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17 Date Ideas That Aren’t Dinner & a Movie

multiple food items on a cutting board while two people chop peppers

You need more options than just dinner and a movie to make dating your spouse more fun and exciting. So use your imagination and creativity to find new and interesting date ideas. Keep reading to learn a few of our favorite options.

1. Take a long walk in the park

If you live near beautiful outdoor spaces, take advantage of them by taking a long stroll in a nearby park. You’ll get fresh air and exercise and will have plenty of time to talk and reconnect.

Read also: 3 Reasons to Keep Dating Your Spouse After You’re Married

2. Go for breakfast

I’m a big fan of any day date mostly because I’m not a night owl. By going out for a nice breakfast, you get to spend quality time with your partner and will still have all day to run errands, spend time with your kids, or finish projects around the house.

3. Browse a bookstore

Before we got married, Drew and I use to spend a lot of time in local bookstores. 

Books are a great way to start a conversation, which can be especially great if you’ve been with your spouse for years and feel like you’ve run out of things to talk about. Bookstores also allow you to find new books to read together or introduce each other to your favorite childhood books.

4. Take a cooking class

Cooking classes let you learn new skills and find new recipes to try at home later. Even if you aren’t overly fond of the recipes you learn in class, you can still incorporate some of the skills (like how to saute an onion properly) in your own favorite meals.

5. Go on a picnic

Remember those beautiful outdoor spaces near you? They aren’t just great for long walks. You can also pack a picnic with some of your favorite foods and enjoy the scenery.

6. Take a painting or DIY class

By taking some kind of DIY class, you can learn something new and make new decor for your home. Drew and I will occasionally go to our local AR Workshop to make wood signs and other projects (our favorite has been a cornhole set).

7. Team up for trivia night

Often, local restaurants and bars will host weekly trivia nights. Yes, this is technically going to dinner, but it’s a lot more fun than just eating. Even if you don’t come anywhere close to winning, you’ll still have a good time.

8. Check out a local sports team

I’m not a huge sports fan, and many of our local teams aren’t the best. But I enjoy being in the stadium and arena and cheering (and eating some pretty great food).

9. Play mini-golf

Mini-golf isn’t just for kids’ birthday parties or family trips to the beach. You can make it more fun and interesting by placing bets on who will win.

10. Try out a new board game

Drew and I try new board games all the time. We love getting to learn the rules and figure out the strategy together. Right now, our favorite game is a card game called “Five Crowns.”

11. Visit the zoo or aquarium

We’re lucky enough to live relatively close to both a fantastic zoo (about an hour away) and a fantastic aquarium (about two hours away). Typically, we go to one or the other at least once a year. 

Zoos and aquariums are great because you get to enjoy the animals and walk around talking to each other. Many zoos and aquariums will sometimes have night events specifically for adults, so keep an eye out for any of those that sound interesting.

12. Go bike riding

Going for a leisurely bike ride is another one of our favorite dates, especially in the fall when the weather’s cooler. You can either focus on exercising or just take it slow and chat the whole time. 

We will sometimes plan our rides to end up near downtown around lunch so we can enjoy a nice meal before heading back.

13. Visit a museum

Museums are both educational and relaxing. A lot of museums don’t encourage you to talk much, but you and your partner will have a lot to talk about when you leave.

14. Shoot pool

Shooting pool is great because you don’t have to dress up. You can grab a beer and just spend time together.

15. Visit an amusement park

Amusement parks offer a lot of fun activities, from rides to delicious food.

16. Go to the renaissance fair

Drew and I love going to the renaissance fair every year. We get to eat great food (like giant turkey legs and funnel cake) and catch a jousting match. The festival we visit usually has some pretty good comedians and acrobats to watch, too.

17. Enjoy an at-home beer or wine tasting

This date night idea is so easy to set up. Just grab a few different beers or wine options and taste a little bit of each one. Then, you can talk about which ones you loved and which ones you never want to drink again. It’s a lot of fun to pair your options with food. Chocolates or cheese are classic pairings, but Jaclyn has also hosted a wine tasting with candy pairings.

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multiple food items on a cutting board while two people chop peppers