Summer Lovin'

A Whole Summer's Worth Of Creative Date Ideas

Freshen up your "dinner and a movie" routine.

Here are the best summer date ideas, according to experts.

It’s easy to fall into a routine on date night, which can make keeping the spark alive in your relationship pretty challenging. Thankfully, with summer right around the corner, there will be plenty of opportunities to surprise your other half with outdoor activities, seaside adventures, and park picnics. If you need some inspo on how to make the most of the season, these 40 summer date ideas have got you covered whether or you’re meeting up during the day or going out at night.

There are tons of ways to spice up date night throughout the year, from creating LEGO versions of you and your partner to using the alphabet to determine what to do or where to go. But summer doesn’t last forever, so you might want to take advantage of the warm weather. Plan a date under the stars or stroll around the farmer’s market before the chilly fall air forces you to spend your Saturday nights indoors.

From outdoor concerts to day tripping with your beau, the summer date possibilities are endless. To help narrow down the options, Bustle spoke to four dating experts so that you can start planning a special summertime excursion ASAP.

Attend An Outdoor Comedy Show

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Whether you’re in need of a good laugh, or just want to spend some time with your beau, you can’t go wrong with an outdoor comedy show. “Laughter is the perfect substance-free way to ‘take the edge off,’” says Logan Ury, Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science. “Laughing releases oxytocin and makes us trust the other person more.”

Backyard Camping

You don’t have to leave the house to plan a great summer date. If you have the space, consider pitching a tent and spending the night “camping” in the backyard with your beau for a change of scenery. You can even hang some fairy lights on the inside for an extra level of ambiance.

Take A Pottery Class

Sure, you can do ceramics any time of year, but at least you probably won’t have to worry about rolling up sweater sleeves every three minutes. Plus, you can make some pretty sweet wares that can be used on future dates, like plates and popcorn bowls.

Go For A Swim

Don’t let summer pass you by without going for a swim at least once. “Lakes, rivers, and oceans are always a romantic backdrop whether you’re sharing a beach blanket on the sand or taking a kayak or powerboat out to enjoy the sunset,” says Damona Hoffman, certified dating coach and author of F the Fairy Tale. If there are no natural bodies of water nearby, a dip in the pool will definitely suffice.

Sketch At The Park

Park dates are pretty great on their own, but if you’re looking for an activity to help pass the time, Ury suggests bringing a sketch book and doodling away. “Head to a local park with art supplies and sketch what you see,” says the expert. “It’s a chance to play together in a flirty way.”

Stroll Through The Botanical Gardens

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There’s nothing more romantic than taking in the beauty of the botanical gardens with someone special. Plus, between the flower arrangements, the nature, and the wildlife, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

Summer is prime baseball season, so why watch the game at home when you can experience it IRL?

Go Stargazing

Hoffman recommends stargazing with your other half. “Escape the city lights and head to a rooftop or open field for a night of stargazing,” says the dating coach. “Try downloading an astronomy app on your phone like SkyView and search for your favorite constellations.”

Visit A Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets dates are cute, cozy, relaxing, and you’ll probably walk away with some fresh produce, too. “Enjoy local flavors and then cook something together with your farmer’s market finds,” says Ury. “Whether you’re a gourmet chef or the king of the microwave, this is a fun way to collaborate on making something together.”

DIY Ice Cream Bar

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Satisfy your sweet tooth with a DIY ice cream bar, catered specifically to you and your partner’s tastes. With so many options to choose from, the hardest choice you’ll have to make is whether you want your sundae served in a cup or cone.

Date Card Dates

Bachelor Nation fans, this one is for you. Ilana Dunn — host of the dating podcast Seeing Other People and cohost of Life In Progress, a podcast about your twenties tells Bustle that she and her fiancé like to take a page out of The Bachelor’s book and give each other mysterious “date cards” featuring activities geared toward their interests.

“It feels really special to know the other is putting thought into curating a date, and it’s so fun to learn what the surprise is. They’ve encouraged us to think outside the box and really treat the other to a special experience.”

Attend A Wine Tasting

If you’re looking for a quiet date night but still want to get out of the house, a wine tasting could be right up your alley. You can even make a game of it and see whose palate more refined.

Go Mini Golfing

Channel your inner child and challenge your partner to a round of mini golf. You might think you’re above it at first, but by the end of the night you’ll be hooked.

Plan A Scavenger Hunt

Show your partner just how well you know them with a personalized scavenger hunt. You can use clues that allude to memories or places that are special within your relationship, and reward your other half with a meaningful gift that they will cherish forever.

“This activity is not only entertaining but also provides an opportunity to reminisce about your journey as a couple,” says Hoffman. “For a new relationship, try an app-based outdoor hunt with Let’s Roam or Questo.”

Host Your Own Short Film Festival

By now you’ve probably seen all of your partner’s favorite films (and vice versa), but have you seen their favorite shorts? If not, matchmaker and Tinder’s Resident Relationship Expert Devyn Simone suggests hosting your very own short film festival.

“Give yourselves something to discuss after viewing a few short films back to back,” says Simone. If you’re on a first date, the expert says this is a great way to break the ice.

Take An Archery Lesson

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Don’t be afraid to get creative with your dates, and try something a little out of your comfort zone like archery. “This is a great way to see if someone has a growth mindset,” says Ury. “Plus, we tend to like someone more when our adrenaline is up.”

Hammock Time

Sometimes the best dates are the simplest ones. If you have the outdoor space, consider hanging up some hammocks and lay beside your partner as you read in tandem or enjoy the surrounding nature.

Outdoor Movie Night

Why watch a movie on your couch when you can snuggle with your sweetheart underneath the stars? Outdoor movie nights are a great way to break out of a usual routine, and the best part is, you don’t need a fancy projector screen to make it happen. “This could be as simple as grabbing your laptop, a blanket, and some snacks. And don’t forget about all the opportunities for cuddles,” says Hoffman. If you don’t have the backyard space to host your own, head to your local park or find an outdoor movie event near you.

Find A Vineyard

Taking in beautiful vineyard views with a glass of wine and the person you love — what could be better than that?


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When in doubt, crawl it out. Whether you’re looking to try some new restaurants, or you want to hit up all your fave spots in one night, Dunn recommends creating your own crawl for a fun date night twist.

“You can find three places in your area that have that item, and at each stop, share one and get a drink,” says the podcast host. “If you don’t have that big of an appetite, you can go on a hunt for the best espresso martini or chai latte in your city and grab a drink at each spot. You’ll find yourselves having fun making predictions, comparing details, and ranking not just the item itself, but even the vibe of each place and how you felt there.”

Take A Cooking Class

Gazpacho, anyone?

Attend An Outdoor Concert

Outdoor concerts are much more chill than enclosed venues — you can lie on a blanket, sit on a lawn chair, or even relax in the grass and just vibe out to the music. If that’s the mood you’re looking for, then an outdoor concert is the way to go.

The Wardrobe Challenge

If you’ve ever wanted to dress your partner, now’s your chance. Simone suggests taking your date to the next level with the “wardrobe challenge,” which allows couples to pick outfits for one another in a timely manner. “Spread out in the store and when the time starts go put together a complete wacky outfit for your partner (with no input from them),” says the expert. “Don’t reveal the final look until you both meet back at the car. Each partner has to wear the outfit chosen for them around the house for the evening or if they’re feeling bold - out to dinner. A couple who can play together stays together.”

Head To The Zoo

According to Dunn, no one is ever too old for a day at the zoo. “This might sound cheesy, but the zoo dates I’ve been on were some of the best dates of my life,” she says. “Whether it be a tiny petting zoo or a full fledged zoo with every animal you can imagine, being at the zoo brings out the most playful side of you. It also brings back childhood memories, which leads to sharing more about your lives with each other that you may not unlock on a standard date.”

Watch The Sunset

You can never go wrong with watching the sunset with your partner on a summer night. It’s beautiful, romantic, simple, memorable, and makes for a great photo opp, too.

Go Boating

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You don’t have to own a boat to have a sweet summer date on the water. “Most cities and towns have opportunities to rent boats, whether it be a rowboat in a lake, a kayak on a river, or even a jet ski,” says Dunn. “It’s the perfect way to get off of your phones, connect, and have fun while doing it. [My fiancé] and I rented a row boat in Central Park on an early date. Not only was it romantic, but it was so refreshing to do something different.”

The Music Challenge

Music is a huge part of our lives, which is why Simone recommends sharing your top 10 most streamed songs of the year with one another and discussing what makes each track so special to you. “You’ll discover new things about your partner and get a glimpse of the world through their eyes in that moment,” says the relationship expert. “It’s a great way to share in something that brings them joy. A lasting relationship is just a thoughtful collection of shared experiences.”

Pick Your Own Fruit

Forget apple picking — lean into the warm weather and take your other half to scavenge for strawberries, blueberries, or peaches.

Cozy Up On A Rooftop Bar

Not only are rooftop bars exciting, but they often provide some of the best views of your city, and you’re guaranteed to get a good drink out of it, too.

Attend A Food Festival

Summer is perfect for taking a stroll with your sweetheart, so you might as well stop by a food festival and pick up some tasty treats while you’re at it.

Go Day Tripping

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If you’ve explored all there is to see in your own town, take a day trip and let yourselves be tourists for an afternoon.

A Bookish Afternoon

If you’re looking for a break from the hot sun, Hoffman recommends popping into a bookstore and exploring “the vast aisles” hand-in-hand. “Select a book for each other based on your partner’s interests, and then find a cozy corner to read together,” the expert suggests. “Sharing literary discoveries and engaging in intellectual conversations can be incredibly romantic, and a chance to keep your curiosity for each other flowing.”

Adventure Sports Awaits

Everyone could use a little “thrill” in their relationship, so consider opting for an non-traditional date night and take your other half rocking climbing, bungee jumping, or even zip lining. Hey, you gotta keep the spark alive somehow.

Omakase Dinner

If you’re a fan of Japanese food, you’ll definitely want to try an omakase dining experience, which allows the chef to choose the meal for you. It’s a great option for adventurous foodie couples, or makes for a memorable first date, per Simone.

Get Lost In The Woods

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Shield yourself from the hot summer sun and cool down with an adventure in the woods. Hiking is considered a form of recreational intimacy, after all.

Paint Your Partner

If you’ve scrolled through TikTok recently, you know the “paint each other” trend has taken over the FYP. Put your own summery spin on the date idea and create your personal portraits in a park or on your porch.

Go Axe-Throwing

Axe-throwing has quickly become a popular bar activity, so if you’re looking to break out of your usual date night routine, consider grabbing a beers and toss some hatchets for an added level of excitement.

Dinner On The Water

If you have access to a body of water, making dinner arrangements by the seaside is sure to win you major points with your partner.

Theme Park Date

Who says theme parks are just for kids? Even if you don’t like roller coasters, you can still have fun playing the carnival games and snacking on theme park goodies. “A fun day out is something you’ll never forget and will bond you closer together,” says Simone. “Whether you have been together for a while or have just met, an experience like this will last.”

Plan A Picnic

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Most experts agree: a picnic in the park is the ultimate summer date idea. “You don’t need the perfect cocktail bar, Michelin-star restaurant, or rooftop view to impress someone,” says Dunn. “Sometimes the best conversations happen when it’s the two of you in nature.” The best way to pull it off is to choose a picturesque location that’ll “allow you to connect more deeply with nature and each other,” says Hoffman.


Logan Ury, Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science

Damona Hoffman, Certified Dating Coach and Author of F The Fairy Tale

Ilana Dunn, host of the Seeing Other People podcast and co-host of Life In Progress

Devyn Simone, a renowned matchmaker and Tinder’s Resident Relationship Expert