Whether you’re looking for some unique first date ideas or you are going on a date for your 40th wedding anniversary, you might be searching for a new experience. We’ve put together a huge list of unconventional date ideas full of recommendations that range from early morning dates to traditional date night ideas with a twist. No need to just make dinner reservations at the same old place and return home to watch whatever is trending on Netflix—these ideas will keep you on your toes!
50+ Date Suggestions in One Interactive Activity Book
Looking for unconventional date ideas? You’ll find over 50 of them tucked within the pages of Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition! This interactive book lets you uncover and accomplish challenges together, bond over special experiences, and use conversation prompts and other interactive elements to ensure your time together is always fresh and exciting!
The Best Unconventional Date Ideas
Use this list of fun and unconventional date ideas to plan your next romantic outing. Take some inspiration from these ideas and find things that bring you a little closer together and help you get to know each other.
1. Go on a scavenger hunt.
Maybe you haven’t thought about a scavenger hunt since you were in elementary school, but there are tons of options for hunts made for adults. With companies, like Let’s Roam, you can search for your specific city and choose from a selection of themed adventures. Learn about historically significant locations, find cool street art, or take part in an organized bar crawl.
If you want something customized for your date, you can even create your own. Come up with riddles that give clues to locations that are significant to your relationship or places you want to explore together. This takes a bit of planning and organization, but it will be a day you won’t forget.
2. Take a cooking class.
With so many types of cuisine and methods of cooking, you’ll definitely be able to find something brand new for you both. Work together to create something unique either in a group setting or in a private lesson. You will learn some new skills that you’ll be able to put to use in the future, plus it’s a fun dinner date where you’re more involved than just grabbing a menu and ordering.
3. Paddle your way through a local lake, river, or other body of water.
Kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are fun ways to get some exercise and explore new places. Both activities are easy for beginners to try. Rental companies have everything you need from the vessel itself to life jackets, paddles, and dry bags. You can reserve for an hour or a full day depending on what you want to see and how far you think you’ll make it.
If you live near the ocean, there are options for kayaks there as well. Sign up for a tour with a guide if you’re worried about the larger waves and finding the safest and easiest places to paddle. Make sure to pack some snacks and enjoy a little time just floating in the water together.c
4. Get competitive with classic board games.
Have a game night! Invite your date over for some board games and, if they have a favorite, tell them to bring it along. Spend the evening playing some of the classic board games that are perfect for two players. Monopoly, Scrabble, Checkers, and Risk are great options. Some games will last hours and others will take just a few minutes, so it’s fun to have a variety to choose from.
For anyone worried about getting too competitive or being a sore loser, you can try cooperative games where you are on the same team trying to beat the team. Some classic video games could be a lot of fun to play together if you’re both interested.
Escape rooms are a fun date option as well. You’ll be forced to work together to solve puzzles and find clues to escape from the room within the time limit. It’s like being dropped into a real-life board game that plays out in front of you.
5. Grab a microphone!
Are you pretty brave? Take your date to an open mic night where you can debut your own comedy show. You can also try a karaoke night at a local bar or pub. Sing a duet and let loose a little bit with each other. If you’re too embarrassed to get up at a usual date spot, you can drive to the other side of town and sing to your heart’s content and the chances are small that you’ll see anyone you know.
It can be tough letting your guard down on a first date, so you could always order a bottle of wine and just watch other people bare their souls on stage. Cheer for them together, and dream up what your eventual debut song will be.
6. Take a deep dive into your family histories.
One incredible way to get to know someone better is to meet the family. Instead of a large holiday gathering, consider having a more intimate dinner with your grandparents or an aunt and uncle. Take the time to share stories and learn more about your family history with your partner. Let them get to know your family in a less intimidating small group setting. Plus, your family will love the chance to get to spend some quality time with you.
7. Meet for morning coffee.
Dinner dates are common and predictable, so why not plan a date for a time of day? Plan for a breakfast date and try a new diner or brunch spot in your city. You could also just keep it to coffee if you aren’t big breakfast eaters. Sit in front of a cafe and sip on your coffee while doing some people-watching or sharing a newspaper. People who love sweets could try a new donut shop and share a few of the funky flavors.
Farmers’ markets are plentiful during the summer months. Take your morning stroll to the market and pick out some seasonal produce or flowers and sample the fare from all the stands. You might find a brand new fruit or vegetable you’ve never tried before and be inspired to cook something together.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, wake up early enough to catch the sunrise at a viewpoint before coffee or breakfast. Sunsets are romantic, but they are common and usually pretty packed. Way fewer people wake up for a sunrise.
8. Explore a nearby neighborhood.
Choose a neighborhood in your city that you haven’t spent much time in and plan your date there with a simple stroll. You can grab some drinks to go and park your car in that neighborhood and spend your date walking through the streets. When you wander without a real plan, you can usually find some incredible treasures that you might not have found otherwise. Try a nice ice cream spot or sneak into a dive bar for a cheap beer and a round of darts or pool. Whatever grabs your attention as you’re exploring.
To add a little extra fun, bring along a disposable camera or polaroid and snap some pictures during your adventure. It can be fun to have a few keepsakes from a simple date.
9. Reach new heights together at a climbing gym.
Rock climbing is becoming more and more popular and accessible in cities around the country. Don’t be scared if you’ve never done it before. The gyms are set up to help beginners learn how to climb and make their way to the top of the wall. It’s a great opportunity for you and your date to cheer each other on and conquer something tough together. Rock climbing uses different muscles than many other workouts, so it’s great exercise and might become your new favorite hobby together.
10. Spin some art on a pottery wheel.
If you’ve seen the movie, Ghost, you might already have pottery on your list as a romantic activity. For those of you that haven’t seen that movie, consider adding a pottery class to your date ideas list. Introduction classes will teach you how to prep your pieces, throw them on the wheel and then fire them. You can take a class that continues over a few weeks if you want to hone your skills and it gives you something to look forward to on the calendar. Plus, you’ll end up with some incredible DIY souvenirs of these classes to decorate your kitchen.
11. Pack a fancy picnic.
Dining outside is always a little extra special because your views are better than sitting inside any restaurant. Picnics are the perfect way to make a date a little more personal. Decide who is in charge of the food and the other person can be in charge of the location.
Spend some time prepping more than just peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Cut up some good cheese and meats to make a small charcuterie platter. Make some salads using mason jars with one of the Salad in a Jar recipes. Sandwiches are totally acceptable because they are easy picnic fare, but you can try new combinations and make them unique. Bake some cookies or cupcakes to enjoy for dessert. Don’t forget drinks to go along with the meal.
Once you’ve got a basket, or cooler, packed and ready to go, head to the spot and set up a blanket. Bring some folding chairs if that would be more comfortable. Then, you can just spend a few hours snacking on the food and chatting with each other in the fresh air.
12. Sign up for a local tour.
Most cities and communities have tours available for visitors. Even if you’ve lived there your entire life, you can definitely learn something new about your hometown by taking a tour. There are walking tours, boat tours, and giant buses that will take you around to the popular sites. If you like spooky stories, check to see if there are ghost tours available in town. Learn about some places you might not have explored in the past. This is also a perfect excuse to do those touristy things that you always roll your eyes at.
This is also a great option for certain holidays. Many companies will offer special limo tours to see Christmas lights or some themed events around Halloween or Valentine’s Day. Discount sites, like Groupon, feature some of these specials for a really good deal, so keep your eyes peeled.
13. Organize a mini-golf tournament.
Are you a bit competitive? Miniature golf is a great date option, but why not take it to a new level and do something extra. To organize a tournament, search for at least three miniature golf courses in your area. Play a round at each one keeping your scorecards and crown the winner at the end. Maybe you can make it interesting and place bets ahead of time with the loser buying ice cream or a beer afterward. This is a fun way to try multiple courses and something that you can repeat each season.
This would also be a fun option for a group date where you can include other friends. Bonus points if you wear your best golf outfits.
14. Spend a day lounging at the pool.
Are you planning a date for the summertime when the weather is nice? Consider spending your time together lounging by a pool. If you don’t have your own pool, you still have many options to take advantage of.
Some hotels offer cabana rentals for the day, where you can lounge and enjoy all the amenities. Swimply is a service that allows people to rent out their private pools by the hour, similar to Airbnb. This would allow you to have a more private experience for your date. Another great option is a community pool. Get there early in the day before the crowds have arrived and stake out your chairs.
For a little more adventure, you can take your date to a waterpark. Splash around in the lazy river, fly down some water slides, and have a great time together doing a summer favorite.
15. Take a hike!
Within driving distance of any city or town, you will find some public parks. Check out the AllTrails app and see what kinds of hikes are in your area. You can filter the hikes by difficulty, length, and elevation gain to find the best fit for your skill and fitness level. Read reviews by previous hikers to make sure the conditions are good and set off on an adventure.
Hiking doesn’t need to be strenuous, you can simply take a walk in nature together and experience something new. Stop to smell the flowers. Take pictures at any scenic overlooks. Bring snacks and drinks along so you can stop along the way and refuel. Don’t worry about any special gear if you are new to hiking, just select beginner routes and wear comfortable and supportive shoes. If you discover that you love it, you can start working your way up to more challenging routes together.
16. Work out with each other.
Are you into a certain type of fitness program and want others to join you? Invite your date along to a beginner class and see if they love it. Maybe you want to try something new and just haven’t signed up yet, do it together. Working out releases endorphins and makes you feel good, so why not share that feeling with someone you care about?
Check the calendars for local yoga or pilates studios, CrossFit gyms, rowing classes, or even ballroom dance lessons. Many gyms offer a free trial class or discount when you complete your first workout. Learn to swing kettlebells or try a water aerobics class together. Anything that gets your heart pumping is healthy for you and fun.
17. Snuggle up for a movie marathon.
Dinner and a movie are a classic date combo, but why not change it up a bit? Instead of going to the theater where you have to sit quietly in the dark, set up a night where you can have a movie marathon. Pick a movie with a sequel (or multiple sequels), the cheesier, the better. Stock up on movie candy, popcorn, and some food delivery options.
One fun idea for movie choices is to find movies that have been remade and watch the two to compare. King Kong has multiple versions, Jurassic Park was updated and has multiple versions now, or you could do a musical like West Side Story. If you need more variation, try watching movies that can be grouped together in some way. For example, choose movies with a similar theme like baseball and watch The Sandlot and A League of Their Own. Or you can pick an actor you both love and then each of you brings your favorite movie starring that person.
Thanks to the streaming services and on-demand DVD rental spots, like Red Box, it’s easier than ever to track down any movie you might feel like watching. Get creative with your choices and have fun with it. If it is a success, it’s an easy date idea to repeat over and over with selections.
If you’re lacking a TV at home or you want to enjoy some fresh air, you can visit a drive-in theater instead. They usually show at least two movies each evening and you can enjoy them from the comfort of the car with snacks and drinks.
18. Cheer for a new sports team.
Major cities have a selection of professional sports teams and it’s likely that you’ve been a fan at a game or two. See if there are any new teams that you and your date have not seen play yet and make a date. You might think of professional sports including just football with the NFL, baseball with the MLB, hockey with the NHL, and basketball with the NBA, but there are so many other options.
Check the schedules of the women’s professional teams in your city and get tickets. Check the minor league options which usually have smaller fields or stadiums with cheaper tickets but great atmosphere. Try a new sport, like soccer, tennis, or even roller derby. Picking a team and cheering for them together will give you tons of opportunities for laughs and conversation, plus you can ride the high of a win together or commiserate over a loss.
19. Do some stargazing.
Sitting under a sky full of stars is incredibly romantic, so plan for a night of stargazing. You can download a free app that will show you all the constellations and planets. Lay out a blanket and spend the evening chatting and watching for shooting stars.
If you aren’t blessed with a dark enough spot for stars and clear night skies, you can still enjoy a view like this if you find a planetarium in your area. At the planetarium, you can learn about the night sky and space and get a unique view while comfortably sitting in chairs inside. Many planetariums are attached to a museum, so you can enjoy that as well.
20. Throw a party!
We don’t mean a party for all of your friends (although that’s an option). Throw a party for you. Choose a theme, put out some decorations, dress up, and enjoy a fun evening at home celebrating each other.
The theme you choose can help determine everything you need for the party. Pick a decade and search for a playlist from that decade, play a game that was popular then, and dress up accordingly. You could have a fancy martini night and dress in your best black-tie event wear. It will be a fun change to the basic date nights at home, so have fun with it.
21. Treat yourselves to a spa day.
If you imagine this as a cheesy couples massage with rose petals everywhere, it’s important to note that not all spa experiences are the same. Sure, you can find romantic packages with candles and flowers, but you can also try some of the more unique options.
See if you can find a cryotherapy location in your area where you go into a freezing cold chamber for a few minutes. Get pedicures together and enjoy the foot and leg massage. Try the foot baths that have the fish that chomp dead skin off your feet. Enjoy a sweaty and hot sauna to help detox your body. You can even find spas that offer sound baths and meditation walks.
This is a perfect way to indulge in a little self-care while also spending quality time with your partner. You’ll both leave the spa feeling relaxed and more connected.
22. See how your lumberjack skills measure up.
Have you ever thrown an ax? With more and more ax-throwing spots opening up, you can safely test your lumberjack skills now. These places provide axes and a target that you line up and throw at. Don’t worry, there is enough separation that you don’t have to be worried about flying axes from other groups while you’re enjoying your date.
You might be very impressed by the skills your date possesses in this area after your adventure. Wear your best flannels and give it a try.
23. Lace up those skates!
Ice skating is a wonderful date for wintertime. It can be romantic to hold hands and skate around the rink taking breaks to sip on hot chocolate. Bundle up and enjoy some time outside getting fresh air and a little exercise. This activity is perfectly paired with a dinner date or a fun cocktail afterward since it’s usually not a very long outing.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t get cold enough for ice skating rinks in the wintertime, check to see if there is an indoor rink. You could also switch the blades out for wheels and go rollerblading or roller skating instead. That activity can be done at an indoor roller rink or any paved path outside. It’s fun to learn if you’ve never done it before and has the same old-school nostalgic vibes of an ice skating date.
24. Browse estate sales, flea markets, and vintage shops.
A fun way to spend the afternoon is exploring vintage shops and any estate sales. Wandering through the many treasures, you’ll find inspiration for all kinds of conversation topics. Plus, you may find something you’ve been searching for or a fun piece to remember this date.
Record shops are fun to browse, and you can learn more about each other’s music tastes, as well as the memories brought up by certain albums. Take turns trying on wild outfits at the vintage shops. Look for toys and games that you might remember playing as a kid.
If you’re feeling extra ambitious, look for an older piece of furniture and then stop by a home improvement store and pick up some supplies to transform it into something more modern. For couples that are living together, this can be a great way to incorporate both of your styles into a piece that you can cherish for years to come.
25. Try Geocaching!
Geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt. All you need is a phone and some sense of direction. Download the geocaching app, which is free, and you’ll see a map or list of all the geocache locations in your vicinity. You can walk around your neighborhood or explore a new area that has more of these to find.
The trick is to be discreet. You’ll see the GPS coordinates and then you’ll need to search for the small log to mark down that you’ve found it. There are sometimes clues and other times, you’ll find hidden treasures that are supposed to be taken and moved to a separate geocache location. This is a popular activity with a worldwide network of fans, so a quick google search will give you all the information you need to have some fun with this activity.
26. Put a jigsaw puzzle together.
Looking for an inexpensive, but fun, rainy day activity? Head to your local game store or bookstore and pick out a jigsaw puzzle. Maybe you already have one at home that you’ve been meaning to do. Wear some comfortable lounge clothes, put on a great playlist (or take turns playing DJ), and start working together to put the puzzle pieces where they belong.
You can choose any size or theme of puzzle and you don’t have to finish it. Working as a team to find the correct pieces will improve your relationship, plus you’ll have some time to talk to each other while sitting at the table.
27. Cowork for a day.
Are you both working from home and busier than ever? Consider spending a day working at the same place. Rent desk space at a coworking location or grab a table at a local coffee shop. It might not seem like the best date, but you can learn a lot about each other. Jobs are complicated and many people don’t like to discuss work during their personal time, but when you witness them work for a day, you can learn a lot about what goes into their daily routine.
This is a great option to fit some extra time into your busy schedule. This will allow you to sneak away for a quick lunch and a few chat breaks during your day while just being in the same place together. Plus, it’s nice to bounce creative ideas and other things off another person that isn’t in the middle of the trenches with you. This might be a great option to consider once a month if it is successful.
28. Take a day trip,
Pull out a map and see what towns or parks are close enough that you can visit for a day trip. Lots of small towns host parades and special festivals during the year that might make for the perfect excuse to travel and check them out. Grab some road trip snacks and put on a good playlist and go explore somewhere new together.
You can also bring your date to somewhere you’ve already been and introduce them to your favorites. Maybe you went to college in a town not too far away and you can show them where you spend your days and nights hanging out. This is a fun way to spend an entire day together even if you’re not quite ready for a full-blown vacation. Exploring new places together will bring you closer together and get you more excited about future exploration.
29. Volunteer in your community.
Similarly to exercising together, giving back to the community is fun and feels good to do. Use websites, like VolunteerMatch, to find available opportunities in your area. Sign up for multiple events in the future to try out various organizations. You can volunteer to walk dogs waiting to be adopted at the animal shelter, work with kids on arts and crafts projects, or help cook food to feed the homeless.
Regardless of what experience you have, you’ll be able to find an organization that is looking for some help. It will give you a chance to do something good together as a unit and spend quality time together. It’s a great way to spend a weekend afternoon or weekday evening.
30. Head to the theater.
You don’t have to take a trip to Broadway to see a play. Check the websites for local high schools, community centers, and colleges to see what the theater groups are putting together. Tickets are much more affordable than the big national touring shows and you’ll be supporting some local artists.
These actors put so much time and effort into rehearsing and preparing these shows to share. Go and enjoy the incredible entertainment. You never know, you might have just seen the next big movie star before they get their big break.
31. Eat a progressive dinner.
Dinner dates are pretty conventional, but there are ways you can switch it up to make it a little more interesting. A progressive meal is a perfect option. Start at one restaurant where you get an appetizer and then grab the check. At the next restaurant, maybe you order a glass of wine and a salad, and then move on again.
Each course of your meal takes place at a new spot and you can choose how many courses you have room for. Split menu items at each place to try even more. This works best in neighborhoods where there are a lot of food and drink options to choose from. This is a fun way to try out multiple new restaurants. If you have a favorite, you can set your next date to return and enjoy a full meal.
For a budget-friendly version, try and hit spots during happy hour specials and just take advantage of whatever they are offering. Many places have some fun appetizers and tapas as well as drink specials during the late afternoon and early evening hours.
32. Get a peek into the future with a fortune teller.
A trip to a psychic or fortune-teller would definitely make for an interesting date activity. There are many types, so you can choose between tarot cards, palm readings, or even a medium. Talk about your expectations going into it and see how you fare after meeting with them. Be careful, sometimes these experiences can be triggering if they bring up things in your past that you aren’t ready to share with your partner.
33. Check out a gallery, art district, or book store.
Many cities have a dedicated art district that is filled with wonderful small art galleries that feature work from local artists and people from around the world. These galleries are set up just like museums, but you’ll get to experience art that hasn’t been seen by thousands of people. Even if you aren’t shopping for a piece for your home today, you can discuss which types of art you both like.
Let the pieces spark conversation and imagination. This can be perfectly paired with a trip to a bookstore as well to let the stories inspire you further. If you’re connecting, try splitting up for a few minutes and picking out a book for the other person as a gift to read. Take your new purchase to a coffee shop and read together for a while.
34. Ride the Rides at a Local Amusement Park
Think you still have the courage to fly down the largest roller coaster in the park? Give a whirl with your significant other. Spend a night playing arcade games and seeing who can win the bigger stuffed animal prize. Ride the Ferris wheel and take in the lights and views below. See the live music and entertainment shows on the stages while snacking on food from the concession stands. It’s the perfect date if you want to have some casual and low-key fun.
No amusement park within driving distance? Mark your calendar for the county fair or state fair. Those seasonal festivals are usually great spots to find some rides, greasy food, and plenty of entertainment to bring out your inner child.
35. Sample cocktails at a speakeasy.
Speakeasies have been making a comeback in recent years as people search for unique cocktail experiences. Even though you don’t need to hide your drinking from the police anymore, these spots are usually decorated and themed in unique ways and make great date spots.
Grab a few fun conversation starters and cozy up in the corner of the bar with some fancy cocktails and spend your date getting to know each other better. The cocktails can help wipe away some nerves if you’re new to dating. Enjoy the experience and the fact that you have discovered a hidden gem in your own city.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many unconventional date ideas for married couples to try! Put a twist on dinner and a movie by heading to the drive-in, volunteer in your community, or watch the sunrise over coffee.
On a blind date, you want to get to know the person, so unconventional date ideas can be fun. Doing an activity together can help ease nerves and give you something to talk about.
Take the hard work out of the planning process by giving your partner the Adventures from Scratch: Date Edition. Every date night, scratch off a new idea and head out for an adventure!