“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. You?”
After 5 years of dating my fiancé, I am no stranger to the struggle of date night. You want to spend that quality time doing something that you will at least enjoy, but scrounging around for new ideas can be as fun as a visit to the dentist. Here are some easy date ideas ranging from inexpensive to baller status for you to consider:
Youtube Couple Dance Lessons
This a super cheap way to have a spontaneous date because why pay for super expensive classes when youtube can literally teach you anything. If you’re like me, the best part of this is no one has to watch you flail around except for your significant other. Passions4dancing and Addicted2Salsa have posted great beginner dancing courses for you to start with, but if you want to just have some fun, grab a bottle of wine and crank up that Cotton Eye Joe. I know you still remember the dance to that. Don’t lie.
Go on a Picnic
Picnics are still a classic because they work. You can make it as fancy or a simple as you want depending on the food, activities, and setting. If you are going for a silly picnic to make your partner laugh, try placing a blanket in the floor of your living room or in your own backyard. Personally, I like to get a little sunshine, so I like to find a local park to set up shop at.
For food, you can honestly do whatever you want. Try finding foods that are easy to eat with your fingers and don’t leave a lot of mess for you to clean up. Sandwiches, chips and dip, pasta salad, cookies, and brownies are all great staple picnic items. The first time I planned a picnic, I had only been dating him for three months and had no idea what he liked, so I just took him to a sub shop and bought us sandwiches to take along. It’s that easy. Just remember to take tons of drinks, napkins, and wet wipes.
Just whatever you do, never picnic at the beach. It was a disaster. Sand everywhere and a cranky fiancé. Not fun.
A Night of Stargazing
This one can be a little tricky, but a lot of fun. Some of my best conversations with my partner have been outside at night with nothing to distract us. You might have to drive for a bit to get away from the city lights, but I promise you that it is worth it.
For this, I suggest bringing bugspray, flashlights, snacks, a few blankets depending on the weather. You definitely want to lay down for this though. It hurts way too much to just tilt your head back for that long, trust me.
Living Room Fort & Movies
Don’t judge me. Living room forts are still as fun now as they were win you were a kid, so grab all your pillows and blankets.
For this one, I like to take any chairs I have in the house and line the perimeter. This way you get a little height to your fortress of comfort (comfortress) and you don’t suffocate under it all. Then, you are going to want to add all the pillows and blankets you have in your house to the middle like a big old nest and save only the sheets for the fort ceiling and walls. Go ahead and drag all of you snacks and drinks into your den, because you are going to want to leave this bad boy for a long time.
Play a game together
The only true way to get to know a person is to see their competitive side. I made it almost all the way through the first date with my now fiancé having fooled him into thinking I was the sweetest little lady. Almost. After a hibachi dinner and a crappy horror movie, we went back to his apartment to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl and I completely shattered his perceptions of me. I may get a teensy bit aggressive and foul mouthed when I game.
For us, we both love gaming, so it’s naturally something we try to do to spend time together. If you aren’t in to console or PC gaming, it’s still a lot of fun to play the classics like card games or board games. There are tons of two person games to play and it’s a simple and cheap way to get to know each other.
Let An App Pick Instead
When all else fails, we turn to those smarter than us. Smartphones. There are tons of apps these days that making dating decisions super easy. They can show you local events, movie times, concerts, dining, sporting events, coupons, etc. Even if you don’t like the idea that it presents to you, that a decision too. Super easy.
Here are some that I have found:
What’s On Belfast – This is an app that I just recently found, but it’s pretty awesome. It has tons of categories to choose from like concerts, drama, pubs/clubs, stand-up, and sports. It shows all the pricing and dates, so you can easily filter out anything that doesn’t fit your plans.
Zomato – Formerly Urbanspoon, this is one that I have used a lot. Zomato is an app and website that catalogs local dining and its great for when you aren’t familiar with the area.
Goupon – Yeah, Groupon. Groupon is actually super great for dating ideas. There are always a ton of things you can find are there in your local area from wine tours to murder mystery dinners. The best part is that they are cheaper through Groupon. Cheaper sushi night, cheaper dance lessons, cheaper concert passes. Just don’t let your date see you handing over the Groupon code if you’re embarrassed.
Be a Tourist in Your Own Town For a Day
Sometimes we take for granted the ‘touristy’ things around town, but my hometown is a popular tourist destination and you can bet that I took advantage of that for date ideas. This can include any numbers of things like miniature golfing, go kart racing, bowling, aquarium, and museums that you haven’t been to since that one field trip in grade school.
If you are a weirdo, you can even make up a ridiculous backstory and accents for when people ask you where you are from and why you are visiting. Not that I would ever do that. Weirdo.
Go on a Overnight Trip Together
This is one of those baller status expensive dates that I mentioned earlier, but it can be a great way for you and your partner to getaway and devote time to each other. Just pick a type of destination, preferably within driving distance, and figure out your plan. Several years ago, my parents visited this small, seaside town and fell in love immediately. It has old, used bookstores and art galleries for my dad and antique stores and fresh seafood for my mom. They found a beautiful bed and breakfast in the town center that they like to rent a room from every so often for a weekend getaway. Websites like Airbnb are great resources for finding some of these hidden gems.
This one can be a tad expensive depending on where you choose to go, but it can be a lot of fun if you do it with more couples as well. The idea behind restaurant hopping is to get each course of your meal at different places before moving on to the next location. You start with grabbing appetizers at one location, then maybe wine at a different one, your entree, and then finding somewhere else to grab dessert. You can add or subtract as many courses as you want, but you have more fun if you get to run all over town.
DIY/Craft Something Together
Let’s be honest, this one is probably never going to work out. Getting someone to DIY with you is like walking a cat on a leash, you would just be dragging their unwilling body around. If you are talented enough to pout your way into a concession, here are a few easy DIY projects that you can try together:
- Decorate mugs together with sharpies
- Make vases out of old glass bottles
- Make friendship bracelets (No seriously. I would wear that until it fell apart)
- Find a cute kit at your local hobby shops to try out together
- Decorate canvas together with simple art instructions
- Modeling kits. My fiance loves Gundam and I love crafting, so it was an easy compromise to spend time building Gundams together. The kits range from easy to pro status, so you can ease yourself in.
At Home Spa Night
Everybody likes being pampered. You won’t have to fight to get this one agreed to. It’s super simple. Just grab a few pampering tools and spend the night together. I would suggest picking up some face masks, eye mask, lotion (unscented if he is picky), chocolates, and wine. You can watch proper massaging techniques on Youtube together while you try them out or you can just wing it. Guys should take care of their skin too, so slap a face mask on him too. No excuses! This date can be as fancy or as simple as you want. The important thing is just taking care of each other and communicating.
Go Out With Friends
When all else fails and you’ve exhausted all your creative energies, just invite another couple and leaving the decision making up to them. You get all the perks of a date and hanging out with your friends without the added stress. Let them sweat this one out.