Are you planning a special date and stuck for inspiration to delight your loved one? Impress your partner, boyfriend, girlfriend or hot new squeeze with an amazing day or night out. Romance comes in many forms, but choosing the perfect romantic date idea for you and them, is sure to result in a wonderful experience.
We have something for everyone, no matter your relationship stage or style. So read on to learn how to achieve success.
Romantic date ideas
When the character Cheryl/Miss Rhode Island (played by Heather Burns) is asked to describe her perfect date in the film Miss Congeniality, her answer is: “That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot and not too cold”.
It’s funny. But then again, what is the perfect date? We each have different ideas, so we’ve compiled a list that’ll cover every base. Let’s begin with some flamboyant options to show him or her, that you really care.
1. A luxury short break in the UK
This island has a wealth of stunning stately homes, fairytale castles and renowned high-end hotels. If you have the budget, make a night or weekend of it andbook a romance package - many include delights such as champagne and strawberries dipped in chocolate on arrival
2. A hot air balloon ride
Take a Victorianesque flight of fancy, with some of the most incredible views imaginable. Take off will be weather dependent, so this isn’t a reliable option for definite activity on a celebration day. But it’s a bucket list experience that’ll take your breath away. Just be sure they’re not scared of heights.
3. Get matching tattoos
Caveat - but only if you want to. If you’ve and your partner have been hankering for some new ink for ages, why not do it together and make a night of it. Just be sure to pick a design you won’t regret in twenty years time.
4. Feast on a tasting menu
Rather than a standard dinner out, choose a multiple course tasting menu at a Michelin starred (or similar) restaurant. Pair with fine wines for an upscale night to remember.
5. Board a jazz cruise
If you’re near a body of water, check out companies offering dinner cruises. You may be able to don your glad rags and enjoy a meal followed by some sophisticated dancing on a boat.
Date ideas for couples on a budget
6. A walk in the woods at dusk
It’s the simple things. Woodland areas create the most incredible art and whether it’s moody and misty, wintery and monochrome, or rustily autumnal, a stroll in nature rarely disappoints. Spot squirrels, foxes and birds. This activity is reserved for couples who already know each other - don’t disappear into the wilderness with a stranger.
7. Wild camping
If you’re an outdoorsy couple, not tied to your home comforts, pop up a tent by the sea, or in the countryside. Light a fire and roast marshmallows under the stars, then wake up to fresh air and the sounds of nature.
8. Go swimming or surfing together
Another one for hardier souls, a refreshing dip in a lake, river or the sea is joyful, invigorating and bonding.
Wet suits make it an almost year-round pursuit, but be sure to check the safety and tides at your chosen location and you must be a capable, water-confident swimmer. If in doubt, opt for a lifeguarded beach in the summer months or grab a couple surf board and take the plunge.
9. Get a couple’s massage
If you’re into spa treatments, have double the fun, by sharing it with your lover. You’ll have a masseur each, but be in the same room.
10. Hire a rowing boat
If you’ve seen the movie Swallows and Amazons, you’ll understand the charm of messing about on the water. It’ll cost a few pounds, but unlike swimming, you’ll stay dry (unlike Hugh Grant’s character in Bridget Jones). If you’re within easy access of Cambridge, punting on the River Cam offers classical romance and unbridled fun.
Romantic date ideas for your boyfriend
There are some dates that tend to be preferred by men or women. This is by no means across the board, but if you’re with someone who enjoys some of the more traditional pursuits then choosing something from these lists may be a winner.
Cute date ideas for your boyfriend
11. A comic con
If your man’s a cartoon geek, take him to a convention. There are lots happening across the country and you can even get an artist to do a portrait of you both while you’re there.
It may seem cliched, but there’s a reason why this is a go-to activity for stag dos.
There’s been a huge increase in the availability of table tennis around the country. Find them in parks and bars, or head to a venue geared specifically to this fun game. You could take part in a tournament, hire a room just for the two of you, or go to a ping-pong club or party night with accompanying banging tunes.
14. Sports hospitality
If he loyally follows a team or sport, why not purchase a package or hospitality tickets to a hot fixture. Some even include a player meet.
Romantic date ideas for your girlfriend
If your girl loves all things feminine and flowery (don’t assume this is the case though, find out a little about her first), then these will be right up her street.
15. Afternoon tea
Date with cake are usually a winner. Make it more interesting with a themed version. London has an abundance of these: The Shard offers a Mary Poppins one, Mirror Room at Rosewood has a spectacular art-themed tea, One Aldwych has a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory version, Ampersand has a Science Tea and you can step into A Midsummer Night's Dream at Shakespeare’s globe.
16. A carriage ride
If your girl has a penchant for fairytales, this will be the stuff of dreams for her. They’re not available everywhere, so if you’re on holiday somewhere where they’re offered, grab your chance.
17. Jewellery shopping
Unless you have an incredible knack for knowing exactly what she’ll love (and even her friends may struggle) it’s risky to buy her jewellery. Instead, if you want to buy her something nice, take her out for an afternoon of shopping. She can try on and pick something she adores.
Simple and classic, going out for cocktails rarely misses the mark. The venue can be swanky, or urban and funky, alcoholic or alcohol-free mocktails.
If you’ve been together for ages it can be a challenge to keep coming up with things to do, that keeps the romance alive. But it’s important to make the effort.
A joint study from the Marriage Foundation and the University of Lincoln, sampled 1000 married couples with a young child, to see how often they went on a date. The results were:
11% went out once a week
30% went out once a month
23% went out less often than once a month
36% hardly ever managed a date
Ten years later, the researchers went back to the couples to see how they had fared. It transpired that the couples who had managed a date once a month had the highest instance of having stayed together. So once a month may just be the magic number.
So what dates work for those who are living together long term, married or in a civil partnership and can’t always make it out of the house?
Romantic date ideas at home
If you have kids and can’t get out very much. Or are home birds and prefer to stay in after a long day at work, you can create a great atmosphere right where you live. Here are some ways to bring romance through your front door (and the bonus is, many of them will save you a packet).
19. Sushi making
If you love Japanese food, you may be surprised by how easy it is to create at home. You’ll need a few tools like a rolling mat and some authentic ingredients and then you can get really creative.
Add some sake and make a night of it, rolling together and eating as you go. Laughs and taste sensations are guaranteed. You can even make like Samantha from Sex and the City! Just be sure that your partner is on the way home.
20. Theme nights
Go all out, or keep it simple. Theme nights spice things up (literally if you choose Indian food.) Try cooking some French food and dining while listening to Piaf. The watch a classic French movie like Amelie.
Or whip up paella and have a go at some flamenco together after a few glasses of sangria. Decorating your space takes it a step further - filling a pinata for after your taco dinner is perfect for an element of surprise.
21. Board games
Go old school and dig out some retro games, or pick up some new ones. Playing Carcassonne with a background of medieval music is perfect for those who love some light competitiveness with a touch of 12-century charm.
22. Have a home picnic
If you have a garden, terrace, balcony or patio, getting out of the indoor space and away from screens, is a great way to connect. Enjoy the light summer’s evenings, or wrap up warm and dine under the stars.
As you’re close to the kitchen and loo it’s much more convenient than heading to a park too! Add some candles, fairy lights champagne or a flask of mulled wine for an extra magical vibe.
Romantic date ideas near me
The opportunities available to you will depend on your location. City dwellers may have more choice when it comes to indoor ideas, whereas country dwellers can make the most of stunning rolling scenery. A deal site like Groupon, Living Social or Wowcher is useful for local inspiration and opens up more options if you’re on a budget. Design My Night also has quirky and romantic suggestions for different areas.
Creative date ideas
There’s no end to the possibilities and if you want to be really unique, why not create your own bespoke date using your skills and contacts. Do you have singer friends with whom you could arrange a surprise dinner serenade for your lover? Are you good at making things and able to supplement the date activity with a thoughtful gift? You could even create your own escape game!
Are there any ideas in this list you’d love to try? You don’t need to wait for someone else to arrange it - ask your partner, or the person you fancy out today. Or if you don’t have a special someone yet, grab some friends and have a mates date.
What are good ideas for a first date?
Keep it relaxed if it’s a very first meeting, like a coffee, cinema trip, or drink in a bar. But if it’s someone you’ve known for a while, then you can pull out all the stops with flowers, champagne and a fancy meal.
How do you plan a romantic date?
Find out what the person you’re planning for considers romantic and start from there. It might be nice to surprise them, in which case you’ll need to keep it under wraps. Work out how you’ll get to the date location and be sure to make any necessary bookings beforehand.
How can I improve my dating?
If you’re struggling to meet eligible people you like, try casting your net a little wider. Book onto a speed dating event, go to some new bars, or take up a hobby that’ll give you the opportunity to socialise.