A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

10 Date Night Ideas that Are Better than a Netflix Binge

It's so easy to get in pajamas, order in, and collapse on the sofa with a plan to watch a series on Netflix. But not only does this date plan lack creativity and interaction, it can lead to a romance rut. Here are some date-night ideas that will help you reconnect with your partner while the remote stays at home.

1 / 10

Get your Zen on

Try a meditation class, suggests Shirani M. Pathak, LCSW, psychotherapist and founder of the Relationship Center of Silicon Valley. “Most people don’t understand the power meditation can have in their lives for helping them to develop more love and kindness for themselves and one another, so that’s what makes this date idea great,” says Pathak. “Couples will get to learn about meditation, how to meditate, and then go home and start experiencing the benefits of more love, kindness, and compassion with one another.”

2 / 10

Try “Escape Game” escapades

Take your date by the hand, and even bring some friends, get ready to solve a murder, find the antidote, or escape from a potentially hazardous situation in the hottest attraction taking the country by storm. Escape rooms are a live-action, team-building adventure game cleverly designed for participants to solve puzzles and the story and escape the room in less than 60 minutes. Ones to try include South Beach Escape Rooms, Think Escape Games and QQuest Escape Games. According to a recent Psychology Today article, the next time you and your significant other are planning a “date night,” try coordinating with friends. It turns out “double-date night” could be even better.

3 / 10

Leave the date to chance

Gina Stewart, a Los-Angeles area-based dating expert and owner of Expert Online Dating, suggests a coin flip game so couples can go-with-the-flow during a date. “Go to a downtown type area where there are a lot of things in walking distance, take a coin, and then as you walk past certain establishments, flip the coin to decide yes/no if you go in to the establishment,” Steward says. “As a result you can end up having a day filled with cocktails, manicures, massages, buying trinkets, etc.. The coin decides what you do or not.” Here are 20 things happy couples do after work.

4 / 10

Pair painting and wine

Get your creative juices flowing with a Pinot’s Palette “Paint & Sip” date. Customers sign up for a class where a trained artist gives step-by-step guidance on how to create a painting. Without any prior experience needed, everyone leaves the studio with their own masterpiece. A typical two-hour class on Friday night will cost around $35. The best part is each location either has a bar or is BYOB. So grab your significant other, paint for a couple of hours, have some drinks, listen to music; it’s something different to do, perfect for a date night.

5 / 10

Color your partner’s world

Not all date night ideas require heading out. Perhaps try a night of staying in and coloring. Yes, coloring. Claudia Sloan, a representative with Tallfellow Press in Los Angeles, reports the adult coloring market has exploded with grown-ups de-stressing and just enjoying the relaxing act of being creative. Great pens, crayons, markers, etc. can be purchased almost anywhere and couples can do their own or combine efforts and color the same design together, perhaps with a glass of wine or hot cider. One to try is Designs to Color – Book 1. And an added perk, all the designs are suitable for framing so there would be a remembrance of that great night in.

6 / 10

Dinner and a movie with a twist

One of the best fun date night ideas? Take dinner and a movie to the next level with a date-night at Movie Tavern, one of the country’s premiere cinema-eateries. With the push of a button, order from a wide variety of menu options, including cocktails, entrees, desserts, and movie snacks, all while sitting back and watching the most anticipated films of the year on the big screen. With plush, comfortable seats that recline, servers seamlessly provide you with anything you need before and during the show. There are 24 locations across the county so let them replace your couch for the evening. (Here are 28 little things you can do today to make your marriage happier.)

7 / 10

Arcade fun

Robin Suthers, a relationship expert Mantelligence.com, says arcade night could be a competitive and fun evening out together. “Healthy competition is fun for couples, and the nostalgia of gaming in public is guaranteed to put you both in a good, fun mood,” Suthers said. “Take the experience to an interactive level and play around at an arcade. Compete with each others’ high scores, or find and play every multi-player game there is.”

8 / 10

Dancing with your love

One of the most creative date night ideas for married couples and others is social dancing with your partner. “It might be swing, salsa, ballroom, blues, line dance—whatever appeals to both of you,” says Jill Whitney, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Connecticut and blogger at KeepTheTalkGoing.com. “Many communities offer inexpensive dance lessons through their parks and rec departments or through adult ed. Some places have not-for-profit dance clubs that offer monthly or weekly dances and beginner lessons. If you don’t mind spending a little more, you might try a professional dance studio.” Whitney says partner dancing is a great date activity because it fully engages both of you and it’ll get you smiling. “It’s the best workout—and anything that gets the blood pumping can have benefits later when you get home,” she adds.

9 / 10

The mystery date

Whitney recommends taking turns planning a “mystery date” for each other. “One person thinks of a place or activity, or a series of them, that’ll make for a fun evening,” continues Whitney. “The other person may be told a start time and what to wear (Hiking boots? Fancy dress? Warm coat?) but nothing else. Each place you visit might include a clue that points to the next place.” Whitney says this approach is fun because each person gets the benefit of the other’s full attention and creativity. “As the planner, you think about what your mate would find enjoyable. It might be something challenging, or funny, or relaxing, or nostalgic, or a mix,” she adds. “You might include a mini version of something on your partner’s bucket list or something you enjoyed together on one of your first dates. As the recipient, you get to anticipate being the focus of your partner’s attention and creativity.”

10 / 10

Try a brew tour date night

A fun and driving-free date night idea is one with City Brew Tours located in Philadelphia, Burlington, Vermont, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Boston. The tours give beer enthusiasts a chance to sample local craft beers, go behind-the-scenes at the hippest breweries, and enjoy a carefully curated three-course meal; all while under the tutelage of City Brew Tour’s expert guides/designated drivers. Think “you drink; they will drive.” This date idea is good for couples who love to socialize and meet new people. Guests can get cozy in the City Brew Tours van while their designated driver takes them from brewery to brewery, and learn about craft beer in their city. It’s also a great option for out-of-towners to experience craft beer in cities they’re traveling to.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Erica Lamberg
Erica Lamberg is an experienced travel and business writer based in suburban Philadelphia. Specializing in family travel, cruise experiences, and tips for enriching and affordable vacations. Beyond travel, Erica writes about personal finance, health and parenting topics. Her writing credits include Reader’s Digest, USA Today, Parents Magazine, Oprah Magazine and U.S. News & World Report. Her favorite city is Paris and she dreams about visiting Greece and Israel. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and is married with two children.