July 9, 2018

7 Outside-the-Box Date Ideas

Dinner and a movie can be a lovely date, but do you ever feel like mixing it up a bit when it comes to romance? Whether you’ve been married for years or are just getting to know someone, try one of these not-so-typical date options.

Crash an event together 

This sounds like a terrible idea, right? Well, it could be—or it could be incredible. An episode of the podcast Invisibilia discussed Max Hawkins, a computer scientist who developed a randomization app that sent him to different public events, as a way to explore beyond his bubble. You don’t need to build an app to take a page out of Max’s book (though you can join the waitlist for his app). Look for a super random event in your area to check out with your date. The sense of the unknown will make for an exciting adventure.

Read a play aloud together 

This is admittedly oh so nerdy, but it’s also really fun, and a great way to discover a new theatrical work or revisit an old favorite. You may want to get a group together for a play with a larger cast, or if it’s just the two of you, you can each take on multiple roles. Just don’t read Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? together on a first date.

Ask questions, or let someone else do the asking

 “When did you last sing to yourself?” If that seems like an odd question for a date, it gets a whole lot more personal in the series of 36 questions that Mandy Len Catron wrote about in the essay “To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This.” The questions are meant to encourage intimacy through the closeness that comes from vulnerability. For a lighter questionnaire, check out a bar trivia game near you. You’ll find out what your date’s true interests are. The audio rounds are particularly telling; try not to judge when your date identifies Nickelback without hesitation.

Rise to the skies 

In ascending order of least to most terrifying, here are some sky-related activities you can do with your date: fly a kite (still fun!), take a hot air balloon ride, go skydiving. The latter two aren’t cheap, but they are the kinds of experiences you and your date will remember forever.

Act like a kid

Along the lines of kite-flying, there are so many fun things from childhood that get left there. They shouldn’t! Activities like miniature golf, arcade games, board games, puzzles, going to a planetarium, and taking a painting class are all pretty much just as enjoyable now as they were however many years ago.

Volunteer together

 Volunteering has so many benefits besides the most obvious one: You’re doing good things for your community. As reported by PsychCentral.com, “Working side by side provides opportunities for connection and talk,” in addition to fostering empathy and countering pessimism. Ask your date what causes he or she believes in, and show your support by suggesting an outing—to clean up a hiking trail, help out at a donation center, join a race for a cure, or whatever it is that is meaningful to your date, and you.

Be a tourist in your own town

It’s all too easy to take for granted the sites in your own neighborhood, even though we are so careful to visit the must-sees while traveling. Do a search on TripAdvisor.com to see if you or your date hasn’t been to any of the top spots in your town or region, and make a plan to be reminded of what makes your neck of the woods special.

About the Author


Grace is an Albuquerque-based writer and editor with a background in book publishing. She loves musicals, bar trivia, and breakfast burritos.

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