31 Summer Date Ideas Worthy of a Nicholas Sparks Novel

Rooftop Bar

According to a myriad of books, films, songs, and musicals, summer is the season of love. Longer days, warmer weather, and seemingly fewer responsibilities somehow turn this season into the most romantic time of the year. But what would a summer fling be without the perfect dates to bring you and your S.O. closer together? With so many fun and adventurous activities to take part in during the summer, there should be no shortage of summer date ideas. If you're just getting to know each other, keep it simple with a picnic in the park, and if things are heating up, spend a weekend away together. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you do, as long as you do it together.

If you're all out of summer date ideas, get inspired by these 31 romantic, silly, or downright cheesy things to with your partner.

01 of 31

Grab Dinner or Drinks at a Rooftop Bar

romantic things to do

Make the most of rooftop season while it's here. There's nothing more romantic than the ambiance of city lights as the sun goes down.

02 of 31

Listen to Music in the Park

concert in the park

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Catch some live music at a local park. Bring your own spread of food and drinks and have a picnic. Some summer concerts are free to the public too.

03 of 31

Go to a Movie

couple at movies

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Check out a matinée showing of a movie you've both been dying to see. There's something about seeing a film during the day that will make you feel like a kid again. 

04 of 31

Visit a Museum

couple at museum

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Head to a museum and explore the newest exhibit together. Whether you like art, science, or history, you can find one that appeals to both of you.

05 of 31

Cook Together

cook together

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Pick out a challenging recipe and figure out how to make it together. You'll have some laughs and get some (hopefully) good food out of it as well.

06 of 31

Have a Beach Day

beach day

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Put on a swimsuit and head to the beach for the day if you live on the coast. There's nothing more romantic than having your own if you're a bird, I'm a bird moment in the surf.

07 of 31

Have a Movie Marathon

couple watching tv

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Pick a movie franchise that you love or that you've never seen before and have a movie marathon together. Think Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, Star Wars, or Harry Potter.

08 of 31

Take a Walk

couple walking

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Take a walk through a neighborhood or town that you don't normally explore. You never know what hidden gems you might find.

09 of 31

Go Wine Tasting

go to a wine tasting

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Is there anything more romantic than wine tasting? Make a trip out of it and head to a vineyard for a mini-vacation or seek out a local tasting room.

10 of 31

Go for a Drive

Couple road tripping at sunset
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Get in the car, put on a killer playlist, and set off. Whether you turn it into a full-blown road trip is up to you.

11 of 31

Watch the Sunset

couple watching sunset

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Head to the beach, the roof of your apartment, or any scenic outlook. Snuggle up together and wait for the sun to go down.

12 of 31

Host a Party Together


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Summer is the season of barbecues and pool parties, after all. It's a fun way to spend time together in a group setting, and allows your friends to get to know each other.

13 of 31

Take a Pottery Class

pottery class

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Go full-on Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore and take a ceramics class together. You'll have a memento of your date you can take home with you and keep.

14 of 31

Get Brunch


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Go out to a lavish brunch and enjoy delicious food and maybe a mimosa or two. Pick a place with outdoor seating to enjoy the weather.

15 of 31

Go to a Fancy Dinner


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Get all dressed up and go out to a nice restaurant for dinner—the kind you have to make a reservation for at least a week in advance to get a table. Order a bottle of wine or champagne, because why not?

16 of 31

Go Shopping

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Spend the day shopping together, but make sure to find places that pique both of your interests. Head to the flea market, antique markets, high-end stores, or all of the above.

17 of 31

Hit the Farmer's Market

farmer's market

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Spend a morning at the farmer's market. You can pick out fresh ingredients to cook with together.

18 of 31

Get Active

couple hiking

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Take advantage of the nice weather and skip the gym. Get outdoors and go for a hike through the forest or the mountains.

19 of 31

Go Bowling


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Bowling is a classic pastime, and nowadays you can find some seriously cool alleys with everything from vintage décor to strong cocktails. This is the perfect option during a summer thunderstorm.

20 of 31

Plan a Night In

couple playing video games

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You don't always have to go out to have a memorable date. Stay in and play your favorite music, eat dinner, drink wine, and just be together.

21 of 31

Spend a Day Poolside

women by pool

 Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

Head to your backyard or a local pool for the day. Lounge by the water, work on your tan, and enjoy each other's company outside.

22 of 31

Get a Couple's Massage

spa day

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Treat yourself to couples' spa treatments. Enjoy massages side by side and spend the whole day relaxing in fluffy robes sipping on cucumber water.

23 of 31

Go to a Concert


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Summer is one of the best times to see musical performances. There's always someone coming through town on tour. Try to find an outdoor performance to take in the nice weather.

24 of 31

See a Play


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Head to the theater and see a play or musical. Whether it's local theater or Broadway, a taste of live performance is always fun.

25 of 31

Have a Picnic


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Plan an elaborate picnic with all the necessities. Head to the park and enjoy small bites and sunshine in the cool grass. 

26 of 31

Go to a Wedding


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Summer is wedding season, after all. If you or your S.O. gets an invite, take advantage of a plus one and celebrate love together. Bonus points if the wedding is in a new destination to explore.

27 of 31

Go Bike Riding

couple bike riding

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Take a bike ride together. If you really want to commit, rent tandem bikes so you'll never be far from one another.

28 of 31

Travel Somewhere Together

ideas for winter dates
Photo credit: Thomas Barwick

Plan a proper getaway for just the two of you. Jet off to another city (or country) and enjoy some much deserved time away from the real world.

29 of 31

Take a Workout Class

yoga class

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Better yet, take an outdoor fitness class to enjoy the sunshine. Seek out a group yoga, cardio, or kickboxing class that you can both enjoy.

30 of 31

Get on the Water

Couple on a boat

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Spend a day on the water. Rent a paddleboat and take it out on the lake, or find a friend with a boat and have your own Kate and Leo moment.

31 of 31

Take a Cooking Class

cooking class

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There's nothing like rolling up your sleeves and learning from the pros. Besides, you two have been talking about learning to make pasta forever.

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