52 Date Night Ideas to Heat Up Your Marriage

It’s December 31st – the night when couples all over the world ring in the New Year with a romantic kiss.


Regardless of the condition of your marriage this past year, you have the power to set the tone for the New Year, starting tonight.


In my classes, my clients have consistently lamented that their home life is “all about the kids.” They hardly spend any time as a couple, their marriages lack intimacy, and their relationships are strained as a result. They agree they need regular quality time alone with their spouses, but something always gets in the way of prioritizing date night. There’s always an excuse.


In my post called “What 10 Years of Marriage Have Taught Me,” I wrote about why it’s important to set aside special time with your Honey. If you’re a little out of practice when it comes to going on dates and thinking romantically, I’ve got you covered with how to spend your time together.


Try to commit to a regular day each week when you’ll have your date. It doesn’t necessarily have to be at night…do whatever works for you…but just do it. Also, limit your cell phone use and conversation about the kids. Everything will still be waiting for you when you get back.


date night

52 Date Night Ideas

1. Be a tourist – We often take local attractions for granted. What touristy places have you never visited because they’re in your own backyard?

2. Go to a carnival or amusement park. Indulge in cotton candy or snow cones. Ride the Ferris wheel.

3. Go camping in the great outdoors. Or if that’s not your thing, just pitch a tent in your living room and snuggle in your sleeping bags.

4. Try your luck at a casino or race track.

5. Fly a kite.

6. Stroll around a Farmer’s Market and sample some local delicacies.

7. Go strawberry or apple picking.

8. Have Game Night. Strip Monopoly, anyone?

9. Go to a sporting event.

10. Attend a class together. Find listings through your local Parks and Recreation Department or Adult Education resources.

11. Visit a museum. There are so many to choose from – art, history, science…and many stay open late at least one night a week.

12. Cook a meal together.

13. Learn to dance together. Choose a style – ballroom, swing, salsa…

14. Go bowling.

15. Volunteer together.

16. Ice skate.

17. Book a couples massage at a spa or massage each other.

18. Skinny dip!

19. Paddleboat/canoe/kayak.

20. Go fishing.

21. Tour a winery.

22. Go to a comedy show.

23. Try a new restaurant or cuisine.

24. Skip dinner and just go out for dessert.

25. Test drive a dream car.

26. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner or Dinner Theatre.

27. Read to each other by candlelight.

28. Blindfold and feed each other.

29. Work on a puzzle together.

30. Play mini-golf.

31. Go to a community theater show.

32. Watch the sunset.

33. Stroll through a botanical garden.

34. Sing karaoke.

35. Go to a coffeehouse.

36. Go for a bike ride.

37. Book a couples photo session.

38. Have a snowball fight and build a snowman.

39. Build a campfire and make s’mores.

40. Try a yoga class.

41. Go to a dive bar and play pool.

42. Picnic in the park.

43. Take a hike – or even just an evening stroll around your neighborhood.

44. Dinner and a movie – This doesn’t win any awards for creativity, but many couples I’ve worked with say they haven’t been out to dinner and a movie with their spouse in YEARS.

45. Listen to live music at a large or small venue.

46. Send your spouse on a scavenger hunt. Have something special waiting for him/her at the end.

47. If you live in the city, take a drive to the country. If you live in the country, go to the city.

48. Practice figure drawing – take turns modeling for each other.

49. Take a bubble bath.

50. Stargaze outside or at a planetarium.

51. Create a shared bucket list.

52. Mystery Date. One person plans the entire date and keeps it a surprise until the last minute.


Now, it’s your turn. Think back to the early days of your relationship before you had kids. What kinds of things did you do together? Are there certain places or activities that were particularly memorable? How could you re-create, re-visit, or re-invent them today? Leave a comment below and let us know.


If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and “like” it on Facebook. And for even more great tips on becoming a calm and connected parent (delivered right to your inbox every Tuesday), please subscribe to this blog. Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. Here’s to LESS DRAMA in 2014.

Showing 9 comments
  • Louisa

    Great list! I’ve recently started doing babysitting swaps with a good friend – one night a week I babysit for her kids or she does the same for me. This is a great way to schedule in those all-important nights out on a regular basis, if you don’t want to pay for a babysitter.

    • Pam Howard

      Ooooh, Louisa, that’s awesome. Hope this list is useful!

  • Kristy

    Hi Pam,
    Thanks for this great list. My husband and I are celebrating our anniversary this week and I will be sure to pick something special off the list to mark the occasion. Thanks also for the reminder about how important it is to ‘connect’.

  • Clare Greig

    soo great. Love the camping one. This weekend we are going to the Peninsula hot springs, dinner and then to the Polo on Saturday. And all without the kids. 🙂

    • Pam Howard

      Clare, that sounds amazing. So excited for you!

  • Kelly - Project Me

    I’m such a HUGE believer in date nights. We find daytime dates pretty difficult, but we’ve always managed to have 2-4 date nights a months ever since we started a family 14 years ago.

    Your list of fun ideas is great and I hope it inspires other couples to get out there and have some important kiddie-free time together. 🙂 The couple that plays together stays together

    • Pam Howard

      So happy to hear that you’re keeping the spark alive, Kelly. That’s fantastic!

  • Jana

    This is awesome, I just set my 2014 goals and one was a monthly DATE NIGHT with hubby. So these are going to go in the kit of awesome things to do together! Great timing, great article thanks Pam! 🙂

    • Pam Howard

      That’s so cool, Jana! Please let me know if you do any of these things and how it goes. I’d love to hear…

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