This is a special guest post by Darby Dugger. Darby is the founder of DarbyDugger.com and she is a dear friend of mine. I am excited to share her article with you today about beautiful date ideas!
When my husband, Jason, and I first were married, I wanted to make dinner every night. I prided myself on being a great chef, but the problem was I only knew how to make one thing: pasta. Each night, I would open a box of pasta and pour the contents into boiling water. I assumed that different shaped pasta was a different meal. Monday we had Spaghetti, Tuesday we had ziti, Wednesday penne, Thursday ravioli, Friday rigatoni, Saturday fettuccini, and Sunday was for leftovers. A different meal every night of the week! Occasionally I would even change the flavor of sauce. Clearly, I had perfected the art of cooking.
About two and half months into our marriage, my sweet husband kindly asked if we could have anything other than pasta for dinner. I was flabbergasted. In all my months of cooking, it never dawned on me that I served the same meal every night. Fast forward eleven years and I still make dinner almost every night, but lucky-for-us now we only eat pasta a few times a year.
Sometimes we get in a rut, and we don’t even realize it. I was in a pasta rut that first year of our marriage, and lately I have discovered that my husband and I are in a date-night rut. Dinner and a movie just aren’t cutting it anymore. Just as my husband needed something other than carbohydrates, I need something new and exciting to help me stay intentional with date nights. Sadly, we’ve gotten to the point now that many of our dates are spent running errands or in the car taking longer than our meal to decide on a restaurant. To help with this dilemma, I created a list of fifty-two original dates that I can utilize to help us climb out of our dating rut. Between our five young children and Jason’s crazy work schedule, we only have one or two dates a month. So, this list will serve us well for the next 2-4 years. If you are lucky enough to go on a date once a week, this will cover your dates for the entire year. So without further ado…
52 Date Ideas
- Professional Photo Session – hire a professional photographer or visit a local studio and have photos taken of just the two of you.
- Rock Climbing – If you know what you are doing, tackling real boulders is amazing, but for those who are beginning, many cities offer indoor rock walls with quick lessons.
- Zoo – If you are a mom of young children, I know this doesn’t sound very romantic, but it can be. Go without the children and look at the animals (actually linger and observe rather than keeping an eye on wandering children). Many zoos put on concerts or are open after dark during the holiday season for a lights show.
- Book Store Browsing – visit a look bookstore, pick out titles from different sections that draw your attention and share them with each other. If you and your husband aren’t reading a marriage devotional together, buy one on this date (and feel free to e-mail me for titles if you want suggestions).
- His/Her Hobby – This could actually be two separate dates, or roll them up for a long day of taking time to enjoy each other’s hobbies.
- Glass Blowing – Enjoy making unique artwork with a private lesson or simply take a tour of the glass factory while watch others do the hard work.
- Board Game Fun – go to a store and choose a game neither one of you have played before, and then play it. You can spice it up by having a pre-determined prize for the winner. ☺
- Roof Top Restaurant – Enjoy a bird’s eye view of your city by eating high above the ground.
- Wedding Video – Watch your wedding video, look at wedding photos, or simply reminisce about your ceremony! If you’re able, wear your wedding dress and tux out to eat (who cares what others think!).
- “Dear Spouse” Dinner – Take time before your date to write each other a love note and then exchange cards while on your date to a restaurant or park. Additional ideas would be to surprise each other with when and how you will give it to them (have the waiter bring it with the meal, etc.).
- Roller or Ice Skating – Recently, Jason and I took our seven-year-old roller-skating, and it was the first time in over a decade either of we had adorned skates. It was a blast and brought out the inner child in me. I specifically asked my husband to bring me back here on a date.
- Couple’s Massage – Schedule a couple’s massage at a local spa. If your husband is like mine and doesn’t like the idea (as he says, he doesn’t want a man or another woman who’s not his wife touching his body… ) then sign up for an online massage course (make sure it is legit) and practice on each other.
- Explore a Cave/Cavern – From simple pathways to dark underground exploring, caves and caverns offer a wide variety of options.
- Mentor/Mentee Progressive Dinner – Meet with an older couple you all view as mentors for dinner and follow it up by inviting a younger couple that you can invest in to join you all for coffee and dessert.
- Seasonal Celebration – Celebrate a favorite holiday with traditions that are special to you both.
- Fruit Picking – Enjoy fresh produce hand-picked by the two of you!
- Scavenger Hunt – Create scavenger hunts for each other or join in one (such as geocaching).
- Oldest Restaurant – research the oldest restaurant in your town and then eat there.
- Grand Opening – Attend the grand opening of a museum, store, or restaurant.
- Up-close and Personal with Wild Animals – You might have to do a bit of research, but find a place where you can have a hands-on experience with a wild animal. Many zoos offer dolphin swims or elephant rides. Small, wildlife rescue centers sometimes allow you to feed baby tigers. Find what’s near you and experience it together, but only under direct supervision of a trained employee, of course.
- Breakfast Date – Don’t wait for dinner; go out first thing in the morning!
- Zip Lining – Parks, zoos, and even caverns can offer you this thrill!
- A local high school’s game or play – This sounds like a stretch (and I’m sure if you have high school children it seems unappealing), but attend a random game or play put on by students and appreciate their hard work.
- Trolley Hop – Enjoy fun rides throughout a town with a trolley.
- Bird Watching – Even if you don’t know what you are looking for, enjoy the time away from the hustle and bustle of life.
- Clean Comedy Club – There are many funny comedians out there, and several comedy clubs offer family-friendly nights.
- Ethnic Night – Choose an ethnicity and dress and eat the part!
- Restaurant You’ve Always Wanted to Try – I’m sure there is a place you drive past that you’ve always wanted to experience. Quit procrastinating and try it on this date night.
- Visit the Next Town Over – Research fun things to do if you are a planner or enjoy the drive and new food options.
- Professional Ballet or Musical – Budget in money to buy tickets to a professional traveling show.
- Volunteer Together – Use your date to serve other people. Participate in a phone bank or serve dinner at a homeless shelter. Find a cause that is important to you both and let that set the stage for this date.
- Hotel Tag – Enjoy some time at a hotel (if you can’t afford a room, enjoy dinner there) and then venture around and play a quick game of hide-n-seek. With so many floors, it is bound to be intense.
- Hiking – Visit a local forest or nature preserve and enjoy a day out with fresh air and (hopefully) the sunshine.
- Tour of Your Story – Take each other on a tour of your dating story, starting from the time you met or moved to your current location.
- Recreate a Childhood Memory – Take your spouse along with you as you show them one of your favorite things from your childhood.
- Favorite Sport – Watch a game or join a league that is playing your favorite sport(s).
- Dancing – enjoy a night of dance lessons!
- Presidential Monument or Government Building – many cities have some form of a presidential monument (birth home, gravesites, historic homes they often stayed in). If you can’t find any options close to you, choose a government building you can tour.
- Accent Date – Commit to an accent that both you must speak in all night – even when talking to the waiter!
- Thank You Drop Offs – Make a list of people you would like to thank (either for their friendship or how they’ve invested in your lives) and drop off a gift of homemade goodies along with a note. You could even sneak away after leaving the gifts on their front step and ringing the doorbell.
- Historical Tour – Visit a historic home or village near you. Talk about what it might have been like to live in a different era.
- Museum – Choose a famous museum in your town that you haven’t visited and spend a day there.
- Do-over Date – Perhaps you had to cancel plans in your because of an illness, or what should have been a good night was spoiled by a silly fight. Re-do that date!
- A Night Away – Arrange for childcare and spend a night away from your house. Camping, hotel, bed and breakfast, or even a house swap with friends.
- Paint Your Own Pottery or Picture – visit a local pottery or paint spot.
- Photo Booth – research all the photo booths in your town and visit on after another… don’t forget to bring props.
- Something You’ve Never Made Time For – What have you always wanted to do, but haven’t had the time? Now’s the time!
- Mall Gift – visit a mall, but part ways for a predetermined amount of time. During that time, shop for a gift for the other and exchange them when your time is up.
- Day on the Water – Lake, River, Canoe, Boat, Beach… whatever body of water is near you, spend a day at it.
- Amusement Park – Don’t take the kids, but enjoy a time riding rides or playing carnival games. If you’re like me, you won’t want to leave until you’ve shared a funnel cake.
- Sex Date – spend a date night making love! Build up and prepare as you want, but the focus of your time together is nothing other than being physically intimate.
- Hot Air Balloon or Airplane Ride – Take a ride in a hot air balloon or charter a small plane and spend time together high above any of your other date night options.
My prayer in sharing this list is that it will be a blessing to you and your marriage as you intentionally and creatively date your husband. If you try one of the dates, I would love for you to tag me, Darby Dugger, on any of my social media accounts. I’m also curious to know what great date ideas you would add to this list, please share in the comments below!