Breaking news: I enjoy spending time with Vagner. STOP THE PRESSES.
Ok, you probably already knew that based on the fact that I married him and don’t shut up about how great he is. But here’s something you may not have known: I am supremely lazy when it comes to finding unique date ideas. If Vagner leaves date night up to me, we’ll end up at Chili’s. As much as I love greasy chain restaurants, that isn’t exactly romantic, and we’ve had to get creative in the last seven years.
We spent the first three-and-a-half years of our relationship long-distance, so we’d often go on extravagant dates once we were finally reunited. Now that we’re always together, it’s hard to find that same energy and get creative about date night. But we aren’t made of money, and we don’t want to spend all of our time doing the same thing. Here are nine of the most creative dates we’ve gone on. Hopefully, it inspires you to do something out-of-the-box!
1. $10 Wal-Mart Challenge
This is a date we went on years ago that we still talk about! Ok, here’s how it works: You give the other person $10 and tell them to surprise you with something that you don’t already have but would really like, and then you both wander around a supermarket until you find something. Vagner got me an Adele album that I still listen to, and I got him a DVD set from his favorite How I Met Your Mother season.
2. A Midday Picnic
Vagner gets all the credit for this one. A few years ago, he had a job that gave him an hourlong lunch break and I had a bit of free time before I started working. He found a park near his office and went to Publix right before his lunch break started and got subs, fruit and cheese and sparkling grape juice. It was seriously sweet!
3. Learn Another Language
I’ve gotta be real: Vagner didn’t have as much fun as I did when we did this, but I’m also a very impatient learner. I briefly used Duolingo to learn Portuguese (Oi! Meu nome é Ayana.) Unfortunately, I didn’t get much farther than that, but we tried to have a ~bonding experience~ and it was pretty funny.
4. Cuddling Puppies
If you know me well, you know I’m not a dog person (don’t hate me)! I will always make an exception for small dogs, and the day we visited a pet store and got to meet all of the puppies is still one of my favorite memories with my VL.
5. Recreating Our First Date
Our first date was a bit of a disaster, but Vagner did a prime job picking a restaurant and place to hang afterward. For our second dating anniversary, we recreated our first date, and it was super sweet (and much less disastrous).
6. Netflix & Chill, But Outside
I know that the “chill” part has become a bit of a euphemism, but I love the phrase so much that I literally can’t stop using it. ANYWAY. One of our very first dates, we went to a park near Vagner’s house, laid out a blanket and watched Dead Poets Society under the stars. It was my first time seeing the movie, and the backdrop made it even more perfect!
7. A Luxurious Dessert Reservation
It’s sometimes hard to get dressed up for dinner, especially because we love eating dinner at home in our sweats. One of our favorite things to do, especially now that we’re back in Tampa, is visiting The Harry Waugh Dessert Room at Bern’s Steak House and gorging ourselves on wine and desserts! It comes out to about the same cost as a dinner reservation, and you get to dine in a gorgeous setting.
8. Free Museum Visits
If you live in a city filled with culture, you probably already know that museums are perfect for dates, but we seriously had no idea until we moved down to the Fort Lauderdale area. Many museums have days of the week where admission is free or discounted (although you should still provide a donation if you can).
9. Exploring A Neighboring City
If you’re willing to get in your car and drive, you can have an adventurous date without much planning. We love going to cities that we’ve visited but haven’t really explored and walking around. One of the surprisingly best places to do this is Dade City, a tiny town just north of us in Pasco County!
I hope this is helpful! Let me know if you try any of these ideas!