Original summer date ideas are hard to come by — every summer date seems to consist of sitting in a random parking lot, getting ice cream or going mini-golfing.
Don’t get me wrong, these kinds of dates aren’t always bad, but they do get boring after a while. Whether you’re setting up for a summer fling, in a long-term relationship or just want to go out with friends, these new summer date ideas are just for you.
Grab a hammock — someone has to have one between the two of you and your friends — and head out for a walk with your love interest.
While I won’t share my secrets with you on the best places to hammock, I will generally recommend a spot on the Lakeshore Path. Hang your hammock up by the lake — bonus points if you both learn how together.
Hang out until you feel as if your bladder is going to burst and call it quits before heading to Memorial Union or the Babcock Dairy Store for a fresh scoop of ice cream and a bathroom break.
Dessert first is my motto, so the next step is dinner at State Street Brats. Sit out on the patio and enjoy people watching until the sun sets — or later.
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If privacy is more your thing, create your own take on the “Lady and the Tramp.” Make some shrimp and noodles (with at least half of a stick of butter) with your date.
Then, head off to a patio, roof or backyard for an intimate date. If your apartment doesn’t offer these amenities, find a quiet corner in the park nearest to you. Set up a picnic and enjoy your delicious meal.
Make sure to bring along a game or puzzle to play together before the night is over. If one noodle happens to end up in both of your mouths at the same time, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
If you’re on pretty much any side of TikTok, you’ve likely seen the notecard date trend. Make two notecards for each decision and have your partner pick one at random.
The first option should be an activity — I would suggest roller skating or bowling, but you can pick from mutual interests with your partner.
The second should be your dinner. If you’re in the mood for fast food, you could pick between Culver’s and Panera. Otherwise, pick two of your favorite restaurants so you can’t go wrong!
Decide where to eat with your third choice — at the restaurant or picnic at a park.
Last up is dessert, so choose between getting your favorite ice cream at the grocery store or a McFlurry from McDonald’s.
The best part about this date is its ability for customization with some room for a surprise.
If you’re a chef at heart, making your own pizza is a really cute date idea. A heart-shaped pizza made by hand — are you kidding me? So cute.
Add your favorite toppings and bake away! You can even throw on your favorite YouTuber in the background to fill any awkward silences.
After enjoying your pizza that you definitely didn’t burn, gather some canvases, paint and brushes to paint together. You can make a decoration for your apartment, paint the pizza you made or make a professional-level work of art.
However seriously you take it, this is such a cute, DIY-esque date that would make anyone swoon — or cringe.
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If you’re in the mood for a fancy night out, get your most comfortable heels on and pick your favorite nice restaurant.
My favorites for date night are Sardine, Gates & Brovi, Cento and Tornado Room. Dress to the nines and head out to eat some of the best food of your life.
After stuffing yourself, you can go home and crash or change to go for a little walk at the Arboretum.
All of the dates on this list are fun, unique options to switch up your regular date nights — or to kick them back into gear. The best part of each of them is that they’re easily customizable to fit you and your date’s interests. Have fun out there this summer!