Happy 1st of May, Nerdship! Can you believe it’s already May? We can’t! So in celebration of May, we’ve decided to spread the love and share some date adventure ideas with you.
I don’t think I’ve met anyone who DOESN’T enjoy going on dates. Whether you’re a single person just mingling or a married couple going on twenty years – a date is a date and dating is fun. You don’t have to have a million dollars to go on regular dates. You just have to have a few ideas… and that’s where we’ll step in. We’ve come up with 120 different date night ideas (from stay-at-home date nights, to cheap dates, to extravagant date ideas).[cue some epic superhero entrance music]
Having been together/married for a few years now I’m not afraid to admit that more times than not our dating life isn’t all that exciting. Normally it’s just a homemade dinner and a movie at the house, and that’s okay. We’ve fallen headlong into the rut of “What do you want to do?” “I dunno, what do you want to do?” “Eh, I don’t know.” Then I had an epiphany – why not compile a list and go from there? We’ve got a post coming tomorrow that turns this list into a DIY craft for figuring out what to do for date nights… but more on that later.
I realize that we don’t have the expendable income to go on pricey dates every single week – but that shouldn’t mean we can’t have a date night every week if we wanted to. When we were married we asked for marital advice and a few cards came back saying that we should never stop dating. That’s something I can get behind. Life gets way too hectic and you need to take some time to have fun and enjoy the little things. Dates are fun. I like them. That is all.
**Before we venture any further into this post, we’d like to add that you don’t need to have a date to do any of these adventures! In fact, if you’re feeling down in the dumps – go take yourself out on a date. Pampering yourself is essential to being awesome and we think you’re pretty darn awesome. So pamper away.**
Over the past few days I’ve been gathering a list of things to do so you, dearest Nerdship, don’t have to be bored when it comes to date ideas. I broke them into four different categories: At Home Date Ideas, Cheap Date Ideas, Semi-Pricey Date Ideas, and Pricey Date Ideas.
Here’s the breakdown on each of the categories:
- At Home: Homey, comfortable dates that can be anywhere from free to up to $50 worth of goodies and supplies for your date night. Heck, dress codes aren’t even necessary because you’re at your own house. Wait, did I say that out loud?
- Cheap Date Ideas: These are dates that you can have OUTSIDE of your house and can cost anywhere from free to $30. Perfect for those dates when you don’t know what to do but you don’t really want to spend any money.
- Semi-Pricey Date Ideas: Dates like these are fun once every month or so, when you want to do something special – but not have to break the bank. Think dinners at nice restaurants, local concerts, paintball, etc. The price range on these dates are anywhere from $35 to $100.
- Pricey Date Ideas: These dates are for those special, extra extravagant times when you want to pamper your special someone. These are for once every few months – unless you win the jackpot… then go crazy! Just be sure to bring us with you! Ideas for these dates usually start around the $150 price range and go up from there.
And now, without any further blah blah blah let’s get on with the list of date ideas!
120 Date Night IdeasAdventures. Ideas. And Mushy-Gushy Loveliness!
AT HOME ($0-$50):
- Board Game Night: Viva la’ Board Game Revolution!
- Sushi Night: Go to your local asian food market and pick up supplies to make your own sushi. If you’re feeling super into sushi watch the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi. It’s pretty nifty.
- Italiano Night: Make some Spaghetti, Lasagna, or Ravioli and indulge in a good mobster flick.
- Poker Night: Regular or Strip variety. Meow… (Movie recommendations: Casino Royale, Oceans Eleven, 21, etc )
- Cornetto Night: Load up with some ice cream cones and watch Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The Worlds End
- An Evening with the Fifth Element: Order in some Thai food and have a SUPER GREEN evening as you watch The Fifth Element.
- Make a pillow fort of epic, epicness. Break out the bed sheets, comforters, and pillows. Pillow fights are completely optional but encouraged.
- Cheese and Wine Night: Go to your local grocery store (We recommend the $3 and Under Cheese bin from Whole Foods) and grab various cheeses, fresh fruit, and crackers or a baguette then swing by the liquor store and pick up a bottle of white and red wine. Listen to some old school french jazz music or watch your favorite foreign film – like Amelie.
- Retro Video Game Night: Dust off your old NES, N64, OR Playstation 1 and jump back into nostalgia-ville. Be sure to stock up on pizza and tang to keep you fueled throughout the night.
- Doctor Who Night: Pick out your top 5 Doctor Who episodes and immerse yourself into the Whoverse. Bowties are a must. Fish fingers and custard, optional.
- Paint and Patties Night: Pick up some paint, brushes, and canvases and prepare to get messy. Grill up some burgers and have an evening of fun.
- Breakfast for Dinner: Make your favorite breakfast dishes for dinner, break out the pjs and have a comfy night in.
- Dinner by Candlelight: Make a romantic meal for two and then only light your space up with candles. Bonus points for ‘romantic’ music.
- Poutine Party: French fries, cheese curds, and gravy – what could go wrong?! End the night by watching your favorite hockey game or just watch through episodes of Castle.
- Star Wars Night: Pick out some robes and reenact your favorite lightsaber battles. Or just watch your favorite Star Wars film. Just remember: The Force is Strong with You!
- Cafe Night: Go to your local dollar store or thrift store and pick up some plain ol coffee cups, then pick up some oil based sharpies from the craft store. You and your sweetie decorate your own coffee cups over your favorite coffee, quiche, and pastries. Bake your coffee cups at 225F for 2 hours and then let them cool. Voila! You have two awesome new coffee cups!
- Card Game Night: Break out your decks of D&D, MtG, Cards Against Humanity, Pokemon, etc and get ready to have a blast. You could also play Uno, Go Fish, and other typical card games so don’t feel limited.
- Poetry & Pizza Night: Gather several different toppings, sauces, and cheese and make your own personal sized pizzas. Then make up or read some of your favorite poems or prose. Or just skip the poetry and eat some pizza. Mmmmmmm pizza….
- Mad Libs Night: Pick up some Mad Libs or make your own and see how ridiculous you can make them.
- Firefly Night: Select some of your favorite Firefly episodes, make so Bao, and get your Shiny on. Follow the mantra “We aim to misbehave” and all will be well.
- B-Movie Horror Night: Sometimes B-list horror movies are so ridiculous that they’re funny. Tremors, the original Fright Night, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes… the possibilities are endless! Feel free to go all MST3K on them too.
- Inglorious Night: Prepare some delicious German food fare and watch Inglorious Basterds… just don’t forget the streusel… and especially don’t forget the cream.
- Dance Party: Pump up the jams and leave your worries at the door. Have categories like “Most Unique Dance,” “Silliest Dance,” or “Best Interpretative Dance” and the winner gets a back massage.
- Dinner on the Veranda: Take your dinner outside and have a wonderful evening with your lovely under the stars.
- Superhero Night: Pick out two of your favorite superhero movies and unleash your inner vigilante. Bonus points if you guys come up with your very own superhero.
- Photoshoot / Photobooth Night: Pick out some fancy or crazy outfits and props, hang up a solid colored bed sheet and grab your camera. Have fun and go wild. Bring out your inner model.
- Twister Night: Rearrange your furniture, whip out your twister mat, and have fun.
- Spa Night: Face masks, massages, and pampering for both of you – OH MYY!
- Love Letter Night: Dust off your pen and paper and write your loved one a heartfelt, sweet, or sultry letter. Slip it to each other during desert. Don’t be a stranger to love letters… they can make a crappy day turn into an awesome one.
- Musical Night: Cue up the soundtracks to your favorite musicals and listen to them while you cook dinner OR make up your own musical.
- Old School Kung Fu Movie Night: Watch some choice action flicks as they are or hit the mute button and make up your own dialogue. Hilarity will ensue.
- Spring Cleaning: You can make a game out of cleaning the house by setting up points to see who can do what and the one with the most points wins breakfast in bed on the following day or a nice massage.
- Super Soaker / Water balloon / Snow Ball Fight: Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you can’t get a little messy. Just make sure not to damage each other’s pride.
- Adopt a Pet Rock: Find two rocks in around your house, decorate them, name them, give them some background information, and raise them as one of your own.
- Chocolat’: Visit your local chocolatier and pick up some fine chocolates, bring them home and then watch Chocolat’ – you could also make your own sweets (like truffles, hot chocolate, etc) if you didn’t want to go anywhere.
- Pine Car Rally: Pine box cars are not just for Boy Scout troupes. Decorate your pine box cars and race them. It’s more entertaining than watching Nascar. They sell the pine box car kits at both the local craft stores as well as your big box home improvement stores.
- ‘Just Because’ Day: This may take a little bit of planning but use this day to pamper each other – just because. Buy each other gifts because Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries shouldn’t be the only day to exchange presents.
- Memory Lane: Spend dinner talking about your favorite moments that the two of you have shared.
- Disconnect from the World: Turn off or put away your phones, computers, and other pieces of tech for the entire night. Just focus on each other and bask in your mutual awesomeness. *Highly recommend this for most date nights, regardless of the type of date night.*
- Imagine your perfect dream home: Obviously you won’t be able to BUILD your home during the date night – but you can certainly both come up with what you’d want it to look like, which features it would have, where your perfect location would be, etc. Feel free to draw pictures or use Sims to map it out. Just remember the code: ROSEBUD and you’ll be a millionaire.
- Put a puzzle together: Pick out a 500+ piece puzzle and spend the evening or weekend putting it together.
- Simply cook dinner together: Put some Rat Pack or other jazz on Pandora and spice things up in the kitchen. Pick a new recipe or go with an old standby, just as long as you are creating it together!
- Take turns reading a book together: Pick out a book and read a few chapters every night before bed.
- Watch your favorite sports team from the comfort of your own home. Don’t wait till the Superbowl to bask in sportsball epicness.
- Devise a Plan for World Domination: Unleash your evil genius and plan to take over the world. Bonus: Pinky and the Brain is now streaming on Amazon Prime. Or you could always review your zombie survival plan.
Cheap Dates on the Town($0-$30):
- Take a Hike: Venture into nature and explore things with your loved one. There are tons of National Parks around if you just summon the great Google.
- Walmart BINGO: This shouldn’t need a whole lot of explanation but it will definitely guarantee a ton of laughs. For the printouts and rules: CLICK HERE.
- Late Night Flapjacks: Can’t sleep? Hop in the car and go to your local 24-hour pancake house. Cheap eats and lots of bacon!
- Explore Main Street: Go visit some local shops that you haven’t seen or ventured into yet. You don’t have to buy anything – just go on an adventure.
- Check out a local coffee shop: Most coffee shops or cafes have special events going on on the weekends so do a little research and figure out what you’d like to go to. Poetry readings, local musicians and other events are awesome sources of creativity.
- Visit an Art Museum: Normally Art Museums are reasonably inexpensive to go check out. And as a bonus they’re full of pretty colors.
- Pig-Out at a Food Truck: Food trucks are popping up all over the place and their cuisine is pretty tasty and cheap. The best time to find a variety of them is during special events like H&8th in OKC on Fridays. For other cities, check your local websites.
- Picnic in the Park: Food + The Two of You + a Pretty Park = Good times and funny looks from strangers (just because they’re jealous that they can’t have a picnic in the park like you!)
- Urban Golfing: Who needs a golf course when you live in a urban jungle. Grab a large plastic cup, some tennis balls, and an old set of golf clubs and go make your own 18 holes. CAUTION: Please be careful when golfing around cars and windows. We wouldn’t want any accidents to happen so no crazy Happy Gilmore stunts.
- Take a dance lesson: Most social dance studios offer the first lesson for free. Dancing is fun and if you like it – then take it up!
- Wander through a Bookstore: You’d be surprised at the treasures you can find while strolling through old bookstores. Give each other $15 and see what you can come up with.
- A Little Night Music: Check your local newspaper for upcoming local concerts and take in the sites. Zero in on coffee shops, colleges, or other local, non-touristy venues. Summer is just around the corner and several towns and cities have a Summer concert series.
- Arcade Night: Scrounge up all of the loose change you have lying around your house and car and go hit up the arcade.
- Star-gazing: You two, some blankets, an adventure out into the country, and a beautiful night’s sky. Just make sure to double check the weather. Oh, and be careful that you don’t inadvertently trespass on somebody’s land. If you’re doing this in the south or midwest, a can of mosquito repellent is also highly advisable.
- Just Desserts: Eat dinner at the house then go out and have some dessert with a drink or two. Just because you go out to eat doesn’t mean you have to have a full 4 course meal or spend eleven-ba-jilliondy-dollars on a meal.
- Local Music and Art Festivals and Fairs: The best part about festivals is that the majority of them are free to attend! Street fairs are the best.
- Tour a local Winery: For the most part, touring a winery or brewery is basically pennies on the dollar. You’ll get to see the behind the scenes and taste some delicious beverages.
- Ditch the birds and go people watching: People watching can be highly entertaining, just don’t be creepy and stare for too long.
- Old School Drive-in Movie Date: Find a local drive-in and go watch a movie in the comfort of your own car.
- Exercise your Green Thumb: Take a trip to your local nursery and gather some gardening goodies. Be sure to plant it with some extra love and watch it grow!
- Morning Matinee: Theaters offer reduced rates for matinee showings of new movies! Yay saving money!
- Compete in a Marathon race: Who says that you can’t exercise and have a date at the same time?
- Puppy Love: Donate your time at a local shelter and socialize with some adorable pooches (and kitties). You’ll fill your ‘adorable’ meter and help bring joy to those four legged furries.
- Reenact your favorite movie moments around town: Pull a Rocky by a local statue, climb some steps and scream “I’m the king of the world,” and let your imagination go wild. You don’t have to be on a boat to pretend you’re on a boat. [Link is NSFW]
- Photo Scavenger Hunt: Take your camera or your cell phone and make up a list of things to look for, then take pictures in front of those objects.
- Go Camping: Bring a tent, a cooler full of noms, and prepare for an adventure. Just be sure to pay the camping fee and bring bug spray.
- Jaunt around the Rink: Go roller skating or ice skating and relive some of your childhood memories, together. Did someone say couples skate?
- Karaoke! Arm yourselves with liquid courage and let your voice be heard! Props to the person who sings the most ridiculous song.
- Bowling like Lebowski: Venture out to your local bowling alley and knock down a few pins.
- Forage at the Farmer’s Market: Get up on Saturday morning and venture to your local farmer’s market to grab some goodies to cook dinner with. It’s two dates in one!
- Minigolf. An oldie but a goodie!
- Outdoor Dinner and Movie: Pack a picnic and watch a movie on your laptop. Just be sure to check the weather before you go. Rain and electronics don’t mix well.
- Conquer the Animatronic Bull: Find a country bar that has a fake bull and go for a ride. The person who stays on the longest gets a prize of your choosing.
- Back to Campus: Check out some of the exciting events that happen around college campuses. Ticket prices are pretty reasonable and the talent is endless.
- Redbox it up: Go grab some fast food and stop by your local movie rental kiosk or store. It can’t get any easier (or cheaper) than that.
- Happy Hour Dates: Hit up your local restaurants or pubs and take advantage of their happy hour specials. Who says you have to wait till prime “date night” hours?
- Go Geocaching: Find hidden treasures and leave something else to be found later.
- Build and Fly a Kite! Visit your local craft store for some rip-stop fabric, balsa wood, and twine. Create your own beautiful, sky-soaring craft!
- Play some Frisbee Golf or go for a Bike Ride. It’s outdoors, it’s fun and frequently free/cheap. Just don’t forget the sunscreen.
- Check out some local comedy acts. Improv, Sketch, or Standup… just pick your poison.
Semi-Pricey Date Night Ideas($30-$100):
- Wine & Pallet Social Art Class: Paint a pretty picture at a local establishment and enjoy some delicious food and beverages. There are deals for these types of classes all over Groupon and LivingSocial.
- Take a cooking / baking class. Because nothing says love like cupcakes. Mmmmmmm… cupcakes…
- Couples Mani-Pedi Date: It’s relaxing and both of you get your nails ‘prettified.’
- Paintball Adventure: Find a local paintball field, rent some equipment and have some fun! Think of it as a form of couples therapy.
- Check out a Minor-League Game: Pick your sportsball poison and root for the underdog. In OKC we’ve got baseball, soccer and hockey to choose from. Check your city’s website to see what options you have.
- Get a new outfit: Head to the mall and let your significant other pick out your new outfit (with your input of course). Be sure to stop at one of those photo booth kiosks and document the evening.
- Dinner and a Movie: One of you picks the restaurant the other picks out the movie.
- Take a mini-road trip: Venture to another city and spend the day being a tourist.
- Go to a nice (non-chain) restaurant: Check out UrbanSpoon and try something new. Sushi, Italian, etc…
- Date Night Pub Crawl: Pick out a few bars/pubs that are within walking distance of each other and go have a fun night out.
- Build something cool: Head on over to Ana White (.com) and find a little DIY build that you and your honey would like to make. Spend the day or weekend building something cool.
- Take a guided tour: Learn about local history – haunted or not.
- Go Restaurant Hopping: Start out at one location for drinks, then move to the next for appetizers, then another for the main course, and visit the last restaurant for dessert.
- Adventures in a theme park: Ride roller coasters, eat funnel cakes and cotton candy. Bring out your inner child and try to win a big stuffed animal.
- Rent a boat for the day. Visit your local marina and rent a sailboat for the day.
- Spend the day and make a time capsule: Fill it with memories that you’ve made together and fill it with neat little trinkets that you’ve found along the way. Open it up in 1,5, 10, or 20 years.
- Go to the zoo: Feed the monkeys, pet a baby tiger, and be sure to get one of those pressed pennies for your scrap book.
- Buy tickets to the Theater / Opera / Ballet: Dress up fancy and go out in style.
- Go rock climbing! Rent some gear and go climbing. Here in OKC we have Rocktown, which is an indoor climbing gym housed inside an old grain silo. Your city might have something equally cool. Check your local listings.
- Visit a Convention for a Day. Dress up in your best cosplay and bask in the nerd-culture with your loved one.
- Go to a nursery and pick out a tree: Plant a tree at your house or at a local park (with permission) and watch it grow.
- Donate your time to a charity or organization that you believe in. It may not be the stereotypical date but it’s definitely worth it!
- Visit a “Design your own” Pottery or Glass Blowing Workshop and come home with a one-of-a-kind work of art. Search for local art shops and see if they offer classes or workshops .
- Visit your local comic book store / game shop / video game shop and pick up a new board or video game. Because comics and games are awesome!
- Paint a room. Tired of the same ole’ boring color on your walls? Head on over to the hardware store and buy some paint and supplies and give your room a makeover. It’ll only take a few hours. Just don’t forget the drop cloth!
Pricey Dates ($100+):
- Visit a local Bed and Breakfast. You don’t have to venture out hundreds of miles away to have a vacation. You can have a staycation and still be in ‘vacation’ mode.
- Dine at a 5-star restaurant. Visit a restaurant that you’ve never been to but make sure that it’s in the 5-star category!
- Go on a weekend adventure: Pack some clothes and hop in the car (or drive to the airport) and pick a destination for the weekend.
- See a famous show or musician. Pick an upcoming concert, get good seats, and have a great time!
- Hire a photographer and have a professional photoshoot with your special someone: Sometimes you just want to be treated like a rockstar. Having a professional photographer document you and your sweetheart is a great way to spend a few hours. Don’t skimp on the photographer – no craigslist specials – and be sure to order prints rather than just a CD.
- Go to a couples’ spa for a day: Having a day just to relax and be pampered completely by other people can be just what the doctor ordered to get you out of the doldrums of day to day ‘worker bee’ life.
- Design some fine jewelry for you and your sweetie: Making or designing a beautiful trinket for you and your love is something that you can keep with you forever.
- Check out a major-league sports team game. In OKC, we Thunder up for this one. If your city has a pro team, go cheer for them. During hockey season, we also recommend OKC folks drive to Dallas and root for whoever is playing the Stars.
- Try out scuba diving, skiing, or sky-diving. Sometimes a little extreme is just the ticket.
- Make plans for a big trip and GO! You shouldn’t need an excuse – like a honeymoon or anniversary – to go on a big vacation or trip. This ‘date’ needs some planning and budgeting but it’s totally doable. You can go as far or stay as long as your job-family-finances allow. Paris, London, Sydney, etc. The sky’s the limit.
Do you have a special date night idea that didn’t make it onto this list? Leave it in the comments below and help stop boring-date-suck.
If you have any questions, comments, or quandaries be sure to send them to us. We love hearing from you guys, so don’t be shy.
OH, AND HAPPY 1ST OF MAY!