Dinner & a movie is for dating rookies.... 16 date-outside-of-the-box ideas!


Ever found yourself in a verbal tennis match of “What do you want to do tonight?” Only to once again end up at dinner and a movie? Well, this year take a stand against the bore of standard dates like cocktails, coffee, a sporting event, bowling or a visit to the history museum – all of which don’t lead to text-about-it first dates or relationship re-ignition dates. That said, make this the year of the anti dinner/movie date night and instead try one of these sixteen ideas that will set the stage to present the best version of yourself and also get to know your date much better than in a no talking allowed movie theater. Have fun and happy dating!

1. SHOP ON A DIME. Together, visit your local thrift, vintage or dollar store. Set a low price tag limit, say $10 and a time limit, say 30 minutes. Split up with the mission of rejoining after having purchased your date that perfect something for them. Explain why you chose what you did.


2. TASTE TEST. Exploring new tastes together cannot only be delicious, it can also be very sensual. Consider attending a wine, beer, cheese or even chocolate tasting. Share with each other what you already know about what you are tasting, as well as your opinions about each bite. Bon Appétit!

3. COOKING CHALLENGE. Meet your date at a bookstore cooking section. Mull through cookbooks until you find something delectable to cook for dinner. Shop for necessary ingredients and then together, create a culinary masterpiece!

4. REACH FOR THE STARS. Grab a cozy blanket and a bottle of vino for nature’s best and most forgotten about date, stargazing. A local park, beach, or my personal favorite, a high school football field is the perfect setting to absorb the wonder of the night above. If you are looking for a daytime version, cloudgazing is just as good.

5. WAX POETIC. Nationwide, bars, coffeehouses and bookshops host weekly poetry slams where they turn the mic over to amateur poets. Hearing the rhythmic sounds from local minds and hearts of is spiritual and will give you and your date a lot to wax poetic on among yourselves. Take it to the next level by writing a poem to read to your date (warning: this act should only be reserved for he and she who are in l-o-v-e).

6. GIVE BACK. Giving back to the community that gives you and your date so much can bring you two closer together. A sense of peace and good fortune will bond you. Whether you opt to brighten the day of the elderly, serve food to the homeless, clean up the beach or engage in countless other opportunities, be sure to choose a volunteering activity that is meaningful to both of you.

7. GO GREEN. Explore the wonders of nature around you by taking an explorer’s walk. Collect interesting things along the way such as leaves, flowers or rocks. Trace shadows. Draw favorite scenes. Frame or scrapbook your memories.

8. FRUIT OF THE GODS. Apples, strawberries, blueberries, you name it… filling up a basket of juicy, sweet goodness is a great way to spend a weekend day. This date gets you out of city dodge and into the country allowing for a fun mini road trip, plus picking fruit can be very playful… and you will have a bushel full of yummy, for which you can together or solo, make a pie!

9. 36 KISSES: For the seasoned pair (5+ dates in), try mastering all 36 of these kisses. Never heard of one?

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Tristan Coopersmith

Marriage and Family Therapist

Tristan Coopersmith, M.A. MFTi

Location: Hermosa Beach, CA
Credentials: BA, MA, MFTI
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