My husband and I have been purposing to have 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 are intentional about getting away from the kids and just spending time as a couple.
We *usually* just go out to dinner or maybe a movie, but it is so nice to change things up and find fun and interesting things to do that are not our ordinary. Changing things up a bit makes date night even more special and keeps it from getting mundane.
A friend of mine came up with 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 work during other seasons as well – but the focus is on summer.
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 or an ocean or near cornfields or mountains you can find a beautiful place to see the sunrise or sunset!
Attend an outdoor concert or theater performance
Many towns have outdoor concerts or outdoor plays throughout the summer at the local parks and these are a fabulous way to enjoy a romantic summer evening with your spouse. Even where I grew up in a very rural area, you could drive about an hour and watch a fabulous outdoor theater production about Abraham Lincoln on 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. What we discovered was 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 really good for our marriage.
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 just enjoy the rides and yummy food with each other as a special date night! Take the kids along another time.
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 pretty location where you can watch the sunset and listen to the audiobook at the same time. 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
Take some sandwiches 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!
Date Night “In”
After tucking the littles into bed (if you have older ones who can keep an ear out for them), take a light weight blanket out to your back yard. Spread it out and lie down together to gaze at the stars. If you have a telescope, bring it along to take a closer look. Talk about your week or plans for vacation. Just relax together!
Coffee and Dessert
Head out to the local coffee shop to enjoy dessert and a hot drink together. Bring a book along and take turns reading aloud to one another.
Go strawberry or blueberry picking
Summer is the perfect time for this activity! Take a couple 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 ministry at your church in which you can serve together
Plan and prepare a meal together
My husband and I enjoy cooking together. On occasion, we have created a menu plan, headed out to the grocery store to pick up our items, and then returned home to prepare the meal. We usually end up eating it with our family instead of alone (meal times are always exciting around here) but the other activities end up being fun for us, and can totally count as date time!
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 gives you plenty of time to chat, laugh together, or even have a serious conversation, if necessary.
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-stage coffee bar. We’ll be heading back soon, and I think date night might be the perfect time. Do you have a great place like this near you? Spend some time there together for date night!
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 normally wouldn’t, and it is always an hour well-spent. Maybe this is something you could do, too.
This is an activity that my husband and I always enjoyed together when we were dating. It’s something we still like to do, though our time is limited these days. Create beautiful memories together of paddling canoes, picnicking on the riverbank, swimming, and sun-kissed skin.
Rent a boat and go out on the lake
Wouldn’t a boating day make a really special date?
Hike the local trails
Hiking is probably one of my most 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 a bonding experience for sure!
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’m thinking it will turn out to be really exciting 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 always have the option of going 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 along and grill your dinner while you sip drinks and chat. Enjoy spotting stars or watching the sun set as you eat and talk. Easy-breezy, and only a few steps out your door.
If you are able to get away overnight, camping might be a fun “date night” option. All you need is a pup tent, a few dinner and breakfast choices, and your 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 awakening in his arms to the sun rising and the twittering of birds 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 our favorite things to do. We love to stroll through town, peek in the windows, and just have fun together as we talk and shop. Try it!
Complete a project
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 an entire 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 then you will grow closer together as you work.
If you are into biking, or perhaps you just want to be, then this could be another activity that will help you get fit and enjoy time together. Grab your bikes and head off on an adventure together!
Play a favorite game
My personal favorite right now is Scrabble. Do you like to play cards, Boggle, Othello, Risk or something else? Pull out a few games and challenge one another…winner gets to choose dessert!
Go for a scenic drive
You know that scene at the end of Cars (the kids movie) where Sally and the car guy go driving through the mountains? It really can be a beautiful, romantic way to spend an afternoon to go for a drive and take the scenic route!