Date nights are a thing that never get old. As a matter of fact, they can create a deeper level of intimacy in a relationship, whether you’re just starting out or years in the game.
“Intimacy is all about closeness,” says Danielle Price, owner of SOS Romance Planning and relationship expert. “Date nights provide an avenue for vulnerability as well as strengthening and deepening your connection. How? Through quality time.”
Even with COVID restrictions lifting, outdoor date nights are still a popular option for couples old and new. With summer right around the corner, we spoke to Price, an expert date night planner, to get ideas for romantic date nights you can easily plan for you and your bae.
Best Practices for Planning Date Nights
According to Price, there are a few date night best practices to be cognizant of if you want to get the most out of your outing.
The first is to prioritize engagement, which means avoiding activities that won’t let you connect and engage with one another. The goal is to focus on the “quality” in the time you spend together. “Greater quality time leads to greater emotional and physical intimacy,” she says.
A second tip is to do something out of the ordinary sometimes.
“I would avoid the typical dinner and a movie date,” she says. “Romance takes effort. You don’t want your partner to feel like you didn’t put any thought into planning your date, so be open-minded and think outside the box.”
The final tip is to not make the date all about you. Price says take your partner’s likes and dislikes into consideration too so you both have fun. Another method is to choose something you’ve both never done before so it’s a new shared experience.
Picnics are a great way for couples to relax, laugh and reconnect Price says.
“Think about how you enjoy spending time together and create a picnic around that.”
Some picnic themes she suggests are games or a sip ‘n paint. Games are a good idea if you both enjoy playing them, likewise a sip ‘n paint if putting colors on a canvas is something that you’re both into. You can also choose picnic ideas based on location. Some places to have picnics include the beach, in a parking lot where you can do some star gazing, or a picnic in a kayak on the water. Maybe you try a picnic that includes a range of cuisines from different countries as a way to explore new foods together. The possibilities are endless.
If you want to go all out, get an event planner to pull together some decor, which may include a little canopy, cushions, candles, flowers, and blankets.
Most people appreciate a good scent, so candle making is another great summer date idea.
“Candle making is cool because you get to create your signature scent together — one that’s totally unique to you,” Price says. “It’s a little art, a little science, and a whole lot of fun.”
Doing such a hands-on activity with your partner or someone you’re dating can also help you learn more about them. That includes how they deal with challenging situations, adapt when things don’t go according to plan, and navigate tasks.
To plan this date, you could look for a candle-making class to join, find an expert and ask if they private sessions, or DIY at home.
Not all date nights have to be calm and sensual. If you both like an adrenaline rush or being active, you can do something like axe throwing.
“Axe throwing allows you to let your inner child loose. I mean, come on. You get to throw things!” Price says. “You’ll learn a new skill together, which always makes for a good time. Plus, once you throw the ax a few times, you can have a little competitive fun together.”
In terms of how axe throwing works, you stand behind a line that’s maybe 10 to 12 feet from the target and try to land the axe on the target. Whoever gets the bullseye or closest to it scores highest. A little Google search will tell you where you can find axe throwing near you and how much it’s going to cost.
Fire Pits and Go-Karts
A fire pit movie night is a romantic DIY date that Sharonda Richardson, event planner, recommends. Another high-adrenaline activity to explore is go-karting. Before your couple’s race off, you can watch the Netflix Formula 1 series for some inspiration and a little bit of entertainment. Go-kart racing can bring out your competitive side and it can also be fun if you like fast cars.
Ice Cream Making
Ice cream making machines are relatively affordable and give you the chance to be creative. If you enjoy ice cream, you can make your own and explore any flavor from cookies and cream to butter pecan.
You’ll need an ice cream maker for this, and that can cost anywhere from $30 to $250 along with the ingredients you’ll need, like cream and sugar. You can also get ice cream recipes online or buy an ice cream cookbook if this will be an ongoing couples activity for the two of you.