September 3rd, 2014 by Anna Wickham

50 Date Ideas to Escape the Ordinary

Happy couple cook in kitchen with cookbook
Movies, dinner, drinks, coffee…dating can get really boring and repetitive. Here are 50 date ideas that will get you out of your rut!

1. Do a jigsaw puzzle.

Put your problem solving to work. You guys will make a great team!

2. Eat a participatory dinner.

Lots of ethnic restaurants, such as Korean restaurants and Japanese steakhouses, offer dinners that a real cultural experience. Why not add a twist to your average date night?

3. Play miniature golf.

Find a competitive streak you didn’t know you had when you play a few holes of mini-golf.

4. Play laser tag.

Remember laser tag, your favorite activity for your friend’s middle school birthday party? It’s still lots of fun these days, too!

5. Take a bartending class.

Do you think you know how to make a few drinks? (No, rum & coke and vodka soda don’t count!) Take a class together, then reap the rewards when you’re done.

6. Take a self defense class.

Kick some ass this date night.

7. Do a scavenger hunt.

For varsity level scavenger hunting, use a theme like important places for your relationship, or historic sites.

8. Explore your neighborhood.

You might be surprised what you find walking around your own neighborhood.

9. Have a progressive dinner.

Dinner doesn’t have to be over in an hour. Take a whole evening to have a dinner adventure, starting with appetizers at one place (pro tip: start before 6pm to get some great happy hour deals!), the main course at another, then end the night with dessert or drinks in a third location.

10. Offer to babysit.

Give some friends a date night sans kids while you and your SO stay in and get in touch with your inner child.

11. Make cooking a game.

See who can make the best spaghetti, burger, or pot of chili, or compete to make the best dish using the same set of ingredients.

12. Invent a drinking game for your favorite TV show.

Nuff said.

13. Play pinball.

Cheap. Fun. What’s not to love?

14. Get a caricature.

A great evening activity, plus a new piece of art for the apartment.

15. Get acupuncture.

Acupuncture lets you relax together as a couple and do something completely unusual.

16. Take a staycation.

Head to Groupon and find a great deal on a hotel in town, then spend a weekend relaxing without even having to go far from home.

17. Paint a picture.

BYOB painting and wine parties are all the rage. Find a spot locally and create some boozy masterpieces.

18. Take a walk in a park.

It’s not just an expression. Find a park in your town and enjoy your usual evening chat in a new setting.

19. Read a book together.

Whether you read book club style, listen to an audiobook, or take turns reading aloud, getting lost in a fictional world together is a great way to spend a few evenings.

20. Take a hike.

No, I don’t mean to be rude. I mean literally go on a hike and enjoy the great outdoors.

21. Eat at a food truck.

Many cities even have a special night where all the food trucks are in one spot so you have choices galore.

22. Try an exotic cuisine that you’ve never tried before.

Ethiopian, anyone?

23. Visit the farmer’s market.

Fall in love with arugula and support local businesses.

24. Sneak into a hot tub.

If your apartment doesn’t have a hot tub, sneak into a hotel that does.

25. Go to a biker bar.

You know that dodgy spot surrounded by Harleys every weekend? Pay it a visit and enjoy a cold beer.

26. Play Sporcle together.

Online quiz site Sporcle is even more addictive than Reddit.

27. Have dessert for dinner.

Being a grown up is rough sometimes, but at least you get to eat whatever you want for dinner. Celebrate with some froyo or brownies.

28. Plan a trip.

You don’t need to have any real plans to go. Just let your imagination run wild!

29. Play an online game against each other… right next to each other.

Words with Friends is even more annoying when you lose sitting right next to the winner.

30. Plant something.

You can even plant a few small herbs inside or on your balcony.

31. Go to a random convention.

Check your city’s convention city calendar and get tickets to whatever’s happening. I promise you won’t be disappointed!

32. Find the best deal in town.

Find that $3 half-pound burger and fries only served between 4 and 6pm on Sundays.

33. Go to a Meetup.

Find a local meetup for one of you and your partners’ mutual interests. It’s a great place to learn and meet new people!

34. Look around at the Asian supermarket.

Bonus points if you buy items to make an authentic Asian recipe.

35. Run around town together.

You’ve got to run those errands anyway, right? Grab some Starbucks on the way, then have lunch together when you’re done.

36. Take turns trying a new exercise routine.

Whether it’s yoga, free weights, or kickboxing, show each other how you prefer to get sweaty.

37. Go to the zoo.

Lions and tigers and bears? Oh yeah!

38. Volunteer at an event.

Lending a helping hand at your local non-profit is a great way to spend free time together.

39. Go to a local science exploration museum.

Most cities have science museums with interactive educational exhibits. Learn about geology and anatomy while spending some quality time together.

40. Explore your local library or bookstore.

Pick out a book for each other to read.

41. Get crafty.

You don’t need to be a DIY expert. Just find an activity online that seems interesting, cheap, and fun for both of you and give it a whirl.

42. Attend a game.

Head to a baseball, football, or soccer game. Look for weeknight baseball games where there might be deals on beers and food.

43. Take part in a hot dog eating contest.

You don’t even have to try to win. Participation fees are often reasonable, and sometimes you even get a T-shirt that says you participated!

44. Do some indoor rock climbing.

Show off that upper body strength at an indoor rock climbing facility.

45. Have a coffee shop afternoon.

Spend the day at a coffee shop with your books or laptops and relax.

46. Serve at a soup kitchen.

Helping others can bring couples closer together.

47. Play video games.

Borrow your friend’s Nintendo Wii and let the games begin.

48. Sing karaoke.

Or if it’s not your thing, watch other people sing.

49. Go ice skating.

Classic and fun.

50. Have a Photo Booth shoot.

Have fun at home with Photobooth or, better yet, find a photo booth in town and say cheese.

What are your favorite out-of-the-ordinary date ideas?

Anna Wickham is a freelance blogger who writes about culture, travel, music, and dating from a millennial perspective at her website, The Worldly Blend. When she's not writing, she enjoys rapping at karaoke, reading non-fiction books, and trying every cheeseburger in America. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

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