What could be better than dinner and a movie? A lot of things, it turns out. Dating has changed a lot in the age of Tinder and Bumble, and many potential partners will judge you if your idea for an outing is uncreative. And long-term relationships can get stale if you do the same thing every time you go out. Whether you’ve been in a relationship for years and you’re sick of the date night routine, or you’re looking to impress a new love interest, these date ideas are anything but ordinary.
1. Go to an Indoor Rock Climbing Wall
Physical activities are great for bonding at any stage of a relationship, and this is one that adds an element of (simulated) danger to the mix. Many gyms now feature rock climbing walls, and there are also stand-alone facilities devoted to climbing. One of you can hold the rope for the other—now that’s a way to build trust!
2. Hit the Links for Mini-Golf
This is a less strenuous sport that lends your date a playful, wacky vibe (particularly if you choose an extra-quirky course to play on). Mini-golf lends itself well to conversation, as you’ll spend plenty of time lining up shots and walking between holes, and if you’re the competitive sort, you can engage in some friendly trash talk. It’s also not the type of sport you’ll need to change clothes for, which make it a less complicated outing than rock climbing.
3. Visit an Animal Shelter
If you and your date are both animal lovers, this is a great way to connect over your shared interest while petting some furry friends. Many shelters will let you play with their animals, and some have therapy dogs on site that you can specifically request for an extra-cuddly experience.
4. Work Together to Get Out of An Escape Room
Escape rooms have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re elaborately staged rooms or series of rooms in which you must solve puzzles to advance or escape, usually with a time limit. If both of you are analytical thinkers with a passion for puzzles, this will be a lot of fun, and the intimate setting can be quite romantic.
5. Hit Up a Thrift Store
Shopping on a date can be fun, but it’s often expensive, making it awkward when it comes time to sort out who’s paying. And the formality of nice department stores isn’t the best setting for an icebreaking conversation. Try a thrift store instead. If you decide to purchase something, it will be cheaper. Thrift stores are often full of wacky duds, as well, so you can entertain each other by dressing up.
6. Go to The Library
Libraries are the biggest repositories of knowledge on the planet, and they’re usually free to walk into and browse. If you and your date are both the intellectual sort, you can hit the library and show each other your favorite passages or poems. The stacks are a great place for a first kiss. Many libraries also have areas where you can watch a film, so this can be a cheaper, more intimate version of a trip to the cinema.
7. Visit A Psychic
Whether or not you believe in precognition or predestination, visiting a psychic can be a fun date. If you’re a believer, you can get your palm or astrology chart read and puzzle over the results together, and if you’re not, you can laugh at the absurdity of it all. It’s a good way to find out whether you’re spiritually compatible, in more ways than one.