Try These 21 Unique Summer Date Ideas

Is your summer date night about as predictable as a rom-com? Dinner. Movie. Repeat next week?

It’s time for a plot twist. And a good one! Summertime lends itself to all kinds of fun dates, whether you’re newly dating, in a long-term relationship or married. (If you fall in the latter categories, learn how the 2-2-2 rule helps keep relationships sizzling.)

Ready for a memorable date night? Here are 21 date ideas to add to your romantic repertoire.

1. Go Stargazing

Pull out the telescopes and the blankets and spend the night gazing up at the stars, wishing upon any falling ones, of course. To really get this right, see if there’s a designated dark sky park or community near you. These places are prime stargazing spots because they’re not as affected by artificial city lights. In a typical city, you can see about 500 stars on a clear night, according to the National Park Service. But in a dark sky area, you can see a star-studded night sky with more than 15,000 visible twinkling stars. Also, your local library just might rent you a free telescope.

stargazing photo
Flickr | Walakazoo

2. Rent A Paddleboard

Stand-up paddleboarding is gaining popularity, and is a low-impact sport that’s perfect for cooling off on hot summer afternoons. You can usually find rental shops at most watering holes. Paddle around the water and burn up to 500 calories per hour, or try striking some yoga poses on your board. Some cities even offer twilight paddleboarding.

paddleboarding photo
Getty Images | Stephen Pond

3. See An Outdoor Movie

We were a little tough on the whole movie idea in the intro. But taking your movie night to an outdoor cinema is a game-changer. Think outside of the parks on this one. Cities like Denver do a bike-in movie night. And others do showings at pools, so you can float in the water while watching a movie on the big screen. For example, one movie theater in Texas had viwers watch “Jaws” while floating in the water.

outdoor movie photo
Getty Images | Oli Scarff

4. Go To The Farmer’s Market

Go for the fresh produce. But stick around for the live entertainment, beer garden and demonstrations, which are becoming more common at Farmer’s Markets.

farmers market photo
Flickr | gmtbillings

5. Hit Up The Comedy Club

Don’t wait for your favorite comedian to come to town. Check in with your local comedy club to see if they have a new talent night. Tickets are cheaper, and you could discover an up-and-coming star.

6. Soak In A Hot Spring

Sure, you could simply relax in a hot tub. But even better? Soaking in geothermal hot springs. Here are five of the best hot springs in the United States.

hot spring photo
Flickr | woods at night

7. Find A Lazy (Or Wild) River

Water parks are certainly fun in the summer. But if you’re looking for a low-cost day date, seek out a river for tubing or lazing the day away. You can find inflatable tubes at a sporting goods store to make for a smooth ride, or use an old tire tube.

river tubing photo
Flickr | vastateparksstaff

8. Compete In A Fun Run

From mud runs to color runs that blast you with chalk, there are plenty of fun runs that can add elements of entertainment to race day. Sign up for one of the runs (you can walk them, too!) and start training with your significant other. Need a little incentive? Working out together can increase your emotional bond and create more happiness in your relationship, according to scientific studies.

color run photo
Getty Images | Claire Greenway

9. Camp In A Unique Spot

If you’ve gone tent camping before, try something new. In the West, for example, you can spend the night in a secluded fire tower, starting at $20 a night. Throughout the country, park services rent yurts and tipis.

camping yurt photo
Flickr | Rick Obst

10. Go To A Brewery

Breweries are fast becoming community gathering places. Not only can you listen to live music and play cornhole, but more breweries are offering unique entertainment—including swing dancing, book clubs and trivia. Many breweries even offer yoga. Come for a workout, namastay for a beer?

brewery photo
Getty Images | Adam Berry

11. Volunteer Together

Spend time together while helping others? Win-win. Some ideas: Sign up to help build a home with Habitat for Humanity, check with your local animal shelter to see if dogs need to be walked or volunteer at a local homeless shelter. You can find a database of volunteer opportunities at All for Good.

habitat for humanity photo
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

12. Order An In-Home Massage

Melt away stress with a couple’s massage. Even better, have the masseuse come to your home and set up. You can order in-home massages with Zeel.

couples massage photo
Flickr | The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

13. Play Tourist In Your Own City

Whether it’s a well-known tourist destination or a quirky hidden travel attraction, explore your city like a tourist would and snap photos. The best part: You can go at an off-peak time and miss out on all of the traffic.

millennium park photo
Getty Images | Scott Olson

14. Do Karaoke

For some inspiration, here are 40 of the biggest duets of all time, courtesy of Billboard. Of course, “I Got You Babe” a la Sonny and Cher makes the list.

karaoke photo
Getty Images | Ian Gavan

15. Go Back To College

From interesting lectures to film screenings to free museums, college campuses offer up all kinds of free entertainment. Plus, in the summer, it might just feel like you have the campus to yourself.

college photo
Getty Images | Kevork Djansezian

16. Scout Out A Free Concert

Summertime concert series are popular at parks, botanic gardens and shopping centers. Just bring a picnic and you’ve got a weeknight summer date that’s surprisingly cheap.

concert photo
Getty Images | Eric Bouvet

17. Go To A Trampoline Park

Trampoline dodgeball, anyone? Sure, the trampoline gyms that have been popping up over the past few years are popular kid hangouts and birthday party spots. But they’re also fun. In fact, some have adult trampoline dodgeball tournaments.

trampoline park photo
Flickr | ralph_bean

18. Enjoy A Progressive Dinner

Got a long list of new restaurants you want to check out? Start with drinks at one; grab appetizers at another; a main course at the next and dessert at another. Bonus: You’ll get to take breaks in between courses, going for a walk. Or, if your city has a bikeshare system, that’s a fun way to move between stops.

couple restaurant photo
Flickr | moriza

19. Play At An Arcade

Wax nostalgic for Pac-Man, pinball machines and low-tech video games at a hole-in-the-wall arcade, preferably one that sells cheap beer and is near a pizzeria, too.

arcade photo
Flickr | c.strange

20. Play Mini Golf

Playing 18 holes in the summertime might not be for everyone. But practicing your putting game amid kitschy decorations like bubbling volcanoes and babbling brooks? That’s more like it.

mini golf photo
Flickr | Au Kirk

21. Spend A Night At The Ballpark

Take your date out to the ballgame and root, root, root for the home team. Pro tip: Consider minor league games, too, because they can be major fun.

baseball stadium photo
Getty Images | Ezra Shaw