Joy

Our 16 Favorite Date Ideas to Feel Joyously in Love

June 23, 2021

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A sunny gal from Cali living in the south of France. I adore slow living, magic, and celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I’m a self-proclaimed Disney nerd (as is my husband!), obsessed with cats and cocoa, and you can often find me swimming with the fishies in the salty sea. Come along and enjoy the magic, the simple joys of life with me...

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Hello lovely soul! This month was Alex and my 3 year wedding anniversary. We’ve been together a little over 6 years now and I thought I’d share some of the fun and simple date activities we do together to feel joyously in love!

Alex’s love language is quality time, so I am always thinking of new, fun hobbies and date activities to try together that allow us to connect. Here are some fun date ideas that we love and use!

Partner Up For a Project

Joining forces to accomplish a task or make a creation is one of my personal favorite ways to spend time with Alex. You can keep your projects simple like refreshing the kitchen walls with some paint or decorating your home with some nifty thrift finds at the flea market! Alex and I recently teamed up together to make his new cyberpunk podcast: we hunkered down in the bedroom with a microphone, music and piles of pillows and ended the night with a completed project! It can be quite energizing creating something together, and you both go to sleep feeling productive!

Take a Class

As the years together pass and you begin to run out of new “first”s to try together,  it’s time to take a class! Some of my favorite memories with Alex have been learning new skills together. We took a memorable cooking class in Italy together and every evening he teaches me French with a workbook! I personally love creative classes on Skillshare and Brit + Co.  You don’t even need to splurge out the funds for a class with language lessons on Duolingo or free classes on Coursera. And don’t forget the plethora of skills one can learn on Youtube!

No Electricity Night

Alex and I love doing this once every few weeks. Take out your candles and connect one-on-one. For a few hours, put away the electronics and wifi and bring out the books and board games! You can read passages aloud to one another from your favorite books or just talk over some good food! No streaming services for the night, no Netflix & chill – just quality time.

Wander a Bookshop or Library

For my highly verbal friends out there who delight in words and language, there is nothing quite like a date at a bookshop or library to get the thoughts flowin’! Alex and I love to pop into libraries and shops to show each other our favorite authors. I always fall back seriously in love with him when I hear him speak passionately about a book and topic he loves.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Yes, I got this idea from the book Gone Girl, but it’s such a good one, I couldn’t leave it out! Set up a fun scavenger hunt taking your sweetie to different spots that are special to the two of you. You can hide treasures and clues that lead to each new spot and even include friends and the locals in your area to pass off the next clue!

Date Ideas with Others

Throw a Dinner Party

While spending quality time together one-on-one is always treasured, inviting friends and neighbors over to your house and playing host can bring you closer as a couple! Alex and I love throwing themed parties to every new place we move to – Christmas white elephant parties, Halloween dinner parties, introducing Thanksgiving dinner to our friends in France – all of it is such joy to put together, everything from the planning and cooking, decorating and baking. If you’re feelin’ social and chatty, host a dinner party!

Meet Up With a Group

It’s easy to feel isolated if you don’t know many people in your area, but thanks to the internet, there are so many ways you can meet groups of people in your area, but it takes a little bit of research and courage to put yourself out there. There are community-based membership clubs (we loved being part of Americans in Alsace when we lived in Strasbourg!). You can meet kindred spirits with shared interests on Meetup or join some local Facebook groups in your area. When Alex and I lived near Washington D.C., we loved going to these 3 different photography meetups to make new friends and when we moved to France, we made plenty of friends thanks to Facebook groups and language meetups.

Attend a GroupMuse

For those that enjoy classical music and quiet house parties (think: cheese boards, relaxing music, calm environment) and live in a US city, consider attending Groupmuse! Alex impressed me in our early dating days by taking me to these and they were so enjoyable, I even started taking my friends in NYC to them! They are peaceful and relaxing and in between listening to musicians play their cellos and violins right in front of you, you can drink and mingle with interesting people in your area! Plus, it’s always fun

Game Night

If you enjoy comedies and haven’t seen the movie Game Night, you must add it to your list! It encapsulates all the joy and fun in being a couple and joining forces with other couples over a good game. Alex and I both thrive on challenge and love some healthy competition, and this is one of our beloved date ideas. Grab some drinks and snacks, bring your favorite board games and invite 1-2 other couples for a night of laughs!

Opening Night of a Gallery Exhibition

When Alex and I lived in the quaint, sleepy town of Old Town Alexandria in Virginia, we stumbled upon a small art gallery on the opening night of the latest exhibition and the rest was history. Dazzled – we were! There were delicious finger sandwiches and fancy catering, chocolate-covered strawberries and fondue, free wine and champagne, and lots of interesting people mingling all while admiring art. On opening night, you can meet the artist and even pick their brain on their approach to art. And it’s all free! To this day tt’s one of our most treasured date nights, and whether you live in a major city or a small town, see if there are any local art galleries and inquire about the openings. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

Date Ideas with Nature

Workout Together

Working out together is a thrill! Whether that’s going on a gym date or rock climbing, kayaking or paying a few bucks to jump around for an hour on some trampolines at a trampoline park, plan a date where you both get the endorphins goin’! Team up and venture outdoors for an afternoon of canyoning or ziplining! Alex and I recently spent $35 for a 3 hour afternoon of ziplining and rock climbing solo together along some mountains in Corsica and it was such a fun and exhilarating time. Nothing like some adventure and adrenaline to make you fall in love with your partner even more.

Spend Time Outdoors

As introverts, Alex and I love spending time in nature because we can enjoy the silence and stillness that nature provides. Taking a quiet, reflective walk outside with a cup of cocoa and coffee at sunrise is so life-giving. Opt for a drive to the mountains or watch the surf at sunset with some sandwiches. One of my favorite memories with Alex with canoeing down the twist and turns of the Ill River in Strasbourg, dodging overgrown willow leaves and avoiding the aggressive stares from overly-protective swans.

Go Stargazing

If you live in or near a place where you can see the stars, plan a date on a clear evening to sneak out of the house and enjoy the heavens above! Bring some flashlights and headlamps, and venture out into the unknown! My husband and I loved doing this while living in the mountains and it’s especially coy and romantic sharing a thermos of hot cocoa and a blanket!

Explore a Local Village or Small Town

I feel like exploring a nearby small town is such an underrated date activity! Pack up some sandwiches, hop in the car and let your intuition guide you to a nearby village or quaint beach town calling your name. You can explore the town’s local park and library, city hall and maybe even rummage th some funky antique shops or an old-fashioned diner!

Go Camping For a Night

Pack up the car with a tent and some blankets and pillows and venture out to nowhere in particular! Just go – the open road being your guide! We love to go camping for a night every once in a while in the summer months when we are itching to get out of the house and spend quality time talking. Without internet service and nothing but stars and the bright moon watching out over you in the night, camping makes for a great way to reconnect and navigate the deeper pillow talk chats.

Swim at the Local Pool or Lake

A favorite in the summer, we love taking a spontaneous trip to the local pool, lake or river to cool off. Easy, simple, not much planning involved – and often, free!


These are the main ways Alex and I love to spend quality time together. Of course, we also enjoy going to the movies and having a fancy night out on the town, eating dinner at a restaurant or attending a museum, but these above ways are our favorite dates. I hope this blog post list inspires you to romanticize and enjoy the small things in life with your partner. Life is so short, take advantage of every day together!

Love,

Helena!

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I'm Helena, your new kindred spirit.

Sunny free-spirit, writer and creator in love with documenting the simple joys of life. I am passionate about noticing light and truth around me and reflecting it back to others.

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