When you're in a relationship, it can be hard to remember that Netflixing and chilling isn't really a date per se. It's so important to keep the spark with your partner alive, which is why fun double date ideas can help you do that. First of all, you're much more likely to follow through with plans if there's another couple involved. And even more importantly: Research has actually proven that double dating has real benefits for your relationship.
According to a recent study, when you do an actual bonding activity—aka a double date—with another pair, it leads to "increased passionate love within couples, whereas similar interactions alone with one's partner did not." Apparently, these types of experiences spark something in you that helps your love grow. And when it comes to seeing your friends and your S.O. at the same time, it's a definite win-win. We've taken all the work out of it for you and brainstormed 11 double date ideas everyone will enjoy. Pick one, put it on the calendar, and make it a monthly thing.
1. Have an At-Home Cooking Session
Yes, grabbing a bite out can be so much fun, but if you're heading there on a busy weekend night, chances are that your waiter won't let you have your table for more than an hour or so. Instead, choose your favorite meal delivery service and pick a recipe you've never tried. Both couples can make a portion—and you can see whose turns out best (winners don't have to clear the table).
2. Picnic at the Beach
Why does the water just make everything more romantic? When the sun starts to set, pack a picnic basket of easy appetizers and wine (don't forget some blankets for the sand). If it gets a little chilly, it's just an excuse for you to cuddle up next to your partner. PS: If it's not too cloudy, this can be the perfect place to stargaze.
3. Hit Up a Film Festival
There's nothing wrong with going to the regular movie theater, but scoping out a film festival makes things a bit more special. Have both couples choose a few flicks they want to see and head to all of them together. You can debrief and chat about your favorites over lunch (or dinner).
4. Karaoke in a Private Room
You may not be the type to belt out your favorite song in front of the entire bar, but renting out a private room at your favorite karaoke spot is the ultimate good time. It can be couple versus couple or friends versus partners (or maybe just keep switching it up). Fun idea: Pick a theme, like favorite '90s songs, and each team has to try to outdo each other with their next pick.
5. Fly Through the Sky in a Trapeze Class
Doing the trapeze will definitely test your trust (especially if you're a little wary of heights). As you soar through the sky, you'll depend on your relationship with your partner and your confidence in yourself. Having friends along for the ride means there will be more people cheering you on from the ground.
6. Try Cider Catching
Instead of a vineyard tour, try the newest trend and go cider catching at a taproom like Bushwick's Brooklyn Cider House. The Basque region tradition is that taprooms allow you to literally catch your own cider from spouts in chestnut barrels. How's that for an international-inspired date night?
7. Team up for Trivia Night
Instead of a "you against us" mentality, team up to try to win bragging rights at your local bar's trivia night. Do some research to see which theme you may all do particularly well at (Friends trivia is a thing). Remember to get to the location a little early to save a table because you most definitely do not want to stand the whole time. (And you're for sure going to want a spot to place all the comfort food and brews.)
Host a trivia night at home with a game like Trivial Pursuit.
8. Road Trip to a Concert
The thing we love about a concert is that you can make it an all-day affair. If you've got a ride there, road trip together and listen to the artist's albums on the way to refamiliarize yourself with the words—you'll want to belt them out later, trust us. Depending on the time, plan a meal before or after to have time to catch up (concerts are too loud for talking).
9. Get Tickets to a Sports Game
Whether you're a super fan (or not), you'll still have a good time cheering during a sports game. Fun fact: My dad would buy me a different treat during every period of the hockey game as a kid—if I was always able to have a good time, then you can too. Bonus points if you try to get on the Jumbotron during the halftime show.
10. Book an Interactive Experience
Whether it's a visit to New York's new spy museum or an outing at Escape the Room, an interactive experience is more exciting with more people. Plus you'll get to know each other by putting your problem-solving skills to the test. And, oh yeah, you can't leave until you get a ridiculous group photo with one of those themed backgrounds.
11. See a Magic Show
There's something sexy about a night filled with magic but splurge on the real deal because an amateur magician isn't anything like amateur comedy night. If you live in New York, we've heard The Magician at The NoMad is not to be missed, while Los Angeles is home to the iconic Magic Castle (but you need to know a member).
12. Scope out a Flea Market
Visiting a flea market can be a mixed bag—you never know what you'll find. Walking around with friends only adds to the experience. See who can find the wackiest thing. Who knows? You might find a true treasure in the process.
13. Play Groupon Roulette
Similar to a flea market, Groupon is full of things to see and do—and some of it is definitely better than the rest. Why not take your chances on trying something new? Peruse the site and pick something you normally wouldn't try, like a dance class, paint night or all-you-can-eat dinner at a Brazilian steak house. Team up with your couple friends and get out of your comfort zone.
14. Visit a Museum
Experience culture on a museum free day, or set aside a day to walk around one that someone in your group has longed to visit. Discuss the exhibits afterward over lunch or coffee at a nearby cafe. Hopefully, you'll leave connected and inspired.
15. Pick Fruit at Your Nearest Orchard
Take in some seasonal goodness by picking fruit at your closest orchard or field that allows pick-your-own outings. While the act of picking isn't as fun as the sampling, picking fruit alongside friends can't be beaten. While you're harvesting, discuss what you'll make with the goods, and stop at a grocery store on the way home to make it happen.
16. Go to the Zoo
A lot has changed at your local zoo since you were a kid. Why not visit again with an adult perspective? Whether it's during the typical hours or at an after-hours special event, a trip to the zoo will make you feel like a kid again and give you greater awareness of the world's wildlife.
17. Go Paddle Boating
If your local park lake has paddle boats for rent, a double date is an ideal excuse to give it a go. Paddle boating is a level playing field that requires no skill, so both non-competitive and competitive participants can enjoy the experience. Make a day of spending time at the park and enjoy the company, the lake, and possibly the ice cream cart.
18. Find the Best Ice Cream in Your Area
Develop a ranking system for ice cream, including items like innovative flavor, texture, overall taste, and presentation. Then travel around town with your friends and sample a scoop at each possible contender. Who knows? You might have a new favorite date night spot at the end of the night.
19. Volunteer Together
If you and your fellow double-date friends have a cause you're passionate about, join together to volunteer. Maybe it's a food drive, a meal, or serving as manpower in a disaster relief scenario, either way, you'll be using your time together to make a difference.
20. Go Ice Skating
If you're inspired by the Winter Olympics, now's your chance to go for the gold with your friends. Visit your local ice rink to do your best twizzle. If nothing else, it will give you an excuse to stay in the winter spirit or to beat the summer heat.
21. Find the Funniest Greeting Card at Target
While there's something to be said for a sincere greeting card, humor is a perennial favorite. Make a Target run with your friends and try to find the funniest card on the aisles. Cap it all off with a treat from the food court.
22. Go on an IKEA Scavenger Hunt
It has been said that IKEA is the place to test relationships. Why not test all four? Take your double-date night to IKEA for a scavenger hunt and see who can find the lowest priced item, or take a picture while holding the most of a single item. Don't forget to dine while you're there.
23. Hold a Yard Sale
Do you and your friends have some things that are gathering dust? Hold a joint yard sale together, complete with a lemonade stand. You'll bond over creating the plan, decorating the signs and holding the event. At the end of the day, you'll be closer and have fewer material possessions.
24. Host a Board Game Night
Along with your double date couple, invite over some more friends for a board game night. Split the group into two subgroups: those who want to play social games, and those who are there for the strategy. If you're lacking games, have guests bring some they wish to play, too.
25. Cook Breakfast for Dinner for More Friends
Channel your inner Ron Swanson by cooking all things breakfast with another couple. Channel your inner Leslie Knope by inviting all of your friends to said breakfast. One thing's for sure: You'll probably won't get many regrets.
26. Go to a Play
Invite another couple to join you in attending the off-broadway musical that's in town, or a play by a local theatre troupe. Discuss your thoughts during the intermission and afterward. Likely, with another couple there, your discussion will be more robust than otherwise. Dress up for the event and grab drinks to round out the night.
27. Sip Bottomless Mimosas at Sunday Brunch
A casual way to get to know another couple better is by meeting up for Sunday brunch. Once the mimosas start flowing, and the neighborhood dogs start parading by, you'll be friends in no time. If you're already friends, the leisurely meal will serve as a great way to catch up.
28. Go Bowling
If you thought bowling was for your friends' elementary school birthday parties: You're wrong. Split a lane with another couple and see who has hidden talent. If no one shines, don't be afraid to add the gutters.
29. Run a Race
If you and your SO and your friend and their SO are active people, sign up for a fun race together. If you're not particularly active, but aspiring to be, find another couple who is in the same boat and train together. Chart your health progress and see how your relationships grow, too.
30. Play Ultimate Frisbee
Meet up with another couple at the park for a game of ultimate frisbee, and invite others to join in. You will make your fitness tracker happy, and get some sunshine. Who knows, maybe you'll start a new weekend tradition, too.
31. Be Tourists in Your Home Town
Every town has something it's known for, and if you're like most locals, you probably avoid it. Try to see your home from a different perspective, and invite along another couple for the outing. You might walk away with a renewed appreciation for where you live.
32. Dress up and go to the Renaissance Fair
When the renaissance fair rolls into town, be ready with your double date. Plan coordinating costumes and prepare for all of the medieval activities. Carpool together so you can discuss all of the day's happenings.
33. Sing Holiday Songs at a Nursing Home
It's common for seniors not to have frequent visitors when they are in assisted living facilities. Drop-in and visit, and perhaps turn your double date into a sing-a-long. Even if you're not a singer, between the four of you, you'll make a decent group, and maybe inspire others to join in.
34. Embrace Aloha at Your Closest Tiki Bar
It's no secret tiki bars are experiencing a rebirth, with more focus poured into the carefully crafted drinks than ever before. Meet your double dates at your closest tiki bar for a casual night of drinks—Hawaiian shirt optional.
35. Go for a Hike
Go for a double-date hike through a local nature area. Even if your terrain isn't particularly hilly, you can still go for a hike at a nearby park or nature preserve. The hike will get you outside, and give you plenty of time to talk.
36. Take Your Dogs to the Dog Park
If you or one of your friends has a dog, take it to the dog park together. Not only will your dog love the exercise and extra attention, but you'll also get to socialize with other adorable animals. If the couple you're meeting also has a dog, the outing is basically a triple date.
37. Visit a Cat Cafe
If you're more of a cat person, have your double date take place at a cat cafe. While you're there, you'll sip tea or coffee and mingle with adoptable cats. Maybe your date will end with a forever home for a cat?
38. Paint Pottery
Embrace your creative side with a double date at a pottery painting studio. Whether you team up to paint something big, or each paint something small, the experience will lend enough time to getting to know someone else better. The bonus? Your ceramic creation.
39. Walk Through a Botanical Garden
Unless you're a botanist, walking through a botanical garden might seem like simply looking at a lot of plants, with a couple more interesting ones thrown in. By taking your double date to a botanical garden, you'll likely notice more, and gain other perspectives.
40. Drop In to Open Mic Night at Your Favorite Coffee Spot
Listening in to aspiring artists taking the stage at open mic night over a cup of coffee is inherently romantic. And because of the intimate setting, you're likely sitting at the same table as a number of strangers, anyway. Invite another couple to tag along and enjoy the experience.
41. Go Rock Climbing
For an adventurous double date, meet at your local climbing gym to rock climb together. You'll get a good workout in as you support each other through the various climbs. If one in your party has the equipment and the know-how, move the rock climbing outside for a more natural experience.
42. Eat Your Way Through Your Local Food Market
If your city is home to a food market with an array of vendors, eat your way through it on a double date food tour. Make it your mission to sample something small from each of the vendors and split the cost along the way. You might find a hidden gem to return to on a future date.
43. Take a Terrarium Planting Class
Taking care of plants can be a challenge, but succulents and those that thrive in a terrarium environment also tend to thrive on neglect. If you're no green thumb and have no clue how to arrange plants, attend a terrarium planting class on a double date. You'll leave with new skills and a freshly planted terrarium.
44. Have a Beach Picnic
If you live close enough to a beach, take the opportunity to pack a picnic together with another couple and enjoy it near the water. Split up who's bringing what, and share amongst the group. Pack a frisbee or some games for after the meal.
45. Bike a Trail
Meet your double date friends at your community's bike trail, or travel together to mountain bike in the hills, if that's more your style. Bike together and take breaks at interesting stops along the way to turn the exercise into more of a bonding experience.
46. Go Camping
Turn your date into something longer by getting out of town and sleeping under the stars. Roast marshmallows and make smores over the campfire. Hike, canoe or swim—embrace the natural beauty with your friends.
47. Rent Paddle Boards
If you're not into kayaking or canoeing, but want to experience water in a way that's not swimming or boating, paddleboards are a good way to go. The stand-up boards take some practice to get the hang of, but by the end of your rental, you and all of your dates will be pros.
48. Host a Grill Night
If you have a grill and a space outside, invite other people over to grill out. Provide some classic sides, and have them bring their choice of protein. Few things are better than grilled food and friends, so it's a night worth hosting.
49. Go to the Spa
To rejuvenate and feel refreshed, take your double date to the spa. While you might have to split up at certain times, there will likely be common areas where you can meet up to discuss the great body scrub you just had.
50. Visit a National Park
If there is a national park you've had on your bucket list, inviting another couple along for the journey is a great choice. Not only will the move decrease on certain expenses, but you'll have more people sharing in the experience.
Now that you have the top double date ideas top of mind, why not include your friends on your next night (or day) out?