It's no secret that coming up with interesting and new and exciting dates can be a challenge once you've been in a relationship for a long time. Some couples genuinely love hitting up dinner and a movie on a regular basis, and good for them, I'm kind of jealous, I wish I were this easy to please. I'm not a huge movie buff, Justin more-so than I, but I don't think either of us like forking out nearly $30 for a movie and snacks - hello Redbox! Then you add in dinner and it becomes a pretty expensive night out and what did we really do? Sit around. And I wasn't even allowed to wear sweats or take off my bra.
Years ago I filled a mason jar with popsicle sticks that each had a date idea on them. I color coded the sticks by price range, because Type A, and then when we wanted we could pick a stick from the free color range or the $20-50 color range, etc. I wonder where that jar went... it's been missing for a long time now.
I thought I would share some of those ideas with all of you! I've got a varying degree of price ranges and I am also including a few date night ideas for those of you who are long distance love birds, because you need to date too, dang it!
1. Go on a bike ride! You can rent bikes in a lot of major cities now or if you have bikes take them out for a ride on a sunny day or nice evening. Here in Seattle it's very easy to get on a trail and ride to a brewery or a restaurant. You could easily ride to a brewery for a beer each (don't get too carried away before having to ride home) for under $20!
2. Along the same lines, take a walk around your favorite neighborhood or your favorite lake. Here is Seattle, Greenlake is a super popular 3+ mile loop that people do on foot, bikes, roller blades, whatever. It fills time on a gorgeous day and it can be nice and relaxing.
3. Hit the gym together! I know, this isn't super romantic to most people, but getting sweaty together can lead to getting sweaty together in other ways - right? I just figure, I can learn something from Justin at the gym and he can get do cardio for that one day while I hop on the treadmill.
4. Hit up a roastery, brewery, or distillery tour! I know some of these cost money, and you do pay for tastings at most places but it doesn't have to get out of control expensive. Justin and I plan to hit up the Starbucks Roastery here in Seattle sooner rather than later (even if he doesn't know it yet...).
5. Visit a farm, I don't know about everywhere else, but here in the greater Seattle area there are tons of apple, blueberry, strawberry, etc. farms/orchards where you can go and fill a bucket or a box with the fresh delicious fruit. You pay for what you put into your bucket and you get to spend some time outside!
6. Game night! I love board games, card games, everything but mind-games really. Justin is less enthusiastic about this particular type of night in, but I love it and always enjoy it. Invite some friends over and have a true Game Night - can you say couple teams?! Pictionary anyone?
7. Sporting Event! Justin and I also love LOVE going to sporting events. Get the cheapest tickets to the baseball game in the bleachers and stand in the beer garden (this could easily put you over $50, depending on how much you drink), or if you have a minor league baseball team nearby go watch them play. Here we have the Sounders and soccer is a ton of fun to go spend an afternoon or evening watching. Unfortunately I don't think there are many football teams that could fall into this price range, but what do I know?
Freaking A, I swear I have captions on these pictures with where I got the images from but Squarespace seems to have changed something and the captions aren't showing up. You can click on the pictures for the source.
8. Go to a local bar that has pool tables, skee ball, bowling, bocce ball, whatever it might be. Something to keep you occupied and get you a bit competitive. Who doesn't like to win?
9. Take a mini road trip, hit up the antique shops in the little towns an hour from where you live. From Seattle you can hit Bellingham, Eastern Washington, any number of places for literally the cost of a tank of gas.
10. Take a cooking class! Justin also doesn't know I have this one on our to-do list :) My favorite cooking classes are by Hipcooks and they have studios and classes all over the US. They're a bit pricey but worth every penny in my opinion!
11. Hit up a 21+ movie theater. We have a few here in the Seattle area where you can get dinner and a movie all in one place. Not to mention, buckets of bottles of beer. Winning. And then you bundle your dinner and a movie night into one location.
Now, for your bonus Long Distance Relationship date ideas!
Long distance options
1. Did I mention I was a fan of board games? I'm also a fan of interactive, multi-person games on my tablet. Find a game that you two can play against each other online - preferably with a chat option so you can cheer each other on, or if you're normal, give each other crap :)
2. Plan your perfect vacation together over Skype or Face Time - research the place, research what to do, regardless of whether or not it's an affordable option now, planning it can be a lot of fun - remember, DREAM vacation.
3. Plan a date in a box, send a recipe and cook it at the same time, do the grocery shopping ahead of time, have music picked out, wine picked out, have your romantic dinner together over Skype while apart. Hopefully dinner time is close to around the same time for the two of you, if its totally opposite, do breakfast for dinner while they have actual breakfast!
So there you have it, all the semi-creative date ideas I could come up with for you. I think this is a pretty good mix of cheap vs. pricey and everything sounds like a blast, to me at least.