50 Date Night Ideas

Date nights are one of my favorite things in life.  I actually think that I like date nights now more than I did in my single days.  Here are some of my favorite date night ideas – please note that some of them are at-home date nights, so you’ll have to make arrangements for your kids (see this post on preparing for babysitters) to stay somewhere for the evening or have your date once the kids are in bed.  You can also use these ideas to plan special date nights with your kids!

For handy reference and planning purposes, I keep a copy of this in my Family Notebook.  I hope you find some ideas that you want to try.  Please leave a comment telling me about your favorite date night ideas!

  1. Go to the dollar store and buy surprise gifts for each other.
  2. Do the same thing as #1 on this list, only at a thrift store.
  3. Grab a drink from a coffee shop and head to your local bookstore to peruse the books (bonus: a lot of bookstores now have coffee shops inside!).  My hubby and I especially like the travel books and joke books.
  4. Attend a local Bingo night -just go with me on this one…it’s a lot more fun than it might sound, and you might win something!
  5. Attend a high school or college sports, lecture, or music event.
  6. Take up a hobby of finding your favorite local bands.  You can get started by looking in a local newspaper or doing a quick Google search.  Once you find a couple that you love, there’ll be plenty of date nights to follow.
  7. Take a class: Many community centers and free universities offer crash courses that meet just once.  You can learn about cooking, traveling, or anything else that interests both of you.
  8. Volunteer to walk the animals at a nearby shelter.
  9. Go to a comedy or improvisation club.  Just don’t sit in front unless you like to be picked for audience participation – you’ve been warned.
  10. Go for a hike.
  11. Pack up your favorite foods and a bottle of wine and have a picnic in a park (or on your rooftop if you have a safe one!)
  12. Have a “deck date”, where you just sit outside on your deck or patio and talk.
  13. Go to a nearby lake – you can go fishing, canoeing, or just relax.
  14. Have a “culture night” that themes around a country.  For instance, you can go to an Italian restaurant then get gelato.
  15. Have a game night and play cards and board games.Its always great to spend time outside as well.  There are so many ideas that might not seem like a traditional date.  For example check out Pursuing Outdoors for learning practical skills and doing something that will be fun to do as well with someone who has the same interests.
  16. Have a TV night and start watching a new series together (hint: Netflix offers one month free memberships).  I recommend Friday Night Lights or Lost.Be sure to check out 123Movies for great ideas for a date night movie.
  17. Spend a night looking at old pictures and watch your wedding video.
  18. Discover the local entertainment scene –  if you live in somewhat of an urban area, you can probably find events such as festivals and outdoor concerts.
  19. Go to a local restaurant, but meet there instead of going together.  It brings back the feelings of the early stages of a relationship.  This requires a little strategic planning (you may have to dress nice for work in the morning, freshen up at the office, and go straight to the restaurant), but it’s worth it.
  20. Pick up a newspaper and play the games that are in it such as the crossword puzzles and word challenges.
  21. Go to a recipe website and find a recipe that sounds good to both of you, then learn how to make it.
  22. Go to a museum – it sounds nerdy, but it’s really fun.
  23. Plan an “active date” and go rock climbing, kayaking, or golfing.
  24. Hold a video game night at your house and play Rock Band or Wii games.  If you don’t have a system you can rent one from a local game store or borrow one from a friend.
  25. Sit on the patio of a local restaurant (preferably adjacent to a street) and people watch.  Sometimes my hubby and I like to make up back stories of people we see.
  26. Plan a tourist date where you visit the local tourist sites near your house.  If you’re really feeling ambitious and thirsty for knowledge, you can set up a tour.
  27. Pamper yourselves with a visit to the spa, or hold a spa night at home.
  28. Pick up a difficult puzzle at a store, and work on it together at home (we also like to work on a bottle of wine at the same time).
  29. Have a fondue night.
  30. Go to a nearby fun center with go-carts, miniature golf, and arcade games.
  31. Go rollerblading.
  32. Visit three restaurants that are close to each other; have drinks and an appetizer at one, dinner at another, and dessert at the third.
  33. Test drive your dream cars at a car dealership.
  34. Go to a race track, such as a horse or dog track, and place bets based just on the animals’ names.
  35. Rent a projector, connect it to a laptop, and play your own outdoors movie.
  36. Go to the planetarium – this is another one that sounds nerdy but is really fun.
  37. Play yard games such as croquet, bocce ball, or badminton.
  38. Go to an adult arcade (such as ESPN Zone) to play air hockey and shoot baskets.
  39. Go to a nearby small airport to watch the planes take off and land.  Bonus: some small airports have restaurants with patios where you can get great views of the planes.
  40. Go rafting or tubing down a nearby river.
  41. Visit a local craft store, buy supplies, and make each other gifts.
  42. Go to the store and get ingredients for making your own sundaes at home.  For more fun, you can make your own ice cream instead of buying it.
  43. Take a tour of a local winery or candy factory.
  44. Go on a bike ride
  45. Buy inexpensive toys and drop them off at a homeless shelter.
  46. Have a Random Acts of Kindness day where you buy coffee for strangers and bring cookies to your local fire department.
  47. Visit a karaoke bar – if you go frequently, you can perfect a duet (ours is The Perfect Country Western Song – we rock that one out).
  48. Buy flowers and bring them to residents at a local nursing home.
  49. Go to a clothing store and pick out an outfit for each other.  One important rule: each person has to buy and wear the outfit.
  50. Pick up kids’ games and activities from a store (or use the ones your kids already have) and play them at a park.  I like sidewalk chalk, kites, and water guns.

What makes date nights so important?

Dating improves the relationship of a couple

  • Having uninterrupted time together strengthens relationships. It can be uncommon for us to give our partners our undivided attention without being preoccupied by our phones, work, or children. The emphasis is on the two of you and the activity you do together on a date night. Additionally, it’s a good idea to put your phones away during the date.
  • The ratio of positive to negative interactions should be five to one in order to maintain a positive outlook. This time builds positive interactions to store your emotional bank account. Date nights can be a chance to increase that ratio and enjoy each other’s company.
  • It enables you to participate in rituals of connection and other activities with shared meaning. The way you define and agree on things as a couple is known as shared meaning. Rituals of connection are activities you both enjoy and share, such as a morning kiss, special occasions, and, of course, date nights.
  • You have more time to discuss your relationship. Spending some time alone allows you to evaluate the relationship and identify any areas that need improvement over the coming week. These conversations may feel safer if they take place on a date.
  • You both get to enjoy yourselves. For relationships to be satisfying, having fun is crucial. All the pressure and responsibility are balanced out by it.


It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money or effort planning wonderful date nights! You just need to be creative and give each other things you know they’ll like, even if they’re not necessarily your favorites! When compromise is used to set dates together, everyone benefits, right? Someone on this list who was feeling a little stuck might find one of these ideas interesting; at the very least, I hope so!