Let’s make memories worth talking about this Valentine’s Day. A great experience can trump an expensive gift 9 times out of 10 for me. Think about it, when was the last time you laughed to yourself and said, “Hey honey, remember that time you bought me a pair of Christian Louboutin’s?” But when you have an unforgettable experience with your boo, or friends, or kids, that’s something you hold onto and treasure for a lifetime. I’ve spoken to a group of comrades here at Republic and compiled the most epic date list known to man, that’s sure to give you a collection of tales for your memoir.
We have dates for all! Whether it’s your first date, 50th wedding anniversary, or a family date you’re sure to find something you’d enjoy. And we’re still thinking about your budget, we go from $0 to $100 (real quick). We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started…
Nature is calling guys. Disney has been trying to tell us this for years, remember Simba and Nala in the jungle, Ariel and Eric on the boat, Pocahontas and John in the forest? Take your date on an outdoor adventure and you’re destined to have an enchanted moment. There’s nothing more cost conscious than exploring if you’re resourceful.
1. Drive out to the country and watch the stars
I’m a country girl, so this is my dream date. My grandparents live in the eastern part of NC where there are miles of fields you can access by dirt roads, and the view of the stars there is incredible. Grab a cozy blanket, pack wine and cheese, and find a spot to gaze at the stars while enjoying a great conversation. For an icebreaker, make a game of drawing pictures with the constellations.
- Take a walk in the park
- Go kayaking
- Grill out at a pool
- Build a bond fire on the beach
- Find a great spot to watch the sunset (bring wine)
- Go on a hot air balloon ride
- Fly a Kite
- Take a sunset boat tour
- Go on a botanical garden tour
- Play frisbee and pack a lunch
- Go horseback riding
- Go flower picking
- Go fishing
- Visit the zoo
- Take a Segway tour
- Play a game of basketball
- Take a camping trip
Enjoy the Arts
We’re all about local produce these days, let’s also support our local arts! Visiting your state’s art museum or city’s most interesting galleries can create an inspiring date. Plan for a gallery opening and you might get lucky and score some free wine and appetizers. Our local artists have many forms of expression, pick one that’s unique and intriguing for your date.
19. Graffiti Art Walk
If you’re in a city this one is especially for you, and free! When I’m driving around Raleigh and Durham I notice so many amazing murals painted on downtown buildings. Want to win coolest date ever? Map out the buildings that are usually decked out in murals and graffiti and either foot it, or bike the course for your date.
- Go see a Ballet
- Go hear the Symphony
- Visit a new Art Gallery
- Enjoy a show at the theater
- Go to an Art Museum
- Go to a concert
Do it Yourself
Working together on a project or pampering each other are great bonding experiences. It teaches you how the other thinks and how they prioritize. It also just feels satisfying to complete an activity together.
26. Go read Valentine’s Cards Together
We’re cost efficient at Republic. Why buy your beau one card when you can pick out a few that describe your affection and read them aloud to each other? You might be thinking “Ok cards are only 6 bucks”, however, if planned correctly, this trip to Hallmark can be really playful and bring those first date butterflies back. Also, save a tree.
- Write a story together
- Try a science project -Need some ideas? Pinterest has you covered!
- Write a song together
- Build something with legos- While drinking, of course.
- Put a puzzle together
- Give each other a massage
- Give each other mani/pedis
- Get the kids to make a romantic dinner- Blackmail Opportunity Alert- Record the kids on your phone and save it for the annual Thanksgiving slideshow.
- Write your own Valentine’s day cards
- Prepare breakfast in bed- Cereal doesn’t count!
Seek the Thrill
These dates aren’t for the faint of heart. Get your adrenaline running with an excitingly fun date. A high energy date can relieve stress and leave you and your date feeling accomplished and ready to take on the next adventure together.
37. Nerf gun battle
Bring two nerf guns and battle it out for a prize (loser buys dinner…you lose). Here are the rules: 1. Set 2 goal lines and clear boundaries 2. First person to reach their goal line wins 3. If you’re hit 3 times before reaching your goal line you’re out.
- Play Laser tag
- Go skating
- Go Scuba diving
- Go swimming with dolphins
- Try jet skiing
- Play paintball
- Go Ziplining
- Go to the trampoline park
- Go Bungee jumping
- Try rock climbing
- Complete an obstacle course
As your body grows bigger your mind grows flowers it’s great to learn…OK we all know the song. There’s nothing more drawing than a person who you can learn from and with. There are a ton of classes that can be turned into enlightening dates. Don’t forget to check Groupon and LivingSocial when you’re planning to take a class, there are deals for everything!
49. Go to Zumba Class
If you’re thinking exercise doesn’t sound like a fun date, you’ve never been to Zumba. There’s exhilarating music that gets you going, an instructor that’s spoon feeding you dance moves, it’s just a good time. If you’re the couple that likes to stay active this date’s for you.
- Join a pottery making class
- Try a design and wine- This is becoming really popular with groups of friends, also a great date. You join a painting class and bring your favorite wine. Now aren’t you swanky?
- Attend a cooking class
- Take dance lessons
- Try a glass art class
- Try a stand up/improv classes
- Attend a soap making class
Chill & stuff
After a long week sometimes you’re just looking for an easy breezy date. Not too much fuss, low key this section is for you.
57. Visit your old College Campus
So I went to NC State (Wolfpack Pride!), and our campus is awesome. Not only are there world class research labs and the fascinating Hunt Library, there are great walkways and grass areas to enjoy. My favorite spot to show someone who’s not in the pack, is the middle of main campus. There are two chairs that sit across from each other in a patch of grass. They are designed so when you sit across the field from each other you can speak as if the person is right next to you and you hear each other perfectly.
- Go to Science Museum
- Take a trip to the library
- Go to the coffee shop and people watch
- Volunteer at a shelter
- Attend your city’s restaurant week -Here you have a great opportunity to try some top rated restaurants at great prices. You can usually find 3 course meals for $30-$50 dollars. Search Google to see if your or a neighboring city has one.
- Join a drum circle
- Browse the bookstore
- Visit town historical sites
- Play photographer for the day- For a quirky twist, dress up like a tourist (yes fanny pack and all) and be awed by your city.
- Go on a dinner cruise
- Attend a lecture
- Make brunch
- Dinner and a movie (movie first)
- Go to a drive-in movie theater
- Binge on Netflix & snacks
- Go to the aquarium
- Go to a professional sporting game
Games & Play
Let’s kick it old school and bring back the playground days. I for one am determined to keep my fun loving inner child amused. Everyone has one, unleash yours and allow your partner to do the same. Escaping the stress and routine of the day to day can be challenging, open yourself up to some good ole fashioned fun.
75. Go Play at a Park
Wonder if you can still cross those monkey bars, go for it! Sunday evenings when the kids have cleared the area, take your date to the park. Pack a snack and enjoy yourselves. Take a stopwatch, and have a relay race. Who can cross the monkey bars, go down the slide, round the sandbox the fastest?
- Go to an arcade- If you’re in Raleigh check out BoxCar Barcade. A bar + arcade= Barcade! See what they did there?
- Go cosmic bowling
- Race go karts
- Play glow in the dark mini-golf
- Go to water park
- Play foot golf
After the park if you’re up for some adult playgrounds hit up the nightlife scene. This domain is not reserved for singles, contrary to popular belief. Let loose and give your date a night they won’t soon forget.
82. Go clubbing/dancing
Find where the town’s best Deejay is playing and don’t leave that dance floor. If you know your date loves a genre or era of music find a place that will keep them on their feet. Stop by a street vendor for a late night snack and move on to the next spot.
- Visit a comedy club
- Go line dancing
- Take a brew tour
- Take a trolley pub
- Take a walking restaurant tour
- Visit a winery
Out of the box
This section is for the trendsetter. If you find yourself saying “yeah I did that last week” a lot, we’ve complied some fresh date ideas for you. Don’t get stuck in the rut of doing the same thing every weekend, because let’s face it no one wants typical.
89. Drive Uber Together
We’ve now gone from saving money to making money while on a date. This is date isn’t for the introvert. So here’s how you pull this off as a date: 1. choose a hopping night in your city 2. Make up trivia questions on various topics 3. Bring a camera 4. Be funny and engaging You’d be surprised at how many Uber riders are willing to participate and give you props for your one of a kind date idea. End the night at a diner.
- Have a movie theater marathon
- Babysit as date- If you love kids, you know how much fun this date is going to be. This could also help you and your mate decide if you’re ready for parenthood or NOT.
- Go on a group date
- Join a flash mob
- Join a run club
- Spin the search bar – Go to Google search for the best shows/restaurants/historic sites/clubs and go to the first result that pops up.
- Attend a comic convention
- Perform an original piece at an Open mic together
- Recreate your favorite music video
- Go geocaching– The coolest thing since laser tag. You and your date go on a citywide treasure hunt, it’s like being the star in the movie National Treasure. Film it, become a youtube star.
- Shoot your own cooking show for youtube
- Have a grocery store relay race
- Take a train ride to a close local city for dinner
- Crash a Wedding reception
So there you have it! 103 dating ideas that will leave your love interest counting the days until you get to hang out again. What are some of your best and most memorable dates?