It can be tricky to come up with romantic date ideas, regardless of whether you’ve been with your S.O. for years or you’re in a relatively new relationship. There needs to be a mixture of time spent doing the actual activity and time for letting sparks fly, which is why it’s important to break away from the standard dinner-and-a-movie mold every so often. And we have to say—it’s not always the activity, but the setting that qualifies a date as romantic. (For example, dinner at a busy pizza joint likely isn’t romantic, but cooking dinner for two at your place amidst the glow of a few candles definitely qualifies.) It’s always wise to have a few go-to romantic date ideas up your sleeve, so we polled friends, family, and colleagues for some of their most memorable date nights. Take note: These dates are sure to impress.
Take a language lesson.
Learn a romance language together (whether in an in-person class or online). It’s like you’ll have your own “secret” language.
Go to a carnival or county fair.
Indulge in all the traditional snack foods, and then compete in a few games (winner takes home a prize). PS: Don’t leave without riding the Ferris wheel.
Watch a classic movie.
Old Hollywood did it better. Look for a public showing of a classic love story that you can watch while eating on popcorn and holding hands, of course.
Spend the day at the farmers market.
There’s something cute about spending time picking out fresh produce together and then whipping up a pie or seasonal dinner afterward.
Look through family photo albums.
Make an afternoon out of reminiscing about your pasts together. Pull out the family photos (and don’t leave out any of the “embarrassing” pictures). This will let you get to know each other on a completely different level.
Take dancing lessons.
Salsa, ballroom—we don’t care. Learn to have some rhythm on the dance floor and get close.
Explore on a tandem bike ride.
Teamwork is key while riding together. Be sure to stop for an iced coffee or ice cream cone along the way.
Make your own wine.
Some vineyards will actually let you crush your own grapes and then produce a barrel of your own “vintage” to share with family and friends. How’s that for charming?
Go for a nighttime boat cruise.
Temps always drop as it gets later in the day, so this will be a nice excuse to cuddle up on the ride home.
Fly a kite together.
It’ll bring out a sense of playfulness that you likely haven’t experienced since you were a kid. Wait for a sunny day, and then head to a gorgeous park or sandy beach.
Take in a fireworks show.
Or light some sparklers together. (There’s a reason couples are using them at the end of their wedding.)
Pack a surprise picnic.
An element of surprise ups the romantic factor on a picnic. Text your S.O. to meet at a certain spot and arrive early to set up all of the fixings.
Go horseback riding on the beach.
Have a meaningful conversation if you can get your horses to trot alongside each other. Add in a sunset or sunrise and you’re golden.
Take a trip to your hometowns.
What better way to dig deep (or spend quality time together) than by visiting the places where you grew up? Do a mini tour of your favorite childhood haunts.
Visit a wishing well.
Bring some coins and then get tossing. (Remember to keep your wishes a secret.)
What is your favorite romantic date idea? Up next: how to snap out of a dating lull.