Do you ever just run out of good date night ideas?
Something Connor and I have only done a handful of times in our entire relationship is a typical dinner date. Seriously. The traditional “dinner-date” date nights we’ve had are our first date, my birthday/celebrating our engagement, a celebration of finishing exams, and two other random occasions. Since I can cook relatively well, we don’t really like the idea of spending a ton of money to go out and eat unless we have a good reason.
Besides the price, I just don’t find dinner dates very much fun. You just sit there, and it’s great to get to know someone, but when you know them well enough to be married, I don’t see the point in sitting around making small talk anymore. I find that sitting and talking together over a meal is completely different than true communication.
When you’ve been together for a while, I think it’s important to stop focusing on getting to know each other’s pasts and start creating experiences together, and the typical stale dinner date just doesn’t cut it for me.
What we’ve been trying to do as an alternative is have adventures instead of dates. We want to create memories, have experiences together that propel us forward in our relationship and make us grow together as a couple. Here are some things that Connor and I love to do for date night ideas! I hope you’re inspired!
1. Rock climbing
I will forever promote rock climbing as a hobby, workout, lifestyle… everything. I grew up 45 minutes away from an amazing rock climbing place in Kingston where there’s a 100 foot chimney (it’s actually the tallest indoor climbing place in Canada!) and I went quite a few times with various youth groups growing up. At camp I always did high ropes and low ropes any time I got the chance. When I was super small, I did gymnastics and my favourite part? Climbing the rope. I’ve always loved climbing.
Connor and me on our climbing date!
Climbing is also a perfect date night, because you need a partner to do it! Plus, it’s also an entire night of trust exercises, and you can laugh at each other when you get too tired to even hold onto the rocks.
If you’re a student, you can make a day of it, like we do, and bring studying to do halfway through to give your poor arms and legs a break.
2. Take a dance class
It’s no secret dancing is super romantic, but it’s also really fun and a good workout! Here in Ottawa swing dancing is super cheap, and lessons are FREE with admission! Connor and I first really felt “sparks” together when we were Irish set dancing. This semester we want to start salsa dancing together! Just look—there are tons of opportunities for you to learn a few new steps with your man this year!
3. Go for a “penny-date” walk
This is something my husband told me about a few weeks ago and I thought sounded great! What you do is grab a coin and flip it 20 times. Heads is right, tails is left. Then, you start walking and every intersection you get to you follow the coin’s directions. See where you end up while walking around in the fresh air!
4. Go trampolining
Connor used to work at a place called SkyZone here in Ottawa that’s an indoor trampoline park, and so we got to go for super cheap once and it was a blast! It’s like being a kid again, just jumping and being silly! Admission isn’t as much as sitting down to a meal at a restaurant, and it’s bound to bring some good memories.
5. Go tobogganing
Is there snow outside? Take advantage of it! Grab a sled and find a hill! Let your inner child you’ve been so carefully hiding away from everyone free. There’s something therapeutic about letting go and just flying down a hill. Just try to find a hill without any trees.
6. Go skating
On a similar note, getting out and strapping on some skates is something you can only do during part of the year, so make sure you don’t miss the opportunity! Skating around holding hands and then cuddling up over some hot chocolate to warm up after is pretty romantic, too, if you ask me, so you can’t really go wrong there.
7. Go swimming
If it’s not cold out, or you have access to an indoor pool, throw on some bathing suits and jump in the water! Both swimmers? Have an impromptu synchro face-off. Play some childhood games like “Marco Polo” or anything else that you used to love! It makes for great lighthearted fun.
8. Play a sport
Head over to the gym and play some basketball or hit around a tennis ball for a while. Grab a soccer ball and head to the park, anything! Just have fun playing a game together while also getting a good workout in.
9. Go on a bike trip
This doesn’t need to be long, but just go biking until you find somewhere to stop and have a picnic, grab a coffee, or whatever suits your fancy! Look for biking trails or cute little parts of town that you may not have explored before but always wanted to get a better feel for. One of my favourite memories of the first summer I spent here in Ottawa was when Connor and I went on a bike trip down the Rideau river and stopped to get some shade and cool off. We found this shallow place, and decided to take an impromptu swim in the river! It was such a wonderful day and made so many good memories. So take a bike trip and see where it leads!
Going on a date doesn’t need to mean sitting at a table with your guy, chatting while you wait for your food. That definitely has a place, and I enjoy going out, but making an effort to create new memories and have new experiences with each other is so important in a relationship, especially after you’ve been together for a while! Plus, getting active together helps you both stay healthy!
What are some of your favourite active date night ideas? I’m always looking for more!