7 Easy Springtime Date Night Ideas That Aren’t “Dinner and a Movie”

published Apr 30, 2021
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Shocked african-american couple baking with recipe on laptop in loft kitchen

Date nights of yore could include anything from fancy four-course dinners to going to a concert to checking out a new gallery opening, but pandemic life has changed things quite a bit. As a result, a quiet date-night-in might feel like… well, just another night. If the ol’ “takeout and Netflix” routine has probably gotten extremely old and stale, you’re not alone — and there are plenty of ways to switch things up. 

And what better time to focus on romance once again than springtime? The birds are chirping, the weather is nicer, and that outdoor patio set is calling your name. Be creative with your partner and try a (safe and responsible) twist on date night to keep the spark alive — and get out of the house!

Mix up movie night. 

Avoid hitting “play” on yet another “The Office” rewatch by hosting a movie marathon date night. Pick a genre — such as cheesy ‘00s rom-coms, movies starring a specific character actor in a supporting role, or a sequel or trilogy release — and budget your time accordingly. Ambitious couples can try to watch every movie in the Marvel cinematic universe in multiple ways: Either according to their release, or in chronological order.

Or, if you’d like to plan a group date, you can look into buying or renting a projector and screen for a backyard hang, or splitting a theater rental and making your childhood dreams of a private movie theater come true.  COVID-19 restrictions have led many theaters to pivot and get creative, so check out what’s available in your area and enjoy all the conveniences and comforts of a full-sized movie theater.

Credit: Lana Kenney

Find the best [ insert food here ] in your neighborhood or city.

Break out of your regular takeout routine by throwing a “tasting” session of a certain food or beverage available near you, whether it’s sushi, salad, or sparkling wine. Create a rating system for whatever you choose for your tasting, then pick up to-go options and dig in. Rank your options and declare a winner based on details like taste, spiciness, and creativity; perhaps you’ll be in complete agreement, or maybe it will create a healthy debate!

Picking up multiple versions of the same food from different restaurants might take a bit of logistical planning, so you can either do your “tasting” in one evening or spread it out over the course of a week or two. This gives you the opportunity to try new things while patronizing local spots to help them rebuild post-COVID-related closings.

Take turns playing top chef.

Rather than asking one person to take care of dinner, why not pass the baton? Assign responsibilities — one person is in charge of appetizers, while the other takes the salad, and so on. Get creative, too! Maybe instead of a main course and dessert, you want nothing but appetizers, with different ingredients in each dish. Then, surprise each other with your combo dinner. If you’re of the same mind, you might have picked complementary dishes, while opposites-attract couples might spend plenty of time laughing over surprising, unexpected combos.

Credit: Alicia Macias

Interview each other or play a Q&A game.

For a simple activity that doesn’t require getting dressed or leaving home, play journalist and interview one another! Whether you’ve been together forever or are newly coupled up, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to get to know each other better and reveal previously hidden talents or secrets.

You can come up with your own questions and go as deep or surface-level as you like, but if you need help getting started, there are lots of card games to spark your creativity and conversation, including some just for couples. The Proust Questionnaire is another great resource, too. 

Turn your living room or backyard into a mini-golf course.

Yes, it’s cheesy, but trust me when I say that cheese is in. Mini-golf is a perfect springtime date activity because it’s outdoors, it gives you ample space from other players, and it allows you to get competitive without being too high-stakes or too sweaty. 

You can even set up a mini-golf set in your backyard or living room with a low-cost investment. Some sets start at just $55.99 — create obstacles like putting the ball through the legs of a chair, or around a corner in your hallway.

Credit: Minette Hand

Throw it back to childhood.

Give your “adult-friendly” games a break and bust out the old-school kiddie classics, like Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Pretty Pretty Princess, Jumanji, or Uno. Play them just like you did as a child or update the rules to make them slightly more challenging. If you’re feeling extra brave, it’s Twister time!

If board games aren’t your thing, challenge one another to a LEGO build-off. Buy a few inexpensive sets and see who can complete them fastest or create the most avant-garde sculptures. 

Get all dressed up with nowhere to go.

Make staying home an Oscar-worthy event. Head to your closets and choose your most formal ensemble for an evening of glamour. Style your hair, apply makeup if you like, and give those spiked heels or fancy sneakers a spin around the house or apartment.

Given springtime is prom season, you can throw an actual prom for the two of you in your living room, complete with streamers, punch, and a playlist of your favorite slow jams. Set up a photo booth in your kitchen or somewhere else, and practice your best prom pose. Add crowns to dub yourselves royalty for the night.