In the summertime the days are longer, meaning it feels like you have more time for you and your partner to figure out stuff to do together—beyond sitting side-by-side staring at your phones, or Netflix and chilling but falling asleep before anything gets interesting, on-screen or off.
For inspiration, we here at BRIDES have made you a list of summer date ideas. You'll see all the usual suspects—picnic in the park, beach bumming, late-night stargazing (come on, we're hopeless romantics, didn't you know?), but we've also added a bonus suggestion for making these tried and true—and admittedly somewhat cheesy—outings a little more special and specific to your individual brand of coupledom. Scroll through the 17 summer date ideas that you need in your life—as soon as possible.
Watch a Movie Outdoors
Park at the local drive-in theater or sprawl out on a public park lawn that offers film screenings in the warmer months (check showing schedules and compromise on a flick—or go twice!). If you don't have access to either, download a selection from your streaming site of choice and toss out a blanket in your own backyard.
Bonus: Bring surprise snacks! Each of you should covertly pack alcohol, candy, or another treat that's particularly beloved by your other half. Unveil your packed picnic come showtime for sustenance with a side of sentiment.
"If you like sportz and you don't care who knows," tag-team a two-player game like tennis, badminton, bowling, or volleyball. Or, consider other outdoor fitness activities such as hiking, biking, bouldering, jogging, or sunrise yoga. More the spectator types? Take each other out to a ballgame!
Bonus: At the end of the date, award funny superlatives to one another, like "Sexiest Sweat-maker of All Time," or "Most Likely to Spring for Extra Nacho Cheese Sauce."
See an Outdoor Concert
Jorts! Spiked slushies! No sticky floors! Floodlights that let you see more than two feet in front of you! Al fresco music venues have many signature pleasures—not to mention space to spread out. But be careful if one of you attempts to mount the other's shoulders. The view for the Instagram story isn't worth any broken bones.
Bonus: Make a Spotify playlist to pre-game the show. Include songs by the artist performing that night, but also tracks that are significant to your relationship.
Shop a Farmer's Market
Stroll amongst the bright flowers and scrumptious-smelling scones, and be sure to sample every kind of cheese put in front of you.
Bonus: Buy enough fresh ingredients for a home-cooked meal you can prepare together that night. Extra points if you break out the grill.
Go Camping (Or Glamping!)
The simplest argument here is: stargazing plus bonfire plus s'mores equals happy campers. However, if the great outdoors aren't so great to you two, book a stay at one of these epic glamping resorts—same views, but with indoor plumbing.
Bonus: Throwback to your summer camp days with a game of truth or dare once the sun goes down. There's something about gathering around a campfire that keeps people honest and open.
Do a Tasting at a Beer Garden or Winery
Hello, sampling flights of savory beer or sweet wine in the sunshine!
Bonus: Since a flight typically includes four pours, each of you should select one offering with a description that appeals to you and one total wild card. Best case scenario: you discover a new favorite flavor palate. Worst case scenario: you hate the taste, but still get to crack up at your disgusted faces during sips.
Start a Fixer-Upper Project
Tackle a task from your ever-growing home improvement to-do list, or find a piece of junk from a yard sale or craigslist ad that needs a little TLC, and channel your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines. Whether you're painting, building, upholstering, cleaning, or assembling Ikea furniture, four hands are better than two.
Bonus: Too much DIY-ing may leave you tired and frustrated as opposed to excited and high-spirited. Be sure to schedule breaks every half or so for grabbing a drink, watching a hilarious YouTube video, or discussing the plans for your completed masterpiece.
Find a Swing Dancing Class
Have you tried shagging yet (no, not that kind)? The shag is a type of swing dance typically set to beach music. It's extremely fun and not as difficult as you'd think. Plus, think of how impressed everyone will be when you bust out those moves again at your reception?
Bonus: Once you stop tripping over your feet, maintain eye contact as much as possible while twirling on the sand for an extra-intimate spin session.
Volunteer for a Shared Passion
Pay it forward by getting involved with a local cause that's near and dear to your hearts—whether it's playing with puppies at an animal shelter, feeding the homeless, cleaning up a park, or hanging out with underprivileged kids for a few hours.
Bonus: A heart of gold is good for humanity, and a huge turn-on. Debrief about a specific moment in the day when you were particularly proud of your partner.
Set Sail on a Boat
Rent a vessel and man/woman the ropes yourself, or find a chartered cruise in your nearest body of water. If words like "starboard" and "portside" make you too nervous, get comfy in a two-person kayak, paddleboat, or banana boat instead.
Bonus: As co-captains, you'll need excellent communication to avoid capsizing in a figurative and literal sense. Try this exercise today: acknowledge what your partner just said before responding. You'll find you listen better—instead of waiting for your turn to talk.
Daycation at a Beach or Hotel Pool
Bum it out together on the shores of your preferred local waterfront. Landlocked? Snag a day pass at a fancy hotel to enjoy the pool and other amenities for cheaper than the cost of a one-night stay.
Bonus: Respect your surroundings and PDA concerns of common decency, but see if you can sneak in a sexy underwater make-out sesh; just come up for air every once and a while.
Putt-putting is way cheaper and way less time-consuming than 9 holes on a golf course (even the golf cart ride becomes less exciting after the third trip). And, you normally get your choice of kooky ball colors like hot pink or neon green.
Bonus: For every stroke you go over par, reveal an embarrassing story from your childhood. You'll end the game feeling closer than when you began, so both of you are winners! Scorecard be damned.
Tour a Museum
Culture yourselves with a visit to a curated exhibit (hey, it worked out well for Shawn and Angela).
Bonus: Actually talk about the paintings or displays you're seeing. Who knows? One of you could have a calling as an art connoisseur just waiting to be uncovered.
Get Tickets for a Fair/Amusement Park
Ride rollercoasters, win each other prizes at the carnival games, check out novelty booths, and eat all the available deep-fried food from corndogs to cookie dough.
Bonus: You probably guessed this one: share a kiss at the top of the Ferris wheel.
Have a Field Day
Go old-school—all the way back to grade-school recess—with two-person relay races, hula hoops, bubbles, ping pong, or a water balloon fight. If you can get your hands on a couple of super soakers, godspeed.
Bonus: Finish the afternoon with an ice cream party. Create your own couple creation and name it (for example, Bey and Jay's signature sundae might be called "The Carter Cooldown," made of salted maple pecan ice cream with honeybun pieces and chocolate sprinkles on "top, top, top, top, top...").
Host a Game Night with Summer Cocktails
Every so often, a group date is a welcome switch-up (and guarantees you don't lose all your friends after you get married). Serve seasonal cocktails and round up other paired-off buddies, plus whatever board games, card games, or drinking games will guarantee the most laughter.
Bonus: Challenge each couple to come up with a team name that truly captures the essence of their relationship. ("Come Late, Leave Early" is a go-to for my fiancé and me.)
Plan a Memory Lane Crawl
This one's particularly romantic and personalized: map out a full day of pitstops at all of your favorite meaningful couple spots in the area.
Bonus: Take a photo at each location and relay a special memory from a previous trip. Consider making this an annual tradition—adding a new locale every year.