When it comes to being in a strong relationship, you don't need anyone to tell you how it feels. You already know that it's stable and accepting, which makes you calm and secure. You're also aware that it can be fun and (at times) serious, which makes you grateful for the good times and also careful during those growing pains. Being in a solid partnership comes with a lot of emotions, but you've felt them out—and it's ultimately all positive. But planning an anniversary date can come with its own set of complicated feelings.
If you have a big milestone coming up and you're feeling stressed about how to celebrate it, see how these 25 romantic anniversary date ideas resonate. We curated these ideas according to how new or established your relationship may be, from the promising one-year mark to a decade or more of commitment, and we included options that are as budget-friendly or splurge-worthy as you please. Hopefully, these ideas will dispel any negative vibes that you may have about planning the occasion. Because when a relationship feels good, then celebrating it should feel even better.
Return to the first-date location. Bring a bottle of champagne to pop, too.
Go see a band that you both love. Slow dancing when appropriate is encouraged.
Book a staycation. Spend a weekend at a nice hotel in town.
Plan a picnic. Find a spot with a beautiful view, and pack homemade foods you can eat in the shade.
Head to an arcade. A friendly competition can end with dinner and drinks at your favorite spot.
Make a reservation at the chef's table. Splurge on a unique dinner for two.
Travel to a new city. Choose a place where you both have never been for a quick getaway.
Better yet, go to Vegas. See a show, try your hand at the tables, and dance the night away at a club. Not into clubs? Order room service.
Start a new tradition. Whether it's eating at a new neighborhood restaurant or seeing a new art exhibit, make it something you can do again and again.
Write letters to each other. Put your feelings on paper and deliver them with breakfast in bed.
Dress up the dining room for an at-home feast. It should feature your favorite thing to eat together (takeout counts if candles are involved).
Set out on an outdoor excursion. Hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail, go rafting in Whistler, or try rock climbing in Utah.
Enlist friends in a scavenger hunt. Have a group of friends help with organizing a city-wide scavenger hunt with hints to your favorite places and end it at your go-to bar.
Have a photoshoot. Let a professional capture your affection.
See a hero. Is your partner a huge fan of a certain public figure, or did you bond over a particular song? See that person or lead singer in real life and make it a surprise.
Create a slideshow of memories. Get dressed up to watch it like you're going to a premiere.
Head back to your old stomping grounds. If you met in a different city, go back there for a night or a weekend and relive the early days.
Transform your outdoor living space. String lights, arrange flowers, and dress up a table. Then see about getting dinner catered in.
Unwind during a day of pampering. Sign up for a couple's massage, pedicures, and facials—the works.
Go wine tasting. And since it's been 10 years, we recommend making it a big deal. Opt for Oregon, Napa, or even France.
More Than 10 Years
Host a party with loved ones. Invite all the people who have made your lives special, but be sure to have a dinner table that's set for two.
Go abroad. Tour Rome on a Vespa, take in the architecture of Buenos Aires, or explore the food scene in Japan. Whatever it is, do something adventurous.
Get front-row seats. Splurge on your favorite band or team, or see a play that's been getting rave reviews. (Cough, Hamilton, cough.)
Sign up for a bucket-list activity. If your partner has always wanted to skydive, now is the time to do it together.
Live your best lives at your beloved haunts. Come from a place of yes at whatever you do. Yes to dressing up, yes to dessert at your restaurant of choice, yes to drinks at the corner bar, yes to dancing with the band. Make your most comfortable spaces feel extraordinary for a fun change.