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? Interpret it as you like, or do your homework to uncover its meaning: French Kiss, Sniff Kiss, Nip Kiss, Eskimo Kiss, Butterfly Kiss, Basic Kiss, Spiderman Kiss, Flavored Kiss, Vacuum Kiss, Fish Kiss, Tease Kiss, Candy Kiss, Ice Kiss, Firm Kiss, From Behind Kiss, Slow Motion Kiss, Opposite Kiss, Downward Kiss, Tickle Kiss, No Lips Kiss, Blow Kiss, Woodpecker Kiss, Lady and the Tramp Kiss, Shocking Kiss, High Low Kiss, Kiss on the Hand, Kiss on the Cheek, Kiss on the Neck, Kiss on the Fingers, Kiss on the Shoulder, Kiss on the Ear, Kiss on the Back, Kiss on the Navel, Kiss on the Nose, Kiss on the Eyes, Kiss on the Forehead.

10. TARGET PRACTICE. Turn up the heat between you and your date while at the same time, unleashing your inner bad girl (and a little stress too) at the firing range. Don’t be scared if you have never tried it before as most ranges offer training for rookies, on simple point and shoot guns.

11. TOURIST EYES. Explore your city through the eyes of a tourist by visiting historical landmarks, museums and food establishments. Inhale the wonder that is new to someone seeing something for the first time. This is a great way to connect with a date, detox from the day and can be super recession friendly too.

12. JUST PLAY! Both you and your date should select your favorite childhood activity… swinging on the swings, playing Monopoly, making a mess with fingerpaint, having a pillowfight and so on. Do each other’s activities and while doing so, share stories of what you were like as a kid and also nibble on your favorite childhood treats.

13. A MOMENT IN TIME. For the mature couple, seal your time together by constructing and burying a time capsule. Gather memorabilia that symbolizes your love for one another. Wedding invitation, saved wine cork, concert/plane ticket, copy of children’s birth records, meaningful photos, love letters or anything else that is unique to the story of your love. Be sure to include a note to the capsule’s future retrievers.

14. SCALE UP. It is said in dating, one should always trade up, well how about scaling up… a mountain? That’s right, tap into your inner adventurer and try rock climbing on your next date… just don’t wear a skirt!

15. BRAIN CANDY. Consider salsa dancing, sushi making, pottery, comic drawing, cake decorating, even body painting (!!!!) – whatever you can think of that you want to learn, there is probably a class for it. Learning something together is always exhilarating... and if all goes well, it could lead to subsequent classes/dates!

16. PHOTO SCAVENGER HUNT. Grab your camera and get ready to explore your city on this date. Scribble down a list of slightly far-fetched, but still achievable places or things that would make for interesting photos (such as a classic car, a slide, an ice cream truck, a found penny, a bird on a wire, something that makes you laugh, a flower). Pre-determine an award like a round of beers at a favorite pub if you find everything on your list, then ahead off on your adventure in pursuit of said things. Good luck!