25 Outdoor Date Ideas That Aren’t Totally Snoozy
The weather is warming up and we have been trapped inside for far too long, friends. If you and your quarantine buddy are itching for a safe way to spend time together in the open air, we’ve got more than a few suggestions. Here, a full list of outdoor date ideas to shake off the claustrophobic COVID-19 blues and bring back some romance.
1. Garden together
Get your hands dirty on a gardening date and both you and your love interest will enjoy the stress-relief and the sense of satisfaction the activity provides. Bonus: Yard work qualifies as a form of exercise, so this date idea will deliver fresh air, sunshine and a calorie-burning workout to boot.
2. Have a backyard movie night
Set up a projector screen in your backyard and snuggle up with your beau for an outdoor viewing experience just for two. All you need is a throw blanket, a bottle of wine and some snacks and you’ll have the makings of a memorable movie night. (Bonus points if you pick a foreign film with a matching menu.)
3. Eat dinner al fresco
Staying in for an intimate dinner together is a tried-and-true date night idea, but you can improve on a classic by taking the meal outdoors. Set up in the backyard or on the porch and the fresh air will have an energizing effect. The takeaway? More lively conversation and less of a food coma.
4. Take a boat ride
Whether you hop on the local ferry, rent a paddleboat or go the whole hog and charter a sailboat, there’s a good chance that you and your significant other will find the experience of being out on the water very relaxing (assuming you don’t rock the boat).
5. Go to the beach
It’s no coincidence that long walks on the beach feature prominently on dating profiles: The beach is, in fact, the bee’s knees. This date needn’t be cheesy, though—just suit up and have a regular old beach day, complete with sunshine, the company of someone special and maybe a couple of sandwiches for good measure.
6. Play bocce ball
Bocce ball (aka Italian lawn bowling) is a simple game of hand-eye coordination, that’s so much fun to play and easy to set up anywhere there’s some level ground. Opt for a DIY court on your own lawn or scope out a local bar with an outdoor bocce ball court—either way, you and your date will have a blast.
7. Take a camping trip
Get in touch with Mother Nature with a proper camping trip, complete with stories and s’mores around the fire. The extended time in the Great Outdoors is an excellent way to meaningfully connect—you know, without the distraction of your Instagram feed.
8. Check out a local farm
Fact: You’re never too old for a petting zoo. And even if your local farm doesn’t let you get too cozy with the livestock, there’s bound to be a delicious farmer’s market on the premises and probably some pretty scenery, too.
9. Visit a vineyard
Wine, how we love thee—and maybe need to learn a little bit more about thee. Visit a vineyard with your date and you can both learn about the fascinating labor and artistry that goes into turning grapes into end-of-day magic, whilst enjoying a beautiful landscape to boot.
10. Fly a kite
Has the stress of the past year left you longing to touch base with your inner child? Well, your inner child wants you to go fly a kite...seriously. Grab your significant other for a day of carefree fun in the park and possibly a few laughs, particularly if you’re brave enough to test your knowledge of aerodynamics with a DIY project.
11. Go see a game
Many baseball stadiums are currently open and operating with social distancing and safety guidelines in place. Root for the home team with your partner or make things interesting by each picking a side—winner does tonight’s dishes. (And hey, sports fan or not, you can’t beat a hot dog and beer.)
12. Fire up the grill
A dinner date you can enjoy at home is always a winning idea: More intimacy + a casual setting (i.e., your own turf) = an opportunity to truly let loose. Take advantage of the nice weather and your backyard, if you have one, with a barbecue feast for two. No outdoor space at home? No problem. Head to a local park and score a grill there—either way, the laid back, outdoor atmosphere will be a refreshing change from the familiar vibes of your go-to restaurant.
13. Go foraging
Wild edibles start to sprout when the weather warms up, and any nature-loving duo will get a kick out of foraging for ‘em in the Great Outdoors. From ramps to elderflower, and beyond—nothing is too hard to find if you take the time to look, and the resulting meal will be well worth the effort.
14. Go for a hike
Those boots were made for walkin’...a scenic trail with your date. Indeed, sometimes a little physical activity is all it takes to feel, well, really good—just be sure to dress for the occasion and schedule some relaxation time after the outing so you can make the most of that endorphin rush together.
15. Play some mini golf
You don’t need to be super athletic to enjoy some outdoor sports—just find your nearest mini golf location and you can get your game on with a decidedly low-stakes and surprisingly entertaining activity.
16. Take a bike ride
No destination needed, just hop on your bikes and check out the sights that your town has to offer. The date planning possibilities are pretty much endless here and, no matter what route you take, you can count on an invigorating-but-leisurely bout of exercise.
17. Plan a picnic
Whenever there’s fresh air, good food and novelty, romance isn’t too far behind. Enter: the picnic. This simple outdoor date can go down pretty much anywhere—beach, park, backyard, front porch—and is sure to go down easy, provided the food is fresh and the conversation isn’t stale, of course.
18. Go birding
There are few activities that demand serenity quite like bird watching: Take your date on a birding adventure at a nearby nature reserve or park and you’ll be able to enjoy some peace, quiet and mindfulness in the presence of good company. Get all the beginner bird watching tips you need right here.
19. Go swimming
Find a nearby swimming hole or take a plunge in a backyard pool if either one of you is lucky enough to have one. Bottom line: Any semi-private place to take a dip will feel like a treat on a beautiful day.
20. Take a food tour
First, do your research; then, take your date on a tour of the top take out spots your hometown has to offer. The food tour can take place on foot, bike or in a vehicle—just be sure to casually enjoy each highly recommended dish in the open air. (Think: patio seating and park benches.)
21. Visit an amusement park
Even if roller coasters aren’t typically your thing, a good date might just bring out the daredevil in you. (Who knows?) Regardless, there’s always kiddie rides, cotton candy and funnel cake—and let’s be honest, the last two are definitely not a very hard sell.
22. Check out a rooftop bar
Sure, dive bar dates were fun...before 2020 happened and the local, dimly-lit watering hole lost its charm. The solution? Elevate your cocktail hour-for-two with a visit to a rooftop bar in your area—because panoramic views truly do pair well with pretty much any beverage.
23. Do an outdoor yoga class
With an outdoor yoga session you can get limber with your love interest while simultaneously practicing mindfulness. The end result? A lot of good vibes and general wellness that will travel with you both as you make your way back home. Check out these couples yoga poses to get started.
24. Volunteer together
Studies show that volunteering has numerous benefits in terms of mental health and overall happiness...so why not share the good feeling with someone you’re sweet on? Chances are you will both walk away from an outdoor volunteering date with a general mood lift, as well as a closer connection to one another.
25. Visit a botanical garden
When it comes to outdoor date ideas, botanical gardens are a shoo-in: Peaceful, intimate and abounding in natural beauty, a visit to one of these plant sanctuaries is a very special way to spend time with someone you’re digging, so to speak. (And hey, maybe you can even pick up a little souvenir to take home.)