30 Date Night Ideas

My creativity around date nights always needs a little extra spark. And I'm not talking big over-the-top ideas. I just need to recall basic date night ideas that gives me room to personalize it to the season or to our likes and interests.

This is that list. For anyone that needs some basic date night ideas with plenty of room to spark your own creativity. Enjoy!

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1. Dinner and a Movie

It's a classic for a reason. And there are so many ways to make it special. Either dress up and go out to see that movie you've been waiting to release. Or buy boxed candy and turn the lights down at home for a Redbox rental or a classic on Netflix. You can also use the movie as a theme setter for the type of food or treats, or for what you wear, or for a conversation starter. Sharing an old favorite movie is like sharing a piece of ourselves with the one we love.

2. White Lights

White lights aren't just for the outdoor eating at a restaurant. Add them to your own porch or patio or string them around your dining room or living room or above your bed. They can add the perfect ambient lighting for a romantic night at home.

3. Dancing

Dancing is a fun, interactive way to bond on a date. You can either look up local dancing places or even places that offer lessons. Or turn on Pandora or look up a YouTube tutorial and dance around your living room. The type of dancing can set a theme for the night, either country or swing or salsa.

4. Special or Fancy Eats

Kind of a no-brainer, right? But still a small detail to add something special to the night. Get takeout form a new place, make chocolate covered strawberries, or try cooking a new recipe together. Intentionally incorporating the sense of taste really adds to the night.

5. Fancy Glasses

Even if you're dating at home, pull out the fancy glasses. This is an easy way to make the evening special. Bonus points if you look up ideas or recipes to mix up a fun new drink. Or get ideas on how to serve with a twist or an umbrella. Or, at a minimum, we like having our favorite ginger brew or cream soda in a glass bottle.

6. Candles / Scents

Similar to but different from the white lights idea (#2). It can be done with white lights or alone. Get tea lights and votives and pillar candles to place around the room and light. Avoid too many scents, and have a few with no scent to keep it from being overwhelming. Also, go ahead and use the scents to your advantage. Cinnamon, lavender, rose, and other scents are aphrodisiacs. You could even get aphrodisiac or love oil blends to diffuse.

7. Theme Nights

Choosing a theme for the date can help narrow down the food and the activity. We've done a camping theme, breakfast in bed (for supper), unleash your inner child, brown bag date night, and more. The ideas can be around a place, a holiday, a season, a hobby or interest, a memory. The possibilities are endless. And you have plenty of opportunities for unused ideas to become future dates.

8. Cook Together

Either take a cooking class or look up a delicious recipe on Pinterest. Turn on some music and sip some yummy drinks while you work together in the kitchen.

9. Double Date

I'm only a fan of this option if we've gotten some dates by ourselves. Every now and then it can be fun to invite another couple, or even a couple other couples and do a group date. Many of these ideas could be used for a double date.

10. Bowling

Yep, good ol' fashioned bowling. A great one for a double date or group date or even a family date. But could also be fun by yourselves. Grab burgers before or eat ice cream after.

11. Putt-Putt

Or, if the weather allows, good ol' fashioned putt-putt. Ditto for everything said about bowling above. Want to make this an at-home date? Set up your own course of lawn games at home.

12. Escape Room

They're sprouting up everywhere. Go do one together. If you two don't work well together under pressure, then maybe skip this one until you can work through that.

13. Community Class

Either at a community college or a local community center. Take a class. Dancing or cooking are the obvious date suggestions, but a class on any joint interest could be fun.

14. Dress Up

Get all fancy to go out or stay in. Head to toe, look the part of fancy date, whether you're going to a show or dinner or staying in for dancing in the living room.

15. Bike Ride

Pull out your bikes, or borrow a couple, and go for a ride. Either around town, to a park for a picnic, or through nature. Decide ahead if it's a long distance thing or a casual ride so you can dress the part.

16. Geocache

Yep, it still exists and doesn't take anything more than an app on your smartphone. Pack some fun trinkets or mementos to leave behind at the boxes you find.

17. Stargaze

Make it comfy, cozy by grabbing a large quilt to lay on, a large fluffy blanket to lay under (if it's cool out), and even a couple pillows. You can drive out of town to lessen the light pollution. Or sit out in your own yard or driveway. You can get all nerdy and see where key constellations or stars are this time of year, or just talk and look for shooting stars. Grab snacks or drinks, and plan ahead for a time there's a meteor shower.

18. Overnight

Plan an overnight away from home. Or, if you have kids, send them to grandma's or a close friend's, and plan an overnight at your own home.

19. Retreat

Go to a retreat or marriage weekend together. We did a marriage encounter weekend that really seemed to help us grow in our communication and connection. This is not necessarily an all-the-time thing, but every few years in a marriage, it's worth looking into.

20. Parade of Homes

Our town has a parade of homes every spring and fall. We love looking at houses, so this is a fun way to look and dream without having to trick a realtor into thinking we're in the market.

21. Live Show

Look up a local play or find when a musician or comedian you like is coming to town. This can get pricey, so we haven't done it often. For an at-home version, watch a comedian or musician's live show at home. Cheesy but can still be fun.

22. Picnic

In your own yard or at a park or lake. It can be a simple brown bag lunch while you geocache or bike. Or it can be one of those fancy picnic basket meals you only see in movies or on The Bachelor. Don't forget the fancy glasses, a large blanket, and borrow a picnic basket if you need to.

23. Bachelor Remake

Speaking of The Bachelor, they know how to go over-the-top. At least once, plan your own tv-worthy date night. It should only take watching one episode to get some ideas.

24. 2-Person Games

Card games, Mancala, Wii, checkers, chess. After dinner, play a game or two together while you sip a fun drink and talk.

25. Barnes and Noble

Okay, so this is our lazy go-to when we get a night out, but worth mentioning. We like ending our dates (or spending the whole date) at Barnes and Noble. We'll sip coffee and maybe even eat a treat while we browse books and magazines and use some of the more obscure picks as fun conversation starters. Sometimes we'll even go in with a mission of books we're supposed to find then might back up to share.

26. Questions

For me, a great date night includes great conversation. I wrote a post on 100 Date Night Questions because sometimes all we need to start a great conversation is a couple good questions. And it doesn't matter how well we know each other, there is always things we talk about and share with each other. There is bound to be one person in the relationship that needs to connect in this way.

27. Massage

Get a how-to book, or just grab some oils and get to it. Best left to dates at home or overnight dates. And only use this idea if you're married ;)

28. Trade Responsibility

Sometimes knowing I have to plan can suck all of my ideas out of me. We usually try to trade responsibility for planning our date nights so it's not always one person's responsibility. This lets us put our creativity into one or two good date nights a month, and the other person plans one or two good date nights each month, then any others can be a simple dinner out or movie in.

29. Get a Book

Get a book like 175 Best Date Ideas for a resource you'll use over and over. You can also search ideas on Pinterest or look at these sources for date ideas. It can be helpful to work through a list of ideas to help take away your indecision from idea overload.

30. Effort

It seems this is where it all begins and ends for me. Any effort made to show up and be present and love on the other person will not go unnoticed. It's worth it.

What will you do on your next date night?


also see:
new? start here...
date night basics
31 days celebrating three-oh
monthly dose of simple

*Note: Affiliate links used in this post. Any purchases through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thanks!