worth it to find the best trail you can, even if it’s a little far away.

84.

Host a dinner party

Planning a dinner party will not only give you an opportunity to work together as a team, but you can bond over the experience of hosting a party together, and enjoy the company of your friends as a couple.

85.

Plan a murder mystery

If you want to host a dinner party but take it up a notch, why not plan a murder mystery? You can find scripts online, invite your more theatrical friends, and prepare for an evening of laughter—all coordinated by you and your date, of course.

86.

Redecorate a room in your home

Spruce up a room in your home that needs a little redecorating, whether you opt to rearrange the furniture, get some new decor, or completely transform the room. You’ll not only be getting creative together, but can help each other with deciding on what to do.

87.

Check out your local comedy scene

Want a night of drinks and laughter? Go to your local comedy club, or see if there are any open-mic comedy nights near you. Bonus points if you go to an open-mic and both perform a bit yourselves.

88.

Put a scavenger hunt together

Take turns making a scavenger hunt for the other that leads them through landmarks of your relationship—from the place you first met, to the location of your first date, etc., with the final destination being one of your favorite places to go together, for example.

89.

Work on a home improvement project

Have a desk that you’ve been meaning to refurbish or a cabinet to assemble? Test your teamwork abilities and see if you can tackle the project together—of course rewarding yourselves afterwards with whatever prize you see fit.

90.

Go cliff jumping

Get that adrenaline pumping at your nearest cliff jumping site. Please be safe, obviously—but if there’s a local spot that is known to be safe for jumping into water, it’s a great date activity to spark a sense of adventure and aliveness between the two of you.

91.

Go thrifting

Get thrifty with your date and hit up the nearest flea market, thrift store, or antique shop. You can spend literal hours in second-hand stores, looking at all the old treasures and making up stories about where everything came from.

92.

Plan a treasure hunt

This one takes a little bit of advance planning, but it’s super worth it for the look on your partner’s face. Hide little gifts all over your home along with clues related to your relationship. For example, if your first kiss was in a club toilet, you could have a clue that leads your honey to a present hidden in the bathroom. Make the treasure hunt culminate in a bigger present or a little card that explains what kind of date you’re going to take your boo on later that day.

93.

Go sky-diving

Certainly not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’ve always wanted to go sky-diving, it can be a great activity for getting your adrenaline pumping and making one major memory with your date.

94.

Go to an open house

You don’t have to be shopping for a home to pretend you’re shopping for a home, and it can make for a pretty fun date. Check out a local open house and enjoy an afternoon of pretending to be homebuyers.

95.

Get a reading with a psychic

If you dare, find a reputable psychic near you and pop in for a couple’s reading. With any luck, they might just have a positive message for you.

96.

Have your astrological compatibility mapped

Speaking of psychics, an astrologer might have a positive message for you too. Find one near you who specializes in relationship astrology, AKA synastry, for a full reading on how your stars match up.

97.

Get your auras read

That’s right: You can get your aura read professionally, and in some cases, photographed. You can each compare your auras, and even ask about how well your auras match with each other’s.

98.

Go to a book reading

Book readings can spark an interesting conversation between you that goes beyond the classic “Tell me about yourself.” You and your date might even find a new author to fan over together.

99.

Go on a wellness retreat

Making time together to do something good for your overall health can deepen your connection. Plus, going on a meaningful journey like this together is sure to make for great memories.

100.

Make a shared vision board

What’s more romantic than sharing a mutual vision of what you both want in the future? Take that vision and bring it to life with a vision board full of images, quotes, etc., that highlight the goals you two share.

101.

Go on a double date with your favorite couple friends

Last but not least, if you and your S.O. know another couple that you like spending time with, invite them in on your plans! Extra company never hurts from time to time, and they might have some good romantic date ideas, too.

The takeaway

No matter how busy our lives get, it’s still so important to carve out quality time with the person you love—and not only that, but keep the romance alive! So the next time you’re looking for date night inspiration, consider swapping in one (or more) of these romantic date ideas for your usual routine.

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