“We usually just stay in and try to find new shows to watch.”
A buddy shared this about his love life. His girlfriend didn’t look too enthusiastic when he described to me how their weekends went. I didn’t want to say anything because I wanted to get out of that boring conversation as quickly as possible. I’m sure that watching a new show about zombies could be exciting on a cold evening when there’s nothing else happening.
There’s a time and a place for Netflix and chill. However, life’s too short to be sitting around when there’s so much to do out there. This is the ultimate list of date night ideas so that you don’t run out of things to do on first dates or with your long-term partner.
I wanted to create the comprehensive list of date night ideas for everyone. Don’t worry this isn’t just a list of first date ideas.I don’t care if you’re looking for love on Tinder or newly married. At some point, you’re going to want to go on a second date, third date, and then you’re in a relationship. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean that you have to sit around and be lame. The dates shouldn’t stop just because you’re in a relationship. It’s important to keep things interesting so that your partner doesn’t get bored with you. I’m also assuming that you don’t want to give up on life just because you’re dating someone.
Over the last decade I’ve gone through phases of being in a serious relationship, serial Tindering, and solo travel around the world. I’ve had to get creative to try to keep things interesting for myself and those around me.
This is the ultimate list of date night ideas. If you don’t find something to do after reading this article then there’s no hope for you.
Low budget activities.
What happens when you don’t have a lot of money or just don’t want to spend money? You should still go on dates!
I get it. You have financial goals and you don’t want to spend money every single night. You might be saving up for your wedding or to buy a place. This doesn’t mean that you should forget about fun. This doesn’t mean that you should give up on excitement and adventure. An empty pocket should never hold you back. The following ideas only require $20 or so.
What are some cheap date night ideas when you don’t want to spend money?
- Bottle of wine in the park. Yes, normally drinking in public isn’t allowed but sometimes you can swing a quick bottle of wine in a busy park. This may sound lame, but I urge you to give it a try. It’s going to force you to brush up on your social skills. You can even throw the frisbee around or get some sort of activity going.
- Rent the city bikes and go cruising around. You can rent those bikes and go riding around. Visit a new part of town or just cruise around until you get bored. If you go too far you can always take an Uber back. You can also go on the roller skates or bust out the ice skates in the winter.
- Walk through a cool part of town. Go get lost in your town. Check out the historic part of the city. Go see where the farmers live. Go find something new to see.
- Take the bus somewhere random. Go visit somewhere locally that you’ve always wanted to see.
- Find a Groupon for something around you. There’s a deal out there for everything. Try to find something close to you that’s on sale.
- Bowling. I put this here because it’s not that expensive. You can find a deal easily and have a fun date night for under $20.
- Go to the movies. This isn’t the ideal option for the first date, but can be fun later on. You can get there early to play some of the arcade games and to get the best seats possible.
- Video game arcade. I’m not a fan of video games, but the arcade bars are pretty cool. They have the classic N64 games that get me feeling all nostalgic.
- Try out new coffee shops and brunch places. There are all kinds of cool restaurants that you could check out for lunch/brunch (usually cheaper than dinner). Look at the menu first to ensure that it’s within your budget.
You can go on most of these date nights for about $20 total or so.
This is my favorite date style because I know that it’s going to be an amazing time since I’m doing something exciting. You also see if your partner has similar interests or if they’re generally a fun person.
What are some adventure dates that you can go on?
The above photo is from indoor rock climbing at Hub Climbing. I went on this rock climbing excursion with some blogging buddies. I didn’t realize how much fun this could be until I started climbing. You can see how athletic your date is and you can get a decent workout in. These places usually offer training and provide you with a beginner’s section. You don’t have to worry about getting hurt or feeling nervous. You’re guaranteed to have a great time.
Stand up paddle boarding.
This is something that you have to try out if you can find it in your city. Any sort of water activity is a good excuse to feel like a person who loves the outdoors (jet skiing, canoeing, and so on).
You notice how so many folks have “hiking” as an interest in their dating profiles? I went on my first hike in Australia earlier this year. Turns out that it’s something to add to the list of date ideas. Go for a quick hike and get some fresh air. You better bring your best stories because you’ll have time to talk. If you don’t feel like driving, you can check out waterfalls and interesting nature-related stuff.
Archery tag/rage room/anything along these lines.
Have you tried this before? It’s super fun and your girlfriend gets to shoot you if you’ve been annoying her lately. Some places offer archery tag and rage rooms (place where you can break stuff) under the same roof. You can also add in escape rooms to the mix here.
There used to be a place near me that made me feel like I was on American Ninja Warrior. I would try to get whoever was with me to record me running up the wall. You can also add races, marathons, and challenges to this list.
Full disclosure: I like to get competitive. It’s okay to have a little friendly competition with your date at the activity that you go to. You could set some stakes so that you have something to talk about (winner buys drinks, loser buys food — or something like that!).
Date nights that push you out of your comfort zone.
When Chelsea gave a female’s perspective on first dates she brought up an interesting point:
“I want to be entertained and do something with this potential new partner that I can brag about for months with all the girls while they tell their tales of failed dinner dates.”
Sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone. No, I’m not talking about sharing crappy quotes on social media about how you need to step out of your comfort zone. I’m talking about actually doing something where you risk total failure and possible humiliation with a guarantee of unforgettable memories.
What are some ideas that fall under this category?
- Paint night. I was actually a model for a paint night which is good news for me because I can’t paint or draw. Fortunately, I can stand around with ease. This one’s on my to-do list since I’ve always wanted to learn how to paint or draw.
- Dance lessons. Speaking of things that I’ve always wanted to learn, I have two left feet so this is totally stepping outside of my comfort zone.
- Any kind of lessons. You can go for language classes, cooking lessons, or pretty much any lesson where you’re supposed to learn something new.
- New restaurants. There’s a place in Toronto (Medieval Times) where you get to eat with your hands as knights fight for a princess. There’s also a place where you eat in the dark. These may not feel comfortable, but that’s what makes them fun.
Simple date night ideas.
Alright, you’re feeling lazy and don’t want to do anything too complicated. I get that. You don’t have to plan the date of a lifetime every night.
What are some lazy and easy date night ideas?
- Try to cook a new recipe. I’m not much of a chef, but cooking and testing out new things will bring you closer.
- Go to a live event. Try anything from a concert to a pro wrestling show. If you live in a bit city, there’s usually something going on.
- Comedy club. This was my go-to date at one point. Mainly because a place near me had an amazing Groupon offer so I loaded up on a bunch of them. The comedy club is the perfect date night idea because you can have a great evening without saying a word.
- Wine tasting/brewery. Getting a buzz is always a good idea.
Personal finance isn’t always about trying to save every penny. It’s okay to treat yourself. Dating and being social is what makes saving money worth it when you get annoyed with budgeting. Check out our previous post on first date ideas so that you don’t get lonely.
I don’t want you to give up on dating because you got into money management or because you’re feeling pressure to save up. You don’t have to figure everything out at once. It’s okay to have a social life.
Did I miss anything? What are your top date night ideas?