Few things are as magical as being in a new romance. Love songs sound different, your single-person cynicism shuts down, and you’re just giddy overall. Every experience you share together is something new and special, and every menial outing together can feel like a life-changing date.
The most exciting part about being in a new relationship is getting to know each other, and there’s no better way to do that than by going on dates. If you’re tired of the dinner-and-a-movie routine, we’ve compiled a fabulous collection of ideas you and your new love will be excited to check off one by one. If you want to keep things semi-traditional, just about everything on our list can be paired with a romantic meal. Plus, these can all be enjoyed with or without alcohol, so these great date ideas for new couples are perfect no matter your age.
Host a Game Night
Gathering a few people for a game night at your or your significant other’s place is a great way to get to know each other’s friends in a laid-back atmosphere. Team games are also a great way to build your bond, especially if you take everyone on together — and win!
Laugh at Live Comedy
Seeing a comedian is way more exciting than plain-old dinner and a movie, but it still gives you the opportunity to see something new that you can dish about afterward. It’s also a great way to learn about each other’s sense of humor so you’ll know how to make them laugh when you inevitably have your first fight (don’t worry — it’s a rite of passage!).
Take a Cooking Class
There’s something really romantic about cooking for your partner or having them lovingly prepare a meal for you. You can add a dash of excitement to the recipe by going to a cooking class and making a dish together. Try something neither of you has ever done before, like making pasta from scratch or whipping up decadent beef bourguignon. If you don’t want to take a formal cooking class, find a how-to video online for a new dish, gather all of the ingredients, and create it at home. The important thing is that you do every step together and have a new experience to share.
Visit a Local Historical Site
Living near a famous landmark — whether it’s the Empire State Building or the world’s largest ball of twine — is something we tend to take for granted. A date with your new SO is a great excuse to finally visit a place that holds special meaning in your community, such as a historical museum or a state or national park. If there aren’t any noteworthy landmarks in your area (or none that interest you), head to a museum instead. Spending the day soaking in some culture will give you a lot to talk about come dinnertime (and possibly, for years to come).
Head to a Grown-up Arcade
Barcades have exploded in popularity over the last few years, because they let adults embrace their inner child in a kid-free setting. They often have a full menu, so you can make an entire evening of getting to know each other’s silly sides.
Go for a Hike
Many of us feel renewed when we head into nature, and sharing that experience with a new love interest is even more exhilarating. Keep it relaxed by taking a stroll through the park after sharing a picnic, or up the excitement by taking a trek up a mountain in search of a natural wonder like a waterfall.
Create a Craft
Arts and crafts aren’t just for second graders anymore — and the sudden popularity of BYOB art studios are proof. Whether you want to have a wine-and-paint night or collaborate on a woodworking project together, using your hands to make something beautiful (and get a little dirty!) is a fun activity you’ll want to make a tradition.
Visit the Farmers Market
Farmers markets are so much more than fruit-and-veggie stands. Nowadays, they’re also destinations for buying handmade treasures from local artisans and eating freshly-made, decadent food. Plus, the atmosphere is super casual, so even if you make last-minute plans to visit, you don’t have to worry about being underdressed.
Hit the Beach
Everybody loves a beach day, so pack a couple of towels, a cooler of snacks, and your boogie board, and head to the shoreline. This is also a great way to have an outing where both of your groups of friends can get to know each other, and no one has to worry about the time and energy of hosting at home. Just remember to bring enough sunblock for both of you!
Giving back to the community for a cause you both care about is a great way to feel closer to each other and put some good into the world. Consider walking dogs at an animal shelter, handing out meals at a soup kitchen, or joining a community clean-up. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to chat while making a difference in your community.
Fitness-minded folks will have fun breaking a sweat with their SO, especially when participating in a class neither has tried before. Opt for something upbeat — you’ll have more fun (and sweat harder) going to a kickboxing or Zumba class than you will a meditative yoga session.
Catch a Concert
You’ll enjoy seeing live music together whether you see a big-name band or sit in on the set of an up-and-comer at a coffee shop. Taking in a show is also a great ice breaker for talking about the kind of music you’re into once the set has wrapped. Since most people are passionate about their musical tastes, this is bound to be a date you both remember for a long time.
A memorable date as a new couple can be as simple as playing board games or as extreme as climbing a mountain in search of a geocache. The key is to create an experience that allows you to learn something new about each other — and of course, smiling as much as possible.