At least once a week, my boyfriend or I will say, “Let’s do something on (whatever) day!” And we end up happily watching HBO Go and eating dinner at my apartment and doing nothing noteworthy. As you settle into a relationship, you get pretty cozy and comfortable with each other, and you appreciate the quiet moments, the simple pleasure of one another’s company, regardless of what you’re doing. But everyone gets bored. Everyone craves spontaneity, variety, and new experiences. And presumably, you love hanging out with your boyfriend and doing stuff together anyway, but you’re out of ideas.
How to surprise your boyfriend? The next time you and your boyfriend find yourselves in that cycle of “Uhhh what do you want to do?” or just need something to shake up your routine, come back here and pick something. Here’s our list of 30 fun things for couples to do!
11 Learn a new recipe
If you’re looking for fun things to do at home, thenFlip through a cookbook or scroll through any recipe website and pick something you both want to learn how to make. If neither one of you is great in the kitchen, all the better: you can learn from scratch together. Choose your recipe, go find the ingredients, and learn the process together, and then you get to enjoy whatever you made. You’re both learning something that builds on itself and that you can do over and over, with new recipes and the old ones. Be super ambitious, or be super simple. The joy is in the process and teamwork.
1. Learn a new recipe
22 Share family or cultural recipes
Every family has a food that’s theirs alone, and it’s the same for every cultural background. Even if you and you boyfriend come from similar backgrounds, you can make your next dinner at home special by each agreeing to share a family or cultural recipe that the other has never experienced. It will also give you a lot to talk and reminisce about as you learn about the roots and memories associated with your respective dishes.
2. Share family or cultural recipes
33 Watch a meteor shower
This is an opportunity that only presents itself every so often; meteor showers only happen occasionally and a cloudy night can ruin the view. But if you get the chance or can plan for it, grab a beach towel, head to a big, dark field, then lie down and look up. Stargazing is a time-honored tradition, and shooting stars or meteors are considered especially lucky and romantic, so this one is a must-do.
3. Watch a meteor shower
44 Find a new park
Make Leslie Knope proud and visit a local park you’ve never seen before. Look up the parks in your town or nearby and find one that looks interesting, and just go. A big park is a great place to rent bicycles and explore, and even a small park is a place to get out of the house, grab a coffee, go for a walk, and people-watch. It sounds quaint to go to a public park, but you never know how a new place will surprise you. Even a small break in your routine or a simple new experience will make that time you spend with your boyfriend feel fresh and exciting.
4. Find a new park
55 Watch a terrible movie
Watching a movie is a classic date, and such a given I’m not including it on this list. But I have an alternative: watch a hilariously bad movie (like, choose one specifically for its hilarious badness) and have your own Mystery Science Theater session at home. If you’re not familiar with Mystery Science Theater, it’s a show that screens old sci-fi (mostly) films with running commentary and jokes. Just about every girl loves a guy who can make her laugh, and if you both have a sense of humor, you’ll be cracking each other up with your observations and cheap shots at whatever unfortunate film is gracing your screen.
5. Watch a terrible movie
66 Home improvement
Is there some project you’ve been putting off in your apartment, room, or dorm? Painting a wall, hanging frames, re-arranging your furniture? Or, is there a project you really want to do, but can’t work up the guts and motivation to do yourself? Enlist your boyfriend and tackle it together, or do the same at his place. You’ll finally be able to cross is off your list and you’ll get to enjoy his company (and assistance) while you do it. Two heads are better than one, and who better to have on your team than your man?
6. Home improvement
77 Make a zen garden
If you have the space, money, and inclination, you can definitely make this a big project and do it outside on a big scale. If you don’t, it’s just as relaxing to create this in desk or countertop size. You just need a small container, fine sand, and small natural objects (stones, wood) or ornaments. Rake optional. It seems like an extremely simple project, but in this case, less is so much more. Take your time and put your heads and hearts into choosing every little element to create a tiny oasis.
7. Make a zen garden
88 DIY and Creative Date Ideas
Have an old piece of furniture that needs an update? Or did you just see the most awesome idea for a pallet project and can’t stop thinking about it? Get your boyfriend involved. It’s fun and gratifying to make something beautiful or functional with your own hands, all the better if you do it with someone else. And if you aren’t the power tools type and he is, he might be thrilled at the chance to show off his skills in the name of helping you out.
8. DIY and Creative Date Ideas
99 Cute Things to do with Your Boyfriend- Thrifting
Go to a big thrift or secondhand store and check out all the different stuff: furniture, kitchen gadgets, clothes, old books and records, and miscellaneous objects that make you go, “What?!” I can’t remember a time I walked into a thrift store and didn’t see at least one fascinating or funny item, and if you have someone to marvel or laugh with, the trip is worth it just for that. If you are on the hunt for something, even better. Now you and your boyfriend aren’t just going to a thrift store: you’re on a mission.
9. Cute Things to do with Your Boyfriend- Thrifting
1010 Fold 1,000 cranes
Even the most diligent couple won’t finish this in a day…I assume. This is something you can do together over the course of a year on rainy days, quiet afternoons, and lazy mornings. An ancient Japanese legend claims that anyone who folds 1,000 origami cranes (a “senbazuru”) will be granted good luck or a wish by the gods. Complete this project together and you’ll end up with a very cool and beautiful memento of all that time you spent together.
10. Fold 1,000 cranes
1111 You-Pick at the farm
Depending on the season and where you live, you may be able to find a nearby farm or orchard that is open for visitors to come and pick what they want for a small fee.This is a fun way to get outdoors, and using up all your cheap, perfectly in-season fruit is then a project in itself, and we’re back to item #1 on this list.
11. You-Pick at the farm
1212 Share childhood favorites
My boyfriend is obsessed with Toy Story. Like, still (he’s 27). If I told him I wanted to watch Toy Story tomorrow night, he would probably weep with joy. Nostalgia is powerful and can bring you together in a special way. Watch or read your favorite movie or book from childhood together and take a trip down memory lane.
12. Share childhood favorites
1313 Go to the farmer’s market
This is my Toy Story. I LOVE farmer’s markets, absolutely everything about them. There’s interesting people, local produce you’ve never heard of along with your usual favorites, and lots of delicious homemade food. If there’s a good farmer’s market in your town, GO! Plan your next dinner date around the veggies of the season and you’ve got a two-in-one activity for this weekend.
13. Go to the farmer’s market
1414 Explore a new town
If you’ve got a few hours on your hands, look for an interesting store, restaurant, museum, attraction, or coffee house (Anything! It’s just a starting point!) in a town that’s nearby, but not home. Go, then explore main street and let the day happen organically. Going to your favorite local coffee shop may start to feel mundane, but one in a neighboring town (and all the other stuff you’ll find there) is a novel experience.
14. Explore a new town
1515 Night at the museum
Most museums have a couple of nights a month with extended evening hours and discounted admission. Even better, a lot of museums also serve drinks and food on those nights. Do some research on the local offerings and go on a cheap, all-in-one, cultured date. So if you’re looking for cultural and fun date night ideas, try the museum!
15. Night at the museum
1616 Go to a used bookstore
A good used bookstore is like a museum in itself. The old titles are fascinating, and so are the notes and dedications you can find inside the books. If you and your boyfriend both have a little nerdy streak, find a used book store and get lost in the stacks. Or, you may find a book you both want to read so you can…
16. Go to a used bookstore
1717 Read the same book
If you and your boyfriend want to read a book together, you may want to choose something non-fiction and informative, or a biography, or a classic work neither one of you ever got around to reading. You’ll have something new to talk about and if you’re reading non-fiction, it might spark a new interest for both of you. Alternately, for a twist on this, you can…
17. Read the same book
1818 Trade books
Okay, don’t assign your boyfriend to read that one title you can’t get through for your American lit class so you can get the Cliff’s notes from him. If each of you has a book that’s dear to your heart, share it! Read your boyfriend’s favorite and have him read yours, then have your own private book club meeting about it.
18. Trade books
1919 Get a beer, tea, or dessert flight
A flight is when you get several small servings of beer/tea/cake/whatever class of food or drink. It seemed to begin with beer, but now you can get a flight of just about anything you can think of (I’ve seen salsa flights. Really. Okay, I’ve seen AND eaten them.). The idea is to taste a little of everything and compare the details between all your options. It’s surprisingly intimate because it engages both the senses and the mind.
19. Get a beer, tea, or dessert flight
2020 Have a potluck
Chances are, you and your boyfriend are not the only couple at a loss for stuff to do. In fact, your single friends probably have the same issue. So if you can find the space, get everyone together for a potluck! Have everyone agree to bring one type of food or drink and come together to share. If you’re too busy or don’t have the space for a potluck…
20. Have a potluck
2121 Organize a food trade
This works great with canned stuff like jams, jellies, and pickles, or even breads, cookies, and other baked goods. You and your boyfriend are probably super proud of that banana nut bread you learned to make on your stay-at-home date, and I’m willing to bet you have friends who make amazing rhubarb jam or pumpernickel bread. Start a trade! Spread your amazing banana nut bread far and wide and encourage a regular exchange with all your other foodie friends.
21. Organize a food trade
2222 Do a charity walk/run/ride
Be your own team and sign up for a local walk, run, or bike ride in support of a charity or cause. These events get really big and bring together lots of different, interesting people, and they do lots of good. See what’s out there and sign up together.
22. Do a charity walk/run/ride
2323 Discover local history
Check the US register of historic places for sites near you (Atlas Obscura and Lonely Planet are good resources, too), then go check out the site and surrounding area. The amazing thing about local history is that it’s often right under our noses. You might be passing an interesting historic site every single day and know nothing about it!
23. Discover local history
2424 Indoor rock climbing
If you’re the adventurous type, find an indoor rock climbing course and go for a class together. Some locations will allow you to work as a team with one person anchoring on the ground and one climbing, so you’ll really have to trust each other.
24. Indoor rock climbing
2525 Join a sports league
If you’re both active, there are plenty of free community sports leagues for non-competitive, low-pressure athletics. Check community postings in your area for one that fits your schedule and activity level and go get sweaty together.
25. Join a sports league
2626 Visit a garden center
Seriously, a garden center. I do this with my dude all the time. If you don’t have a great conservatory, arboretum, or public garden nearby, find the biggest, baddest plant nursery in town and go for a stroll on the grounds. A good nursery will have loads of interesting and pretty plants, and plenty will have enthusiastic staff around to tell you about the popular ones. I’ve found that all of them are also perfectly happy to have guests walking around just to marvel at their offerings, so don’t feel bad about getting a free look.
26. Visit a garden center
2727 Attend an open mic
Loads of indie coffee shops and bars host weekly or monthly open mic nights for music, comedy, and poetry. They’re also mostly free, aside from the price of a drink to sip while you’re there. Find one near you and check it out. Better yet, if you or your boyfriend have been thinking about singing, reading, or cracking jokes on a stage, go together for moral support! This can be a super cute date idea if you’re looking for romantic and fun things to do on valentines day.
27. Attend an open mic
2828 Recreate your first date
You don’t have to recreate it exactly, but think back to what first drew you together, and do a little of that. Is there a special place you used to hang out? A hobby that drew you together? An album you bonded over? Go there, do that, play that, and reminisce.
28. Recreate your first date
2929 Listen to an album start to finish
This works best with albums that are meant to be heard as a whole, rather than as individual songs (classics like Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks, and more recent albums like Radiohead’s OK Computer are good examples), all the better if it’s on vinyl (for style points if nothing else). Don’t worry if you’re not a classic rock type: plenty of artist still put out cohesive albums. Pick an album and set aside and hour to listen to it end to end. Dim the lights, shut everything else out, and let the music move you.
29. Listen to an album start to finish
3030 Make a Pandora station
Shorter attention span but still love music? Start a Pandora station and curate it together. Settle on a basic theme or mood for the station then let your respective tastes shape it over the course of an afternoon or more. Add more “seeds,” dole out the thumbs up and down alike, and you’ll definitely learn a lot about each others’ tastes.
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