Literally Just 196 Romantic Date Ideas You Can Totally Take Credit For

Photo credit: Getty | Katie Buckleitner
Photo credit: Getty | Katie Buckleitner

From Cosmopolitan

Is it just us or are things feeling particularly Groundhog Day-ish lately? Nearly every facet of life looks different than it did pre COVID and the state of dating is one of those things that is just entirely supes different now. Sure, apps still abound, and the horniness of human nature isn’t changing, but we’ve all had to adapt in different ways. Good for us, TBH!

Whether you’re looking for cute first date ideas, married or in a serious relationship, or somewhere in the middle, here are literally 196 of our best date ideas. Another bonus? A lot (like, a lot — like, the first 46 in particular) of these can also be accomplished via Zoom or video dating whether outright or with a little creativity. The rest you can put in your pocket for after *gestures broadly* this is all over. Inspo for the post V-drop mood board?

So without further ado, here are 196 super sweet date ideas perfect for any couple. Don’t hate us if you love them all so much that you can’t pick where to start.

1. Have a Zoom date.If you haven’t already, that is. Zoom dating doesn’t have to be an awkward stand-in for an in-person date. There’s bennies to Zoom dating that might make you actually prefer doing a first Zoom date over ~meeting for drinks.~

2. Take a sex workshop together. These have been around forever, both in person and online, but the online option makes it extra convenient for These Times™ and if you’re feeling shy.

3. Take a non-sex workshop together. Not every couple is gonna wanna sign up for “A Beginner’s Guide to Shibari” and that’s cool! Good thing there are plenty of other options out there. Check CourseHourse for some ideas, or just Google classes for a mutual shared interest and see what’s out there. Even YouTube tutorials count here!

4. Go roller-skating. One order of Tik Tok fame, right this way. If you haven’t done it before or simply need some brushing up, here are some helpful tips for how to roller skate.

5. Go to a plant nursery and buy some starter plants to grow a lil garden together. Grow annual flowers for just one season, perennials that come back each and every year, or quick veggies for a cute date idea that lends itself almost too perfectly for a follow-up activity: making dinner together.

6. Go through a corn maze together. Corn stalks: kind of an OG social distancing marker.

7. Go on a hiking date. ONLY if you’re both independently into hiking, that is.

8. Register to vote. You can register to vote from your couches! Besides, what’s sexier than being like, triply, absolutely sure that you’re indeed registered to vote in the correct state?

9. Sign up to be poll workers together. Yay to civic responsibility as election workers and yay to a fun activity where you can show off your cute couple vibes and feel good about what you’re doing! Plus, you only get this option every few years, so that makes it extra special.

10. Sign up to phone bank together. Kinda like being a poll worker, you get the warm fuzzy feels of being a good citizen and you can do it from the comfort of your home. Google phone banking opportunities near you and see what’s up.

11. Get flu shots together. Because while we’re on the topic of Being Good Citizens, this is extra important this year.

12. Make masks together. No sewing skills involved!

13. Take a drive to nowhere. Hey, people are paying for plane tickets to nowhere right now!

14. Try one of those at-home workout classes. Up to you if you wanna spring for a Peloton that only one person at a time can ride, but there’s tons of other workouts on Youtube for free with little to no equipment involved.

15. Play video games. Yes, Mario Kart can make your sex life better.

16. Go out to dinner and order for each other. See if the other person likes what you get for them. Do you know them well enough to get them a comfortable, familiar staple? Do you know them better than they know themselves so much that they wind up loving your order even though they’d never get it themselves?

17. Make Tik Toks together. Try your hand at a TikTok challenge or try to make a new one up. Also, TBH, who doesn’t kinda wanna be part of a TikTok famous couple?

18. Play an online Coop game together. Anything like Jackbox or Among Us! There are plenty of options even for just two players.

19. Have a spa day. Treat each other to massages, facial treatments (as in the skincare one), and pedis.

20. Go to (Zoom) therapy together. Even if you don’t *think* you need therapy, it might be helpful and at the very least you’ll uncover new stuff about each other!

21. Watch all of Star Wars together front to back. Start with the prequels and end with Rise of the Jedi (2019).

22. Now watch all of Star Wars together back to front. Rise of the Jedi (2019) going backwards and ending with the prequels. Seeing Anakin young at the very end hits different, it really does.

23. Watch all Star Wars movies in order of release. As in, the way they were released, so A New Hope (1977), and ending with Rise of the Jedi (2019). Chaotic, right?

24. Repeat the three viewing orders above with all Marvel movies. I swear, this list is not just a scheme to get you to sign up for Disney+, it’s just that there’s something soothing about knowing you have like 90+ hours of entertaining action movies ahead of you. It’s like binge TV watching, but even more bingey because they’re filmés and not just 30-minute episodes.

25. Watch all the Fantastic Four movies. Can you name all the differences? There’ve been so many, right? Better look into this with some investigative research.

26. Dye each other’s hair. Bleach each other’s hair and go for fun colors, or try a less dramatic dye job with a non-bleaching option.

27. Cut each other’s hair. This is like the at-home Ikea test for quarantine couples. Can you survive a haircut by your S.O. without getting in a huge fight? Not for the lighthearted, but if you wanna do this, we support it. Dye can be washed out if you get the right formula, but a haircut takes longer to fix (aka grow out.)

28. Give an old piece of furniture a makeover. Hit up the curb alert section of your local Craigslist (the OG curbside delivery) and get out the sanders and the paint.

29. Attend a virtual cooking class. It can be a live class, or even following a Youtube recipe.

30. Start a pyramid scheme together. Just kidding! Or am I? You too could join hundreds of independ—

31. Make fancams of each other. What could be cuter than getting a fancam of yourself from your partner?

32. Start a stan twitter account together. Where else are you going to share your fancam?

33. Prank call together. The couple that annoys together, stays together.

34. Get married. As like, a joke, but is it??? Just kidding, don’t get married because you’re thirsty for date ideas — only get married on a whim because you love drama each other!

35. Write each other love letters. Classic for a reason, people! You can go with the timeless handwritten one, a bunch of little ones that they open at pre-specified times, or anything you want! Spending time complimenting and appreciating your partner and hearing them do the same for you is such a surefire way to feel gushy fast.

36. Create a Sims family together. Put your fave celebs in a house and see what happens, or create Sims of your own selves and play it out. Either way, getting lost in a Sims spiral is just like one of the most fun things you can do ever — and especially at home.

37. Buy karaoke mics and do karaoke anywhere. They’re pretty cheap on Amazon and it’s just fun to hold a mic up to your face and pretend sometimes. Bring the karaoke bar experience to one person’s place or even do this via FaceTime. In fact, why be limited to houses? They’re wireless, so you could do karaoke anywhere! Your cars! A CVS parking lot! A dark alley!

38. Make pasta together. Ghost but instead of the pottery wheel, it’s the hand cranking eroticism of a pasta crank.

39. Stare at a lava lamp for 42 minutes straight. What philosophical dilemmas might a glob of paraffin wax unsurface in your relationship? Only one way to find out.

40. Get lost in Wikipedia spirals together. Start on different pages and see how many in-article link clicks to get to the same page. But TBH, you’ll probably get sidetracked being so fascinated by everything on there, and that’s okay too!

41. Raise chickens together. For eggs! The eggs! (Alternatively, just to have as pets you love and cherish, etc. is also cool.)

42. Go to TJ Maxx together. The IRL equivalent of a Wikipedia spiral, in the best way.

43. Bedazzle Febreeze bottles together like Khloe Kardashian. This craft lives in my mind rent-free and now it can be in yours too 🙂

44. Set up a tripod and recreate paparazzi pics of Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas together. Dunkin’ Donuts MUST be included or it doesn’t count.

45. Get a cheap tie-dye kit and go HAM. Repurpose some old sweats for a custom cute work-from-home gear makeover.

46. Set up an inflatable pool together. People in warm climates year round: what’s it like to be one of the lucky ones?

47. Hit up the nearest bar with a working jukebox. If you don’t have a Google Maps list of jukebox bars, um, WYD? Give each other $2 each to choose the best songs available and compare your impeccable tastes in music.

48. Go grocery shopping together. Pushing past aggressive shoppers for the last crown of broccoli alone is miserable, but with a ~special someone~? It’s a sexy team sport.

49. Spend an hour planning out future dates. Power! Of! Positive! Thinking! Also, a good way to get a partner who’s usually too chill to make plans to actually make plans.

50. Take a boxing class together. Even if you don’t feel like punching them, maybe you sort of feel like punching them?

51. Grab a Zipcar and drive somewhere new. Pretend you’re fancy and reserve a convertible on Zipcar to hit the open road. Even if that road only leads you 15 minutes out of your town.

52. Get pedicures together. Sit in a big, cozy massage chair and spend 45 minutes getting just as intimate as you are relaxed.

Photo credit: .
Photo credit: .

53. Plan a fake vacation together. Remember that game you played as a kid where you’d spin a globe, see where your finger landed, and pretend you were flying out immediately? Do the same (but like, with the internet) and see how well your vacay styles mesh.

54. Crash a party. Find a work happy hour at a nearby bar, a wedding in a park, whatever—throw on some nice-ish clothes and pretend you know someone.

55. Play hide ‘n seek. Always and forever the flirtiest game.

56. Teach them how to do something new. Maybe you’ve still got your old soccer tricks or are like, really good at knitting. Teach them how to do something you love and show off your skills at the same time.

57. Play a private game of Never Have I Ever. You said you wanted to get to know each other…

58. Create a dinner out of only food truck stuff. Your town *definitely* has at least one—go hit up your local food truck parks and create the most gourmet meal possible.

59. Go ax throwing together. This is apparently a thing now, so um, go do it?

60. Plan a dinner party. See how well you work together in the kitchen and show off your skills (or mess) to your pals.

Photo credit: Giphy
Photo credit: Giphy

61. Find a photo booth. You know what to do.

62. Hit up a protest together. God knows there are plenty worth your participation.

63. Unearth your childhood/teen photos. They’re buried on your Facebook and you know it. Nothing bonds like relishing awk memories together.

64. Go furniture shopping at an antique store. Looking for li’l tchotchkes at a great steal? Sounds perfect.

65. Go to IKEA. It’s the total opposite of thrift store shopping and yet just as fun. Also, if your flirtation can survive this, it can survive an-y-thing.

66. Volunteer in your community. Clean up a beach or read to kiddos together.

67. Take a trip to a nearby tourist destination. Is there a big state park you’ve both always lived super close to but never visited? Now’s the time.

68. Go to an aquarium. Look, animals (even FISH) are really cute, I don’t make the rules.

69. Go to a zoo. Ditto for land animals.

70. Take on a project and go to Home Depot. Knock out your chores and show off your electric drill expertise all in one date.

71. Go to the library together. Wander through the stacks and see what you two can bond over. Libraries forever.

72. Take a bunch of personality quizzes. Are you a Khaleesi or an Arya, a blueberry pop tart or an unfrosted strawberry one? None of this affects your relationship, except, um, it totally does and it’s fun.

73. Go to a psychic together. Don’t trust your own romantic instincts? Let a professional take your relationship to the stars.

74. Go on a walking tour. At worst, you spent $10 on a corny thing you can laugh at together, and at best, you learn a bunch of cool stuff with a really cool person.

75. Go shopping together. Give each other a budget and an occasion (like new work clothes or something to wear to a party) and style each other.

76. Go on a scavenger hunt. Set parameters like how many clues you both get and see how fast you can solve them.

77. See a horrible movie. Nothing bonds like hate-spo!

78. Role-play as strangers in a bar. It doesn’t even have to be sexual, it can just be funny.

79. Go skateboarding. Doesn’t matter if you suck at it, just please wear helmets.

80. Make each other playlists and go on an aimless drive. Listen to each other’s bops and see where the night takes you!

81. See an improv show. It’s usually cheap or free, and you’re almost guaranteed a fun time even if it’s horrible.

82. Go for a hike. Exploring nature with your boo is weirdly intimate.

83. Go camping. Cuddling under the stars…what could be more romantic?

84. Do an at-home movie marathon with a theme. Watch everything an actor or actress has done or all the iterations of A Star Is Born or only movies that take place in a certain city.

85. Get a coloring book and just go HAM. Very therapeutic.

86. Host a dinner party. You can cook everything or have your friends each bring a dish.

87. Host a board game party. Yes, Heads Up counts.

88. Go to an art gallery. Gallery openings are usually free and most of the time, they’ve got wine and snacks on deck, so you know, that’s a THING.

89. Do something low-key competitive like play a game of basketball or Ping-Pong together. Healthy competition never hurt anyone.

90. Try the 36 Questions to Fall in Love. It doesn’t work every time, but it is a fun conversation starter.

91. Look at adoptable pets online. You know, for *someday*.

92. Go to an open house. It really doesn’t matter how far into your relationship you are/aren’t, snooping around other people’s houses and just being in the mind-set of “playing house” is objectively VERY FUN.

93. De-clutter your lives together. You can trade off, for fairness: KonMari their place this weekend and yours the next.

94. Go to a pumpkin patch. It’s autumn, it’s romantic, and then, at the end, you get to use knives in a fun way!

95. Go on a museum date. Art! And staring at things as a way to fill any awkward silences.

96. Have dinner and see a movie. Eating food and watching someone tell you stories is a classic for a reason.

97. Take a long walk together. You don’t need a destination because you have each other. Aww.

98. Go on a picnic. Few things are more romantic than packing up an old-fashioned picnic. If you’ve never done this, now’s the time.

99. Go strawberry/blueberry/whateverberry picking. There’s something eternally cute about even the mere act of asking someone to go strawberry picking with you that you don’t even really have to go strawberry picking. It still counts.

100. Go horseback riding. You both might get thrown from the horse and then you’ll get to spend time together in a hospital bed. So cute.

101. Go to a pottery class. One word, one movie: Ghost.

Photo credit: Giphy
Photo credit: Giphy

102. Go apple picking. Preferably you’re both wearing flannel and frolicking in leaves, and then later, cider happens!

103. Take a painting class. One word, one movie: Titanic.

104. Find a rollercoaster and ride it. Literally impossible to live more than one hour away from an amusement park in this country.

105. Take a cooking class. One word, one movie. Ratatouille. (Surprisingly sweet love story there too!)

106. Go to the opera. Anything you get to dress super fancy for is instant romance. Plus, singing! Plus, if you’re younger than 30, there’s prob a deal for “young patrons” that makes this a secretly affordable date.

107. Go to the ballet. Have you seen Black Swan? That could get romantic or deadly. Totally worth price of admission (also, see above note about young patrons!).

108. Go plant shopping together. If you aren’t living in an apartment that’s also basically a jungle, you aren’t living in the 21st century.

109. Go waterskiing. It’s like regular skiing except with more water.

110. Grab drinks at a bar. Go to your favorite bar or a totally new bar or a bar you’d never go in. Mix it up! Classic because it’s easy and good.

111. Have a coffee date. It’s super casual and no one will puke on your shoes after.

112. Go to a house party together. Maybe they’re your friends, maybe they’re mutual friends. Either way, you get out of the house and into someone else’s free booze.

113. Fly a kite. This is surprisingly wonderful because no one ever does this and you feel a little bit like a kid again. Perfect.

114. Go to the beach. Gorgeous water, lots of sun, and both of you are kind of naked!

115. Go skiing. Because it’ll make you super cold, which gives you an excuse to warm each other up later.

116. Play kickball. Get a bunch of your friends, grab a ball, and hit the park for a simple, but super fun game you can tease each other about later.

117. Go to a bed and breakfast. It’s like a date inside someone else’s house!

118. Go to trivia night at a bar. What’s more fun than proving you know more than the person you’re on a date with? Nothing.

119. Go to a sports game. Watch other people win and lose and sit there and judge them. Also, sports have the best snacks.

120. Go to the park. Sit on a bench, lie in the grass. You’re already imagining yourself there right now and it feels cool, doesn’t it?

121. Go see a play. Even if it’s not good, it’s local theater. Sit in the back and make out.

122. Go to a water park. You’re kind of naked and there are slides!

123. Make out in the backseat of your car. It’s like you’re 16 again with no curfew and you actually know what you’re doing.

Photo credit: Giphy
Photo credit: Giphy

124. Go to a hookah bar. Because, um, you can?

125. Go to a farmers’ market. And make a whole picnic lunch out of your new, organic spoils.

126. Get brunch. There’s booze, there’s food, and you just woke up next to each other. What’s not great about that?

127. Go to the club. Dressing up like assholes, dancing like assholes, it’s a great time.

128. Go to a haunted house. If it’s scary, it’ll bring you closer. If it’s cheesy, you can make fun of it, which will bring you closer. Win-win.

129. Go to a workout class. Best case scenario: You get fit and have a great time. Worst case scenario: You use them to get a referral credit on ClassPass.

130. Go birdwatching. If it gets boring you can just go have sex.

131. Go on a brewery tour. Usually there are beer samples so you can get drunk in a place that’s like a giant beer glass.

132. Go to a bookstore. You haven’t read that???

133. Go to a record store. You haven’t heard that???

134. Go to a cheese tasting. “Hmm, this one tastes slightly less gross than that one. How divine!”

135. Make a new recipe together. Yet another excuse to buy a cookbook with beautiful photos inside.

136. Bake together. Baking is harder than it looks, but flour fights could happen so it’s worth trying. Also, once again: new cookbook.

137. Go whale watching. Can’t see any whales? Oh well. You have each other.

138. Play Twister. You know how this ends.

139. Go to karaoke. Making fun of yourself is always a turn-on. And you will definitely do that.

140. Go paddleboarding. Who doesn’t love trying to balance so they don’t fall in a lake?

141. Or skimboarding. Live closer to a beach than a lake? Do this instead.

142. Go to the botanical gardens. Gorgeous flowers everywhere make everything smell and look amazing. Nothing is better.

143. Solve a puzzle. A great bonding activity, especially because your hands will be too busy to mindlessly use your phone on your date.

144. Go bowling. If you hate bowling, there are always the pitchers of beer.

145. Play laser tag. Is this for kids? No. Well, yeah, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.

146. See a drive-in movie. It’s like a regular movie except inside a car.

147. Ride go-karts. Loser has to give the winner a (sensual) massage.

148. Take a hot air balloon ride. It’s like a cramped, romantic picnic…in the air.

149. Go ice skating. Classic.

150. Go to the roller rink. Like a warm ice skating rink.

151. Take a flamenco dancing class. It’s more erotic than square dancing.

152. Sign up for Tough Mudder. Some people think this is fun.

153. Go paintballing. Take out some of that pent-up aggression.

154. Walk someone’s dog together. Sign up for Wag and pretend you own all the dogs your apartment can’t actually accommodate.

155. Go to a concert. Go see some local band in your town or a giant arena show.

156. Go on a double date. Take any of these dates and do that with two more people. This list just became 300 date ideas.

157. Take a falconry class. This is the kind of date the Kennedy family would go on.

158. Go skeet shooting. Like hunting, but ethical.

159. Go to a vineyard and try wine tasting. It’s like you’re the guys in Sideways.

160. Book a dinner cruise. Boats are romantic. Dinners are romantic. This is double romantic.

161. Go skydiving. If you’ve got a death wish.

162. Try hangliding. If you’ve got a death wish but only kind of.

163. Rock climbing. As long as you have the upper-arm and leg strength.

164. Go to an open mic night. There’s a 25 percent chance you’ll actually see someone great and a 100 percent chance you’ll get accidentally drunk waiting for it.

165. Go kayaking. It’s a great way to see the outdoors and smash into rocks at the same time, like a violent hike.

166. Make your own pizza (including dough) from scratch. Bonus points if you can guess each other’s fave toppings.

167. Walk around on a nearby college campus. Low-key, these places are basically giant museums, and this is FREE.

168. Rent a hotel room. Last-minute reservation services like OneNight make this weirdly affordable.

169. Check out a local film festival. This could be laughably terrible, or you could find some really cool off-the-radar films. Either way, you win.

170. Head to a convention. See if something interesting is around and grab tickets for a day. There’s always something—tattoos, comics, music, etc.—around.

171. Do a romantic fast food date. Pick up McDonald’s, light some candles, put on something silky, and toast to greasy fries and everlasting love.

172. Take a paddleboat ride. Take a tour around a local lake with a paddleboat.

173. Go scuba diving. Alternatively, snorkeling.

174. Swim with dolphins. This will change your life.

175. Drive to a really good view. Maybe it’s just from the top of your high school (we won’t tell) or maybe you have a really good hilltop—whatever it is, get there and make out on it.

176. Visit your hometown. Showing your partner where you grew up isn’t something only Bachelorette contestants can/should do.

177. Have an arcade date. Compete for the highest score. Then make them buy dinner.

178. Volunteer at an animal shelter. You’re helping animals and spending quality time.

179. Pan for gold. The only date where you can actually make money!!!!

180. Build a snowman. Feel free to sing that song from that movie.

181. Go sledding. Weeeee!

182. Go snow tubing. Like sledding but way more intense.

183. Take a pole-dancing class together. This is sexy and funny (and a legit workout).

184. Go holiday shopping together. Buying stuff for other people, with another person.

185. Stay in and cuddle. Simple, yet effective.

186. Go to the circus. When was the last time you were at the circus?

187. Watch a sunset. Or if you like waking up early, a sunrise.

188. Paint each other. Like, paint a picture of each other. Or just paint on each other, I guess.

Photo credit: Giphy
Photo credit: Giphy

189. Go spelunking. Get your mind out of the gutter. It’s cave exploring.

190. See fireworks. Or make your own show (if you live in a place where it’s legal).

191. Go for a boat ride. It’s like going on a long drive, except on the water.

192. Go to a nude beach. Why be naked together in the comfort of your own home when you can be naked in front of a bunch of strangers?

193. Visit a dog park. This is all the fun of having a dog without taking one home and having to pick up its poop!

194. Postmates them a dinner order you think they’ll love. And they do the same for you. No telling until they both arrive and you’ve gotta eat it no matter what!

195. Take public transit to the end of the line. Support local transit and go somewhere new.

196. Spend the whole day doing only new things. And “new” only counts if neither of you have done it. Basically a rom-com in the making.

Photo credit: .
Photo credit: .

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