Summer is here, friends, and hopefully, that means a little more free time for you and your SO. You can finally have that weekend together at the beach or in the mountains away from the hustle and bustle of reality. But the good times don’t have to stop there. Take advantage of the warm weather and your more flexible schedules on a day to day basis by going out for some great dates, like these 10 summer date ideas for you and bae.
1. Go for a hike
Sure, hiking in the mountains or at a national park can make for a great weekend away, but don’t forget about the state parks and trails often hidden nearby. There’s beauty nestled in pockets of every state. All it takes is a quick peruse through the web to find your state’s official park site and your next perfect date location. Go earlier in the day to avoid the heat or later in the evening to maybe catch a sunset. If you’re lucky enough to have a park only a couple of hours away, this idea can make for a nice Saturday or Sunday date together and an active change of pace. Bring snacks, lunch, or even a (hidden) bottle of wine for some extra flair.
2. Hop around some new bars
If you’re like me, you established long ago your go-to locations for a chill night of drinking. We’ve all got our favorites, but this summer try to check out some of those other bars you’ve always passed but never gone in. A fun way for you and your SO to do this is to create your own personal, intimate bar crawl. Whatever downtown scene you frequent in your town, there should be several possible bars to check out. Sit down together to pick out a road map of ones you want to try, and get drinking! Start early enough, and you could even incorporate dinner at your first or second stop. This idea can be modified, too, for lunch and an afternoon of day drinking. However you go about this date, it’s a great way to try something new together without having to get too adventurous. It’s one of the pricier summer date ideas though!
3. Stay in for a night of cooking and cocktails
If you and your SO need an even more low-key option than the personal bar crawl, try doing the same thing, but staying in for the night. This idea is great for couples who love cooking or just doing new activities together. And don’t worry, if only one of you can cook, the other can focus on preparing the drinks. However, the planning should be a fun joint effort. Access your inner Pinterest gods and goddesses together to find yummy recipes and cool cocktails for a nice date at home.
4. Visit the zoo
I know, personally, the zoo is one of those places I always talk about visiting, but never actually make it to. But this summer we all have a chance to finally go visit. If you haven’t been to the zoo since you were a kid, don’t for a second think the awe of staring at elephants or giraffes has worn off. It’s still amazing, even at an older age, and you and your SO can relive those fun childhood memories together. The zoo is a great day activity for some afternoon you’re at a loss for what to do. It can be expensive, but well worth it for a special trip every once in awhile, and often local zoos may have a student discount.
5. Check out local concerts and live music
If you’re like me, you spend all summer trying to think of ways to have fun outside in the warmth. Add music and maybe some beer to this equation and you’ve got a perfect summer date. Lots of bands will be touring nearby over the summer, so check out who you like that’s coming near you and get some cheap general admission tickets, or check out someone you’ve never even heard of before. If you’re not the type to huddle up with the rest of the crowd, you can bring a picnic blanket or chairs to chill in the summer night air together and just enjoy the music from afar. A lot of cities offer free live music opportunities over the summer too. Your local downtown might have a weekly event where people gather for chill music and food trucks that can make for a great no-fuss night out.
6. Go on a picnic
This is definitely my favorite summer date idea, but I’m a sucker for warm weather and an array of yummy foods. If this sounds boring to you, don’t discount how fun it can be to buy all your favorite snacky, hors d’oeuvres-type foods and go to town. This date is good for getting to know someone still kind of new in your life, or just to spice up your lunch or dinner plans. There are plenty of pretty picnic spots available in any town. Bring your food, blanket, and SO to whatever pretty park, river, pond, or monument you choose, and just settle in for a peaceful meal with each other and the summer.
7. Binge some new shows, and some old
Now, this is fairly contrary to my whole attitude saying it’s summer get out there and try new activities, but I still think it could be a fun date idea if you’re looking for a day to relax inside and cuddle. Maybe the heat has gotten too unbearable. Maybe you’re drained from that summer internship. Having a day or night in of nothing is totally acceptable, and it’s not like any of us can pretend embracing the laziness isn’t a huge perk of summer. This date idea is a great way to do just that. Often times, just like you talk about places to go, you talk about shows you really should watch but never end up checking out. This summer is the time to finally pick some you and your SO have really wanted to see and get to work binging. Another fun option could be to pick shows you each love individually and take turns sharing them with each other. An episode of Game of Thrones for an episode of the Breaking Bad? Deal.
8. Go bowling
If you think bowling is lame, you’ve probably never gone with the right people, and hopefully, your SO is the right people. Bowling is another fun way to hang out with each other outside of the house doing a chill, but entertaining activity. You can buy beer at the alley, and a lot of times bowling alleys have special weekly deals with discount prices. Plus, you can check out all the regulars who are waaaay too good. If you can’t wrap your head around bowling, this is an idea you can substitute with any of the activities you’re always talking about, but never getting around to. Go to a baseball game. Go to one of those group painting classes. Heck, go line dancing. (It’s actually really fun. Trust me.)
9. Spend an afternoon at the farmer’s market
Almost every town has a nearby farmer’s market and every farmer’s market has almost something for everyone. They’re a great way to spend the morning and afternoon outside and walking around. You can try samples. Eat a tasty lunch. Get some fresh produce or flowers. See what the locals are selling. Or just get coffee and walk around. Other options that kind of go in the same vein as this are berry picking or local summer festivals. Small towns are always having little yearly festivals, about rice or tea or flowers, especially around this time of year, and with all the berries coming into the season you can spend an afternoon with a fun activity that leaves you with some delicious takeaway.
10. Try out a bingo or trivia night
Trust me when I say if you live in any semblance of a city 1-10 restaurants or bars near you have a game night, be it trivia, bingo, or something of that nature. You can eat or drink at some great places these days and have fun built in activity once a week. My boyfriend and I play trivia once a week at one of our favorite bars and it’s a great way to have a consistently fun date we can always look forward to. They happen at so many places it’s easy to find a night that works for your schedule. A lot of times the prizes can even end up paying for your food or drinks.
The summer is just beginning. There’s plenty of time to give some of these summer date ideas a try, or just use them as a jumping off point to generate some of your own. Sometimes people fill up a cup or jar with their ideas written on slips of paper. Whenever you’re bored or have a day where you don’t know what to do, you can pull an idea out of the bunch and there’s your plan for the day! Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the basic date. Who doesn’t love grabbing a bite to eat before heading back home to Netflix and chill? But don’t forget: it’ll be cold again soon and you’ll be stuck back at a desk. These next few summer months are a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy new activities together.