I love recreating with my kids. I love seeing them try new things, the sanity it brings to my life to be outside with them, and I love watching them learn, grow and explore. While I love recreating with my kids, I’m willing to admit that I have the “most fun” when I get to recreate with only my spouse….which is why I especially appreciate any outdoor date ideas!
Since my primary love language is ‘quality time’ and my second love language is ‘fresh air outside’ spending uninterrupted time outside with my main squeeze is always “just what I need” to refuel me for the marathon of motherhood.
Back when we had no kids and minimal responsibilities we could spontaneously mountain bike, hike, and spit cherry seeds in roaring rivers to our hearts content.
Four kids later with laundry piles and dishes cluttering our house, busy schedules, and someone constantly yelling “mama” or “dada”, it can be challenging to find time to say a word to each other, let alone enjoy a peaceful snowshoe hike up the canyon.
But fear not, because seeing conversation hearts and Dove chocolates in the store has a way of reminding me how much I love “dating” my spouse and how important it is for me to prioritize time with only him.
So for anyone that’s needing to get things in gear and start dating their spouse again check out some of the outdoor dating ideas below catered towards many types of twitter-painted adventurers for any time of year!
Outdoor Date Ideas for Any Couple
The “Kids at Heart” Couple
If you and your spouse connect by bringing out your “inner child” then try going on a date that’s fun, a little spontaneous and perhaps, arguably “childish”. There’s nothing like doing juvenile activities to make you both end up rolling in laughter.
- Go sledding! You could even check out your local area to see if there’s a tubing hill. This will give your legs a break from walking up and down the hill.
- Build a snow fort or an igloo.
- Make a giant sand castle at a local beach or lake
- Do a zip line or an outdoor ropes course
- Mini golf
- Find a great tree or hedge to climb
- Go Ice-blocking (Grab two ice blocks at your local grocer and find a good hill to slide on).
- Rake leaves and jump in them
The Planner Couple
If you are the couple that does weekly planning meetings and books everything months in advance then why not plan some special time for the two of you.
- Ski weekend without kids! This is definitely something you won’t regret.
- Plan a trip to visit another state, country, or national park on your bucket list!
- Go on an hike that’s an adult distance and adult pace. This hopefully means you will make it to the lake at the end of the trail.
- Book a yurt or backcountry hut in your area and plan to cross country ski or snowshoe to the yurt or hut over a weekend.
- Tandem kayaking. If this is something in your neck of the woods then enjoy working together in sync to get to your final destination.
- Backpacking. Extend your hike into an overnight adventure.
The Sporty Couple
If you are a couple that first met during a race or you love competing to see who gets the most sweaty then take fun and your love for anything athletic to the next level.
- Climb a mountain! Climbing something can be the ultimate in couples bonding. Tears, aches, pains, altitude sickness and hopefully a sweet 360 view!
- Mountain Biking! Find a trail (rent bikes if you have to) and chase each other up and down singletrack.
- Rock climbing! Nothing says “I trust you” like “on belay?” and stepping off the edge
- Try wakeboarding at the local wakeboard park
- Ice-skating. Every time I go I feel like I might break a leg so my lack of coordination really shows on the ice but I love the challenge.
- Do a race or competition together. Training will give you an opportunity to bond and spend time together prior to race day.
The Hopeless Romantics
If flowers, dancing, and a good playlist make for a memorable date then try planning something on the more romantic side.
- Canoeing. A setting sun on calm water can create the perfect setting to relax and talk.
- Stargazing. This is especially fun on a night when there’s a meteor shower.
- Cat eye hike with a picnic. Go on a nighttime hike. Bring a picnic so you can enjoy eating and talking together. Also bring a mini speaker so you can play your favorite tunes.
- Hike to a waterfall.
- Night skiing. The lift can be a great time to catch up and the ski down can be a fun way to recreate.
- Ice castles. See if there are ice castles near you. They’re popping up in different states. If something like this is close to you then go and check them out.
- Hot springs. Are there natural hot springs in your area? This can be a romantic and relaxing way to watch the stars.
- Watch a sunrise or sunset together.
- Pack two canvases and some paints and go to one of your favorite views in your area and paint pictures for one another.
The Last Minute Couple
If you’re in a stage of life where finding a minute to talk seems next to impossible then don’t worry about the details of what you do. Instead, line up a babysitter and get out the door!
It won’t matter how much effort you put into planning the date, that time together to unwind will feel sacred and special.
- Dinner. Do dinner outside at a local hole in the wall restaurant
- Go on a walk on a local trail or path that’s close to home.
- Enjoy a scenic drive
- Skip rocks together
- Grab frisbees and play a round of disc golf
Couple on a Budget
If you’re a couple on a tight budget or if you set new years resolutions to spend less then this does not mean you need to stop doing regular date nights. There’s tons of fun, low-cost activities to do outside.
- Campfire! Grab a stack of wood and some mallows at the store and enjoy some cozy time chatting by a campfire.
- Hiking. You don’t have to go anywhere too far or exotic.
- Lots of places have free, outdoor live music concerts especially in the summer. Check your city’s local calendar to see what’s on the schedule.
- Grab ice-cream and eat it outside at a nature sanctuary or park
- Scavenger Hunt. Make a random list of things you might find outside on a walk or hike and see how many things you can check off your list.
- Go Birding! Bring a book (or pictures of birds you’re hoping to spot), binoculars, and observe nature together.
- Fly a kite at the park
- Snowshoeing is magical and doesn’t require much prep or expense. They’re also very affordable to rent if you don’t already own them.
The Mix-Matched Recreators Couple
Does recreating outside lead to more contention than connection? That’s ok. Some couples have more peace in their relationships when they don’t try to recreate together.
Not every couple has the same interests and your opposite interests may be the very reason you were drawn to one another. Read this post for some more ideas on what to do if your partner doesn’t share a love of the outdoors.
- Try something completely new for both of you! (Tennis at a local park, golf lessons, ice fishing, horse back riding, cross-country skiing). Try to think of something you both are not experts at and enjoy doing something new in a relaxed, no pressure setting.
- Do things at your own pace. It’s ok to go mountain biking and have your “date” time be the time you spend talking in the car driving too and from the trail.
- Go out with another couple. Playing an outdoor lawn game with friends can help keep things low-key.
- Outdoor movie or Netflix outside! Heck, yes! You can also watch it cozied up on your couch but connecting your laptop to an extension cord so you can watch with twinkle lights is fun for a change.
The Can’t-Leave-the-Kids Couple
Sometimes leaving the baby behind is nearly impossible, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out and enjoy an adventure together while the baby sleeps too.
- Plan your outdoor date around nap time. You’ll get more meaningful conversations in when you aren’t having to answer to the needs of the baby.
- Just go. No excuses. This helps make an outdoor life their normal…and makes getting outside with older kids easier too!
- Don’t worry about going epic. If you know you only have a couple hours, take advantage of those hours and just get out.
- Dress the baby appropriately for the weather (winter suggestions here) and bring snacks so they are comfortable and happy too.
Outdoor Dates: There’s something for everyone
My husband and I have been married almost 11 years. We are by no means marital experts. However, I have observed that “dating” him is a great way to intentionally spend time with him and appreciate him more.
Sometimes we’re creative with our dates and other times we’re grateful to get out the door. The best part of the time we spend is that I learn something new about him every single time.
We’d love to hear from YOU and find out what other couples do to build their relationships outside!
What has been your favorite date and/or what do you love to do with your spouse/significant other?
Do you fall into one of the couple categories above or are you your own category entirely? Share away!
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