By your 40s you’re usually set in your ways when it comes to “dates.” Even if you’re single, you’re actions probably mirror that of your married counterparts: You like the same restaurants, go to the same movies, and generally act like someone befitting your age. But the truth is, you may be missing out on an opportunity to push you out of your comfort zone, resulting in an experience that brings you and your partner closer together. Though it’s easy to hurt your brain trying to come up with the most novel date ideas, we’d urge you not to. Instead, just read our ultimate list right here! And for more advice on owning your best decade, check out the 40 Amazing Habits to Adopt After 40.
Visit a dark sky park.
If, like 80.7% of Americans you live in an urban area, your chances of seeing the night sky in all its splendor are very slim indeed. That’s why dark sky parks exist. Go here to find one near you. Then, pack a picnic, grab a blanket and head out with your squeeze to soak in starlight that’s been traveling for thousands of years to reach you. Fun fact: V762 Cas is the farthest visible star to the naked eye at 16,308 light years away from earth. And if you’re man, allow us to offer some helpful advice: Here are 17 Things No Man Should Say to a Woman—Ever.
Shoot some pool.
Head to a bar with a pool table or better yet, a pool hall, and challenge each other to a game—or a few. It’s a great opportunity to get a little competitive and flirtatious. You can even add some non-monetary stakes to keep things interesting.
Take in some live music.
Even if you’re mosh-pit days are behind you, make a date to take in some live music and reconnect with how exciting a live show can be. A lot of acts that filled stadiums in the 80s and 90s can be enjoyed in smaller and more intimate venues nowadays—and your experience may be all the better for it. And to get more amazing relationship advice, soak in the 50 Ways to Keep Your Marriage Fresh.
Go the the beach in wintertime
Usually, when we hit the beach we do it in our bathing suits and slathered in sunblock. Walking over the dunes in wintertime can will be freezing—so wrap up warm—but it will be quiet and beautiful and incredibly romantic. Need some help finding beach to explore together? Here are the The 30 Best Beaches in America.
Go on a photo booth scavenger hunt
Dates after 40 can often lose the fun and silliness of your salad days. One silly but (but very fun) idea is to hit up as many bars with photobooths as many as you can find over the course of the evening, and then keep the strips as souvenirs.
Make a point of jumping in the car with a great playlist and no destination in mind and seeing where the road takes you and your date.
Hit up a roadside attraction
If, after driving around for hours on end, you yearn for a destination, take in one of our nation’s many roadside attractions. World’s Largest Ball Of Twine anyone? If you’re looking for a roadmap, here are the 33 Best Roadside Attractions in America.
Go berry picking at a local farm
While apple picking can often see hordes of people stripping orchards bare in the weeks before Halloween, berry picking can start as late May (strawberries) and go stretch well into August (blueberries). Take your pickings home and extend your date by making jams, pies and berry-infused alcoholic beverages. And to ensure you make the most of the experience, memorize—and then forget—the 40 Relationship Tips That Are Actually Terrible.
Head up into the sky.
Bonus: Many companies who offer hot air balloon rides also give you an option of uncorking a bottle of bubbly while taking in the bird’s eye view.
Go on a long hike together.
Find an area of natural beauty within an hour or two of your home then hit the trails. Recent studies have shown that, in addition to having a fun day in nature together, you and your date will be engaging in some mental self-care as you leave the trappings of city life behind you.
Try indoor skydiving
“While this date can be a bit pricey, discount deal sites can be the way to go to make it more affordable,” says Stef Safran, a dating and matchmaking expert. “Why not try something out of the ordinary?” Experiences that scare you a little bit are amazing to bond over.
Take a brewery tour.
If you and your partner have a fondness for beer, visit a local brewery for a tasting tour. You’ll learn about the process and get to sample the wares at the same time. To find a tours, start by calling a microbrewery near you and go from there.
Learn each other’s origin stories.
Dig up boxes of old family photos and spend a night swapping memories and childhood pictures. You may uncover aspects of each other you didn’t previously know about and even get a better perspective on your own journey so far. If you’re looking to wow your partner with some knowledge, know the 20 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Your Body.
Screen a movie in your yard.
A portable movie theater can be set up on even a modest amount of outdoor space. All you need is a screen, a projector, and bluetooth speaker—all of which can all be picked up for less than the cost of a mid-priced dinner for two. You could even try curating a movie series and use your al fresco cinema set up to screen a series of movies over the course of the spring, summer and early fall. And for more on this, here’s Exactly How to Transform Your Backyard into a State-of-the-Art Movie Theater.
Take part in a Color Run
If you’re like me, you’ve been wondering why you’ve been seeing social media photos of rosy-cheeked people covered in powdered paint in recent years. Well, by and large, they are participating in a Color Runs. The Color Run was started in 2011. It’s basically a 5k run where runners are doused in innocuous paint. Don’t worry about the running too much. The idea is to have fun. That’s what makes it such a great date activity. Look for one near you!
Go to a popular brunch spot and eat pancakes for dinner.
Just because you’re adults and you can do what you want!
Head to the rink
If you’re in your 40s, it means that you’re probably old enough to remember romantic rollerskating to an 80s power ballad. Relive it all by lacing up and heading out to a rink near you. If you happen to live in a larger city, you might even be able to find a 70s, 80s or 90s-themed night.
Get up to greet the rising sun.
Dawn isn’t your usual time for a date. That’s why carving some time out for yourselves and your relationship at this time of day can be so memorable. If
tomorrow morning promises to be clear, set an alarm, have some coffee ready to brew and head up to your roof or an east-facing nearby hillside outside to take in a glorious, life affirming sunrise together.
Go horseback riding at a local farm.
It will rekindle your sense of adventure.
Develop your sense of fun
It’s super fun to re-experience old-school photography on date. Just take an old camera and challenge each other to use an entire roll of film in an hour.
Take in a free outdoor concert.
Whether it’s the philharmonic or a indie band, checking out a free outdoor concert is a great way to spend a summer afternoon.
Take a yoga class together
A slew of evidence shows that yoga is great for body, mind, and spirit—reducing stress, promoting feelings of well-being, and rolling back the years. Studies show that yoga classes will increase your relationship quality , romantic attraction, and boost your sex life.
Recreate your first date.
If you’ve been together a while, put yourselves back in the place where it all began. You may find that the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of wherever you started your relationship will put you back in touch with how you felt about each other when you decided to join forces.
Get creative at the farmer’s market
Hit up a farmer’s market with an agreed upon budget. Then, split up and each buy as many delicious-looking things you can find within your price limit, and then challenge each other to come up with a meal you can make with your purchases.
Head to a weird museum
Middle age is a great time to start indulging your eccentricities. Enjoy the eccentricities of others by visiting places like The Museum of Bad Art, in Boston, or The National Mustard Museum, in Wisconsin. Places like these are all potential venues for dates that’ll leave you scratching your heads and marveling at the strange forces that brought them into being.
Check out a gallery opening.
While museums—especially off-beat ones—are fun, gallery openings tend to feel more like parties, so you’ll get the chance to mingle with the beautiful people and have a few drinks while you take in some culture. Most important: You’ll have loads of things to talk about.
Start a fire
Head to the beach or just go into your backyard and build a bonfire together. Make s’mores, have a few drinks, and enjoy each other’s company in the warmth and light you’ve created together.
Be a tourist in your own town
Take a day and indulge in all the activities and sightseeing you tend to avoid in your home town. You may discover an aspect of your town that you’ve either forgotten about or didn’t know existed in the first place.
Host a DIY Pizza night.
Roll up your sleeves and take a crack at creating some pizzas together. You can start with some traditional toppings and then challenge each other to raid the cabinets for ever more surprising ingredients and flavor combinations.
Attend a talk
It doesn’t have to be a TED talk, but exposing yourselves to some interesting ideas will stimulate you in a new way and provoke the interchange of new and exciting ideas between you and your partner.
Sing karaoke together
Whether in full view of a tipsy crowd or in an establishment that offers private rooms, spend an evening belting out tunes to one another. You could even construct a playlist of duets that span your lifetimes.
Do something a little bad.
Try your hand at skinny dipping, fooling around in a parked car, or taking a hip flask of whiskey into a movie theater. You’ll be amazed by how young you’ll feel.
Learn to dance
Holding each other close, feeling the beat, moving your bodies in unison. Dancing is undeniably sexy. If you like to claim that you have two left feet, enter into a class with a sense of humor and you may be surprised how much progress you can make.
Spend a day at a spa
Many top spas offer couples weekends. Book yourselves in and enjoy being pampered with massages, swimming in private pools, or just relaxing at the bar.
Take a helicopter tour
Even if you know your city like the back of your hand, it’s a special treat to take it all in from this special vantage point.
Hire a yacht
Take an evening cruise around the harbor or hire a yacht for the weekend. If you don’t feel like playing captain, you can hire a vessel that’s fully crewed.
Rent your dream car.
Ever dream of tooling around town in a Bentley, screaming along the highway in a Lamborghini, or cosplaying as 007 and a femme fatale in an Aston Martin? Well you can if you live anywhere near a handful of major US cities. Exotic car rentals enable you to live out your automotive dreams even if you can’t justify dropping a cool half mil on a set of wheels.
Meet at a restaurant.
If you live together and are going on a dinner date, arrive separately and meet each other there instead of heading over together to create a little romantic anticipation. You can add to the excitement by wowing each other with a new outfit and hairstyle.
Make planning a date a date.
Turn analysis paralysis over what to do into a date activity in and of itself. Get comfy, grab a beverage, and spend the night dreaming up date ideas that don’t require a lot of planning. Write them on to strips of paper to be randomly drawn from a jar next time you can’t decide how to spend a night out.
Experience Zero G.
If you’re ready to splash out some cash on a date to remember—a little over $5k each—a company like Zero Gravity Corporation will take you up up and way for 15 parabolic maneuvers in a modified Boeing 727 that will each create 20-30 sessions of weightlessness.
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