My husband and I have been purposeful about having a weekly date night for a couple of years now – since our oldest kids got old enough to babysit and needed a way to earn their phones. We intentionally get away from the kids and spend time as a couple. Finding workable date night ideas for married couples with the responsibility of kids at home can be challenging, but it is doable.
We *usually* go out to dinner or maybe a movie, but it is so nice to find fun and exciting things to do that are not ordinary. Changing things up a bit makes date night even more special and keeps it from getting mundane. Be sure to check out more budget-friendly date night ideas!
A friend of mine created this fabulous list of twenty-five ideas for date nights you can enjoy during the summer months or any time of year in a warmer climate! Some of these date night ideas will also work during other seasons – but the focus is on summer. I’ve edited the list with some of our personal experiences and left some of her personal experiences in the post so that it truly is a blend of ideas that can work for any couple.
And, at the end of the post, we have a printable planning sheet you can use to choose and mark off date nights as you finish them – sort’ve like a bucket list of dates!
Watch the sunset or sunrise together.
Whether you live near a lake, ocean, cornfields, or mountains, you can find a beautiful place to see the sunrise or sunset! Don’t forget to bring easy snacks.
Attend an outdoor concert or theater performance.
Many towns have outdoor concerts or plays throughout the summer at the local parks, which are a fabulous way to enjoy a romantic summer evening with your spouse. Even where I grew up in a rural area, you could drive about an hour and watch a fabulous outdoor theater production about Abraham Lincoln any night of the week. Ask around; you might be surprised by what you can find.
Splurge on a 24-hour getaway.
We’ve had a few overnight hotel stays because I have had multiple surgeries in distant cities where I had to be there at 4 am. We discovered that even though we didn’t intend it as a date – getting away to a new location and enjoying each other’s company, and talking into the night without interruption is good for our marriage. Take a deck of cards or some of your favorite board games if you think you’ll need to chase boredom away.
Head to the fair.
Most of us probably went to the fair as couples when we were in high school dating random people, but when you are “old” and have kids, you always think of taking the kids to the fair. How fun to enjoy the rides and yummy food with each other as a special date night! Take the kids along another time and enjoy the romance of a time alone.
Listen to a book together.
More than once, my husband and I have come home from a restaurant in the evening and become so caught up in the audiobook we were listening to on the way home that we sat in the car listening after we arrived. You can also pick a spot to watch the sunset and listen to the audiobook simultaneously. Or watch the city lights on the river. Anywhere with a great view is the perfect place for a shared book! You can also read aloud to each other if you prefer.
Picnic Dinner at the Park
Bring sandwiches, grapes, cheese, and drinks to a local park. Play a game of toss together or utilize some of the perks of the park. Ours happens to have a place for Frisbee Golf! Ask your local Mom’s group on Next Door or Facebook if you need inspiration for the perfect spot. I bet you get lots of ideas you’ve never thought of.
Date Night “In”
After tucking the littles into bed (if you have older ones who can keep an ear out for them), take a lightweight blanket out to your backyard. Spread it out and lie down together to gaze at the stars. If you have a telescope or binoculars, bring them along to look closer. Talk about your week or plans for vacation. Just relax together! Get more home date night ideas.
Coffee and Dessert
Head out to the local coffee shop to enjoy dessert and a hot drink together. Even if you aren’t into the taste of coffee, most coffee shops will have something else for you to enjoy with your spouse if he prefers the roasted drink.
Go strawberry or blueberry picking.
Summer is the perfect time for pick-your-own fruit! Take a couple of baskets, some water to drink, and pick until you have all you need. Bring the berries home and prep them together for homemade ice cream, strawberry shortcake, or as a topping for pancakes.
Choose a soup kitchen or perhaps a church ministry where you can serve together. You could even invite someone else from your church to join you and make it a double date, enjoying a meal afterward.
Plan and prepare a meal together.
My husband and I enjoy cooking together. Occasionally, look for new recipes to try, create a menu plan, head out to the grocery store to pick up our items, and then return home to cook. We usually end up eating it with our family instead of alone (meal times are always exciting around here), but the other activities are fun for us and can totally count as a fun date night idea.
Go for a drive on a local scenic route.
Since the daylight lasts longer in the summer, this is an easy and (almost) free activity. Take a drive into the mountains (we are not too far from the Blue Ridge Parkway here), travel along the beach and marvel at the ocean, or find some beautiful farm country to admire. This is quality time at its finest, giving you time to chat, laugh together, or even have a serious conversation if you want.
Visit a local flea market or antique mall.
There is a place about an hour’s drive from us that offers several warehouses full of items for your home. Many are antiques; some are not. ALL are fun to look at and dream about! We found our beautiful farm table at this location, and it is almost time to find the perfect setup for our in-planning-stages coffee bar. We’ll return soon, and I think we will have so much fun shopping on our next date at the market. Do you have a great place like this near you?
Surprise your spouse by making date night a date lunch
Sometimes I ask my husband to meet me somewhere for lunch. Depending on where we decide to eat, I will swing by work and pick him up. We don’t get to spend a long time together, but this is a fun way to see each other during the day when we usually wouldn’t, and it is always an hour well-spent. Maybe this is something you could do, too.
Rent a canoe or kayak.
My husband and I always enjoyed this activity together when we were dating. We still like to do it, though our time is limited these days. Create beautiful memories together of paddling canoes, picnicking on the riverbank, swimming, and sun-kissed skin.
Date Night Ideas for Married Couples – Movie Night Variations
Watch your wedding video together for a fun and special date. Bonus points if you finish the evening off with wedding cake or luscious ice cream. We love the Talenti Gelato Truffles to share. Pick a romantic movie to share on a small screen — One Night with the King is a good choice. Of course, you can always go to the movies. What about renting the equipment to project a movie on the side of your house? That way, you can even use Netflix. These home date ideas might give you more options.
Hike the local trails.
Hiking is probably one of my favorite date activities. It is the one thing I absolutely insisted on doing in Hawaii when we went alone. I love to hike almost any time with the whole family, but hiking together as a couple is definitely a bonding experience! Read about the time we hiked Ka’ena Point.
Visit the drive-in.
Have you ever been to a drive-in? I haven’t. There is one a few towns away from us, and I am really hoping that my husband and I can sneak away for a few hours to watch a movie there. Seems romantic, don’t you think?
My husband and I have never been big dancers. However, I do think this kind of activity would be lots of fun. We’ve considered taking salsa lessons. I think it will be a fascinating and fabulous exercise or a complete embarrassment and a flop. Either way, I want to try it. Have you ever taken dance lessons as a couple? Of course, you can always go out to a club if you’re into that; it’s just never been our “scene.”
Enjoy a candlelit dinner on the patio.
Staying home for a nice dinner on the patio could be a relaxing way to enjoy time together. Hire a sitter or ask a family member to watch your children. Take some seasoned chicken breasts, fresh veggies, and a favorite wine, and grill your dinner while you sip drinks and chat. Light some candles. Treat each other to massages or a spa night. Enjoy spotting stars or watching the sunset as you eat and talk. Easy-breezy, and only a few steps out your door. This is one of the most romantic date ideas ever!
If you can get away overnight, camping might be a fun “date night” option. You only need a pup tent, your favorite snacks, and sleeping bags. Build a fire, take s’mores supplies along, and laugh together as you sit by the fire. I can’t think of anything better than snuggling with my husband and waking up in his arms to the sun rising and birdsong in the morning.
Check out the shops downtown.
My husband and I have always enjoyed getting to know the area anywhere we have lived. Finding little diners where we can grab breakfast, a specialty shop that offers sipping chocolate, and browsing through antique shops are some of our favorite things to do. We love to stroll through town, peek in the windows, and have fun together as we talk and shop. Try it! If you have a local vineyard or brewery, the shops are usually fabulous.
Complete a project together.
Are you finishing a basement, painting walls, or decorating a bathroom? Though this kind of thing can be challenging in a relationship, you can also have fun. My husband and I once enjoyed a weekend of painting and cleaning a home we needed to sell. It was hard work, but we had a great time! Working together to accomplish a goal is an amazing thing, and I believe if you work hard and practice patience, you will grow closer together as you work.
Go for a bike ride.
If you are into biking, or perhaps you want to be, this could be another activity to help you get fit and enjoy time together. Grab your bikes and head off on an adventure together!
Host a Game Night.
Invite a few other couples as guests, and host an adults-only game night. My personal favorite right now is Scrabble. Do you like to play cards or maybe games like Ticket to Ride, Wingspan, or Munchkin? You could even host a Monopoly or Bunko tournament. Ghost in the graveyard might even be fun!
Go for a Scenic Drive.
You know that scene at the end of Cars (the kid’s movie) where Sally and the Cars guy drive through the mountains? It really can be a beautiful, romantic way to spend an afternoon going for a drive and taking the scenic route!
Find one of those shops where you can sip wine and paint pottery together. Come back a few weeks later to pick it up glazed and fired and ready to use for special occasions.
You could go roller skating at a rink or rollerblading at a park and take yourselves right back to childhood or just hold hands and be romantic. This might be one of the best date night ideas for married couples of all time.
Make sure to check out our other inexpensive and romantic date night ideas for married couples.