When you and your partner have uber-busy schedules, and considering the looming cost of, well, just about everything these days, it’s easier than ever to fall into an at-home date night pattern. Dates at home are great, don’t get us wrong, and it doesn’t say anything negative about your relationship if you both are so used to each other and so comfortable lying on the couch in silence that you can’t remember the last time you actually got outside together for anything other than errands. But it’s also human to crave change, which is why we’re helping you shake up the way you spend time with your significant other by introducing this master list of outdoor date ideas—Netflix-and-chill be damned!
Even if you’d never describe yourself as an “outdoorsy type” (*raises hand*), you’re going to love these suggestions. And we get it, sometimes coming up with the plan is half the battle. But contrary to popular belief, going outside doesn’t mean you have to hike, run, or even sweat. Take a cue from your favorite rom coms and try having a glass of wine outside, heading to your local rooftop bar, or even renting a couple of bikes for a whimsical way to get the wind in your hair and the stresses off your back. If you need help shutting off the TV, taking off your Uggs, and, you know, actually heading outside, these 55 outdoor date ideas can help get you started no matter where you live or what temperature it is outside.
Presenting, simple, easy to plan, and super wallet-friendly dates below. Enjoy!
1.Watch a movie that was filmed in your town and then go visit the spots that made it on the big screen.
2. If the closest town is an hour or two away, even better! Pack your favorite road trip snacks and hit the road.
3. Catch the next parade. Seriously, these are happening all the time, even in small towns. Whether it’s the Pride parade, Fourth of July festivities, or even a small celebration for Earth Day, get outside and interact with your community.
4. Go on a walk without cell phones. Of course, you should have a sense of how to get back without your Google Maps, so don’t stray too far. The point is to stay connected to ~each other~.
5. Go catch a minor league baseball game. The hot dogs, beers, and tickets are a must and a steal.
6. Hit up the local outdoor flea market and pick out a new piece for your home (if you live together). If you don’t, split up and shop for a special trinket to surprise each other with.
7. Ready for a hard launch? Snap selfies on a rooftop, by a waterfront, or just in a park. Soft launch? Snap a few photos of just your hands glistening under the sun. Don’t think; just have fun with it.
8. Go paintballing. I mean, haven’t you always wanted to check this off your bucket list?
9. Get steamy outside. Whether it’s in your backyard, or on your private rooftop, there’s nothing more freeing than showing a little skin in the great outdoors.
10. Set up a scavenger hunt. Leave little clues around your neighborhood that lead to a new restaurant you’ve both been wanting to try.
11. Go fishing. Best case you go home with dinner. Worst case you've spent the day chilling by the water
12. Or go on a boat. You can rent a canoe or kayaks by the hour for cheaper than a round of cocktails. Better yet, make friends with someone who has a boat for cash-free cruising.
13. If you get seasick, simply take a day trip to your nearest body of water—lakes, beaches, rivers, all encouraged.
14. Do some adrenaline chasing by skydiving, mountain biking, or horseback riding. There are tonsssss of Groupons out there that majorly cut down on the cost of these.
15. Do the opposite of adrenaline chasing by laying out a blanket and watching the clouds, naming what each one looks like. Naps are also encouraged here.
16. Create a Spotify playlist to drive around and listen to. A plus: The car is deemed one of le best places to host a more serious convo if you're ready to define the relationship.
17. Sit outside and take the love language quiz on your phones. Then, compare results.
19. Pretend like you're at a vineyard and do a smol wine "tasting"—aka pack four small bottles of wine and host your own soiree.
20. Go to a vineyard on an off-day (like during the week) or for happy hour for boozy outdoor vibes on a budget.
21. Go on a pizza tour of your city, then rate each slice. Pizza + outdoors = the way to anyone's heart.
22. Play grass volleyball together in a park (or sand volleyball together at a beach).
23. Challenge each other to a tennis match. Loser buys brunch.
24. Grill dinner outside. (See: hamburgers, hot dogs, corn, etc.)
25. …Or just order some food and sit outside eating it, pretending you DIYed the cooking.
26. Hit up a local farmer’s market. Few dates are cuter than strolling the stalls and buying way too much fresh produce.
27. Go on a hike. (But obviously, be safe about it and don't do this on a first date because, well, you've watched enough murder documentaries to know why.)
28. If things are more serious, grab a tent and go camping. Not only is it an excuse to cuddle together all night (to keep warm!) and disconnect from your cells (no service!), but you’re guaranteed a breakfast date when you wake up. Win-win.
29. Visit your local, neighborhood pool.
30. Or if you’ve got a waterpark lurking in your vicinity, grab your suit and spend a day in the wave pool or lazy river.
31. Brownbag some of your fave alcohol in a park.
32. Sip on red solo cup rose on your terrace or balcony while watching the sunset. Or find a local restaurant, rooftop, or patio to do the same.
33. Go on a walk around the block and gossip about your neighbors.
34. Complete a YouTube HIIT workout together.
35. Up the ante by partaking in an IRL outdoor popup class like yoga or spin. Oftentimes cities have free or discount classes, so do some internet sleuthing to find out what’s coming up.
36. Or, just, like go on a run together to sweat through some endorphins.
37. Snack on some avocado toast or chicken and waffles on a restaurant’s patio. Save some money by going at happy hour or beat the crowds by going at an off time.
38. Go to your city’s arboretum.
39. Take cute couple pics at said city’s arboretum.
40. Go to a local nursery and buy some new plant bbs then spend the day learning about them.
41. Plan a cute lil picnic date with a charcuterie board filled with meats, cheeses, and vino.
42. Plan a cute *themed* picnic date and stock up on French cuisine or a meal inspired by a book or movie.
43. Pretend you’re at Disneyland by going to your closest amusement park. Pro tip: Oftentimes they have AAA and student discounts.
44. Volunteer to pick up your city’s trash and litter.
45. Volunteer to walk puppies outside at a shelter or adoption center. Just uh, don't blame us if you go home with a new furry BFF. Or do. It's fine.
46. Go super “outdoorsy” and light your own fire with some wood. Don’t forget the s’mores, tho.
47. Park your car up on a hill to catch the sunrise or sunset.
48. Then go old school and hook up in the car for a nostalgic change of pace.
49. Depending on what season it is, go picking for some fresh strawberries or apples.
50. Bike around your city and pretend you’re tourists. Stop at the best, most touristy shops to pretend like you’re not from there. Bonus points if you ride a tandem.
51. Head to the park to play sports. Kick a soccer ball back and forth, throw a football, or play with other balls in whatever way you see fit. (Pun intended. Sorry).
52. Make homemade ice cream in a bag together. Yes, it's a thing!
53. If you’re in a city that can actually see the stars (read: not NYC), lay a blanket down and go stargazing.
54. Listen to live music. If it’s nice outside, there’s a good chance you’ll find someone playing some random tunes in your downtown area, but there are also lots of websites you can visit to find out free concerts in your area.
55. Learn a TikTok dance or do a challenge together. Obviously, become viral because you’re total #couplegoals.
Taylor is one of the sex and relationship editors who can tell you exactly which vibrators are worth the splurge, why you’re still dreaming about your ex, and tips on how to have the best sex of your life (including what word you should spell with your hips during cowgirl sex)—oh, and you can follow her on Instagram here.
Rachel Varina is a full-time freelance writer covering everything from the best vibrators (the Lelo Sona) to the best TV shows (The Vampire Diaries). She has over 10 years of editorial experience with bylines at Women's Health, Elite Daily, Betches, and more. She lives in Tampa, Florida, but did not feed her husband to tigers. When she's not testing out new sex toys (100+ and counting so far!), she's likely chilling with her dogs or eating buffalo chicken dip. Ideally at the same time. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Brittany Leitner (she/her) is a freelance journalist and poet originally from San Antonio, Texas, and now is based in Brooklyn. She was formerly the managing editor of The Dr. Oz Show and senior editor of Elite Daily. Her work covers health, beauty, skincare, and relationship trends and she’s the recipient of a 2019 Digital Health award for her work in health journalism. Follow her on Instagram.