Travel Wild Card

Our 14 Favorite Date Ideas

Date nights are super important to keep the fire lit in any relationship. It can be tough to keep discipline around spending one on one time with your significant other. One way to do it is to find something new to do on date night! Here are our 14 favorite date ideas that we use week-in and week-out that we’ve grown to love!

Sunrise Walk

Each morning while traveling, Julie adores being awoken from her open-mouthed slumber to a bright, beautiful sunrise.

What makes it better? A fresh pot of coffee of course. But what makes it even better still? A morning walk as the sun comes up.

Grab a hot cup of coffee and a little sustenance (and of course your date) and head out to take on the day. Watch with wonder as the world wakes up around you to face a new day with new opportunities, a blank slate to paint your daily masterpiece.

It reminds me of a story from The Alchemist:

A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world.

The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.

Rather than finding a saintly man though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world.

The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention. The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t time just then to explain the secret of happiness.

He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours. “Meanwhile I want to ask you do do something,” said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.”

The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. “Well,” asked the wise man, “did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,” said the wise man.

Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the tasted with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.

“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.

“Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you.” said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”

– The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho

The oil on the spoon is the relationships with people we love, the most important relationship being you and your significant other, hence the date!

You need to focus on those, but don’t miss the worldly wonders all around you every day, which starts with the beautiful sunrise. Jostle your snoring significant other awake one morning, and experience it for yourself in living color.

Apple Picking

Is taking a trip to the apple orchard just a Midwestern thing? If so, then the rest of the world is missing out!

We’ve had some of our favorite days on Autumn trips to the orchard, whether as a romantic date or even as a large group with family and friends. Start by exploring the grounds, hand-in-hand, picking an apple or two, maybe rubbing a rotten one in your significant other’s face, whatever floats your boat.

Piling up on the hay-covered tractor trailer for a hayride is so unexpectedly entertaining the first time you do it. The fall chill in the air making you snuggle up a little closer to whoever your sitting next to. Hopefully it isn’t the smelly guy with flies circling his mangy beard…

And finish off by buying a sack of apples that you can bring home and bake into a pie, or just munch on at your leisure. You’ll have a day full of memories and a few delicious treats to share.

Try a New Restaurant

Get out there and try something new people! Have you ever tried escargot? Give it a shot! Is there a new brunch diner that just opened for business? Get your basic jean jacket on and get down there!

Go on a Hike

If you know us, you know that hiking is our number 1 favorite date. Get in touch with nature while getting in touch with that tall drink of water you’re hiking with…

I mean, just look at all the fun you can have while hiking. And what’s more, it is free!!

Go to a Show

A few months back, we went to the theater in Chicago and saw Hamilton and OHMYGOODNESS is was a fantastic date. We sang the songs for at least a month afterwards.

Zach in the shower belting out Helpless or Yorktown, Julie dressing like an 18th century revolutionary rebel, wig and all. It was unforgettable.

You can use Ticketmaster or Jambase to find one of the MANY shows that are ALWAYS happening in town no matter where you are.

We also are BIG concert-goers. Our third date ever was to an Ed Sheeran concert in St Paul, Minnesota, and since then we’ve never looked back. We love the big stadium-filling shows, but to be honest our favorite is seeing a smaller show, think a venue that holds about 100 people. These are going on every day in most cities, and they are RIDICULOUSLY fun to go to. A core group of passionate fans dancing to a band they LOVE, there is not much better.

Story time: We went to a Here Come the Mummies show in Chicago and had the time of our lives. The band was literally dressed as mummies. Die-hard fans in the crowd dressed up as mummies to support. People were shaking their tail-feathers to songs we had never heard before, and it could not have been more fun!

Museum / Zoo / Aquarium

If you live in or near a bigger city, chances are you have a museum, zoo, or aquarium you could go to! We have SO much fun whenever we spend a day out at one of these places.

Even better, many zoos and museums have free entrance, either all the time or on a specific day each week. Doing a little bit of research can go a long way towards saving a few bucks on your date!

Find a New Local Coffee Shop

We are no coffee snobs, but we love the look and feel of fresh, local coffee shops. They are great places to get your day started on the right foot, sit and work for a few hours, or escape after a tough day.

As for a date, our favorite is to wake up and visit a new place we’ve never been, sitting at a couch or window-table sipping our drinks. Really makes your entire day a little bit better, and you’ll be awake and ready to take on the world as you leave! Best part: if you love the shop, you can keep coming back!

Brewery Hopping

Similar to a new, local coffee shop, trying a new brewery can be a perfect date idea. Most allow dogs, so your four-legged friend can be a third wheel on your romantic rendezvous!

We love to find an area of town that has three breweries within walking distance, and then make a whole evening of it! Start at brewery number 1 for a few drinks, get the night started. Move on to number 2 for some food and another beer.

By brewery number 3 you are playing games (really horribly…) and holding hands ordering the next round. Finish it off in an Uber making the driver uncomfortable by making out in the backseat and congratulations, you’ve just had the best date of your life!

Pack a Picnic

So cliche, but so fun. Pack some cheese, sliced meat, crackers (if you’re lazy just grab a couple Lunchables) and slip in a bottle of wine. Grab a blanket and head to a park where you can spread out and lay beneath the afternoon sky.

When we picnic in the park, we love to bring some form of entertainment. Sometimes we are lame and bring a movie on a laptop, sometimes we are classic and bring a few books. Whatever you bring, we won’t judge, as long as you’re you.

Bike Ride Through Town

Something you can pair with most any of these activities is to do them on a bike! We FIRMLY believe that the best way to see a city is on two wheels, and even better if you’re on a date.

Don’t have a bike? No problem. Chances are, your city has an extremely convenient bike rental solution just waiting for you to try it out! We use Divvy in Chicago and NiceRide in Minneapolis, a quick google search should help you out!

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Biking on Going-To-The-Sun Road through Glacier National Park. Montana, USA

Netflix and Chill

Sometimes the two of you are going to need some time to yourselves. Maybe your bread hasn’t been buttered in a while and you want some honey as an afternoon snack. Maybe you just got back from a tour of the fire station and you’re just in a pole-riding mood. Heck, maybe your field is just overdue for a plow and your farmer just isn’t taking the hint.

Time to take the bull by the horns and schedule a night to Netflix and Chill. What is so great about this date night idea is that you can customize it. The bed or the couch? A drama or comedy? Contraceptive or gamble? It is all up to you!

Here’s a few of our favorite shows you can have on while you ‘chill’:

Our 11 Favorite Binge-Worthy TV Shows

And if  you aren’t a millennial and don’t get the ‘chill’ portion of Netflix and Chill, here’s a hint:

Watching The Notebook in our hotel room in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Watching The Notebook in our hotel room in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

Ice Cream!

We are both suckers for ice cream, and we’re going to go ahead and assume you are too. Ice cream is the PERFECT end to any date around town, but it can also be a date in itself!

Take your honey to a local frozen yogurt shop where they can pick all of the toppings they want. I’m sure if you do, they’ll share a scoop with you when you get home…

See a Movie (In The Park??)

Our second date ever was at a movie in the park in Minneapolis. There, the city does a free movie at a new park each week, and you can easily find the calendar of showings online.

I’m willing to bet there is something similar where you live, you just have to do a little bit of research! It is such a treat to be able to walk down the street to a park, catch a movie for FREE where you can BRING YOUR OWN SNACKS, and then go for ice cream or a drink after! We highly recommend you try it out yourself.

Watch the Sunset

We started the list with the sunrise, it’s only fitting we end it with the sunset. There’s not much more beautiful than watching a sunset, except your significant other of course.

Whether you’re on a bike ride in the city, a riverside stroll, lounging on the beach, or hiking through the woods, everyone watches the same sunset. There’s something poetic about picturing everyone in the world taking a moment to stare in awe at a glorious sunset once a day. We absolutely love to do it, and find it the very best bet for a perfect date night.

There you have it, lolglobetrotting’s 14 favorite date ideas. We use every one of these, while traveling or for weeks at home. We hope you enjoy it!

If you enjoyed these ideas, pin the image below and save it for later 🙂

Date Night Ideas
Our 14 Favorite Date Night Ideas

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