Are you the couple whose Instagram looks like a Fodor’s guide because you go on incredibly fun dates together like canoeing on pristine lakes, ice fishing in the middle of nowhere, or rock climbing the actual Rockies? Congratulations, friend, you are living your best life! This, however, is a list of wonderfully simple date night ideas for the rest of us looking to have a good time. Not that there’s anything wrong with rock climbing, ice fishing, or even the usual drinks-and-dinner somewhere nice, but, variety, as they say, is the spice of life so why not try something new? You can always fall back on reservations at your favourite resto if these aren’t your cup of tea although I’m positive there’s something here for everyone!
Let’s get to listing the date night ideas, shall we?
1. Go bowling
Bowling might have been America’s favorite activity once upon a time but you’d be surprised how often we catch ourselves driving by the local bowling alley always promising to return. When was the last time you went? Maybe it’s time to go this weekend! It’s fun, it competitive, and it’s the perfect low pressure, low maintenance date for when you want to spend time with your other half but don’t want to dress up to the nines. Seriously, raise your hands if you’re a mom with small children. Jeans and a nice tee are as far as I can take it some nights and that’s perfectly acceptable attire if I’m going bowling! That’s winning in my books.
2. Book a night at a local hotel
This is one of my favorite ideas. Who doesn’t love checking out of real life for a night and living in the lap of luxury? Chocolates on your pillow, sheets tucked in just so, and room service at your fingertips. Sounds like a pretty perfect night with lots of potential to get cozy! Bonus points for not having to make the bed the next morning.
3. Go to the library
Ok, so at first glance the library isn’t the hottest meeting spot in town for couples, I’ll admit, but maybe it should be? Are you a bookworm? Do you love discovering new authors and old books? Do you take a certain delight in whispered conversations and stolen kisses in deserted, hushed aisles? Well, then, off you go! Bonus: library cards are free, libraries are often housed in beautiful buildings with great architectural details, and there are hundreds and thousands of books waiting to be discovered. Did I mention it’s free? Go forth and conquer, my friends.
4. Get outside
It’s easy to live in a beautiful city with lots to do but somehow never actually do anything until you have visitors roll through town. Who’s with me on this one? Living in LA, especially, means an abundance of natural sights to see, hikes to go on, and pretty locales to discover. Pick a park known for its blooms or hike up to a waterfall with a picnic basket and let Mother Nature refresh your senses and set the stage for a wonderful timeout. Bonus: plan your picnic closer to sunset to marvel at the candy-colored skies, or leave home long after sunset to star gaze over a late night bottle of wine and really great dessert.
5. Spend the day at the beach
If you’re lucky enough to live close to a beach, really, what more do you need? Lounge on the sand and work on your tans together, finish that novel you’ve been working on forever, rent bikes and ride up and down the boardwalk, people watch over hot dogs and beer, and round off the day with a spectacular sunset. Bonus points for combining a stay at a local bed and breakfast with a day at the beach.
6. Go dancing
It’s easy to dismiss dancing as the privilege of the young and coordinated but really there’s nothing more fun and high-energy than a night at a local club- no matter how old you are. The best part is there are so many choices! Salsa dancing or EDM, top 40 or line dancing- there’s bound to be a place you can cut loose and shake yo booty! Plus, it’s a great excuse to dress up and put your best face forward and some nights that’s exactly what the doctor ordered.
7. Take a gourmet cooking class
This is near the top of my To-Do list. My brother and his wife are self-professed foodies and one of their regular date nights involves spending time learning new cooking and baking techniques and how to make new dishes at local gourmet cooking classes. What a great idea for a date night! They often find culinary class deals on sites like Living Social. Bonus: Not only are they learning something new together but they also get to bring home everything they cook to enjoy the next day.
8. Hit up all the donut shops in town
Gluttony might be one of the seven sins but I’m a firm believer in treating yo’ self once in a while, and far as desserts go, donuts rank pretty high on my list of favorites. If you agree, why not hit up all the local spots close by in one go? Find new favorites, try new toppings, eat ALL THE DONUTS. (In case the Mr. is reading, this is pretty much my ideal date *ahem*). Feel free to substitute ice cream, cupcakes, pastries or any other mutually-favored treat if donuts aren’t your thing. I won’t judge.
9. Have a game night
There are some ideas that work best when there’s more than one couple involved, and game night is one of them. Round up a few of your favorite friends and host a game night at home or hit up your local game board cafe. I highly recommend Cards Against Humanity for the laughs, but if board games like Risk or Settlers of Catan are your thing, that works too! Bonus: you can adult all the way and play with real money and rewards.
10. Work out together
This isn’t something I’ve tried, I’ll be honest, but that’s mainly because the Mr. and I prefer different methods of getting fit. I lean towards Pilates and he prefers Soccer, but if you and your love are on the same track or willing to try something new, there’s really nothing else that will get the adrenalin pumping and be as good for you as a shared work out. Follow up with a green smoothie but perhaps plan this after hitting up all the donut shops in town? #justsayin
11. Netflix and chill (For reals)
There’s a reason why that particular phrase is firmly embedded in our collective vocabulary. When all else has been discussed and dismissed because you’re just too lazy to change out of your pajamas, well, then it’s time to commence binge-watching with a side of popcorn, pistachios, and chocolate. Always have chocolate, friends. Bonus points: when you’ve sped through a new favorite series, just roll off the couch and right into bed. There’s no place like home, amirite?