Dating has myriad benefits. When you’re single, you date to get to know someone else. In the process, you also get to know yourself better, including your likes, dislikes, and priorities in a spouse and life. You learn how to communicate with another person, how to ask for what you want and need, how to say no and set boundaries, and how to express affection both publicly and in private.
Dating continues to be important even after marriage as it will enrich your relationship. You keep learning about your spouse and yourself. You work through differences and improve your communication. You also create memories as you experience new things together.
50 Date Ideas for Couples
Below are fifty date ideas separated into broad categories. We often talk about “date nights,” but many of these ideas will necessarily take place during daylight hours. You can also combine ideas, such as a picnic and a hike in the park or a museum visit followed by dinner.
God created humans to be in loving relationships with one another and to fully enjoy an abundant life on earth. Creative dating holds the potential to improve your relationship, make you happier, and be a way to learn about God’s great big world and your unique purpose in it as individuals and as a couple.
Food and Drink Dates
Go out for dinner (or breakfast or lunch). Make it a goal to try a new restaurant every week or month, and bonus if you try a new style of cooking each time. Suggestions: American, farm-to-table, Southern barbecue, seafood, Italian, French, a British pub, Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, sushi, Himalayan, Burmese, Korean, Greek, vegetarian or vegan, a pho or ramen shop, deli or sandwich shop, pizza, upscale burgers, a food truck, or Mexican.
Pack a picnic and take it to a park.
Go wine, beer, or spirits tasting.
Take a chocolate-making class.
Take a cooking class.
Tour a local food or beverage production site, such as a cheese manufacturer, a brewery, a bakery, ice cream or candy company, or a tea or coffee producer. In addition to learning about production methods, you will also get to sample the goods.
Go for a hike. Many community parks systems host trails challenges that will encourage you to find a new hike each week or month. You can sign up to participate on your own, with docent-guided hikes, or both.
Go to the zoo. Find your favorite wild animals and look for animals you have never seen or heard of before.
Take a walk through a botanical garden.
Visit a state or national park.
Go camping overnight, even if it’s in your own backyard. Prepare dinner al fresco and be sure to enjoy s’mores.
Take a walk near a body of water, such as on the beach, alongside a creek or river, or around a lake or reservoir. Studies have shown that being near water has a stress-relieving, relaxing effect that improves brain health and social interaction.
Go stargazing. Do some research to determine a clear-sky evening and a good location to see the stars. Pack a blanket or, even better, a telescope. You might need a flashlight to help you get set up and a phone app to help you identify visible constellations and planets for your location and time of year.
Take a scenic drive.
Visit a neighboring city in which you haven’t spent time. Do some “Main Street” window shopping.
Make a list of some of your favorite local scenic locations. Drive around and take pictures of yourselves in each location. Later you can create a photo collage or choose your favorite to frame. This can also be a fun holiday photo card idea for families.
Take a tour of a working farm.
Visit a garden center and find a new plant to take home. Alternately, work together to design an imaginary backyard. Which plants would you include if you were landscaping a yard from scratch?
Pull together some simple art supplies like crayons or colored pencils, paper, and clipboards, and then find a beautiful outdoor spot and spend some time creating side-by-side. Take the pressure off by not trying to create art (unless you’re an artist, of course), and instead use the time to intentionally notice the view: the colors and shapes, the arrangement, the interaction of people and animals, etc.
Go to a playground and take turns pushing each other on the swings.
Visit a museum. Natural history, modern art or fine art, science, portrait gallery, aerospace, or cultural museums are just some of the types of museums you could visit.
Visit an aquarium and rank animals: favorite, funniest, most colorful, and most unusual.
Go to a local art gallery to see a selection of art and crafts by artists who live in your area.
Take a tour of a historic house.
Go to the library and find a book or selection of books you can recommend to your date.
Attend a concert: choral or classical music, jazz, sacred music (especially popular near church holidays, such as presentations of Handel’s Messiah around Christmas time), philharmonic symphony orchestra, or chamber orchestra.
Attend a performance of the opera.
Support your local high school by attending the school musical theater production, a play put on by the drama department, or an orchestra, band, or jazz band concert.
Get tickets to a play or musical at your local community theater or in a nearby big city.
Find an independent movie theater and watch a foreign film or documentary.
Attend a lecture at a nearby college, museum, or society meeting.
Attend a meeting of your local school board or city council to learn about the issues facing your community and how you can get involved.
Take an art class such as drawing, pastels, watercolor, acrylics, or sculpture. You can find offerings through many community organizations, museums, or local adult education, including one-time options, weekend workshops, or weekly classes.
Enroll in a language class for a country you’d like to visit.
Toss a frisbee, or find a park with a frisbee golf course and play a round.
Play tennis. Keep score or just hit balls back and forth. You can also make this a double-date and play doubles tennis.
Visit the batting cages.
Shoot hoops and play a game of HORSE, where each missed basket adds a letter to that player. The first one to spell HORSE loses (but no hard feelings, you’re playing for fun).
Join a local coed recreational sports team, like softball, volleyball, or soccer.
Go for a run, a bike ride, or a mountain bike ride.
Go miniature golfing, hit a bucket of balls at the golfing range, or golf nine or eighteen holes.
Visit a rock-climbing gym.
Meaningful Service Dates
Attend a worship service at a new church together. Or try a new church of a different denomination or worship style each week for a month. Discuss what you learned from each gathering. Find something positive to say about each one as you also discuss your preferences.
Go to a grocery store and buy non-perishable foods for a local food bank or homeless shelter. Drop them off and ask what else you can do to support their mission.
Go to a discount/dollar store and buy personal hygiene items such as hand sanitizer or wet wipes, socks, soap and washcloth, a brush or comb, a small notebook, a pen, and individually-wrapped snacks. Also, buy gallon-sized resealable bags, and assemble care kits. You can donate them to a homeless shelter or keep a few in your car(s) to distribute as you see people in need.
Volunteer at an animal rescue shelter.
Participate in a service project sponsored by your church, community (such as park clean-up), or a favorite charity organization.
Go thrift shopping. Try on clothes and help each other assemble new outfits. Find the wackiest options available and take pictures.
Find a consignment shop. Decide on an imaginary amount of money that you each must “spend,” and then individually “shop” for an allotted amount of time. When time is up, take your date on a tour of the items you would purchase.
Go to a comedy club.
Christian Counseling for Couples
If you’re looking for additional support for your relationship, feel free to contact me or one of the other counselors in the online counselor directory. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss from a Christian perspective to keep your relationship healthy and growing.
“Loaded Sweet-Potato Fries”, Courtesy of Ella Olsson, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Romantic Sunset”, Courtesy of Nathan Dumlao, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Art Museum”, Courtesy of Andrew Neel, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Golf”, Courtesy of Robert Ruggiero, Unsplash.com, CC0 License