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Speaking from personal experience, one of the best things about being in a relationship is not having to constantly perform at “Being A Good And Cute Date Person.” Few things can beat the high of being able to stomp around like an un-contoured Godzilla, warm up some leftovers, and still be rewarded with ~Love. That being said, who doesn’t want to wow their partner from time to time with some creative date ideas? It can be hard to break from, and I cannot stress this enough, the literal paradise of slouchy sweatpants Netflix zone, or (if you’re someone I can’t even relate to) the classic dinner-and-a-movie.
Even if you’re just casually dating, you’re probably pretty over your go-to coffee shop or bar and are looking for something new. Whether you’re looking for a way to make a good first impression or honestly just want to treat yourself to a little fun with a side of potential smooches, injecting some new date ideas into your tried-and-true routine can only improve your resilience when your swiping finger is getting sore.
Everyone deserves a bit of movie magic love every once in a while and it can be hard to jump-start your brain into full Zooey Deschanel mode without warning. StyleCaster’s got your back on this one! The next time you’re looking to switch it up, why not pick up one of these creative date ideas and give yourself a dose of romance? Anyway if you need me I’ll be eating microwaved tater tots in my blanket nest while trying to convince my boyfriend we should watch all of The Crown together.
1. Museum Hopping
Find out what part of your town has the most museums in proximity and try and hit as many as you can in one day.
2. Crafting Date
Pick up a craft kit from Michaels and try and make some sand art/friendship bracelets/whatever macramé is together.
3. Upgraded Movie Night
Get a small projector and turn your room into a movie theater for the night! It’s an easy way to transform the mundane into magic. Bonus points if you get candy and popcorn to complete the illusion.
4. Electric Scooter Adventure
Go on an electric scooter adventure– see how far you can make it, and nobody has to know if you have to Uber back.
5. Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture
Get a polaroid camera and take it with you for a full day. Push yourself to use the full roll.
6. Mini Road Trip—with a Twist
Figure out a location about an hour away that you’ve been meaning to visit or want to show off. Each of you pick out a couple of albums/podcasts that are important to you and present them to each other on the drive.
7. Make Your Own Pizza Night
It’s like a cooking night but with less pressure to be good at cooking. If you’re feeling cocky, try and make the dough from scratch.
8. Year-Round Christmas/Holiday Cookies
Pick up ingredients for the easiest sugar cookie recipe and some cutters, icing and decorations. Whoever has the most interesting creation wins!
9. See Your Future
Get your tarot cards read together.
10. Airbnb Pool Date
Find an Airbnb in your town with a pool/hot tub in it. That’s it that’s the date.
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11. Get Nerdy
Make Powerpoints about something you’re passionate about and present them to each other.
12. Zillow Spree
Look up the best mansions in your preferred zip code and argue about where you’re going to live once you win the lottery.
13. Green Thumb
Make a lil succulent garden out of Home Depot selections.
14. Farmer’s Market Date
Go to a farmer’s market, pick up some produce and then make dinner together.
15. Bookstore Hunt
Go to a bookstore and pick out books for each other to read. Assess each other on how good of a job you did afterwards.
16. Booze + Arcade Games
Get a shitton of coins and go HAM on a barcade for a night.
17. Fake It ‘Til You Make It—Sports Edition
Go to a sports bar and watch a game neither one of you is invested in. Each pick a team to root for and get really into it.
18. Self Care, Baby
Go to an all-day spa together and just bask in the self-care.
19. Buffet Competition
Fast all day and then go to an all you-can-eat buffet. Make it a competition: whoever eats less loses and has to pay.
20. Coffee Shop & Bookstore Crawl
Make a list of coffee shops or bookstores you’ve always wanted to try and do a crawl of them over one weekend.
21. Two-Person Book Club
Buy two copies of a book and take yourselves to a beach or park to read. Have a two-person book club meeting about what you read.
22. Pet Some Animals
Go to a cat or dog cafe.
23. See Your Future Part II
Buy a pack of origami paper and make a comical number of those fortune teller toys. Spend the day telling each other your ridiculous fortunes.
24. It’s an Illusion
Look up simple magic tricks online and learn one together, or each learn a different one and practice on the other.
25. DIY Flight Night
Go to your preferred alcohol vendor and buy stuff that looks interesting that you’ve never tried before. Spend the night sampling your purchases and coming up with bullshit critic things to say about them.
26. It’s All in the Cards
Look up the rules to a bunch of obscure card games and see how many you can get through in one night.
27. Low Maintenance Time Capsule
Write letters to yourselves one year in the future and figure out a public place you can hide them like a library, museum or park. Consider making them extra intriguing just in case someone finds them.
28. Boss Bitches
Pitch ideas to each other for a business you could start. Spend a couple of hours making plans for the business that wins.
29. Bring Out Your Inner Chef (or Lack Thereof)
Wander around a fancy grocery store and pick up ingredients for a meal that’s a ~bit~ out of your league. Have fun reaching for the culinary stars and learning what it means to mince something!
30. Kiss Cam
Go to a baseball game and make it your mission to get on the kiss cam.
31. Double Feature
Go to the movies and make it a double—or a triple—feature.
32. Paint It Out
Buy some watercolors and get your Picasso on.
33. Birdwatching with a Twist
Get a bird guide for your area and go birdwatching. Get high octane with it: Whoever spots more bird types gets treated to the dessert of their choice.
34. Dance Dance Revolution
Learn the choreography to a favorite music video.
35. Indoor Camping Night
Make oven s’mores, pull up a video of a campfire and challenge each other to tell scary stories.
36. Fancy Photo Sesh
Dress extremely formally and have a photo session in a nice park or historic area. Fun fact: If you go to a cheap restaurant for dinner afterwards the dining experience is 50% fancier.
37. Pancake Night!
Go hard on the breakfast for dinner situation with a range of breakfasty sides, and determine who’s the better pancake flipper. You can even experiment with toppings, food dye, and shapes.
38. Become an Art Stan
Go to an art museum or gallery and decide on your new favorite artist.
A version of this article was published in 2018.