It can be tricky to come up with romantic date ideas, regardless of whether you’ve been with your S.O. for years or you’re in a relatively new relationship. There needs to be a mixture of time spent doing the actual activity and time for letting sparks fly, which is why it’s important to break away from the standard dinner-and-a-movie mould every so often. And we have to say—it’s not always the activity, but sometimes the setting that qualifies a date as romantic. (For example, dinner at a busy pizza joint likely isn’t romantic, but cooking dinner for two at your place amidst the glow of a few candles definitely qualifies.) It’s always wise to have a few go-to romantic date ideas up your sleeve, so we polled friends, family, and colleagues for some of their most memorable date nights. Take note: The below dates are sure to impress. 

Here are our picks for the top 15 romantic date ideas to try tonight.

01of 15

Take a Language Lesson

couple learning a language
PHOTO BY TAYLOR HERNANDEZ ON UNSPLASH

Learn a romance language together (whether in an in-person class or online). It’s like you’ll have your own “secret” language.

02of 15

Go to a Carnival or Fair

couple at fair
 GETTY IMAGES/MDPHOTO16

Indulge in all the traditional snack foods, and then compete in a few games (winner takes home a prize). Don’t leave without riding the Ferris wheel—and stealing a kiss at the top.

03of 15

Watch a Classic Movie

tv in living room
DESIGN: ARLYN HERNANDEZ, PHOTO: SARA LIGORRIA-TRAMP

Old Hollywood did it better. Look for a public showing of a classic love story that you can watch while eating on popcorn and holding hands, of course, or keep it casual with an “at home” date on the couch.

04of 15

Spend the Day at the Farmers Market

farmers market
PHOTO BY ANNE PREBLE ON UNSPLASH

There’s something cute about spending time picking out fresh produce together at the farmers market and then whipping up a pie or seasonal dinner afterward. Plus, it’s a pretty affordable date idea.

05of 15

Look Through Family Photo Albums

photo album
SUGAR & CLOTH

Make an afternoon out of reminiscing about your pasts together. Pull out the family photos (and don’t leave out any of the “embarrassing” pictures). This will let you get to know each other on a completely different level.

06of 15

Take Dancing Lessons

learn to dance
PHOTO BY JASON BRISCOE ON UNSPLASH

Salsa, ballroom—we don’t care. Learn to have some rhythm on the dance floor and get close.

07of 15

Explore on a Tandem Bike Ride

girl on tandem bike
GETTY IMAGES/SASHA GULISH

Teamwork is key while riding a tandem bike together. Be sure to stop for an iced coffee or ice cream cone along the way.

08of 15

Make Your Own Wine

wine
SUGAR & CLOTH

Some vineyards will actually let you crush your own grapes and then produce a barrel of your own “vintage” to share with family and friends. How’s that for charming?

09of 15

Go for a Nighttime Boat Cruise

couple on cruise
 GETTY IMAGES/BERNARDBODO

Temps always drop as it gets later in the day, so going for a nighttime boat cruise will be a nice excuse to cuddle up on the ride home. You can look at the stars and truly connect during this unique date.

10of 15

Fly a Kite Together

flying a kite
PHOTO BY JONATHON HOFFMAN ON UNSPLASH

It’ll bring out a sense of playfulness that you likely haven’t experienced since you were a kid. Wait for a sunny day, and then head to a gorgeous park or sandy beach.

11of 15

Take in a Fireworks Show

fireworks
PHOTO BY KEW LI WEN ON UNSPLASH

If you know of any scheduled fireworks nearby, take them in. Or light some sparklers together. There’s a reason couples are using them at the end of their wedding.

12of 15

Pack a Surprise Picnic

picnic
SUGAR & CHARM

An element of surprise ups the romantic factor on a picnic. Text your S.O. to meet at a certain spot and arrive early to set up all of the fixings.

For an extra surprise, make their favorite treat (cookies, brownies, and the like are all easily packable) and include it in the basket too.

13of 15

Go Horseback Riding on the Beach

sunset horseback
PHOTO BY AUSTIN NEILL ON UNSPLASH

Have a meaningful conversation if you can get your horses to trot alongside each other. Add in a sunset or sunrise and you’re golden. If there’s not a beach nearby, don’t worry—a trail will be just as charming.

14of 15

Take a Trip to Your Hometowns

neighborhoods
PHOTO BY LEE JEFFS ON UNSPLASH

What better way to dig deep (or spend quality time together) than by visiting the places where you grew up? Do a mini tour of your favourite childhood haunts.

15of 15

Visit a Wishing Well

wishing well
WE THE PEOPLE STYLE

Bring some coins and then get tossing at a wishing well. (But remember to keep your wishes a secret, or else they won’t come true.)

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