14 Date Ideas That Are Better than Dinner & A Movie (2020)

Quick – date night’s coming and it’s YOUR turn to plan a special night! What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably some variation of dinner and a movie, right? Don’t get me wrong – a good old dinner date is a tried and true way to have a great night. But, wouldn’t you rather do something new and exciting rather than the same old, same old? Think outside the box, and wow your partner with one of these 14 ideas! Thank me later.

Axe Throwing

Nobody knows whose idea it was to mix booze and fast-moving sharp objects – but it’s all the rage right now! Axe-throwing bars have been popping up all over the country, and they’re far from boring. Put your date to the test, and strike up a friendly competition to see who will hit a bulls-eye (hopefully not the instructor) first!

Smash Room

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Just some happy customers at our new location.

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Instead of taking out your aggression on your partner, take it out on a fax machine, tv, or even a car! Grab a hammer, baseball bat, or other weapon of your choice, and get to work destroying items at a local rage room. It’s a smashing new way to relieve stress and do something out-of-the-ordinary! Talk about therapeutic.

Cooking Classes

Someone tell Martha Stewart there’s a new chef in town! It’s nice to go out to dinner, but it’s even more romantic to learn a new skill together. Culinary classes can be a fun new way to spice up your food and your love life, simultaneously! Plus, you get to eat something you made as a team. Isn’t that rewarding?

Visit an Animal Shelter

If you and your date are animal lovers, a trip to the local shelter can be a sweet way to spend some time together. Snap tons of photos of the cutest pups, kittens, bunnies, and everything in-between! Animals can be super uplifting and comforting, so this could be a great date for someone who is in need of a pick-me-up. Just don’t blame me if you walk away with a new furry friend – it’s hard to leave without one!

Arcade Date

It’s the cliche from every movie – you win a big, fuzzy stuffed animal and hand it over to your special someone! Okay, maybe it’s corny – but you have to admit it’s also cute. Head to your local arcade, and unleash your inner child together! It’ll be sure to bring smiles and laughs as you reminisce on the memories.

Get Sporty

Master a new sport together! One of the most unique dates I went on was actually fencing. When he first told me what the plan was, not gonna lie, I was a little confused and skeptical. However, it was so much fun! Another time, we went to visit an indoor obstacle course. It’s fun to challenge your partner to push themselves and their athletic abilities, and even to introduce some competition into the relationship!

Hot tip: Make it even more interesting with a spicy bet – loser has to cook dinner!

Alcohol Tasting

Visiting a winery or brewery is a romantic way to learn more about the alcohol making process – and to discover new ones you like! It’s a thoughtful way to take your date on a new experience, and it gives you both something to focus on as you converse with one another. Some places even let you make your own wine or beer!

Visit a Chocolate Factory

Here’s a unique date for sure: a visit to the chocolate factory! Many offer different types of tours – from chocolate tastings to make-your-own chocolate bars. You know what they say – the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach! Win their affection with some freshly made chocolate.

Fun fact: Chocolate is considered a powerful aphrodisiac. It contains chemicals connected to sexual arousal and falling in love!

Escape Room

Put your teamwork to the test, and try to solve the puzzle to escape! I love escape room dates because it truly tests your patience, ability to work together as a couple, and allows you to see what strengths you both bring to the table. Is your partner encouraging? Do they solve the whole thing alone, or allow you to shine? This could go one of two ways, but either way it’ll be a great way to get to know the problem-solving side of someone!

Pro Tip: Communication is KEY! Patience is also helpful.

Go Hiking

One of my favorite things about hiking dates are their intimacy. Breathtaking views, fresh air, and great conversation are all parts of what make them special. Challenge yourself and your partner to unplug and keep your phones put away, and spend time in one another’s presence. Find a new trail, and make it an adventure! Plus, it won’t break the bank!

Visit the Zoo

The zoo is another great date for animal lovers – and it includes a variety of exotic animals to see! Plus, zoos often have a learning component that allows you to expand your mind and learn. It’s a great way to get to know your partner – what they find interesting, what excites them, what they’re scared of (me cringing at the spider exhibit), and can be a great pre-dinner date.

Stargazing at the Observatory

What’s more romantic than stargazing? Get sciencey and head to your local observatory or planetarium to learn about the galaxy beyond our earth! The twinkle in their eye will be as bright as the stars!

Laugh ‘Til Your Sides Hurt

If your partner loves you even when you “ugly laugh,” they’re a keeper! Research comedy shows in your area, and pick someone you’ll both enjoy. Laughing releases feel-good endorphins that can enhance an experience and relationship. Why wouldn’t you want to be associated with that?!

Board Game Bar

Bars with board games? My inner child is screaming! Play favorites such as Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, and more at a board game bar. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Emphasis on friendly!

So, hopefully your date night planning goes a little more smoothly now that you’ve found some ideas! Which one will you take your special someone to experience?


  • Marissa Strang

    Marissa Strang is a full-time lifestyle and travel blogger based out of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. Travel is her number one passion, and she is on a mission to empower others to make travel a reality for their own lives as well. She’s a strong believer that everyone can experience the joy of exploring the world, no matter the way they look or their socioeconomic status. Marissa creates one-of-a-kind city guides, destination inspiration, and budget-friendly travel hacks for aspiring travelers, especially young travelers and minorities. By creating travel content through her blog, The Marissa Daily, she strives to help others make lifelong memories - one destination at a time. Her journey as a blogger for the past 3 years has led her to visit amazing places and build an engaged travel community that she cares for deeply. One of the principles Marissa lives by, and encourages others to abide by, is that when you look like your passport photo, it’s time to book a trip. Let's go places.

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