Summer’s the perfect time to be outdoors—exploring something new, playing with the family, and hopefully, planning some alone time with your sweetheart. But maybe you’ve found yourself running low on fun date ideas.

To be honest, it can be hard to even find the time to plan a date night beyond the babysitter’s arrival and the first round of “Where do you want to eat?” … “I don’t care”? And then you end up at the same go-to restaurant you always do for date night. But where’s the fun in that?

Instead of the same old, same old, consider planning (or un-planning—see #1) an adventure. Don’t worry, adventures don’t have to be breathtaking, death-defying events. For me, an adventure is exploring a new town or trying a new restaurant. But to each his (or her!) own.

6 fun date ideas

If you’re ready to think outside the typical dinner and a movie, we’ve got you covered.

Here are six out-of-the-ordinary, fun date ideas to venture out with the most important person in your life. (But carving out the time to make it happen? That’s on you.)

1. Plan an “unplanned” road trip.

Got a quarter and some gas money? Jump in the car with your sweetie and flip the coin—heads you drive right, tails takes you left. Then, whenever two major roads or highways meet, flip the quarter again. You can make the rules as you go; the only set rule is you must flip the quarter every time you reach an opportunity to turn.

Add a little extra excitement by packing an overnight bag to stay at a newfound bed-and-breakfast, or bring a tent and some sleeping bags to cozy up under the stars.

2. Create a date-night to-do list and go for it!

When my husband and I first did this, we included things like: help a stranger (we helped a woman change her flat tire on the side of the road), find a beautiful setting to draw (you don’t have to be an artist!), play a child’s game together (Hangman or Guess Who? are good choices), visit a dollar store and pick out “gifts” for each other.

The possibilities are endless—just make sure you add creativity and a big dose of playfulness.

3. Be foodies for a day.

Visit a gourmet candy store and take turns picking out one piece of several different flavors of candy from the case. Then find a quiet spot to taste test each piece—half for her, half for him. Be flirty and feed your spouse their half before indulging in yours. Decide together which pieces are favorites so you can make a note in your phone for future visits.

Other treats to try might include frozen yogurts or cookies … or if sweets aren’t your thing, try gourmet popcorn, flavored olive oils, dips, meat jerkies, hot sauces, coffee samples, etc.

What could your family do with 500 Hours? Take the challenge.

4. Do a scavenger hunt.

Search the web for online scavenger hunts in a city near you—or work several as you travel to a destination. These do cost a small fee to download to your phone, but the only things required are good walking shoes (be ready for two to three miles of walking), a pencil and small pocket notebook (to figure out clues), and your phones (with a good charge).

Although you’re being timed online, set your own pace to take in some history, snap some fun photos, or stop for a snack or lunch.

One of our personal favorites was a quest in San Francisco, California, that we played from

5. Find a new favorite restaurant for date night.

After we moved to a new city, we began missing our favorite Asian restaurant. And the few we tried hadn’t yet satisfied our taste buds. So we made it a Saturday mission to find a new favorite using crab Rangoon as our measuring stick.

After compiling a list of restaurants to try, we decided which categories we would judge using a scale of 1 to 10. By the time we finished our fourth order of crunchy-creamy goodness, our bellies felt a bit unsettled, so we had to call it off—but without disappointment.

After tallying our votes and visiting the winner for lunch the following week, we were excited to have discovered a new local favorite.

6. Bring your reading to life.

When I became captivated by Beverly Lewis’s stories of the Amish country, my hubby arranged an anniversary trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Touring the countryside and small towns like those she had described, seeing the farms, and shopping at the roadside markets was a thrill. (And witnessing an Amish community auction was an unplanned bonus!)

Our reading has also taken us to Mansfield, Missouri, home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, who authored the Little House books, and to the setting for The Shack—Multnomah Falls in Oregon.

Having fun with your spouse is always a good idea, so try adding a bit of creativity to your next date night. We’ve found that creativity breeds even more creativity—like, why stop at one waterfall? Or, let’s read a book together. Or maybe even create a scavenger hunt for your own town.

Your goal? Simply to enjoy some special time with your sweetie. Use the fun date ideas above or challenge each other to come up with some adventures of your own. Whatever you do … Go!

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Sherri Oehme is a proofreader and copy editor for FamilyLife. She and her husband, Rob, married in 1989 and owned a printing distributorship in Missouri for 20-plus years. Sherri has always been a “word nerd.” Her love for red pens developed during her years as a homeschool mom. Sherri enjoys reading, cooking, sewing, camping and the outdoors, and making up silly games to play with her grandchildren.