Dating can be sooo much fun, but nothing is worse than feeling stuck in a rut. If you're fresh out of ideas, resist the temptation to stay home and watch Netflix. Instead, explore some of the ideas on this mega list. Expanded from my popular 10 date ideas in Atlanta post, this list of 65 date ideas runs the gamut and is sure to spark good times, whether it's your first date together or your millionth. Let's get started...
1. Go to the drive-in. A year-round favorite of mine. This kind of date has a retro feel, while still showing all the latest movies. Best of all, it's cheap, you can recline comfortably in your car, and you can bring your own food. (Large pizza, anyone?)
2. Take a brewery tour. Atlanta is home to several breweries and many of them are open for tours. If you both appreciate beer, you'll likely enjoy tasting the seasonal blends and discovering new favorites.
3. Explore Atlanta's neighborhoods. Even if you've lived in-town for a long time, you never know when you'll discover a new cupcake shop in East Atlanta, a record store in Inman Park, a gallery in West End, a sushi place in West Midtown, or a music venue in Little Five. Keep on discovering.
4. Do things on your bucket list. You're planning on doing things on your bucket list eventually, so why not try some on a date? It'll be memorable and have added meaning for you.
5. Go to a dinner party. Host one with your friends or check out one of the many underground dinner parties hosted around town. The menus are usually prepared by professional chefs who are off the clock, and you're bound to expand your palate and your social circle.
6. Browse an interesting market. Check out places like the Poncey City Market, Krog Street Market, Star Provisions, Sweet Auburn Curb Market, DeKalb Farmer's Market, etc.
7. Take a hike. This idea combines fitness, nature, and quality time. Check out this list of hiking trails in Atlanta.
8. Look for daily deals. With sites like Scoutmob and Groupon, there's no reason not to munch your way through as many of Atlanta's restaurants as you can. (There are lots more deals besides food, but those are my faves.)
9. Take a class. Learning something together can be really fun, so consider a class like archery, capoeira, or ballroom dancing. You might awaken a shared passion, as well as get to know each other's learning styles.
10. Sign up for a mud run or color run. Perfect time to get messy and share some laughs. You'll bond together as a team in these kinds of events, and can toast your victory afterwards.
11. Check out Atlanta’s awesome street art. This is one of my favorite activities, as I'm sure you've guessed, since I have an entire category devoted to street art on this blog. Visiting street art is free and yields many colorful Instagram photos. For more street art locations, check out Living Walls.
12. Do an at-home wine and cheese tasting. After a quick Google search on wine pairings, do some shopping and put together a palate-pleasing platter.
13. Bike around downtown or midtown. You'll definitely notice new aspects of the city while on two wheels versus four. Bike trails and bike lanes abound in Atlanta, making this a fun and decently-safe activity. If you don't have a bike (or want to rent a two-seater!), check out Skate Escape.
14. Soak up the blues. There is something about blues music that stirs up feelings of nostalgia, romance, and candor. Blind Willie's has been a good spot for blues music for decades.
15. Take a surprise trip. Check out last-minute travel deals on sites like Clark Howard, and book a ticket, and go! Think of how interesting this idea was in the movie "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel.
16. Plan a picnic. Prep some yummy snacks, grab a blanket, and head to your favorite park to relax, read, and converse (or not) with your date. You can even have a picnic in your backyard. (Wherever you do it, be sure to have bug spray on hand so you stay comfortable, place the food in containers with lids, definitely bring napkins, etc.)
17. Spend time on the water. Atlanta may be landlocked, but there are several areas at which to enjoy rafting, canoeing, inner tubing, etc. Rent a boat on Lake Lanier, for example, or relax on the rocks at Sweetwater Creek State Park.
18. Make reservations at a trendy restaurant. Eat your way through the latest list of 100 best restaurants in Atlanta.
19. Puff a hookah. Inhaling flavored smoke may not be for everyone, but I like to occasionally. There are some spots in Atlanta that also serve really good food alongside their hookahs; I once had a really good schwarma at Anatolia Cafe and Hookah Lounge in downtown Atlanta.
20. Enjoy a night at the museum. While this won't be like that movie where the exhibits came to life after hours, Fernbank After Dark is still quite a sensory experience, and it's definitely a cool opportunity to mix cocktails with fascinating exhibits and Imax films. (Note: the thrill of the Imax film is significantly heightened by the number of cocktails you have.)
21. Exercise. Your best workout buddy could very well be your date, you never know. Olivia Newton John said it best: let's get physical. (You have got to watch the video. Be prepared to laugh.)
22. Karaoke. Work out your vocal chords at home or in a karaoke bar.
24. Start a garden. Spruce up the lawn at one of your houses by adding flowers, plants, or vegetables. Have fun digging in the dirt together, and then watch your garden grow and attract pollinators. (Bee part of the honey bee solution!)
25. Check out a museum. Pick one you normally wouldn’t go to. Here are some options.
26. Spend an afternoon exploring your city. Have lunch at a cool bistro you've never been to because it's full of tourists, take a walking tour of a local cemetery, or have your picture taken by a town landmark. You just might see your city (and each other) in a new light. (Wearing a disguise is optional and adds to the fun.)
27. Sip some java. Relax in a cafe (without connecting to Wi-Fi) and make a list of 15 things you’d like to do before your next birthday.
28. Ride a segway in downtown Atlanta. Look sexy for your date while wearing a helmet, and receive a guided tour of some of Atlanta's history.
29. Take a mini road trip. One Saturday a month, select a cool or quirky destination about an hour away and head there. On the way there, talk about what's going on in your lives.
30. Go to a whiskey tasting. Does this point need further explanation? I think not.
31. Catch a matinee at the local movie theater. They say the early bird gets the worm and in this case, the early bird gets cheaper movie tickets. (It can be tough to get out and about before 11 am on a Saturday or Sunday, but have you ever noticed that the earlier you wake up, the more "weekend" it feels like you have??)
32. Wander a bookstore together. This can be really fun on its own, but you can make it even funner (yes, I've made that a word) by turning it into a game. Select books for each other in the most obscure categories and make each other laugh with your selections. Pick out a book that teaches something, and challenge each other to have mastered that skill within a month.
33. Take a trendy workout class. Something really specific, that you haven't tried before. The more niche, the better. Tai Chi, Pilates, yoga, bellydancing, why not?
34. Check out a winery. Georgia has some great wineries to explore. You might be surprised.
35. Play a childhood game. While an evening of Hungry Hungry Hippos may not be what you have in mind, it'll be fun to discuss the ways you amused yourselves as children. Some might be surprisingly fun in adulthood, like flying kites, playing dodgeball, and jumping on trampolines.
36. Hang out with animals. Visit the pups and cats at the Atlanta Humane Society, or check out the animals at the Zoo.
37. Date the alphabet. Make a big list of activities, with each thing starting with a letter in the alphabet. Spend a month getting it all done, sometimes two in one date. "A" for apple picking, "B" for Beluga whales at the aquarium, "C" for canoeing, and so on.
38. Volunteer together. Just talking about where to volunteer will give you insight on what charitable causes matter to your date. Two of my favorites are the Global Soap Project and Trees Atlanta. Find more options at Hands On Atlanta.
39. Head to the opera or theater. Atlanta is fortunate to attract stellar productions in theater, music, dance, and other performing arts. Why not re-create the magic in that Pretty Woman scene (including the private jet, if you can swing it), get all gussied up, and have a night of elegance?
40. Read a sexy book together. Literally, a book about sex. You'd think sex is pretty self-explanatory, but there are LOTS of ways to jazz things up in the bedroom, and you might be pleasantly surprised (pun intended). Most bookstores have a Relationships and Intimacy section, so put on a trench coat, dark sunglasses, and a wig, and start browsing.
41. Spa day. Enjoy being pampered together, and emerge bright and shiny, ready for a night on the town (or a good snuggle).
42. Stargaze. Because of Atlanta’s many city lights, this one might be a bit of a challenge with the naked eye, but one way around that is to visit the Fernbank Science Center’s observatory. Free to the public on Thursday and Friday nights, you can peer through the largest telescope in the southeastern United States, with an astronomer nearby to answer questions.
43. Triathaon date. The cool thing about this date is that you can do an organized event (like a real triathlon), or you can make up your own games, based on activities you like. Go head-to-head in air hockey, Mortal Kombat, and M&M-eating. Keep making up new games and crown the winner.
44. Go camping. I really think the word s'mores speaks for itself. Here are some tips to get you started.
45. Brunch. Sleeping late and then going out for a hearty breakfast/lunch? With optional alcohol? Hell yes.
47. Go to a thrift store. Give yourself $5 to spend and find something cool.
48. Relax at Chateau Elan. Looking for a touch of Europe without the plane ticket? Whisk your date to Chateau Elan in North Georgia for luxury accommodations, a winery, spa, golf course, and more.
49. Float away in a hot air balloon. This is one of my personal bucket list items (edit: I did it!). You may have to travel a little to get to a departing location (because the balloon can't be airborne near an airport), but other than that, get ready to go up, up, and away. Guaranteed to be a memorable date. Find a spot here.
50. Go rock or wall climbing. They say that rock climbing is kind of meditative because you've got to focus on the task at hand and not think about other stuff. Give it a try, and reap the physical and mental benefits. You can also just race each other to the top!
51. Feeling brave? Try caving. You'll definitely get to know each other better with a date like this. Nothing like a dark tunnel and small spaces to bring you two closer.
52. Drive a NASCAR car. I believe it was Ricky Bobby who famously said, "...if ya ain't first, you're last!" So heed that wisdom and put the pedal to the metal behind the wheel of a vehicle that actually will burn rubber if you're brave enough to floor it. Great gift idea, and perfect for a memorable date.
53. Feel the wind in your hair on a biplane ride. I've done this and had an absolute ball. This date idea might be better suited for daredevils.
54. Go birdwatching together. (I know this is a little niche, but hey.) Paying attention to nature kind of forces you to be quiet and patient, two qualities that are often overlooked in modern life. Who knows, birdwatching, with all of its colors and birdsongs, may unexpectedly appeal to you.
55. Browse a garden. Plants are relaxing and beautiful, and can melt away the rigors of the week. Plan a visit to Gibbs Garden, Paradise Gardens, the State Botanical Garden, Howard Finsters, Calloway Gardens, or Atlanta Botanical Gardens, for example, to spend time in greenspaces cultivated by experts.
56. Talk together in front of a fireplace. I don't think fireside chats happen in our lives enough. Highly romantic and cozy, fireplaces are meant to be snuggled in front of.
57. Cook together. Decide a recipe, get ingredients and wine, and make a four-course meal together. (If you add courses, it'll take some of the pressure off of one dish.)
58. Have an impromptu pub crawl. Edgewood, Virginia-Highlands, and East Atlanta are my favorite neighborhoods for fun sips.
59. Get alpine wit' it in Helen, GA. (That was a play on "gettin jiggy wit' it". Did it work? No? OK.) Either way, Helen is a fun little German-inspired town. My boyfriend and I went last autumn during apple picking season and had a wonderful time.
60. Browse antiques. This can be a surprisingly fun activity. You never know when you'll come across something cool from a different era, such as an old typewriter or vintage furniture. Check out someplace like Scott Antique Market and go treasure hunting together. Find some booty (pun intended).
61. Swap cameras. Go to a park (or somewhere) and exchange cameras. The beauty of this is that your date will get some photos of themselves that are candid and more natural, rather than the normal smiley poses.
62. Ride a helicopter at sunset. Atlanta’s gorgeous canopy of trees and spectacular skyscrapers are beautiful to appreciate from the ground, but even better when viewed from the air. It's not exactly cheap, but will definitely be hard for your date to forget. See my experience in one here.
63. Take a spin in one Atlanta's rotating restaurants. Sundial is always popular, and now we have Polaris again!
64. Get a scoop of ice cream, gelato, or frozen yogurt. Thankfully, Atlanta has several locations at which to find frozen treats. Where's your favorite? I lean towards Paolo's Gelato in Virginia-Highland, but there are sooo many to choose from.
65. Roam around Buford Highway. I mean, you could literally spend hours exploring the restaurants, bakeries, spas, and shops on that strip, sampling goods from Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, and more. Buford Highway is the place to expand your horizons with new cuisines and experiences.
Alright, loves, I hope this list is helpful to you! What ideas would you add to this? Let me know in the comments below.