Connecting with your partner (without kids around) is the key to a healthy relationship. But when you have soccer games to coach, vacations to plan and lunches to prep...the last thing you have time for is planning a date. And while there's absolutely nothing wrong with Netflix and chill as an activity for a romantic evening, it is kind of the equivalent of giving up and retiring to Boca. So without further ado, 45 date ideas for married couples that are anything but snoozy.
45 Date-Night Ideas for Married Couples That Don’t Involve Netflix and Chill
1. Plant Some Seeds
Head to your local nursery and either start or expand a home garden. (Better to test-drive your ability to keep things alive with a plant rather than a child.)
2. Hit Up a Farmers Market
Turn a trip to the farmers market into an agricultural learning experience (asking farmers questions about their craft often results in both freebies and unexpected tidbits). Then scour some recipes for a delicious dinner idea and head home to cook your bounty. Sample all the things. Twice.
3. Go Rock Climbing
Sure, spelunking doesn’t sound super sexy, but this interactive and challenging workout just might take your love to new heights. (Sorry, we had to.)
4. Plan a Bike Ride Picnic
Play it old-school with this romantic and (best of all) unplugged day date. Balance out an afternoon of lounging and decadent picnicking by biking to and from your preferred picnic spot. Or no real destination needed; it’s all about the ride.
5. Couple's Book Club
Choose one book a month and both read it (but don't talk about it). Then go out for dinner and discuss. Or if you feel like staying in, curl up for an evening of reading. Find a book you both enjoy and take turns reading to each other or separate. Here are some great reads to get you started.
6. Roller Skating
Relive the magic of being 13 by holding date night at the local roller rink, treating yourself to some cheese fries and wondering if he'll kiss you underneath the disco ball. If you’re not roller-ready, try an adult class instead.
7. Oyster Shucking
Oysters make great snacks (and aphrodisiacs) and all, but when you shuck 'em yourself, the experience becomes even more special and charmingly nautical.
8. Target Practice
Why not channel your inner Katniss Everdeen and head to the shooting range and take out that pent-up aggression on a cardboard cutout rather than each other.
9. Brew Your Own Beer
You could go to a brewery like everyone else, or you could buy a kit and turn your own kitchen into an impromptu brewery, obviously naming your concoction after your favorite inside joke.
10. Indulge in People-Watching
Sometimes nothing beats the good old-fashioned (albeit judgy) act of checking strangers out. Pick a bustling locale, order cocktails and a cheese board and let the hilarity of humanity unfold before you. (Bonus points for crafting a backstory for that weirdo in the Hammer pants.)
11. Go Thrift Shopping
Make the (single) dollar bills rain à la Macklemore by going on a shopping spree/treasure hunt at your local thrift shops and flea markets. Just make sure you agree on which items get to come home with you.
12. Sing Karaoke
There is a great big world of love songs just waiting for your untrained voices to ruin them.
13. Hold a DIY Wine Tasting
Step 1) Purchase Wine for Dummies. Step 2) Hold private at-home wine tasting. 3) Taste so many wines that you totally forget all the vital intel you just learned about tannins. Cheese boards not necessary but highly recommended.
15. Become Local Explorers
Pick a new town or neighborhood and spend an afternoon walking unfamiliar streets, popping into any storefronts that look appealing and treating yourself to souvenirs along the way. You guys deserve it.
16. Sign Up for Puppy Playtime
Head to the Humane Society and play with adorable pets sure to remedy even the sourest of moods. Do not, under any circumstances, bring a wallet with you unless you plan on carting several puppies home. You’ve been warned.
17. Indulge in a Spa Treatment
Turn your date night into a date day by taking a load off and buying full day passes to a local spa. Then spend the hours lounging in cozy robes and decompressing around the steam room, pool and mud baths—all while drinking cayenne cucumber water, of course.
18. Test-drive Luxury Cars
Dress up in your weekend-chic best and “go shopping” for the new car you so desperately need. (Silk head scarf not optional.)
19. Buy Tickets to a Charity Event
A charity ballet? Or how about a private auction? Get all dolled up, revel in the hobnobbery and check each other out admiringly all night long.
20. Volunteer Together
Ladle out some much-needed nourishment at the soup kitchen, read books to adorable kiddos or head to your local animal shelter. By doing something good for the world together, you'll feel like even more of a team.
21. Host a Game Night
OK, so technically this one involves other people. But hey, trivia or charades with your S.O. and friends? Sounds like a great date to us. (Here are the best party games for adults to get you started.)
22. Take a Language Course
Cooking class? Boring. Say bonjour or hola to a new love language. French, Italian, Japanese...whatever strikes your fancy. Practice around the house, then get to planning your next vacation.
23. Or an Art Class
You do not need to be a Picasso or Michelangelo for this one. Plus, you’ll have a souvenir of the evening to take home with you. Kudos for any kind of class that also involves wine.
24. Go Fishing
You don't have to be a pro to get in on the action. Most tackle shops will let you rent equipment, or provide you with a guide so you learn how to use it. Feeling extra adventurous? Pitch a tent and sleep outside when you're done.
25. Staycation at a Local Hotel
Too high maintenance for the outdoors? Book a sleepover at a nearby hotel instead. Fluffy bathrobes, room service, no kids. And if you can’t make it to a hotel, try one of these ways to take a mini vacation, without actually going anywhere.
26. Go Bowling
We’re not saying you have to go join a couple’s league or anything (unless you’re into that), but bowling is a fun, easy way to relax and indulge in a little bit of friendly competition. We totally won’t judge you if you use bumpers either.
27. Attend a Sports Game
Whether you’re a sports fan or not, you really can’t beat the hot dogs, ice cream and beer. So scoop up some tickets and boo the rival team over cheap drafts.
28. Go to a Drive-in Movie
Yes, these still exist; you just need to look hard enough. And even if it’s a little bit of a drive—that just means more time to spend together in the car. Mini road trip anyone?
29. Take a Trip to the Opera
Make a dinner ressie nearby, put on your little black dress and bone up on your Puccini. You just might like it!
30. Have a Pizza-Making Contest
Here are the rules: Each person chooses the other's toppings. You decide as a team whose was the best. Winner gets to pick the next movie or Netflix show to binge.
31. Visit an Amusement Park
Yup, we mean without the kids. Roller coasters, dreamy Ferris wheel rides and cotton candy? Doesn’t get much more romantic than that. Maybe just avoid some of the spinning rides...
32. Hit Up a Museum
Stroll through the exhibits and play games like “guess the name of the painting” or "which would look best over our sofa." If you're not giggling all the way through the ancient pottery section, you're not doing it right.
33. Accomplish a Home Project Together
There’s always work to be done around the house, so why not work together to complete it? Paint your master bedroom a bright, new color, create a photo collage for your living room, go furniture shopping for that couch you’ve been talking about for the living room.
34. Do a Crossword Puzzle Together
Two brains are better than one, especially when it comes to figuring out which planet is the seventh from the sun, how many bones are in the human body or what’s the world’s longest river. (Spoiler alert: It’s the Amazon.) In addition to flexing your trivia knowledge, you’ll get to rely on each other’s strengths (you’re good at word play, he knows presidents) and maybe learn a thing or two.
35. Take a Trip to Your Local Botanical Garden
Pack a lunch, bring a horticulture guide and enjoy a quiet afternoon strolling through the azaleas or cherry blossoms. Give yourselves carte blanche to canoodle under an elm tree.
36. Tour Open Houses
Even if you’re not on the market to buy a home, you and your SO will have a blast scoping out the fanciest, most swoon-worthy properties in the area. Compare notes, critique the decor and definitely avail yourself of any free food and wine on offer. (And if you really want to go all in, make up fake personas just for fun.)
37. Go Gallery Hopping
For a casual but sophisticated date, head to a local gallery opening (or several) with your beau so you can talk aesthetics and discover fresh artistic talent while sipping on a complimentary glass of bubbly.
38. Go to a Concert
Scientific research shows that music affects memory and emotion in a way that encourages bonding and romance. Plus, live performances are particularly stirring, which is why scoring tickets to see an artist you both love practically guarantees a date night experience you’ll be talking about for years to come.
39. Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Book a hot air balloon ride and you’ll be able to enjoy each other’s company from a whole new perspective…literally. This fun and thrilling experience promises fresh air and incredible views in an intimate environment that’s perfect for canoodling. (Psst: We strongly suggest bringing cheese, bread and a bottle of wine along for the ride, if permitted.)
40. Scrapbook Together
Spend some time going through old photos and then dive into a collaborative scrapbooking project for a hands-on creative activity, plus a walk down memory lane that’s sure to bring on all the feels.
41. Go Skydiving
Thrill-seeking couples (or anyone desperate to add some excitement to the humdrum of married life) can sign up for a tandem skydiving experience. The adrenaline rush is big and, needless to say, this date idea is one for the (scrap)books.
42. Browse a Flea Market
Flea markets are filled with an impressive variety of quirky finds, antique treasures and vintage goods. Browse the dress selection with your SO, score some new records to add to your collection and maybe take home a tchotchke or two—no matter what catches your eye, this date promises an opportunity to reconnect over your individual and shared interests.
43. Take a Pottery Class
Turn up the volume on “Unchained Melody” and channel Demi Moore in Ghost for a creative (and tactile!) learning experience that’s undeniably sexy. Getting your hands dirty on the pottery wheel is sure to inspire a little romance (see above reference), but the best part might be the keepsake ceramic work of art you crafted together.
44. Hire a Private Chef
There’s nothing like the comfort of home, and nobody knows that better than cohabiting couples. As such, we suggest you take a pass on the stuffy atmosphere of a fancy restaurant and have a romantic, candle-lit dinner at home instead—just be sure to dress to the nines and hire a private chef for the occasion, so you can make it truly special, whilst sparing yourself the sweat and stress involved in whipping up a gourmet meal yourself.
45. Go Stargazing
Is there anything more romantic than cuddling up in a sleeping bag and observing the majesty of the night sky in a blissfully quiet spot? We think not. You can plan the date to coincide with an astronomical event, like a meteor shower or supermoon, or escape the light pollution of the city any old time—either way, it will be a date to remember. (Bonus points if you bring along a telescope to enhance the view.)
No matter which date night idea you choose, we have one recommendation: leave the cell phones (and kids) at home.