Best Summer Date Night Ideas

6 minute read

By Jordana Weiss

It’s nice out, people are out socializing, and it’s the perfect time to either meet someone new or spend a bit more time getting to know someone special who’s already in your life. Start a search today to find summer date ideas!

Whatever your status — from dating to in a relationship and all the nuanced steps in between — use the summer to get out and do something new together. We’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started.

Go out for ice cream

Nothing says summer more than ice cream. It can be the most basic, $1.25 cone from the ice cream truck trailing its famous music down the street, or a cone from a shop that changes its artisanal flavors every day.

Whatever you choose, make sure to indulge in as many topping as you want, and take your cones either to the park or on a walk around your neighborhood. It’s a great, no-pressure first date. Plus, you can really get to know someone based on what toppings they choose.

Go mini-putting

A game of golf is hours of commitment. Skip the fuss by heading to the local mini-putt course for a round (or two) with a loved one. Mini-putt is a great date idea because it makes you feel like a kid again. You let your guard down when you’re having that much fun, which makes it the perfect activity to do with either someone new or someone that you’ve known for ages.

Meet for drinks on a patio

Patio drinks is one of the top 10 best things of summer, hands down. Any way you do it, the vibe is always relaxed, and fun. You can do a quick drink and head out, or you can see where the night takes you and spend hours outside, downing pitchers and talking.

The night has to be warm enough for this to be really fun, so make sure to save it for the long, hot nights of late July or August.

Go to a fair or festival

Summer is prime fair time – whether you live in the city or in the country, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the deep-fried treats and fun games of a fair. For an amazing day date, find a local fair and head on over with a stock of cash and an empty stomach.

These fairs always have an amazing variety of deep-fried treats, so make sure you keep an open mind. Deep fried beer or butter? Why not?

Get cheap tickets to a sports game

Typically, winter sports come with a more expensive price tag. Summer sports, like soccer or baseball, are played in larger outdoor stadiums, meaning that there are always super cheap seats to be had.

Head down to your local stadium on the day of the game and see what you can score either from the box office or a scalper. Then, stock up on popcorn, hot dogs, and overpriced beer while you cheer on the home team. Even if you’ve never seen the sport played before, the fun of sitting in a giant cheering crowd of people is universal.

Go on a road trip

This is a great date to save for someone you’ve been seeing for a while. Definitely don’t get into a car with someone you’re meeting for the first time. Road trips are a super fun way to get to know nearby cities.

Even if you only head out of town for a day, it’s exciting to explore a new place together. Just make sure to stock up on snacks beforehand to stave off any in-car crankiness.

DIY a project together

Summer is a great time to work on a do-it-yourself project together. Pick something in your home that you’ve been unsatisfied with for a long time, and work on it. If you don’t have any ideas off the top of your head, visit a consignment shop and check out the merchandise to see if inspiration strikes.

Watch a sunset

Watching the sunset together is a super romantic date. Summer makes it easy, with late sunsets and warm nights. Bring a blanket to a park with a good view of the horizon and snuggle up with your date until the stars come out.

A bottle of wine makes a great addition. Just make sure to stock up on bug spray if the mosquitos are out. Nothing ruins a great date night faster than being eaten alive by bugs.

Go to the zoo

Visiting the zoo is a great throwback date – chances are, the last time either of you went to the zoo, it was when you were children, so you can reminisce about your childhood memories. This is a great weekday date, if your zoo is open late enough or if you have a day off.

If you go to the zoo on a weekend or holiday, you run the risk of it being absolutely packed to the gills with screaming children and exhausted parents.

Go berry picking

Heading to a nearby farm to pick berries is a fun date activity – most farms have some kind of additional activities like hayrides, or a farm store where you can buy locally made sweets like pies, jams, and candy.

Many cities have listings of pick-your-own farms that are nearby – just make sure to call in advance because growing seasons vary year to year. Once you’ve harvested your produce, head home and find a recipe that showcases your bounty. Berry shortcakes, pies, or cobblers all make fresh fruit taste even better.

Sleep outside

If you’ve gotten to the sleeping over stage of your relationship, take it one step further by going on a camping trip with your significant other. Sleeping outside is an adventure that’s made even better by doing it with someone you love.

You don’t have to go far. If you don’t have time to get out of town, set up a tent in the backyard or even on your balcony.

Go to the beach

You don’t have to live in Florida to enjoy your local beach. If you have a nearby lake, head there for a day and spend some time together lounging by the water. If it’s really hot out, see if you can find some inner tubes or boogie boards and float on the water together. It’s a great way to feel like you’re on a vacation even if you’ve only got a few hours off.

Go to an outdoor movie screening or drive in

This summer, ditch the multi-plex and look up some places around you where you can watch movies outside. Many cities host screenings in parks or in public areas. Just make sure to bring your own chairs and blankets as most don’t provide them.

Another option is finding a drive-in movie theater. They used to be everywhere but now they’re almost impossible to find. If you luck out and there’s one near you, head over and prepare for some totally awesome in-car cuddling.

Go to a theater festival

Summer is prime time for amateur and indie theaters to put on shows and promote their work. Most Fringe Festivals throughout the world happen in the summer months, so check out your local theater listings to see what’s on offer.

Festivals vary between juried and lottery entry. Try and pick a festival that has juried entry, where the shows are generally better written than those that are simply picked by lottery. You never know when you’ll be seeing the next big hit!

Have a bonfire

It’s so peaceful and calming to sit around a crackling fire, warming yourself by the flames, and maybe even roasting a marshmallow or two. Having a bonfire is an awesome summer activity, and fortunately, you don’t even need to be out in the country to do it.

Most hardware stores sell heavy-duty braziers or fire pans that you can use in your backyard – s’mores and roasted hot dogs optional!

Be a kid for a day

This is an awesome and cheap date idea. The next time you’re looking for something to do on a date, invite your sweetheart over for a kid’s day at home. Stock up on some sugary breakfast cereal, make macaroni and cheese for lunch, and watch cartoons in your pajamas all day.

Jordana Weiss