When it comes to dating, it’s hard to break out of the box. Dinner, movie, cocktail, repeat. While there’s nothing wrong with those types of dates, they’re awfully predictable—and predictable hardly equals passion. That’s why sometimes, a couple’s gotta be resourceful and think about some seriously romantic date ideas.
Not all romantic dates have to involve grand gestures, or a lot of money—they just require a little creativity. From learning how to dance to glamping, here are 50 romantic date ideas—whether it’s your first date or 40th—that’ll be impossible to mess up.
1. Learn to dance
Nothing brings two people together quite like dancing. Plenty of studios offer classes for first-timers, and couples, and we suggest trying a form of dance new to both of you like salsa or ballroom. Don’t worry about getting the steps perfect, either, just have fun with it.
2. Rent a bicycle for two
Instead of any old biking excursion, rent a tandem bicycle for a chance to get in sync, practice teamwork, and yes, get some exercise in too.
3. Have drunch
Drunch, for the uninitiated, is a drunk brunch. Instead of sipping cocktails on a Saturday night, why not do it over eggs, French toast, and sunshine on a Saturday afternoon? Bloody Marys required, obviously.
4. Take a pottery class
We may have watched Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze classic “Ghost” one too many times, but there’s something utterly romantic about getting a little messy and creating pottery together as a couple.
5. Wander a bookstore
Wander the aisles of your favorite neighborhood bookstore, pick up books that seem interesting, grab a spot in a corner on the floor, and unwind together reading and chatting. Looking for a conversation starter? Head to the travel section and start talking about your dream trips.
6. Recreate a romantic movie scene
Whether it’s the fancy Opera outing from “Pretty Woman” or spaghetti scene from”Lady and the Tramp” (a little cliché, but whatever works), try taking cues from movies you love.
7. Find a fireplace
Let’s be honest, there’s nothing sexier than an evening spent by the fire, sipping wine. Don’t have a fireplace in your home to cozy up next to? Head to a hotel bar for the same effect.
8. Head to the drive-in
There is a reason the drive-in date has gone down in history as one of the sexiest dates of all time. Lucky for us all, nostalgic drive-ins are making a comeback across the country. Lean back, cuddle up, and enjoy the movie (and whatever else).
9. Take a spin on a Ferris wheel
Research has found that adrenaline-spiked activities mirror the feeling of falling in love, which might explain why this will have such a big impact. So head to a state fair or an amusement park, stat.
10. Meet for drinks at a local landmark
There is a reason romantic scenes in movies often happen landmarks—it is downright romantic. So whether you are near the Top of the Space Needle in Seattle or the Eiffel Tower in Paris, share a drink together while taking the scenery in.
11. Play tourists in your hometown
Spend a day in your hometown exploring like you’re tourists. Have lunch at that cool bistro you’ve been meaning to try, visit that museum you never got around to visiting, and take your picture together next to a local landmark.
12. The call-in-sick date
Sure, you’re supposed to be at the office, but doing something unexpected and calling in sick to spend the entire day with that special someone is a little bit naughty and very fun. Order takeout, watch movies, and just enjoy each other’s company. Whatever you do, don’t check your e-mail.
13. Find an upscale jazz club
Plan a sophisticated date at a swanky jazz club, get all dressed up, and sip fancy cocktails.
14. Dine on the floor together
Plan a dinner feast on the floor using cozy throws and soft pillows. Small bites that you can feed each other will only add to the romantic evening.
15. Volunteer with animals
Visit your local animal shelter to hang out with puppies for day, to get that much-needed cute fix. Or head to TheShelterPetProject.org to sign up for opportunities to regularly walk dogs. Volunteering as a couple will make it even more special.
16. Head to the spa for a couples treatment
Guys can feel intimidated by a day at the spa, but trust us, once you get them there, they will thank you (probably multiple times). Sign up for a couples treatment like a massage or a mud wrap and look for spas with amenities like a dry sauna or a whirlpool to stretch the date into a whole day.
17. Rent a romantic movie
Sure, it’s a bit of a cliché date, but it has that reputation for a reason, you can’t go wrong. Go for a classic (our go-to is “Casablanca”), snuggle up on the couch next to each other, and get in the mood for romance.
18. Stargaze together
Download The Night Sky app so you know what you are looking at, place a blanket on the ground, and look at the Big Dipper together, before abandoning the pretense and just making out.
19. Play a game of Twister
Sometimes a little bit of a fun is just what the doctor ordered to get the romance started. Twister is a great place to start. When his hand is on red and your leg is on green, the sparks are sure to fly.
20. Plan a picnic
Even if you are just in your backyard, plan a picnic complete with a blanket and snacks, and spend the afternoon relaxing. Because seriously, what is sexier than feeding each other grapes while hanging out, outside.
21. Plan a guessing date
Present your significant other with a sealed enveloped filled with hints about your upcoming date like movie tickets, a confirmation of a hotel getaway, or a recipe for a meal. Don’t give too much away to keep your special someone excited and guessing.
22. Play around-the-world cocktails
Don’t just stick to one bar on your night out, sample one specialty drink from a wine bar, one from a pub, and another from a Russian vodka room, to keep the excitement going, and the conversation flowing.
23. Bring the room service experience home
Who doesn’t love room service in bed when visiting a hotel? Do a twist on the room service experience, and plan a gourmet meal from the comfort of bed.
24. Go glamping (even in your backyard)
Glam camping—aka “glamping”— is all the rage, but it also makes for one romantic date. Pitch a tent (you can even do this indoors), get a lot of pillows and throws, and pretend you’re far away from home.
25. Create a fragrance together
Scientists have said for some time that scent plays a huge role in whether you fall in love with someone. So why not create your own perfume or cologne together? Look up recipes for scents online, or take a class together.
26. Rent a paddle boat or canoe
Head to your local lake or river and rent a paddle boat or canoe. What could be more romantic than spending the day together on the water?
27. Plan a beach day
What is it about the beach and romance? Frolic on the sand together, put sunscreen on each other’s backs, take a dip in the water. It is a guaranteed fun time.
28. Practice your golf swing
Spend some time at the driving range working on your golf swing. Hey, having that special someone help you work on your swing is the ultimate romance move, if we do say so. Grab a drink afterwards for more one-on-one time.
29. The power outage date
Pretend like the power went out, and spend the whole night by candlelight. Conversation? Candles? What could be more romantic than that.
30. Take a romantic drive
Every town has one—that special spot with a view where couple’s gravitate towards to park, listen to love songs, and get hot ‘n heavy in the backseat. So take a drive.
31. Stay up all night and watch the sunrise together
When was the last time the two of you caught a sunrise? Check the time online at SunriseSunset.com and set your alarm. Grab a thermos of coffee, a blanket, and enjoy the calm of the morning together.
32. Test your luck together
Whether you like blackjack or roulette, a night at the casino makes for a great date. Make sure to set a limit on how much you want to spend though, nothing kills the mood like losing a lot of money.
33. Head to a burlesque club
Playful and fun, burlesque is enjoying a serious revival lately. Heading to a local burlesque club will make for one sexy date. Who knows, you might be in the mood to stage your own show when you get home.
34. Feed each other fondue
It really doesn’t get sexier than feeding each other chocolate dipped strawberries. Seek out a fondue themed restaurant near you, or plan a fondue evening for the two of you at home.
35. Take a hot yoga class together
Looking for something both romantic and athletic to do together? Why not take a hot yoga class together? Getting hot in class together will likely make you hot for each other after class.
36. Hit the club together
A night of dancing can’t be beat. Find a lounge or a dance club with music that you both enjoy, and spend the evening staring into each others eyes while getting down. We suggest saving the really dirty dancing for private.
37. Plan a split date
Rather than arguing about what you are going to do on a date, why not split the planning and tailor one-half to each of you. The thought put into it will make you both feel special, no matter what you end up doing.
38. Make a fort together
Remember when you were a kid and you used to build forts in your living room using pillows and blankets? This also happens to make for one sexy date night activity.
39. Take a long, one way, walk
The only rule is that you have to walk for a really long time and in one direction. Once you get tired take a cab or a bus back!
40. Play in the rain
This won’t be a date that you can plan in advance unfortunately, but should it start raining outside, embrace it, give up control, and have fun dancing in the rain together.
41. Learn a romantic foreign language
French, Italian, Spanish, and many others, simply sound romantic. Take an intro-class together for a language that neither of you speak, and practice whispering sweet nothings into each other’s ears, in a new language!
42. Have a “finger foods only” dinner and feed each other
Don’t plan just any dinner, plan a finger foods only dinner (think items like strawberries, mini quiche, sushi rolls, you get the idea) so you can feed each other all night.
43. Host a book club for two
Get two copies of the same book, and take turns reading it to each other, while discussing it as you go along!
44. Find an international grocery store and browse the aisles
Cooking always makes for a great date night activity. Give the cooking date a spin, heading to a nearby international grocery store, so you can experiment with new recipes and ingredients.
45. Make a bucket list together
Spend the evening making a bucket list together. Then on future dates, you can begin to check off activities that you are both dying to try.
46. Draw sketches of one another
It doesn’t matter if neither of you are great at drawing, it’s the thought that counts. And the final product will make for one very special memento of the day spent together.
47. Cuddle up together in a horse-drawn carriage ride
Explore your city cuddled up next to each other under a warm blanket while in a horse draw carriage. You’ll probably feel like you are in a romantic comedy, and that’s a good thing.
48. Read each other’s Tarot Cards
Take turns reading each other’s fortunes using Tarot Cards. Even if you don’t believe in astrology, it will make for one fun evening spent together.
49. Plan a one-on-one photo shoot
Head to a local spot you both love (a local monument, the beach, you get the idea) and spend the day photographing each other.
50. Go on a ghost tour together
Find the nearest ghost tour in your city and head out on the adventure together. At least you’ll have someone’s hand to hold onto should things start to get a little spooky.
Originally published May 2014. Updated June 2017.