Date nights come easy to us now, but it wasn’t always that way! I can remember early in our relationship when Jon thought I would enjoy going to a haunted house with creepy clowns on I-Drive in Orlando. I… did not. Since we hit our date night stride, I haven’t really thought about how we plan awesome nights out until one of y’all suggested I write a post about date night ideas. I loved that suggestion! So here are my best recommendations to make a date night special wherever you are. Share with your friends so they can plan some epic date nights too! And check out my Date Nights page to see some of our favorite dates if you’re in OKC or Orlando.
Our Date Night Formula
Our date nights generally consist of three things: dinner, an activity, and dessert. We like to mix up where we go and what we do as much as possible, especially since date nights out don’t happen often around here! We love our at home date nights, but that’s another post entirely!
Planning a Date Night
It’s not always easy to come up with an idea on the fly, so we have two tools we like to use to keep track of our date night ideas. Google Keep allows you to share notes with each other so you can both add ideas when you think of them! Our other favorite planning tool is a shared phone calendar so we can add events that we’re interested in. Each week, we take a look at what’s coming up and add some events to our list of ideas!
So, how do we decide what to eat? 99% of the time we go somewhere local. It’s not often fancy, but it’s almost always delicious. Supporting local restaurants is great for the local economy and they often put a lot more care into the food they’re serving than chains. How to find something fantastic?
- Try a food hall! If your town has one, this is bound to be a great place to check out multiple different foods at one stop. Get something each of you likes and share!
- Go to a food truck event! Many towns have these on regularly scheduled nights, so check Facebook events or do a quick Google search!
- Ask your friends, or search a local Facebook group for suggestions on the best of whatever type of cuisine strikes your fancy. Word of mouth is the best advertising and people love sharing their opinions on the best burger, Chinese, Italian, or steak in town!
Our favorite activities are ones where we get to spend time together and talk or interact with each other. We love going to plays, but we rarely do because we would usually rather spend that time really connecting with each other! Some of our favorite activities include:
- Checking out local museums
- Mural hunting
- Adults-only nights at science museums, skating rinks, and other places designed for kids
- Arcades with old school games
- Attending sporting events (college and minor league events are often just as fun as the major leagues, but with a smaller price tag!)
- Scavenger hunts (do a quick Google search for some in your area!)
- Playing sports! Top Golf is a favorite and Jon claims he’s going to get me to go axe throwing sometime soon… (!)
- Trivia nights at local bars and restaurants
- Strolling around areas with art galleries and shops
- Seeing an improv comedy show
Here’s where Yelp comes in clutch. You can search by what’s open at the time that you’re going out and just wing it. We’ve found some of our favorite dessert spots this way and have some go-to places that we return to time and time again because they’re so good.
Making it Special
Some other things we do to make date nights special are making sure we take photos, spending time talking about things other than the kids, and taking our time. If we’re paying the babysitter, we want to make sure we’re getting our money’s worth!
What are some of your favorite date night ideas? Let me know in the comments!