We’ve all had that #tgif feeling when you’re thrilled it’s the weekend but are not quite sure what to do with your night. Whether you’re meeting someone new, hanging with a friend, or heading out of the house with your spouse, it’s always an adventure to get outside of your comfort zone instead of heading to the usual local haunt.
We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite date ideas that are guaranteed to spice up any night out. You might even find a new spot to add to your regular rotation of go-to activities!
There’s just something romantic about wandering a bookstore, weaving in and out of the shelves with a coffee in hand, discovering new titles to add to your reading list. Head to the local shop with your date and make plans to stop by a cafe on the way. Some bookstores even have local artists, writers or bands visit, so make sure to check their events calendar before you meet up.
2. Food Truck Festival
Food trucks are all the rage, especially at festivals where they all join together to form a food court of just about any cuisine you can think of. Strolling along and visiting each truck to pick the fare that suits you is a great way to casually learn about someone. Added bonus: You both don’t have to agree on only one place to eat!
3. Botanical Gardens
Every city has their version of a garden, arboretum or conservatory where you could wander for hours. If you’ll be outdoors, stop by the local market on the way and grab bread, meat and cheese to have a casual picnic. Most have covered areas to visit during the winter, giving you a taste of the outdoors even on a cold day.
4. Par 3 Golf
Pitch-and-putt courses are the perfect combination of sunshine, the smell of grass, a little healthy competition and of course, athletic activity. The longest hole is usually about 80 yards, and the standard 9 holes can be golfed in just an hour or so. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make creative bets on each hole that are guaranteed to keep things interesting; who hits a tree first, who lands furthest, or who takes the most strokes are just a few ideas.
5. Neighborhood Crawl
We all have favorite neighborhoods or areas around town that we wish we had more time to explore. Pick a place to start – whether it’s a bar, cafe or restaurant – and if the date goes well, continue onto the next, enjoying a small snack, beverage or appetizer in each spot.
6. Be a Tourist
No matter how long you live in a city, there are always tourist activities that we put off, waiting for a visitor to come into town for the excuse to do some sightseeing. Head to Trip Advisor, pick one of the top-rated attractions in town, and make a date out of it. You both might learn something about the place you call home!
7. Cooking Class
Interactive dates are much more fun and take the pressure off of serious conversation, giving you a chance to really learn about someone’s personality. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed foodie or chef, there’s always more to learn in the kitchen. Most cooking classes have themes, so do a bit of research to see what you’re in the mood for. Bonus: food and drinks are included!
8. City Bikes
Today, most cities have publish bikes that cost just a few dollars to take around town for a few hours. If you’re both active, this is a fun way to get outside your comfort zone and take advantage of an affordable service. Even though you’re exerting a bit of energy, you don’t necessarily need to break a sweat—take a leisurly ride so that you still feel your best. You might even work up an appetite for a bite to eat after.
9. Farmers Market
Accomplish two things at once by inviting your date to go along with you on your weekly farmers market shopping trip. This is a fun way to learn about each other’s lifestyle and show them a glimpse of your routine.
What are your favorite date ideas? Share them in the comments below!
This post was originally published on July 8, 2016.