Fun Date | Ideas for a Date | The Best Date Night Ideas
Planning an extravagant date? Need free date ideas? Or just want something different from the norm to celebrate your anniversary? For when dinner and a movie get real old, real fast, here are over 100 fun date ideas to spice up your month.
Ideas and photos by destination wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings
100+ Delightful, Romantic, Unique, and Fun Date Ideas
Whether it’s your first date and you want something tailored to your adventurous personalities, or you’re married and want to show your partner that you CAN plan something other than dinner reservations, these date ideas for couples—including free date ideas, first date ideas, and delightfully fun date ideas—should be fun to add to your date planning repertoire.
Cute date ideas aren’t just for dating couples…
Honestly, whether you’re single, in a relationship, or with a friend, doing a few of these activities is bound to spark more joy, fun, and memories in your life. Forgot an upcoming anniversary and need an anniversary date idea? Want to have a random Monday date night? Got the afternoon off and need to plan a last-minute date night? I’ve got you covered.
And just so you know who I am, I’m Kathryn Cooper Weddings, a creative destination elopement & wedding photographer, and non-traditional couples are my people. I’ve gone scuba diving, flown to Asia, spun fire, and done quite a few other unique activities to capture my couples in the most unique ways. Therefore, I figured that I should compile a list of the most awesome ideas I’ve dreamed up, heard about, and seen.
Sure, while some of these are romantic date ideas, the bulk of them are meant to inspire a lot of laughter, fun, and wonder. It’s for couples who don’t want to slog through life, but who want to try things outside their comfort zones and create stories together. Summed up in one word? FUN.
The Ultimate Fun Date Ideas List
For this list, I’ve tried to split it into a few major categories—though really, there is quite a lot of crossover.
Here, I’ve listed my 100+ date ideas in 4 main categories:
- Unique Date Ideas – for when you really want to get outside the box/your apartment/your house
- Extravagant Date Ideas – for that splurge when you can’t go on vacation, or want to do something truly memorable (perhaps for a proposal?!)
- Free Date Ideas/Cheap Date Ideas – because we can all use more fun date ideas that don’t involve planning ahead/booking/spending a lot
- General Fun Date Ideas – ideas for first dates, your 500th date, or for whenever
Here are 100+ date night ideas that aren’t just Netflix and takeout. Let’s goooo!
Unique Date Ideas
Here are ideas that aren’t your average date.
- Find a virtual reality (VR) experience room where you can rent out, run around in a virtual world, and play games in another dimension
- Head to a bar or carnival with a mechanical bull, and see who can last longer
- Create a time capsule together. If it’s your anniversary, create one for 5 or 10 years from now; if you’re getting married more than a year out, make capsules for each other to open the morning of your celebration
- On a business trip together? Go to a local bar and make up new identities…just don’t sue me
- Spend the day on a high ropes course or ziplining series
- Find the weirdest tourist attraction in your own neighborhood and visit, whether it’s an oddball museum or the world’s biggest something-or-other.
- Make each other do a blind taste test. Cook a dish for each other, put on the blindfolds, and see if you can guess the ingredients in the concoction
- Create your own mini food tour on a theme, such as rotis, homemade ice cream, Indian snacks, pizza slices, etc.
- Build a bonfire outside and make smores the old-fashioned way
- Head to a pinball hall or arcade hall, and spend what you would on a movie
- Head to a mountain biking course and feel the adrenaline rush. For an accessible option, if adaptive MTB isn’t available, play a game of wheelchair basketball or wheelchair tennis.
- Try an escape room and see how you work together, because communication is key, right? RIGHT?
- Take a virtual cooking class
- Attempt a new craft or project, such as making a birdhouse, cell painting, or planting a new fruit tree
- Try chocolate making either at home or in a class
- Head to a local Renaissance Fair, Irish Festival, or Cosplay convention
- Take a woodworking or silversmith class
- Go for a sunset yacht ride
- Attend a themed party, such as the Governor’s Island
- Take a conga dance class
- Head out to karaoke with friends
- Rent scooters and zip around your city in a new way
- Driving around
- Attend a sports match or tournament
- Strap on your roller skates
- Create a themed day, and make food, watch a movie, and even dress yourselves and a room in the house to get in the spirit
- Picnic at the local park
- Go night bowling—especially if there’s a midnight glow-in-the-dark special. Always a fun date night idea, with optional junk food and beer at your fingertips
- Create a scavenger hunt or each other, with rhyming or mysterious clues
- Enjoy a food festival and sample lots of different foods all day long
- Go on a mini driving tour to see spring blossoms, covered bridges, or autumn leaves
- Try your hand at mixology, whether with alcohol or no alcohol. See who can deliver the most inventive-yet-delicious combination
- Take a haunted tour to nearby ruins or cemeteries
- Play some games of skill or chance at a nearby casino
- Learn rock climbing at an outside class or inside bouldering club.
- Try out some goat yoga. I’ve never done it, but I hear it’s…something
- Enjoy trivia night at a local bar
- Get a pass to a parkour studio, and run and swing around to your heart’s delight
- Try your hand at axe throwing. Just don’t lose one.
- Buy a daypass to a resort—especially if you have access to a swim-up bar, waterslides, or prime wildlife trails
- Head to the beach, build a sandcastle, and splash around (and buy a treat from the ice cream truck!)
- Ride the carousel or Zipper at a state fair or carnival
- Learn a skill with a flower design class, beginning code class, or horticulture class
- Go do that thing in your city that you’ve never done, but are always making fun of tourists for doing
- Build a gingerbread house and have a decorate-off…but NOT in Christmas. What else can you build?
Extravagant Date Ideas
One-of-a-kind date ideas that will cost a little (or a lot) more, but be that much more amazing.
- Rent a snazzy convertible just because, and drive around the swankiest town nearby–or your own neighborhood
- Have a private chef come to do an in-home cooking course—which you can either watch or learn
- Get on, and get horseback riding to explore trails you normally can’t access as a hiker
- Enjoy a hot-air balloon ride over your own home
- Go on a guided canyoneering course, involving jumping into water, climbing, and exploring
- Do a Via Ferrata
- Rent jet skis and zip around on a lake or ocean
- Get a couples’ massage
- Surprise yourselves or just your significant other with a mystery trip such as Pack Up & Go or Guess Where Trips
- Sky diving or bungee jumping…want to take a chance?
- Enjoy a carriage ride at nighttime
- Surprise your significant other with a once-in-a-lifetime surprise trip to an erupting volcano, eclipse viewpoint, or bioluminescence cave
- Hire a helicopter and ride above a viewpoint you’ve always wanted to see. To get a bird’s-eye view of a local waterfall, beach, or your own home is pretty awesome
- Give each other $100 or more, and gamble in an online casino
Free Date Ideas (or Very Affordable Date Ideas)
If you’re looking for some stellar free date night ideas, here are ideas ranging from totally free to just a few bucks.
- Hiking in your local park, or on the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail (plus thousands of others)
- Free ferries or seasonal buses, such as the Staten Island Ferry (with very romantic views of the NYC skyline, Statue of Liberty, and more)
- Stop by several estate sales, yard sales, or garage sales (and you’ll have interesting conversations with the homeowners, almost guaranteed)
- Fishing (if no permit needed), or crabbing/clamming
- If you live in NYC or LA, you can often get day-of tickets to popular talk shows and late-night shows…for free.
- Go fly a kite!
- Volunteer at a local animal rescue
- Head to a farmer’s market and try all the samples. Buy the best one!
- Do an “at-home spa day” for each other, using cucumbers, herbs, and your bath for massages and scrubs
- Browse a second-hand bookstore, large comic shop, or independent bookseller
- Drive on country roads right near you—the ones you’ve never actually turned onto
- Enjoy wine and snacks at a free art gallery opening
- Morning-of, take out some large travel coffee-table books from your library, and plan your next adventure. At night, surprise your SO with a meal inspired by that country
- Go biking around a new trail
- Play a bit of Truth or Dare
- People watch on the steps of the Smithsonian, a bench in Harvard Square, Bryant Square Park, or your local village circle
- Visit a swimming hole and go cliff jumping at your local haunt!
- Join in on painting a giant mural in your town
- Go tubing down a river
- Head to an independent book store
- Create an obstacle course in your home using tennis balls (or socks), hats, bowls, and more. Time it!
- Frisbee—or better yet frisbee golf/disc golf—can typically be found for free on Google Maps
- Play some board games, and finally learn that 2-person game that’s still shrink-wrapped under your coffee table
- Head to a museum, since museums often have free entry times or days
- Try out a local free movie night in the park. Bring some snacks and drinks, and a blanket—life is good
- Art-inclined? Take 30 minutes and try to draw each other on a pad of paper or an easel. While the results may not be frame-worthy, staring at each other and trying not to draw a caricature is darn funny
- Meteor shower/new moon? Grab a blanket and some headlamps and hot chocolate, and stargaze
- Build a fort in your living room and pretend you’re kids for the evening
Fun Date Night Ideas/Romantic Date Ideas/Cute Date Ideas
Here are ideas that aren’t your typical.
- Make frozen hot chocolate or mini milkshakes in your blender, then consume while taking a joint bath
- Play darts or billiards at a local bar
- Roll out some sugar cookie dough, grab sprinkles and food coloring, and have fun decorating on a decidedly non-winter theme
- Enjoy ice cream, or splurge on deluxe sundaes (or an ice cream flight!)
- Head to a comedy show
- Scope out mini golf in your city. There’s usually at least one place that has a free hidden course
- See a movie at the drive-in
- Go play laser tag
- Visit a science museum or optical illusion museum
- Go fishing!
- Head to an orchard or u-pick farm, and grab handfuls of nectarines, blueberries, cherries, or whatever is in season
- Enjoy the batting cages, and then cool off with bumper boats
- Try out archery together
- Take a pottery making class, or better yet, raku!
- If it’s winter or a blazing hot summer day, rent skates and skate around an ice rink together
- Take a cooking class together. Want an upgrade? Have the chef come to your home.
Great Dates Aren’t Just an Activity
Of course the best dates are rarely just doing one thing. It’s about the person you’re with, your ability to listen, and the flexibility to have fun when things don’t go as planned.
When in doubt, ask! Ask what a person’s top 3 dates were, or the best days they’ve experienced. Oftentimes it’s a special memory that’s about an experience, a feeling, talking until the bar closed down, or being spontaneous. So, use these date night ideas as a starting point for getting to know your date (or at least getting to know them better).
And most of all, have FUN! Whether everything goes to planned or nothing does, your abilities to have an amazing time together will always be the determining factor. So go ahead, mix and match several of these ideas, or create your own day of excitement tailored to your interests.
Good luck, and go out and do it~
Kathryn Cooper Weddings: Fun Date Ideas | Romantic and Free Date Ideas | Destination & New York Wedding Photographer