Most Underrated Date Options We'd Actually Love
Dating is hard enough without the boredom of another generic dinner date. It's hard to go wrong with food but you can only connect with a person so much over an order of breadsticks. Luckily, spicing up your next date night doesn't have to break the bank.
All of these underrated date options are local, affordable and fun. They also offer an opportunity to see your partner, whether it's your first date or your 500th, in a new light. Which one are you trying out first?
Visit a Used Bookstore and Pick Out Books for Each Other
It doesn't have to be a used bookstore, but going to an independently owned bookstore is half the fun. Barnes and Nobles will do in a pinch, but try to find somewhere like the Last Bookstore, complete with a book tunnel, art designed by local artists, a yarn shop and books from every imaginable genre to peruse. The fun part is getting to know each other's tastes. A person's taste in literature is like a window into their inner world.
You have a few options. Buy your favorite books and trade, then circle back after you've finished them. You can each share why you chose the books you did and get your partner's perspective on them. Alternatively, you can pick out completely random books for each other just for a change of pace. While you're there, go on a hunt to find your favorite quotes in the shop. Obviously, the entire date should be accompanied by coffee or cocoa.
Pick Out a Recipe to Make Together
Cooking together is a highly underrated date option for two reasons:
1. You get to see how your date does everyday tasks
2. You find out if you can have fun doing the "boring" stuff together
Grocery shopping isn't thrilling for most of us. If you find someone whose company you enjoy so much that just being with them makes grocery shopping fun, they're a keeper. For a recipe, take turns picking favorite dinner recipes or try something that's new to you both. Bonus points if it's a type of cuisine you've never tried.
Shop for the ingredients together, then pour a glass of wine, put on your favorite playlist and chop and stir your way into a cozy night in. Plenty of time to chat while you chop.
Hike. Hear Us Out
Hiking isn't for everyone and hiking dates are usually reserved for outdoorsy couples who are into that kind of thing. Everyone should give it a go at least once, however. We use the term hike loosely. It can just be a walk, but on a trail that neither of you has tried before — preferably with scenic views.
In addition to getting some much-needed fresh air, you'll get to explore a new place together. If it's a tough hike, you'll also get to see how your date copes with challenges. The way someone responds to getting smacked in the head with a branch or dropping their favorite thermos off a cliff is more telling than you know.
Drive Around Until You Find a Hole-in-the-Wall Spot for Dinner
Even better, walk around. Pick an area to explore and just meander until you find a spot to eat that usually wouldn't catch your eye. The internet has a theory that the best Chinese restaurants are the ones with three stars on Yelp. That often indicates that the service is mediocre, but the food is incredible.
Some of the most unassuming storefronts have the best food, so try this date night idea a few times to find the best local culinary gems that have been hiding in plain sight.
Visit a Thrift Shop
Don't knock it 'til you try it! There's something to be said for just being silly together. Sure, we all want a partner who has their life together and acts like a responsible adult, but life is too long and challenging to be serious 24/7. Lighten up and let your creative, childlike side out by visiting a vintage shop or thrift store.
Pick out outfits for each other to try on for fun. If you find something you both love, wear it to dinner after. Alternatively, pick something you wouldn't usually wear and finish your date in the shoes of your alter egos.
Take Personality Quizzes Over Coffee
Make this one as serious or silly as you'd like. Myers and Briggs, Enneagram, Holland Code or just a lighthearted Buzzfeed quiz will do. Find out what dog breed you'd be, whether you're a competitive achiever or a loyal skeptic and what the outlook is for your zodiac sign this year.
Even better, unpack your love languages together. It's a fun way to get to know each other on a deeper level, even if some of the quizzes are goofy.
Try Something Neither of You Has Ever Done
Trying something new together is an amazing way to strengthen your connection. It's science. When you try something unfamiliar, neither of you have any idea what you're doing. That means you're basically practicing being vulnerable with each other, fortifying your friendship and trust in each other.
It's also impossible to not crack a smile when you're slipping and sliding on rental skates or learning dance moves you've never tried. It'll also expose your date's attitude towards making mistakes– definitely something worth knowing before you get serious.
Stroll Through the Farmer's Market
Stopping by the farmer's market isn't so different from the vibe of cooking together, except it's usually a brunch type of thing. Meet in the morning and sample fresh produce. If you're really committed, pick a type of fruit to rank, then pick up a bag of your first choice for later.
While you're there, get a breakfast burrito or crepe to share. Getting one sweet entree and one savory one to split is highly underrated.
Do we really need to say more about this one? If you didn't build forts in the living room as a kid, it's not too late. If you did, this date idea packs some serious nostalgia. Get creative together and use whatever materials you have lying around the house to build a fort.
Don't forget the details. It needs something comfy to lay down on, plus plenty of pillows and blankets, snacks and a laptop for a cozy movie night. If you decorate the fort with string lights, even better.
Take Turns Taking Each Other to Your Favorite Places
Sharing spots that mean something to you is a perfect way to feel closer to one another. You'll learn a lot about someone's experiences and who they are when they take you to their favorite places. Whether it's the park they've played at since they were a kid or a quiet place with a view, it probably comes with a story worth hearing.
Paint Self Portraits Over a Tasting Flight
This one is admittedly more fun after you've already finished the flight. Bring some art supplies and head to a brewery to sample craft beer and show off your art skills, or lack thereof. Paint yourselves or paint each other. Consider adding labels to mark your partner's favorite features, like their warm eyes, hilarious jokes or the familiar cup of coffee they're always toting around.
Make Vision Boards
Making vision boards on a first date is a bold move but it's good for new relationships and old ones alike. Plotting out your dreams for the future and what you'd like to do in this crazy life is a fun way to see how your interests, values and paths align. If you have polar opposite directions in mind, it's probably worth having a conversation.
Try Goat Yoga
They say laughter is the best medicine and the glue that holds relationships together. Goat yoga might be a passing fad, but it's popular enough that popup goat yoga events are available across the country.
It's just what it sounds like: A yoga class accompanied by live miniature goats. It's just as funny as it looks. If your date can get through an entire goat yoga session without giggling, dump them.
Meet for Brunch
We know this isn't an original idea, but people tend to go for dinner dates due to their schedules. Though we get it, it's so worth it to take a half day off from the office to spend your morning luxuriously sharing bottomless mimosas and eggs benedict with your sweetheart. Something about going out on a weekday when you're supposed to be working feels like you're sharing a forbidden romance — even though you already cleared it with HR.
Hit the Trampolines at Sky Zone
In a similar vein to the goat yoga idea, going to Sky Zone is so much fun. Challenge each other to conquer one of the obstacle courses there and whoever does the best gets to choose the next date spot.