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It’s a sunny spring day when you start getting ready for a picnic in the park with your partner. You’ve picked out the perfect spot on a grassy hill, and you’ve got a red-and-white blanket to lay out and plenty of jalapeño hummus and chicken pesto sandwiches to snack on. But, out of nowhere, storm clouds roll in and your hopes for a romantic day outdoors start to plummet as the rain begins to fall.

However, your plans for an awesome date aren’t necessarily washed away with the weather. To prove it, here are 26 rainy-day date ideas to help inspire hope when a dreary forecast threatens your chance at love.

RELATED: 34 Date-Night Ideas for Married Couples That Don’t Involve Netflix and Chill

If you want to stay in…

1. Cook a new recipe together

Whether you’re the ultimate kitchen tag team or total culinary novices, whipping up a meal together can be a romantic bonding experience. Pull up that homemade cauliflower gnocchi recipe you’ve always wanted to try and lean in to being chefs for a day. Watch out, Ina and Jeffrey.

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2. Build the ultimate pillow and blanket fort

Tap into your inner child and upgrade your Netflix sesh by watching hours of The Office from the comfort of a supercool fort. Seriously. This Michael Scott–approved way of bingeing your favorite show can become so much more next-level now that you’re an adult who understands Scotch tape cannot be expected to secure a bedsheet to the ceiling. The best way to build a fort is to pull the cushions off your couch to use as walls and then drape a sheet across the top for the roof. Fill the inside with a comforter and soft pillows and relax!

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3. Break out the board games

There’s nothing boring about an edge-of-your-seat round of Jenga or trying to outwit each other through a cutthroat game of Clue, Monopoly or Battleship. You might be surprised by how fun it can be to get your competitive juices flowing.

4. Create your own wine and cheese tasting

You don’t have to venture out to a vineyard or a cute wine bar to enjoy a cheese and wine pairing. Replicate the experience at home by picking up a few wines you’ve never tried before, like that totally affordable bottle of Côtes du Rhône, and then swing by a gourmet grocer or even just your local supermarket for some wedges of cheese. Don’t worry about being too professional when it comes to the “pairing” part of this plan. It’s wine and cheese—what could go wrong?

5. Bet on a game of poker

No, we’re not about to tell you to play a game of strip poker (but we’re also not going to dissuade you, if that’s your thing). A few rounds of Texas Hold’em, Jacks Are Wild or Five-Card Draw can determine everything from who gets to pick the next movie to who’s on dish-washing duty for the week.

6. Let an app help you meditate together

Practice getting your Zen on via the meditation app Calm. The soothing sound of rain hitting the window will only help each of you get deeper into the technique.

7. Fill out this couple’s book

Me, You, Us: A Book to Fill Out Together by Lisa Currie is packed with prompts to help bring you and your partner closer, like “If we made up our own public holiday, what would it be?” “The guest list for the dinner party of our dreams,” “We couldn’t have done this without each other,” and “Reasons we’d stay up all night together,” to name a few.

8. Have a picnic in your living room

In the battle of pizza and garlic knots vs. dumplings and fried rice, why choose when you can have the best of so many delicious worlds? Pro tip: Add a small side of broccoli or salad to pick at so you can say you had some vegetables. Balance, right?

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9. Play a video game together

We’re sorry if this idea sparked a repressed memory of watching your high school boyfriend play endless hours of Call of Duty, but hear us out! Letting your partner introduce you to something they’re into—or vice versa!—will bring you infinitely closer. Plus, there are video games out there for everyone to enjoy, like Mario Party and Overcooked 2.

10. Have a reading date

You might be halfway through Ann Patchett’s latest masterpiece, The Dutch House, and your sports-loving beau might be reading an article on Jacob deGrom, but what you’re reading matters way less than being able to enjoy each other’s company in peace and quiet—a real sign of emotional intimacy.

11. Indulge in a bubble bath for two

Maybe you’re super crafty and have some of your own homemade bubble bath on hand to show off, but even if you don’t, why go outside and get wet when you can stay in and do it together? Add Champagne and call it a spa day.

 

If you need to get out…

12. Skip the major museum and peruse a gallery

If you live near a very well-known museum—like New Yorkers who are a train ride away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art or San Franciscans who can take the Bart to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art—chances are you’ve been there. Many times. On this rainy day, check out the smaller art gallery in your area that displays the work of local artists to better appreciate the up-and-coming creatives in your community.

13. Take a painting class with complimentary wine

You’ll be so impressed by what you can create when your inhibitions about your artistic skills—or lack thereof—are lowered by a few glasses of wine. Take a moment at the end of your class to see what you each decided to take liberties with (maybe your river is more lavender than blue?). It’s amazing to see how different your paintings can look after taking the same exact class. 

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14. Go bowling together

We know, putting on smelly shoes worn by countless strangers isn’t exactly romantic, but sipping cheap beers and sharing an enormous plate of nachos while making fun of each other for being truly terrible at this great American pastime definitely is.

15. Spend the day at the aquarium

The zoo is off the table in a downpour, so check out your local aquarium instead. There’s something so calming and ethereal about watching jellyfish, sharks and schools of rainbow-colored fish float through their tanks while the rain patters against the water’s surface outside.

16. Take a workout class together

Regardless of your fitness level, there’s a workout class for you both. You might be an avid yogi who wants to introduce your partner via an entry-level class, or maybe you both want to tackle something new, like indoor rock climbing. Either way, breaking a sweat together can have an oddly satisfying (read: sexy) effect. 

17. Cheer your heart out at a basketball game

It doesn’t have to be the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and you don’t even have to really understand what’s going on. The point is to buy a popcorn the size of your head and give in to the excitement of cheering on a team—any team—even if it’s a children’s CYO squad.

18. Take in a play

There’s always a good chance that a local high school or college drama club is putting on a production of Les Misérables (or anything else less miserable than Cats, for that matter). Watching kids give their all to a character will have you applauding come curtain call, regardless of the actual performance.

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19. Book a couples massage

What better way to wind down and relax on a rainy day than basking in a massage? You already feel depleted by the weather (not to mention that Flywheel class), so give in to the urge to lie down and have a trained pro work out the knots in your back.

20. Sign up for a cooking class

If you already tried tip number one and set a fire on the stove, maybe consider a cooking class. Learning how to navigate the kitchen and sampling your culinary creations with a bunch of other first-timers is a great way to get closer to your partner—even if the class isn’t expressly for couples.

21. Volunteer together

Call up a soup kitchen, an after-school program, the Boys & Girls Clubs, a homeless shelter, Goodwill—you name it—and see if they have space for you and your partner to help brighten someone else’s life. Giving back will not only make a difference to someone in need but also let you see your partner at their selfless best.

22. Head to the mall

Malls aren’t only for teenagers and speed walkers! Grab your date and bring them to the local mall to help you pick out a dress for sunnier days ahead and pop into some of their favorite stores to get a better idea of their sense of style. It will come in handy for that upcoming birthday you’re scratching your head over.

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23. Go ice skating at an indoor rink

Use each other for balance as you wobble uncontrollably gracefully glide along the ice at an indoor rink and try not to be too self-conscious. Bonus points if one of you can actually skate without hugging the wall.

24. Go to an arcade

Whether it’s a chain like Dave & Buster’s or an independently owned arcade, playing games like Skee-Ball, Pac-Man and Guitar Hero, and winning thousands of tickets only to go home with a measly keychain, is fun enough for any date night.

25. Take a romantic stroll

Grab your raincoat, galoshes and a pair of umbrellas and embrace the weather by taking a walk to the park or through your favorite streets. The upsides to getting rained on? The park will be empty—a rare experience—and few things are more comforting than changing into dry, warm clothes after coming in from the rain.

26. Get comfy at your favorite café

You know that place with those to-die-for scones and your partner’s favorite coffee? Head over there, choose a booth in the back and get comfy for a couple hours with the best treats on the menu. The staff won’t mind your business in the otherwise empty café, and you’ll avoid getting stir-crazy in your house with your favorite person. Win-win.

RELATED: 20 Date Ideas in NYC That Aren’t Just Dinner and Drinks

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