A dinner and a movie are typically what we all think of when we think of date night, but sometimes you need to spice things up. Especially among younger generations, there is a general interest in more excitement and cultural curiosity, so doing things like going to a unique art gallery, learning a new skill, or exploring nature on horseback are more appealing than going to a movie every Saturday night.
Whether you’re in need of first date ideas or are just looking for creative options to keep the fun times rolling, we've covered 20 unconventional date ideas below that you and your significant other will have a blast trying.
1) Have a Painting Night Together
Want to tap into creativity for your next date night? Have a paint night with your significant other from the comfort of your own home with Painting to Gogh. You can order painting kits that include all the supplies needed for each of you to paint a beautiful work of art, as well as a video tutorial from a professional artist. A paint night can be perfect for a birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s day, or any night you want to make a bit more fun! Even more, Painting to Gogh has over 80 paintings to choose from, including Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night. Learn more about our date night paint kits.
2) Solve an Interactive Puzzle at an Escape Room
If you and your special someone love scavenger hunts and challenging puzzles, you may want to go to an escape room for your next date. Not only is solving an interactive puzzle in an escape room fun, but it also pushes you and your partner to work as a team and build solid communication skills.
Another great thing about escape rooms is that there are usually many different types of challenges involved, like puzzles including text and numbers, physical puzzles, light- and sound-related puzzles, hidden objects, and logic games. There is truly something for everybody.
3) Show Off Your Climbing Skills at a Rock Climbing Wall
Looking for a fun date night that also includes a physical challenge? Going to your local rock climbing gym could be perfect — or if you’re in a mountainous area, you could even rock climb outdoors. Even if you are on one of your first dates, rock climbing can be a great way to keep busy for several hours, as well as avoid any awkward lulls in conversation (if it’s your first or second date).
And don’t think this date idea is only for the experienced climbers. Rock climbing is accessible to anyone regardless of skill level, and most rock climbing facilities have sections for climbers of all skill levels, from beginner to advanced.
4) Take a Segway Tour of a Nearby Town
Whether you’re in a large metropolitan area or a small town, segway tours have become extremely popular. A tour of a town close by that neither you or your partner have explored before would be an excellent choice for an adventurous date. The structured nature of a segway tour also lends itself well to a date early in a relationship when you’re still getting to know each other, and also provides a great experience to reflect back on after the date is over.
Additionally, segway tours are a great way to see what other attractions you and your partner could explore on your next date.
5) Find an Unusual Museum To Explore
If you and your significant other are into obscure and weird things, finding an unusual museum to go to for a date could be a lot of fun — and can spark plenty of conversation. Depending on where you live, you can look into wax museums or other museums covering unusual topics. Some that come to mind include the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C., the Museum of Bad Art in Massachusetts, the Seattle Pinball Museum, and the International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago.
If you’re not sure where to start, Google can be a very helpful resource to help you and your partner find unusual museums to check out in your area.
6) Go On a Ski/Snowboard Trip
For the very adventurous folks, a ski or snowboard trip is a fun way to experience the beauty of nature and — if you live in a cold climate — combat the winter blues. A ski or snowboard date could be as high-stakes or low-stakes as you make it. This, however, will depend on where you live. If you’re in a place where a ski hill or mountain range is within a few hours of driving, this could be the perfect day date. On the other hand, if you live in a warm climate, you may need to take a plane or road trip to find snow-capped mountains. If this is the case, be sure you’re in a place in your relationship where you and your partner both feel ready to spend a few days together.
7) Go Shopping at a Flea Market
Taking a drive to your local flea market is a great inexpensive and interesting date idea. If you and your significant other are fascinated by antiques and other knick-knacks, this is a perfect choice. Who knows — you may even find an old piece of furniture you can refurbish together, leading to yet another date!
8) Stargaze Together
Stargazing can be a beautiful date, but it does need some planning to ensure you and your partner have the best experience. You’ll want to find a comfortable spot in an area with little to no light pollution, choose a night when the skies are clear, and maybe bring equipment necessary for stargazing, like a telescope or binoculars.
Stargazing can be romantic, too, so you can make your next stargazing date extra special by making a whole night of it. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket with snacks and beverages. A candle or two can also help set the mood. For this date idea, you can keep it as simple or as elaborate as you want.
9) Take a Cooking Class Together
Cooking classes are a great idea for dates at any stage of a relationship. Whether you and your significant other both strive to become better cooks or just want to try cooking a new type of cuisine, the options are endless when it comes to cooking classes. If you’re more into baking, there are also tons of places that host baking classes. You can often find cooking and baking classes offered at local cooking stores, culinary schools, recreation departments, and even bakeries or restaurants.
10) Go to a Local Axe-Throwing Venue
Axe throwing can be a truly unforgettable date, and has really exploded in popularity as a go-to date spot in recent years. It can be a great way to connect with your partner in a romantic, yet exciting way. Most axe-throwing venues also have food and beverage options, while some have additional games, making it a perfect idea for a longer date.
Additionally, axe throwing can be a perfect way to create memories and laugh a lot along the way.
11) Tie-Dye Shirts Together
Tie dying has moved in and out of popularity steadily since the 1970s, but recently, it has come back in full force. It can be a great DIY date night activity, as there are minimal materials and it can be done in a lot of different environments. Sure, you could find a local business that hosts tie-dying events, but you could also tie dye at home and bring new life to your old clothing!
To tie dye at home you will need rubber bands, dye, disposable gloves, 100% cotton items to dye, and a tarp or newspaper to cover your working surface. There are also tie-dye kits you can buy premade at your local craft store.
You can also make this into a fun outdoor activity in nice weather if you set up in your backyard.
12) Do Yoga in the Park
If you and your significant other are into exercising your mind and body, a yoga class in the park would be a great date idea. Yoga studios across the country have joined in on the fun of yoga in the park, so the likelihood of finding a class is fairly high — especially in the spring and summertime.
Yoga in the park can also be a great daytime date that is relatively low-stakes. It could easily be followed with a drink at a coffee shop or a bike ride to your local farmers market.
13) Sing Your Heart Out at a Karaoke Bar
Singing in public may not be for everyone, but if you and your partner love to belt it out, a date at a karaoke bar could lead to an amazing time. You could duet or take the stage individually — either way you’ll be sure to make memories that you can look back on for years to come.
A karaoke bar could also be a great place to visit for a double date, or meet with a group if you’re introducing your significant other to your friends for the first time.
14) Go to an Arcade Bar
Arcade bars can be a lot of fun and bring out the inner child in each of us. Especially if you and your partner are into old school video games or board games, an arcade bar can bring back some great memories — as well as bring out a little fun competition.
Going to an arcade bar can also be the perfect continuation of a classic dinner date, and is sure to end the night on a good (and fun) note.
15) Visit a Botanical Garden
If you and your significant other are seeking out a low-key date, visiting a local botanical garden could be the direction you go. Botanical gardens are only open during the day, so plan to go on a warm, sunny day for ideal conditions. Because botanical gardens are filled with all types of walking paths, they are generally quiet and serene places, which makes them perfect locations to have deeper bonding experiences.
16) Check Out an Art Gallery
Art galleries and museums are typically beautiful, which make them ideal settings for dates. You can seek out larger museums like the Art Institute of Chicago or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, but there are also art galleries in every pocket of the country. You and your partner may keep this idea in the back of your mind and seek out certain types of art or artists, as many galleries display art on a rotating basis.
Additionally, art galleries are relatively affordable and educational, which can lead to interesting conversations between your partner that you may not have been able to have in another setting. And if the date goes well, you may decide to keep it going at an equally-artsy speakeasy or wine bar.
17) Go Roller Skating or Ice Skating
For many people, roller rinks and ice rinks bring back major nostalgia. This can be a great thing to tap into for a date with your significant other as it can elicit a fun, whimsical energy — who doesn’t love disco-ball lighting at a roller rink? Choosing to go ice skating or roller skating for your date can be a great way to get out of the house and out of your comfort zone.
18) Take a Dance Class Together
Learning something new as a couple is a great way to strengthen the relationship. One way to do this is by taking a dance class together. You may opt for a style you have both always wanted to learn, such as a classic tango, or something completely out of your comfort zone like ballet en pointe. In either scenario, a dance class will push you and your partner to new levels and allow you to enjoy each other’s company in a lively, physical setting — while hopefully having a few laughs along the way.
19) Take a Horseback Tour
Whether or not you and your partner grew up on a farm with horses, a horseback riding tour can be an exciting way to explore nature as a couple. The great thing about horseback riding tours is that they range in experience level and pace, so if you want a more laid-back equestrian date, you can go slower and stop along the way to hear about the scenery from your tour guide, or you can choose a more advanced trail ride and tap into your inner jockey.
20) Catch a Sunrise/Sunset
Perhaps the most stereotypical date idea is watching the sun rise or set. This is because these dates are tried and true — sunrises and sunsets are beautiful, quiet, and romantic. Of course, you want to choose wisely based on your and your partner’s personalities: Are you both morning people or night owls? In either case, you can plan a whole date around the day’s sunrise or sunset. You can never go wrong with a picnic, so bring a blanket and picnic basket with either breakfast snacks or evening treats. Beyond that, you don’t need much — the scenery and soundtrack are provided by nature.