50 Cute Date Ideas
Some say that spontaneity is the key to a lasting relationship: We say it’s the key to beginning a new one as well as maintaining a long-standing one. If you want to impress a first date, or breathe new life into an old love, these 50 ridiculously cute date ideas will do the trick.
A ’50s diner
A ’50s diner is the picture of innocent love. He can wear his Letterman’s jacket, you can wear a poodle skirt, and you can ask for the big shiny red booth in the corner. Put on some oldies but goodies on the juke box, so you get to choose the playlist for the night, and order a giant ice cream shake with two straws and cherry pie. Feed each other French fries dipped in the shake and recreate the scene from “Grease.”
Float in an inflatable boat
Make sure the waters are calm for this one! Pick up an inflatable boat, grab some blankets and maybe some wine coolers, and drift a little ways off shore with your date. It will feel so adventurous and like you’re little kids again! Plus it has a romantic, Tom Sawyer vibe. If you don’t think it’s too sappy, you can bring some poems out there to read too.
Bowling alleys are far too underutilized! They’re a great way to bring out your competitive sides (always good foreplay), and you both feel so humbled and silly in those big bowling shoes, you can’t help but put your guards down. There are usually those old timey machines in bowling alleys that you put a quarter in and try to snatch a stuffed toy—so you or your date can try to win a prize for one another.
A motel staycation
Forget fancy hotels: motels are where the romance is! They have a sense of adventure, and are usually full of travelers so you meet interesting people in the lobby and parking lot, and hear great stories. Being in the middle of all that movement is so exciting, and it still feels like a little getaway. You can order takeout, watch the dinky TV, and sneak into the motel pool after hours. There are usually great hole in the wall bars conveniently near motels, too.
Make a fast food run
So you’re both healthy eaters who never touch fast food—but it can feel so good to be bad together! Pick a night to throw dietary caution to the wind and make a run around town, picking up your favorite items from fast food chains everywhere. Bring your loot home, dump it on the table and gobble it up like kids eating your Halloween candy!
Hit the Whole Foods wine bar
The very large Whole Foods locations have wine bars right in the store, where you can do beer and wine tastings. The really fun part about it is that you can go to the fish or meat department and ask them to cook you something anyway you want. You can pick up some steaks, put together some sides from the salad bar, and have a wine tasting and meal right in the middle of people doing their kale shopping.
Visit a dog shelter
Most dog shelters will let you come in and volunteer to simply walk the dogs. It brings dogs that are usually cooped up so much joy, it bonds you and your date by doing something charitable together, and you see one another’s nurturing, sweet side.
Try a chef’s table
Many restaurants offer a dinner experience right in the kitchen, on the preparation line. It’s normally a four- to eight-course meal, and the chef will come introduce himself, explain every course to you, pair each course with the proper wine, and even let you watch him make them! Usually, if you’re nice, you’ll get to try little samples of several dishes you don’t even pay for.
Go see a kid’s movie
If you can be with someone who you can bring out your childish side around, and vice versa, you’re in for a very fun relationship. Instead of going to another Oscar-nominated drama that has you leave the theater overwhelmed with emotions, or a romantic comedy that puts some pressure on you and your date, why not see a kid’s movie? They’ll make you giggle together, which is super bonding.
Tour his/your college campus
If you live in the city, or near the city, where one of you went to college, go walk around that campus! It’s so fun to re-tell old college stories, talk about the teachers and classes that inspired you, and the crazy parties and antics. Plus, college campuses are usually beautiful spots for a picnic.
Camp in your backyard
Forget driving far away and dealing with mosquitos: go camping in your own backyard. Set up a tent, lay out some sleeping bags, grab your flashlights and bring some beer and smore’s back there.
Do a Farmer’s Market sampling
When you go to a Farmer’s Market, you’re usually rushed—you go for your fresh produce and you only wish you had time to try all of the pies, hummus, BBQ and homemade candy. So go with a date and set out to just try the samples! Make a meal of the samples: they’re some of the best you’ll ever have. Buy some of the items you both loved most and bring them home to make a meal on your next date!
Set up a Tennis match
People don’t play enough tennis these days. Couples go to the gym together or jog together, but many have forgotten about the charm of a tennis court. You both look so cute in your tennis outfits, and it once again brings out your competitive sides, but it’s a calm enough sport that you can keep talking while you play. Plus tennis courts are usually affiliated with a pretty sports club where you can catch lunch in a clubhouse after the game.
Spend a day at a hotel pool
A lot of upscale hotels offer swimming pool access to non-guests for a small fee. Live like you’re on vacation for a day, get your vacation wardrobe out like your white linen pants and sarongs, and drink cocktails with umbrellas in them all day. It’s a sexy date, but it’s also very playful.
Ride to the top
Spend a day taking the elevator to the roofs or top floors of the highest buildings in your city, getting views from different perspectives. Having those panoramic views of the city will remind you of memories and experiences you’ve had, and you can share those with each other. And it will certainly help you think of future date ideas!
Rent a music room
Music schools, college campuses, recreation centers and even record stores often have music rooms for rent. For a small fee, you can have access to a piano for an hour. Go in one with your date and play for each other. If neither of you know how, you can stumble your way through practice books. If one of you knows how, you can serenade the other.
Go to a local music academy concert
Instead of going to a pricey symphony or opera, give some budding music students an ego boost by attending their recital. Local music academies have recitals happening almost every night, from singing recitals to violin recitals, and usually in beautiful halls on romantic grounds.
Hit a batting cage
Remember this activity? You probably haven’t done this since you were a little kid! What’s great about this is that there is usually one person up to bat, and the other one instructing (and watching the other one’s, um, form) so it’s kind of sexy. When you’re done batting, you can have another throwback to your youth and eat some stadium hot dogs.
Try guided meditation
Anything you can do to help somebody de-stress will make them instantly more attracted to you, and likewise. Think about helping your partner through a guided meditation (you can look up the breathing techniques online) or doing one together. You can drive to your favorite spot in nature to do this, and have a picnic after.
Sign up for a ropes course
There’s nothing hotter than an adrenaline rush, and a ropes course is perfect for that. You also both put your guards completely down once you’re in those silly-looking harnesses, and you bring out one another’s adventurous side. Another perk is that these are usually held in beautiful places in nature.
Go on a train ride
There’s something so romantic about trains, and you can usually hop on one for several hours for a dirt-cheap price. Book two tickets on a train that passes some gorgeous scenery—book first class if you can so you have more space—and just enjoy site-seeing together. (And have you ever gotten a little tipsy on a train? It’s pretty awesome).
Eat appetizers for dinner
How many times have you been picking at appetizers at a party and said, “I could make a whole meal out of these”? So do it already! Make big batches of your favorite appetizers and have “dinner” out of them with your date. Appetizers are usually great finger food, so there are plenty of opportunities to feed each other.
Rent a tandem bike
You know whenever you see a group of friends riding a tandem bike you think, “That looks so fun!” but you never get around to renting one yourself. A tandem bike is the perfect date idea because you have to work together to make it go, you’re outdoors and you can visit several of your favorite spots in town.
Go apple picking
Remember how exciting this was as a little kid? It still is, plus orchards are so romantic (think of all the orchards in Jane Austen novels). Pack a small picnic of things that go well with apples, like cheese and nuts, go gather bundles of apples with your date, and sit down in the middle of the orchard to eat them.
Try line dancing
It doesn’t matter if neither you nor your date knows how to line dance (and no we’re not talking about hustles), you’ll both laugh at how terrible you are and how much you stand out from the group. Meanwhile you get to finally whip out those sexy little cowboy boots and cut off jean shorts.
Have a picnic at a winery
Drive up to the nearest winery to do a small wine tasting, but bring a picnic basket full of gourmet foods (think pickled vegetables, figs, cheese and artisan bread). After your tasting, buy a bottle of your favorite wine you tried and split it at a table overlooking the vineyards.
Go to the library
The library is an amazing date spot for several reasons: 1) You have to whisper to talk, giving the whole thing a forbidden vibe 2) it feels like you’re back in high school…kind of a fantasy for many, and 3) you can talk about your favorite books from childhood and college, which usually reveals a lot about a person.
Buy tickets to a standup comedy show
Want to see if your date can roll with the punches? Go to a comedy show and sit in the splash zone (the very front row where the comics will pick on you). Laughter is a powerful aphrodisiac! And most comedy clubs have a two-drink purchase minimum, so you’ll both get pretty loosened up.
Take a painting class together in which you paint one another’s portraits. Hopefully neither of you is that good at painting, because that’s when the real entertainment happens. And afterwards, you have a unique souvenir from your date.
Make your favorite kids foods
You know you’ve wanted to order off of the kids’ menu at restaurants before. Your date probably has too! Take a trip down memory lane and make all of your favorite kids’ foods together: totally indulge one night in mac and cheese, mini corn dogs, chicken fingers, etc. It feels good to be “bad” together and eat foods that are so not on your diet!
Go to a local sports game
Not the big time teams, we’re talking about the local high school football games. You still get all the excitement and action of the sport, but in a totally relaxed setting, usually with bake sales and lemonade stands around. It’s another great way to take a trip down memory lane, and make a high school football team feel like they have fans!
Visit an antiques road show
You can learn a lot about somebody from the items they pick up at an antiques road show, and you get to meet the interesting characters with booths set up, who are usually full of stories.
Go to the drive-in
In most cities you can find a cemetery, park, or even historic landmark that hosts drive in movie nights. Pack your car with blankets and your favorite movie snacks, put the seats back and have an old fashioned making out at the drive-in (you can also watch the movie if you want).
Test drive cars
It doesn’t get much sexier than driving a super fast car you could never afford. Look up local race car tracks or sports car dealerships in your town and give them a call: they can usually direct you to or arrange for you to test drive cars.
Patronize a new restaurant
There’s no better time to go to a restaurant than when it’s brand new. They’re usually so eager to impress, they’ll bring you free appetizers and drinks, talk to you extensively about every dish, and even introduce you to the chef.
Patronize an old restaurant
The one place just as charming as a brand new restaurant is an establishment that’s been around forever. There’s usually an adorable old grandma or grandpa in the back overseeing the re-creation of their family recipes, who will let you take pictures with them, and let you stir the pot of the secret sauce. And you know the food will be good if the restaurant has been around that long.
Give each other a makeover
You have to have a pretty great sense of humor and minimal ego to go on this date—which is why it’s a great way to get to know your partner! Pick out your favorite men’s store (or group of stores) and take your date shopping, picking out all the items for him, and staging a little photo shoot. Then, let him do the same for you. You get to see each other in outfits you both find incredibly attractive, and you get to tease each other too.
Cook a themed dinner at home
Can’t afford to go to Paris? Put on a Paris-themed dinner at home: play French music, wear your little barrette and striped shirt, eat baguettes and cheese, drink French wine, and post up a big poster of the Eiffel tower. You can do this for any city you and your date dream of traveling to.
Have a wilderness day
Spend the entire day away from civilization—no phones, no laptops, no iPods etc — and pick a spot where there will be no other people (so avoid camping or hiking areas). This is a great test to see how much you can enjoy one another’s company with absolutely zero distractions. Plus, there’s something erotic about being all alone in nature.
Host a Quiz night
It will take a really easy-going guy to agree to this date (so it’s a great way to determine your date’s character) but this can be a lot of fun, and very informative. Pick up a dozen magazines with quizzes like “How well do you know your partner?” and “What type of person are you in bed?” and so on, and take them together.
Take photos in your favorite spots
Grab some Polaroid cameras and go to all the places that make you both happy all over the city, snapping pictures at each one. Each place will jog your memories for stories you can share with each other, and you’ll end the date with a great photobook of your city!
Spend the day like a tourist
Stop into a local motel, grab all of the pamphlets and brochures, and do whatever is written in there. Take the cheesy bus tours, visit the landmarks you’ve never gotten around to visiting, try a small dish at all of the “best” restaurants listed, and pick up some silly souvenirs at a gift shop.
Go ice fishing
Ice fishing has a lot of great date elements: You’re completely alone, it feels like you’re in a little mountain cabin, you get to wear silly/adorable clothing and hats, you feel accomplished if you actually catch something, and you have hours to just sit and talk. Don’t forget to bring hot cocoa in thermoses!
See a local band
Look in your local newspaper or bulletin board and go see the no-name band that’s just getting it’s feet off the ground, playing for free at a coffee shop or bar. It will feel good to support hard working artists, and it’s usually a free or super cheap show!
Sit on the beach on a foggy day
Forget the beach on a hot, crowded day. Go on a foggy day when nobody will be there. Walk far down the beach to a secluded area, grab tons of blankets, and bring your favorite classic books to read to each other. When you’re on the beach on a foggy day, it feels like nobody else exists.
Visit an art exhibit
If neither of you knows anything about art, even better. You can get a kick out of trying to interpret the pieces. You finish the date feeling like you’ve done something cultured and you can wear your cute, funky dress you know you’ve saved for an art gallery day. There’s usually a cute museum café, too, where you can share a bottle of wine.
Remake your favorite meal
Sit down with your partner and think about each of your favorite meals from throughout your life—these could be something your grandmother made or something you had on a trip to Spain—and attempt to recreate these dishes! You might not come close, but the challenge will be a lot of fun, and you could end up with something delicious.
Go on a movie moments tour
Look up which movies have been filmed in your city, and do a movie moments tour, visiting all of the settings of your favorite movie moments. You can even recreate the cutest, most romantic ones.
Visit a fortuneteller
Seeing you’re on a date, the fortuneteller will probably only say incredibly flattering things about either one of you, and she’ll also probably say you have a great future together—that’s a pretty nice little ego boost. And maybe if you go to a really good fortune teller, you can learn a thing or two about each other.
Shoot at a rifle range
Admit it: you think female cops on police shows look sexy holding those guns, and you’ve always wanted to try it. Go to a rifle range with your date and get that adrenaline rushing, and those competitive sides out.