by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 15th November, 2019
Even if you're no good at painting, a painting class can still be lots of fun if you don't take it too seriously, and after all, it can always be abstract art.
An elite-level date, picnics are cute, cheap, fun and easy. Simply pack a bag with your favorite snacks, some food, a blanket and perhaps some wine and head to your nearest park. The perfect environment to chat, laugh and munch away.
Going for a walk is romantic, and the perfect idea if you're looking for a cheap, relaxing and yet intimate date. Stroll around your local, find a river to wander down or look up some walking routes near you.
Just want to let loose and have fun? Karaoke is the perfect way to do this, and discover whether your partner is a good singer or not.
In the mood to groove? Hit up the clubs with your partner and dance the night away until your feet are sore and you're ready to fall into bed.
The classic date, ideally in a quaint little coffee shop. It's not too intense, but not without its own charm and romance too, the perfect introductory date for new couples, or a catch-up for those who've already committed.
If you don't live within a reasonable distance from a beach, this might not be for you, but if you do - the beach is the perfect date location (given the weather is).
Head down with some towels, splash about in the water, chill out under the sun or even bring some snorkel gear and try to find some fish.
Want to find some zen? A yoga class is a perfect way to relax, stretch out all those tight muscles and bond with your partner.
Working out becomes a lot easier when you have a partner with you to motivate you. No one wants to be seen to be slacking when on a date, so you'll put in a little more effort and hopefully burn a few more calories.
Volunteering as a couple is a great way to help out others, whilst also having fun and learning. You could help out at a soup kitchen, clean the streets of trash, create new habitats for wildlife or put in some time at an animal shelter.
Whatever cause calls you in particular, go sign up for a couple of hours a week!
It's very easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when you're in a relationship and you both have tried-and-trusted restaurants on speed dial. But take this opportunity to branch out, and try somewhere new, maybe even a cuisine you've never tried before.
You each have $10, and get to go and pick whatever outfit you want for the other from the thrift store. No peeking! Once you're done, you both have to wear whatever the other has chosen for the rest of the day.
Our phones, and the internet we access through them, in particular, can be very addictive - distracting us from being fully present with the people we love. So take a night to switch the wifi off, break out some board games and have some fun, old-school style.
A date-night classic, catching a movie and dinner is a tried-and-true favorite. Hit up the local cinema and see what's on, or if you're a bit more organized, plan in advance something you've both been dying to watch.
What could be more cheesily romantic than a date night at the arcade? Spend all your money on game tickets and have some fun!
Bowling is another date-night classic but be prepared for some heated competition. If you want to see what your partner's really like, this is the date for you.
Mini-golf is fun, cute and generally pretty cheap - the perfect date! Plus you can always play the old "oh I'm not sure how to hit the ball" line if you're feeling extra cheesy.
Both equally as nerdy as each other? Find a museum that interests you can spend your time wandering around, pointing out all the cool stuff there is to see.
Get down and dirty in more ways than one with a camping trip. Not only is camping cheap, but it's also a great way to connect with your partner, giving you the chance to switch off, spend some time in nature and get talking. Plus, s'mores.
For the outdoorsy, hike-dates are an excellent way to fulfill that urge to get outside and explore whilst also spending time with your SO.
Want to get better at cooking? Why not learn together with a cooking class. Branch out from your usual meals and try something different - maybe Thai or Portuguese or Vegan?
While perhaps not the most romantic of dates, a working date gives you the opportunity to grab a coffee and catch up with your partner, whilst also getting some of that work that's piling up done.
Making food for your partner is a great way to show your love and appreciation, but making food together provides a different kind of bonding experience.
If you're not a fan of walking everywhere, why not try a cycling date? There's probably more cycling paths near you than you realize. Rent some cute bikes and take off to explore.
Ice cream is key to a good date, so head off in search of an ice cream parlor and get your sugar fix.
Combine relaxation and quality time and you get a couples massage. For those weeks when you're both exhausted from work and need some self-care.
Pottery is becoming a quick favorite for cute, fun dates. Let your creative juices flow making hand-made cups, plates and more!
If you're not keen on freezing at the ice skating rink, try roller skating instead. It's simple, fun and often ends up with both of you clinging onto each other for dear life and spinning around in circles.
Do you have a DIY project that you've been avoiding for months? Like that Ikea desk that needs putting together or that skirting board that needs a fresh coat of paint? Well, why not turn that boring DIY job into a date. Shack up with some old overalls, some paint, and a good playlist.
Swimming is a great way to get some exercise in whilst also having fun. Chill out in the hot tub or race each other doing laps.
Get competitive and try out your tennis skills with a date at the local courts. Guaranteed to bring out your dates competitive streak and hopefully lead to a lot of laughs.
Stare at some cute puppies as you desperately try to remind yourself why you can't adopt one. It's always fun to go and visit adorable animals, even if you can't take them all back home. At the end of the date, you can put your heads together and plot how you'll one day get a dog.
If you've never been to a trampoline park before, now is your chance to re-do your childhood. There's something undeniably joyful about bouncing up and down with no real aim to what you're doing.
What could be more romantic than an evening river cruise dinner date? With sites like these can become even more affordable so you and your beau can enjoy a relaxing meal whilst flowing down a river. Best done in Amsterdam but if you don't feel like catching a plane, find the nearest one to you.
A couple's photoshoot might sound cringe, but it can actually be a lot of fun. Once you let go of the feeling of awkwardness that comes with kissing your partner in front of a camera, you can enjoy having fun, being a bit goofy and getting some beautiful shots that will last you a lifetime.
If you've been wanting to push yourself this year, but struggling to find the motivation, combining a workout and a date might just be the answer. Set yourself a goal, such as to run 5k and get to work!
Not a fan of a walking tour? No problem, segway tours are in practically every city nowadays, so hop on board and see the sights!
Fancy a night in but also want to have some fun? Questions night is the answer. Also known as Never Have I Ever, Truth or Drink or any number of other alcohol-related games, these give you the opportunity to get to know your partner better in a relaxed, fun, flirtatious way.
Obviously these can be played sans the alcohol, but really, it's more fun with it.
Crack out some paper and start filling in the blanks in each story. Even better when it's your life stories, and you need to guess to correct answers.
Baking cookies is harder than it looks, but it also makes for a cute, fun date idea. Plus, baking is a great way to figure out what your partner is like when presented with a challenge to solve, and also whether they know how to beat butter and sugar.
Have fun laughing at each other's terrible accent, and improve your language skills. Pick a language and find a class to attend, you never know, it might end up coming in handy one day.
On sunny summer days, berry picking is the perfect date idea. It's cute, relaxed and you get a tonne of yummy fruit out of it that you can then sit and eat whilst you watch the birds fly by. Best when combined with a picnic date too.
If you're both interested in wildlife and a bit of learning, perhaps some tug-o-war with a tiger, why not check out a zoo? If you can, find one with a focus on conservation so you know your money will be going to a good cause.
Celebrate food in style, with the perfect excuse to binge eat. food festivals for everyone, no matter what you like, whether it's candy, cheese, beer, cider, fruit, Mexican, vegan, healthy, greasy- there's bound to be something that suits you nearby.
Making, keeping and catching up with friends as an adult can be pretty difficult, so why not make a special effort to invite all of your friends over and have a meal. Play games, break out the wine and enjoy each other's company.
Enjoy supporting local businesses and eating fresh, organic produce? Hit up the local farmers market and browse the local wares.
Escape rooms are increasingly becoming a popular date night choice. They combine teamwork, communication and fun all into one so you and your partner can have fun, or potentially go mad.
Are you sure you remember which of King Henry VIII's wives Catherine of Aragon was? Test out your trivia knowledge at a local bar with trivia night - be warned though, it's almost guaranteed to start some heated discussions.
Always a fun idea for when you've run out of things to do for date night. Find a nice bar and pretend to be complete and utter strangers. Test out your acting skills for a night of fun!
Perhaps don't try this idea if you're still in the honeymoon phase of a relationship, but if you're feeling like you're ready for the commitment, why not get matching tattoos? They could be meaningful, or completely goofy, whatever suits you more.
Couple's who make vision boards together, stay together. For those not in the know, a vision board is like an inspiration board. It's a collation of phrases and pictures that represent what you want out of life - what you are manifesting, so to speak.
Having a vision board date is a great way to get thinking about the future with your partner, and make sure you both have similar goals and dreams.
Feeling a bit stressed and need somewhere to release the tension? Or just want to hit things and have fun? Boxing is an excellent way to do this. It's high-energy, fast-paced and lets you released all that pent-up stress from work. Plus, you get to learn a new skill. Leave the gym feeling tired, but empowered.
There's something oddly enjoyable about planning out a fake vacation. From picking the destination, searching for flights, looking for cute hotels and AirBnB's and making a Pinterest board of all the spots you want to visit and photos you want to take.
Pick a party, any party, be it a bachelorette, a leaving do or a wedding, and crash it like you just don't care. The key to this game is to try to blend in as much as possible, which will lead to a lot of giggles and ducking around corners. Take advantage of the free booze and have fun.
The key to a fun night... drinking games. Get creative with what you try, they could be questioned themes, board game themed, or even movie-themed.
Food trucks are the backbone of modern society, so why not show your appreciation with a food truck date. Or several? From the cute little coffee shop run from the back of a VW camper to the Mexican place that does the best burritos on the planet.
What's better than an IKEA date? Indulge in some weird meatballs and ice-cream, browse oddly-named Swedish furniture and end up leaving with a lot more than you intended to buy!
No matter where you live, there's probably a tourist destination somewhere near you, be it in a nearby city or even your local park. Go and be tourists for the day in your own town, and check out the local attractions.
This is a classic date idea, but it never gets old. The underwater world is hidden and inaccessible for most of us, so go and discover the creatures of the deep (whilst holding hands).
Whether you believe in psychics or not, there's something undeniably fun about having a lady at a fair stall tell you your future. Just be prepared to not always like the answer.
Get to know your nearest city better with a walking tour. There are free walking tours that run all over the place - if you can find them. Hop along and enjoy learning all the random historical facts you never would have known otherwise.
Sometimes, you just have to get sh*t done, and that includes the not-so-pleasant task of grocery shopping. Why not make it infinitely better by turning it into a date?
One of the greatest bonding experiences you can have with someone is a mutual hatred of something else. Luckily, terrible cheesy Netflix movies are here to provide for you.
What could be more romantic than making a personalized playlist for your - it's the modern-day version of a mixtape. Sit down with some snacks and make a playlist of all the songs you associate with your partner, swap, and then listen to what the other has made. Guaranteed to bring up some soppy smiles.
It might not be a west-end musical performance, but an improv show, even at your local theatre, will usually end with a few laughs. Smuggle in some snacks and watch people make a fool of themselves on stage.
Perfect for a day when you're both sick or just not feeling like doing anything. Pick your favorite movie / TV series, or a series that one of you haven't watched and binge until you can no longer stomach a minute more. Popcorn and candy are mandatory.
I will be the first to admit that I haven't always understood the appeal of an art gallery, but with the right exhibition, you may find yourself enjoying it a lot more than you thought. If nothing else, you'll be able to go around making fun of the weird abstract art that you're certain nobody really understands.
Personally, I'm a big fan of a Marie Kondo style de-clutter session, with some good music and a cup of tea, but I understand if that's not everyone's idea of a fun Friday night. However, sometimes de-cluttering is unavoidable and has to be done, so why not turn it into a date-night?
How many times have you gone to a park and flown a kite as an adult? Probably not on a regular basis. There's something nostalgic and childish about kite-flying that makes it the perfect throw-back romantic date idea.
Sports games generate a great vibe, full of tense anticipation and burst of energy. Regardless of whether you're a sports buff or could really care less, the atmosphere of a sports game is what makes the night fun, and also makes it an awesome date idea.
Brunch is a classic day-time date idea, perfect for those lazy Sunday mornings when you don't really have much else to do. Wander your way down to a local cafe for mimosas, avocado on toast and some much-needed coffee.
Looking for something new to try - why not paddleboarding? It's not too strenuous, so you won't end up looking like a sweaty mess afterwards, (unless of course, you end up falling into the water) but it's still adventurous, allowing you to explore from the water in a new way.
Paddleboarding shops are popping up all over the place, offering SUP tours, hires and even SUP yoga classes.
Get a little drunk, break out the twister, and you're bound to have a night of fun.
Pretty much every city has one, so if you haven't already, go and check out your local botanical gardens. They're often full of fascinating wildlife, flora and fauna, and make an adorably cute date spot.
Update your insta grid with an impromptu phone photoshoot - guaranteed to result in a few silly poses and giggles, simply pick a location and get posing.
It's puzzle night. Find a puzzle (ideally 1000+ pieces) a glass of wine and some chocolate, switch off your phones and get cracking.
There's something oddly romantic about sailing into the sky in a slightly unstable basket, propelled only by hot gas filling a massive balloon above your head. Take your date nights to the sky with a hot air balloon ride.
Prefer to keep your dates on-land, don't worry, there's plenty of fun to be had without hurtling yourself up into the atmosphere. Go-karting, for example. Fun, exhilarating and bound to bring out the competitive side in anyone.
Ice-skating is an excellent date night idea for two reasons: 1) it gives you an excellent excuse to hold hands (for balance, of course) and 2) you can dress up in cute winter clothes and drink hot cocoa by the side of the rink... what's not to love.
Yes, it's technically for kids, but adults can play it too - and really, what's better than chasing your partner around only to ruthlessly annihilate them and take home the title of "laser tag champion"? Not much.
The art od dance used to be something every man, woman, and child would get a firm education in, but it's not so common anymore. Nevertheless, learning to dance, whether it's contemporary, ballroom, salsa, hip hop or samba is a great way to have fun, let loose and prepare for the day that you have to perform an impromptu dance routine in the musical episode of your life.
What? Yes, that's right, you can now walk someone else dog, using websites like BorrowMyDoggy, which connect wishful dog lovers with dog owners in need of a helping hand.
The double date gets a bad rep, but when done right, it's a great way to hang out with other couples and have fun with your friends.
Concerts and Music Festivals often become some of the best weeks of our lives, filled with incredible memories, wild nights and awesome music. This also makes then an excellent date idea and a great way to test out camping with your partner.
Wine-tasting, also known as the classiest way to get drunk and an excellent opportunity to make fun of ridiculously overpriced beverages.
For the thrill-seeking couple, sky-diving is the ultimate date night activity. Even if you're not an adrenaline junkie, however, it's still worth considering - why not push yourself?
Rock-climbing is fun, relatively inexpensive and a great way to socialize as a couple. Plus, it's strangely addictive, so you may find yourself getting hooked and end up as that nerdy rock-climbing couple. You have been warned.
Fancy a giggle? Comedy shows are everywhere, find one near you that looks good for your next date night! If it turns out that it's terrible, you can always just make-out at the back.
Fancy an arm workout? Kayaking is here to save the day. If you live near any sort of water source, there's probably some kayaking near you. If you're feeling super adventurous, why not try white water rafting/kayaking, for the extra element of danger.
Yeah, sure, ordering pizza in is great and all, but making it yourself and then eating it is so much better! Plus it's always fun to get covered in flour and tomato sauce.
Perhaps not the best option if you live somewhere really cold or far from the ocean, but if you do live near the beach, then snorkeling is a great way to spice up your dates.
There's probably a lot more to be discovered in your hometown than you realize, so take some lead from The Bachelor and go and visit your hometown.
Again, very dependent on weather conditions, but if you do live somwhere that knows, make sure to take full advantage of the cute date opportunity that's sitting on your doorstep.
Surfing might look easy, but it's actually pretty hard. Nonetheless, it's tonnes of fun, even when you get wiped out for the fifth time in a row so if you get the opportunity to try it out as a couple, don't pass it up.
For this date, all you need is to log onto AirBnB and find some "AirBnB Experiences" near you, it could be anything from a guided tour, a photoshoot, a pub crawl or culinary experience. Whatever takes your fancy, book it and get exploring.
For the nights when getting dressed up and going out really doesn't appeal, what could be better than sticking on a rom-com, getting into bed and gorging yourself on snacks?
House-parties can be a bit hit-and-miss, but they can also be a lot of fun and tend to have cheap or free booze involved too.
Is your partner an astrophysics graduate? Or maybe you're a trained Tai Chi instructor? Whatever it is, share your skills and passions with your partner.
Sometimes, the best dates aren't the ones at the fanciest restaurant or most amazing adventure, they're simply you and your partner sitting and eating fries.
Conventions happen every day, all over the world and they can get pretty weird. Make it your mission to find the silliest convention near you, and sign up!