From first dates and “I love yous” to engagements and weddings, there’s a range of occasions that couples celebrate under the anniversary category. But with so many different reasons to commemorate year after year, it can be easy to run out of ideas—especially when your options are limited due to logistics, budget, time, or travel.
For those looking for an experience (and not just anniversary gifts), check out our favorite ideas to mark another memorable year.
Pack a Quaint Picnic
Set up a spread in your backyard or head to the closest park. There’s something about nibbles al fresco while relaxing on a blanket with the one(s) you love.
Take a Scenic Hike
Whether you check off a national park from your bucket list or check out a local spot that’s off the beaten path, there’s nothing more romantic than some solo time outdoors. Plus, you’ll have the freedom to plan a full-day adventure or a sunrise trek depending on your schedule.
Indulge in Cake
For those celebrating a wedding anniversary, enjoy a slice or small version of your wedding cake. Extra points if you’re able to set up a date to help bake or decorate it! But if that’s not an option, plan your own sentimental baking session by trying to whip up the recipe on your own from your kitchen together.
Cheers With Champagne
Enjoy a bubbly breakfast for two or end a romantic evening together with a champagne toast but add to the fun by setting up DIY fruit and liquor station to make a custom champagne cocktail for the occasion.
Go Camping (or Glamping)
You don’t have to be incredibly outdoorsy to enjoy a night under the stars. Whether you set up a tent in a remote spot and enjoy s’mores by the campfire or enjoy a luxe cabin, the cozy atmosphere is made for quality time.
Arrange a Wine Tasting
The beauty of this anniversary idea is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. From an international trip to hitting up a local vineyard (or even setting up shop in your backyard or living room floor), explore your palate with different varietals, cheese, and chocolates for a memorable experience across budgets and distances.
As a tribute to your everlasting love, have a tattoo date together. You can opt for matching tats, locations, or just the shared experience of each getting new ink for an anniversary you won’t soon forget.
Hit the Road
There’s nothing like a road trip with the snacks, tunes, and long conversations while driving with your best friend.
Upgrade your ride by renting a dream car for the occasion or keep it simple and check out a local route while enjoying this one-on-one time together.
Return to the Scene of the Crime
Whether it’s the spot where you first met, first went on a date, first said "I love you," got engaged, got married, or just one of your favorite adventures, relieving a meaningful experience will bring out all of the feels.
Stroll Down Memory Lane
The beauty of having so many snapshots on our phones is being able to relive our favorite memories over the years. Print out photos from the last year from each of your phones and write down special details. Spend the night putting it together in a photo album you’ll both cherish for years to come.
Splurge on Self-Care
If there’s anything you and your loved one deserve after such a crazy year, it’s some unplugged pampering together. From a couples massage to facials, treat yourselves to a relaxing experience together.
Plan a Photo Shoot
Some couples only take professional photos together once or twice in their life but capturing the smaller milestones, like an anniversary, makes for both a priceless gift and date day. Get dressed up, hit up one of your favorite spots together, and let your love shine.
Hit Up a Drive-In
Bring out your nostalgic side by enjoying an intimate drive-in movie together. And if you don’t have a local spot offering movies under the stars? No problem. You can make your own version at home and even transform your living room into a starry night complete with twinkling lights and hanging photos of you all throughout the years.
Take a Class Together
The couple who learns together—or at least enjoys together—stays together. That means breaking out of your comfort zone and signing up for a class or activity that you can do from the comfort of your own home or out on the town. From cooking, dancing, and painting to ax throwing and rock climbing, the options are endless.
Plan a Picturesque Staycation
From a local hotel or bed and breakfast to a new Airbnb, you don’t have to go far in order to get away from it all in honor of your anniversary.
Enlist the Help of a Chef
Soak in the ultimate dining experience in the privacy of your own home by treating yourselves to an evening with a talented chef. This way, you can completely customize the night. However, you and your love envision the ultimate evening together.
Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
Soar through sunrise while taking into the sights from a hot air balloon. This once-in-a-lifetime experience will get the adrenaline flowing while you both embark on an unforgettable adventure in the skies together.
Organize a Double Surprise
Assign each of you the task of planning part of the day’s surprise. Whether you break it up by time and one of you is in charge of morning versus evening or separated by activities versus dining, working together to create joint surprises can become a tradition for anniversaries to come.
Go on a Bicycle Tour
You can plan your own route to sentimental spots or join an official tour to learn something new along the way.
Prepare a Local Taste Test
Pick some of your favorites and bring them all to you. It doesn’t matter if you guys are all about tacos, ice cream, or spicy pad thai—order a spread from different places and do a taste test at home.