So, you’re head over heals with your cutie? Go you! Another dinner date at TGIF’s? Um, not exactly swoon-worthy. Whether you’ve been together for nine months or nine days, switching up your date routine is a must if you want to keep those sparks flying. Sure, it’s fun to grab drinks at your favorite bar, or stay in, order pizza and watch Netflix. But soon enough, these “oldies but goodies” might just get old. We’d hate to see the romance die, so here are 10 sweet ways to give your date a creative kick.
Instead of your afternoon coffee date
Bring the café home—Save the $4 slow-drips for another time. Switch things up by having your date bring over their favorite bag of beans, or tea leaves. Bake up a batch of blueberry muffins together, enjoy them over fresh home brewed joe and sit back over an old-fashioned chat. Don’t forget to play a little Norah Jones in the background, too.
Instead of going to a concert
Create soundtracks for each other—Put together a Spotify playlist of ten songs you think best describe your date. Feeling old-school? Burn your original life soundtracks onto a CD or, better yet, make each other mixed tapes. Extra points for the best doodled album art.
Instead of visiting an art museum
Be your own Jackson Pollock— Take a trip to your local craft store for some cheap canvases and paints then prepare to get messy! Rekindle your childhood love of finger painting and challenge your date to paint the best portrait of you, no brushes allowed. Or get creative with your own miniature Pollock pieces (just use plastic cups instead of buckets).
Instead of going out for dinner
Order surprise take-out—Each of you calls up your favorite take-out joint, or dare to pick a place you’ve never tried before, and don’t tell the other. Once the doorbell rings, prepare for a smorgasbord of surprise eats. Perhaps you’ll discover the next best food combo craze (General Tso’s pizza anyone?).
Instead of a walk in the park
Try geocaching—If you’re looking for a thrill time, sign up for this real world scavenger hunt. All you need is a GPS enabled device and a free account at geocaching.com. Once registered, retrieve the trail maps based on your zip code then follow the guides to various hidden caches. The adrenaline-filled trek is sure to get some hearts racing.
Instead of getting Broadway tickets
Save your money and watch the amateurs—Take a night off from highbrow theater and see what plays the neighborhood schools are putting on. Opt in for a stage of aspiring thespians at the local high school, or get a chuckle out of the elementary students belting out their fall musical. Who can resist a chorus of singing farm animals?
Instead of attending a sporting event
Host a board game marathon—Put away your Cards Against Humanity (for now) and dust off those boxes of Candyland and Mastermind. Feeling playfully competitive? Place bets on the winner over bags of Skittles and Jolly Ranchers. Or, of course, just pig out and reminisce on the good ol’ days when all that mattered was what color game piece to play with.
Instead of browsing the local flea market
Search Craigslist for yard sales—Nix the idea of oogling overpriced goods and scope out your neighborhood’s yard sales instead. Bike or walk from driveway to driveway and hunt for cheap relics, hidden antiques and those inevitable purely fun finds you secretly know you won’t use, ever. See who can snag the sweetest vintage deal for under $10.
Instead of watching a movie
Go stargazing—Check out when your local parks or science centers are hosting public stargazing nights, grab a few blankets and head over for a real star-packed show. Pick out a constellation for each of you to find or see who can count the most stars before losing track. And don’t forget to bring the popcorn.
Instead of meeting up for drinks
Take a mixology class together—You’ve already been to all the usual bars, why not create a new favorite cocktail? Search community centers, local bartending schools and sites like Groupon or Course Horse for deals on demos and workshops. More interested in craft brews? Many bars and breweries also host tours or hands-on sessions that cover the 101 on home brewing. Once you’ve both become cocktail connoisseurs, raise a glass of your creations to, well, each other!