Sure "dinner and a movie" date nights are fun, but the routine can get a little bland after awhile. It never hurts to try to add some variety to your dating life. Here are some fantastic creative dates to consider!
Creative Date Idea #1: Go Geocaching
Geoaching is basically a scavenger hunt on steroids. Well, sort of. Essentially you will use a GPS system to find a hidden cache, a box filled with items such as coins, books, key rings, souvenirs, etc. For more information on Geocaching, read "Beginners Guide to Geocaching" or "Geocaching 101". Obviously, this date isn't cheap if you don't already have a GPS system. Buy, hey, it will help you see how well you and your partner work together as a team. You might learn something new about your partner's character as you search for hidden treasure.
Creative Date Idea #2: Volunteer
As a former social worker, I can't resist adding this option. You can help out the community and see your partner though a different lens as well. There are numerous social service agencies that would be happy to have your help, even if just for a few hours. While most agencies require orientation, training and commitment, there are a few that will gladly take any amount of time you can offer them. Food banks / pantries, soup kitchens and agencies such as Habitat for Humanity would be thrilled to have your help for the day or longer. To find a great place to volunteer at, I recommend calling 211 (read this article) for suggestions. You might also google your city's name and "Volunteer center" to see if there is one in your community. Alternately, you can call your local United Way. Volunteering isn't for everyone, but it is a great way to serve and spend some time with your sweetie.
Creative Date Idea #3: Have a Picnic with a Twist
You can really get to know someone by how they make a lunch. Ok, well, maybe you can't really get to know them but it will be interesting to see what kind of lunch they fix for you. This date idea requires you to fix a lunch (or dinner) for your partner and vice versa. Try to be really creative with the meal, although a sandwich and chips (and maybe carrot sticks too) is not bad either. It will definitely be a memorable date!
Creative Date Idea #4: Test Drive a Car Together
I'll have to admit, my husband came up with this idea. (Although, no, we did not do this while we were dating.) It would be lots of fun to visit a car dealer and test drive a car or two. After he said this, I thought it might be kind of... inconsiderate to the salesperson that you are wasting his/her time. So, I recommend just being honest and saying you are just slightly considering a new car (if you are) and would like to test drive your choice. And, when you really decide to start looking for a car, return to the same dealership. (If they were friendly, of course.)
Creative Date Idea #5:Paint Pottery Together
This one is kind of expensive, but it will leave you with fun memories and a memento to save from the event. Decorate pottery together! You have two options - you can go to an art studio or paint at home. Most cities and large towns have at least one paint-your-own-pottery studio, google "paint pottery" and your town's name for businesses in your area. I will be honest and say, I'm not quite sure I could have drug my husband into an art studio like that when I was dating, so another option is to paint at home. It's a little more costly though. You can order a kit such as this one and this one, which will allow you to even bake it in your oven for the finished look. I recommend that the girl gets to keep the memento - and perhaps it will be used as decor in your home someday, who knows!
Creative Date Idea #6: Visit an Open House
This date is similar to test driving a car, although you'll be touring and admiring an open house. Look in the newspaper and plan ahead to visit some open houses. If you meet a great realtor along the way, be sure to remember him/her for when you do plan to search for a home together, if you ever reach that point and get married. It will definitely make a great conversation later!
Creative Date Idea #7: Go to a School Play
Join all of the soccer moms, dads, and proud grandmas (and sleeping grandpas) in the audience of a school play. I highly recommend middle school and elementary school ones, if they do plays in your area. High School ones are great too. Sometimes they can even be better than going to a movie! And, you'll be supporting the school as well. They don't always advertise them, however. You might call the local high school and ask if they do a performance - usually its in the Spring. If there's a children's theater in town, look into going to a show as well.
Creative Date Idea #8: Go to a Planetarium
If there's a planetarium in your area, schedule it for a fun date! You learn more about the solar system and stars, and it will be almost as romantic as a nice movie, maybe even more. Alternately, if you hear about a meteor shower on its way, consider making "star searching" on your next to-do date list.
Creative Date Idea #9: Take A Class Together
Who says dating can't be educational? Many community centers, museums and even colleges offer short classes on things such as money management, cooking, etc. Stores such as Home Depot have home improvement classes you can take. It will definitely broaden your horizons, and be a little different.
Creative Date Idea #10: Go to the County Fair
If you area has a fair every year, it might be worth it for an interesting date. I recommend looking at the contest entries such as kid's artwork, quilts, baked goodies, etc. Be sure to buy a funnel cake or turkey leg from a nonprofit organization's booth. It will be very entertaining for sure.
Creative Date Idea #11: Observe a Court Trial
This is probably the strangest idea on this list, but it's definitely not your typical date idea! If you both have time off - say your college students and not working during your break - take a trip to the courthouse and observe a hearing. It's even better if its a publicized case in the news. (I once served as juror on a murder trial and the courtroom was basically empty, though some high school students did come to watch.) Call the court house and ask about open cases that the public can watch.
These are just a few unique date ideas! Happy Dating!