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!
1. BookstoreSource: Lorenzo Basile
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 FestivalSource: PopSugar
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 GardensSource: Hanke Arkenbout
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 GolfSource: The Golf Travel Guru
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 CrawlSource: PopSugar
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 TouristSource: Aja Hitomi Photography
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 ClassSource: Redbook
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 BikesSource: Forms + Surfaces
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 MarketSource: A Houseful of Handmade
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.