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70 fun date ideas that are sure to bring the romance, according to relationship experts

Trade dinner or drinks for one of these unique date nights.

How long has it been since you and your beloved went on a real date?

Even the strongest romantic relationships need a little oomph from time to time to keep the spark alive. And if you can’t remember the last time the two of you went on a proper date, it’s time to look at the calendar and make a plan (yep, even in the dead of winter).

“Couples should be dating each other throughout their entire relationship,” Stephanie Mintz, a licensed marriage and family therapist, tells “But how and why we date can change at different stages in the relationship.” 

Don’t put too much pressure on yourselves to come up with the perfect “date night” scenario, though. A date doesn’t always have to involve dressing up and getting tickets or a restaurant reservation. “[Those types of dates] are great for celebrating or relaxing, but they shouldn’t become the majority of your dates,” Mintz says.

Try Mintz’s “carefree connection” approach to dating instead. She suggests thinking of casual date ideas that allow you to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company in a “light and fluffy” way. “There is no talk about anything that is a stressor, negative or can be a trigger for either person,” she says.

And since you're well past your first date, don't leave the planning to one person. Mintz is a fan of partners taking turns planning dates. “Be open to getting out of your comfort zone, while maintaining and respecting boundaries,” she says.

Regular dates will benefit your relationship in the long run. “By continuing to date each other throughout your relationship by doing activities together, you are continuing to get to know one another.”

Need some inspiration for your next date? Here’s a list of fun date ideas from Mintz, along with other dating and relationship experts. Find a mix of at-home date nights that won't break the bank, romantic plans that'll make your partner swoon and other out-of-the-box ideas.

Here are Mintz's date night suggestions:

  • Visit a pop-up museum. Make do on that promise to see it before it closes.
  • Attend a local art or music festival. Indulge in some local culture as a couple.
  • Take a cooking or baking class. Preparing meals or desserts together can bring you closer as a couple.
  • Go to a wine and paint evening. Hang your handiwork somewhere as a souvenir.
  • Have a picnic. Fill a basket or purchase a pre-assembled charcuterie board, perfect for date night.
  • Take a sailing lesson, if you live by the water. Sailing is very much a collaborative sport.
  • Try out a virtual reality game. Play as a team or against each other in lighthearted competition.

“Scheduling date night is an investment into the longevity and quality of your relationship," psychiatrist Dr. Rhonda Mattox tells “Think of date night as the gift that keeps on giving.”

Here are her suggestions:

  • Get tickets to a comedy show. “Nothing breaks down barriers and brings people together better than laughter,” Mattox says.
  • Pair an outdoor activity with a picnic. Go horseback riding, sailing, hiking or kayaking, then follow it up with a light lunch you’ve packed.
  • Take a walk on the wild side. Up the ante with your activity and go bungee jumping, snorkeling, or something else that’s been on your bucket lists.
Senior couple at the lake having a picnic
Halfpoint / Getty Images/iStockphoto

“Creating fun and meaningful dates doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money or partake in lavish experiences,” Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, relationship expert and co-founder of OURS, a premarital counseling platform, tells

Here are some of Earnshaw's simple date ideas:

  • Plan a new date based on past great dates. Think of the greatest hits among your past dates, then plan new ones that combine the best parts of them to create new memories.
  • Plan a date within set boundaries. Use parameters to narrow down the planning for your next date. For example, choose an activity that costs less than $50 or takes place within a 5-mile radius of your home. 
  • Share your vision of a perfect date. Earnshaw offers this prompt: “Before I met you what I imagined a perfect date was …” Take turns planning your dream dates.

Cheryl Grace is a relationship and lifestyle coach and founder of Powerful Penny, a transformative lifestyle brand. She believes it’s important to find something you both like doing, even if it means learning something new together. Bonus points if the activity makes you laugh and feel energized.

“I love dating my husband! We’ve reached an age where we both appreciate new experiences that turn into fond memories,” Grace tells “We discovered each other late in our lives and value spending time with each other.” She notes that one of their favorite standing dates is an early morning cycling class followed by breakfast together.

Here are some of her date suggestions:

  • Take a portable speaker outdoors. Grace and her husband enjoy watching the sunset over a lake as they listen to tunes.
  • Read a book aloud to each other. Grace giggles whenever her husband grabs the romance novel she’s reading and narrates it to her using different voices. Try it out with one of your own reads.
  • Take a regular walking or bike route together. Grace suggests taking a selfie to show the passage of seasons on your route.
Young couple riding a tandem bicycle on a boardwalk
Hello World / Getty Images

“The happiest couples I know are the ones who keep the romance alive, the ones that make an effort to put deposits into the relationship account when life so often is taking withdrawals from the account,” Andrea Dindinger, a San Francisco-based licensed marriage and family therapist, tells

Here are her date ideas:

  • Take a stroll hand-in-hand. Put those phones away and have a meaningful conversation with one another on a beach, in a park or anywhere else out in nature.
  • Host an at-home cooking competition. Dindinger suggests “Iron Chef,” but you could choose any cooking show you like and try it out at home. 
  • Go dancing. Even if you both have two left feet, Dindinger says grooving together is a great way to connect. “Dancing gets you laughing, playing and touching,” she tells “It’s one of the fastest ways to fall in love.”
  • Go on a role-play date. Dress up as a character, give yourself a new name, make up your background, and re-meet each other for a fun date. “Try to stay in character for as long as possible, but what’s most important is to listen, share and be present,” Dindinger says.

Amber Lee, CEO and co-founder of Select Date Society, says dating is key to maintain chemistry overtime. “I’ve seen couples hit a difficult time in their relationship who have been able to get back to a great place simply by making it a priority to date each other like they did when they first met,” she tells

Here are some of her top date ideas:

  • Host a taste test at home. Blindfold your partner and taste a few different wines, liquors or any type of beverage you like, then compare your favorites.
  • Go on a hike or bike ride. Exercise will release endorphins, and who better to feel good with than someone you love?
  • Book an overnight stay in your own city. Reserve a hotel room and go out to a nice dinner or order room service. You’ll feel miles away from the day-to-day routine at home even though you might be just around the corner.

“No matter how many years you have been with your partner, keeping the spark alive is both hard work and essential,” Laura Doyle, author and relationship coach, tells Doyle recommends that a weekly date helps couples stay connected by creating "a deeper bond and more intimacy.”

Here are her date suggestions:

  • Visit an animal shelter. Shower each other and some adorable fur babies with affection.
  • Explore your town or city like a tourist. Hop on the train or get in the car and explore your neighborhood. Bonus points if you get lost — sometimes, it’s more fun that way.
  • Recreate your first date with a twist. Enjoy a trip down memory lane, but add some wackiness by heading to the thrift store and picking out each other’s outfits and accessories.

“Couples who have regular date nights appreciate each other more, allowing them to have fun and laugh together,” Sam Whittaker, Relationship and Style Editor at Mantelligence, tells “Going on dates helps couples remember good memories at the start of the relationship.”

His top date idea:

  • Play the date version of rock-paper-scissors. Whoever wins each round gets to choose what activity to do next for a total of three in the same day. 
City break
Petri Oeschger / Getty Images stock

“The person you’ve been with for two, five or 10 years isn’t the same person they were a year ago,” Dr. John Delony, author, mental health expert and host of The Dr. John Delony Show, tells “People are growing and evolving all the time, and that means my wife basically gets a new version of me as we get older, and vice versa.”

Here are two of his date suggestions:

  • Go on a scavenger hunt in the neighborhood. 
  • Dress up like superfans and go to the game. 

Hilary Silver, therapist and CEO of Ready for Love, recommends active dates, especially if one partner excels at that particular activity. “It helps the other partner remember and tap back into the enamored feeling they have about seeing someone they love being in their zone of genius,” she says.

Here are her suggestions:

  • Teach each other something new. Pick an activity where one of you excels and have fun sharing your skills.
  • Take dance lessons. Choose a genre where you’re both learning it at the same time
  • Go ziplining. Pick something fun and outside of your comfort zones.
  • Enjoy a Groupon or Airbnb experience. Local businesses offer tons of fun activities, everything from food tours to whitewater rafting excursions.
Couple dancing together in nightclub
Sven Hagolani / Getty Images/fStop

“Dating is important because it allows the couple time to focus on each other without distractions and they help to build intimacy,” says Jessica Alderson, co-founder and relationship expert at So Syncd. “It’s important for both people in a relationship to feel desired, understood and heard.”

Here are her suggestions:

  • Go on an alphabet date. For example, start out with "A" for aquarium and plan a date. Each week is a new letter and thus, a new corresponding date.
  • Try an escape room. It’s a fun and exciting challenge that encourages collaboration.
  • Take a personality test. Ask each other the questions, perhaps over the course of a romantic dinner for two, and try to guess each other’s answers. You might think you know your partner well, but discussing your personalities with each other can deepen your connection. 

“It’s easy for established couples to fall into routines and forget to carve out time for one another, so it’s particularly important to have dates,” says Taly Matiteyahu, founder of Blink Date. “What the couple does during that time doesn’t matter nearly as much as the fact that they’re doing something together.”

Here are her suggestions:

  • Shop for each other. Head to a big-box retailer with a budget and a timer. Find a few small gifts for each other and spend the rest of the day enjoying them.
  • Get crafty. If paint-and-sip nights aren’t your thing, pick a different craft. You’ll both leave the date with a souvenir!
Two women making ceramics at ceramic workshop
Su Arslanoglu / Getty Images stock

One thing's for sure: The experts agree that dates are always a good idea. Want even more cheap date ideas? We've got you covered.

  • Volunteer. Giving back to the community feels good.
  • Run or walk a charity 5K. Stretch your legs for a good cause.
  • Explore a bookstore or library. Remind each other of the authors you love and read a passage or two from your favorite books.
  • Plant a garden. Enjoy the fruits (or vegetables or flowers) of your labor and love.
  • Host a dance party. Make a playlist of your favorites or pick a tunes from different era — bonus points for appropriate attire — and boogie down.
  • Book a day spa appointment. Enjoy a self-care ritual like a couple’s massage together.
  • Hit up a farmer’s market. Gather other fresh ingredients and go home to make a meal together.
  • Take a tour of a local winery or brewery. Relax, sip and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Go on an ice cream or dessert crawl. We won’t tell if you skip dinner.
  • Play chess in the park. Or bring along a board game of your choice.
  • Sing a fun duet at karaoke. Who cares if you can’t hold a tune?
  • Make sushi at home. You can purchase kits with all the ingredients and instructions.
  • Go to an independent movie theatre. Rewatch a classic movie on the big screen. 
  • Rent a canoe or a kayak. Calm waters are fine, but hit the rapids if you’re up for it.
  • Check out the stars. Grab a blanket and stare up in wonder.
  • Chat at a cafe. Don’t take your coffee or tea to go this time — just sit and talk.
  • Visit a favorite spot from when you were kids. Even if it means just sitting on a park swing.
  • Browse a record store. Discover new music or find some oldies but goodies to enjoy together.
  • Go ice skating or roller skating. No Olympics-level skills required.
  • Try your hand at archery. Learn to shoot an arrow just like Cupid.
  • Visit an arcade and play a two-person game. Air hockey or foosball, anyone?
  • Enjoy an outdoor concert. Hit up a food truck before or after for a casual meal al fresco.
  • Go out for pizza. Delivery is cool, but so is sitting down and enjoying a slice. Try a new topping while you’re at it!
  • Play 1-on-1 basketball. Head to the court and shoot some hoops.
  • Do yoga or meditate. Keep the calm and balance in your relationship going.
  • Snag a spot on the beach. Summertime is best, but the beach is awesome even if you have to bundle up to enjoy it.
  • Build a snowman or snow fort. Release your inner children and play in the snow.
  • Visit an amusement park. Have a fun day together, whether you’re there for the rollercoasters or cotton candy.
  • Go to a state fair. Hold hands as you walk the midway together.
  • Explore an art gallery. Discover a new type of art together.
  • Binge watch your favorite sitcom. The couple that laughs together stays together.
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset. If your partner makes a comment on its beauty, don’t ignore it. “Your partner is not just commenting on the sun but requesting a response, a sign of interest or support, hoping for connection in a shared experience,” Dr. Daryl Appleton, a licensed psychotherapist and Fortune 500 executive coach, tells