My husband and I mix up date night. We’ve been together for over 10 years and while we do like to binge TV shows, we also know that to avoid falling in a rut there needs to be fun date night alternatives. So we’ve come up with dates that go beyond the usual dinner and a movie.
Fun Date Night Alternatives
These date night alternatives work for anyone, anywhere. In some cases, we’ve made specific references to places in Los Angeles.
Slip on Some Skates or Blades
Did your parents drop you off at the local roller skating or ice skating rink to meet up with your friends on a weekend like mine did? Well, it’s time to revisit this activity as a date night alternative with your beau. I suggest you invite your besties too and make it a fun night out and brush up on some moves that are likely a bit rusty. Go all out and add some themed clothing or props to the mix like striped socks to the knee for roller skating or some playful pull on wings for ice skating. Most towns and cities have rinks that are open all year long and during a hot summer, an ice skating rink can be a cool respite from the heat.
Get a Seat at Your Favorite Show
Get ready to clap loudly and smile frequently when you can nab free seats in the audience of one of your favorite TV shows. Not only is it cool to see a talk show or game show up close, but you also get to see how it all comes to together before others see it on TV. Plus, this date night alternative can mean heading home afterward and seeing yourself on TV.
Roam a Flea Market
My husband and I came up with lots of inspiration and plenty of awesome finds for our mid-century home by walking the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. From furniture to home décor to vintage clothing and accessories it’s a shopping mecca with a chance to test out your negotiating skills. Get up early on the second Sunday of the month, pick up a coffee and pastry on the way and get ready to find that cool new chair or one-of-a-kind piece of artwork for your home. This date is definitely not a trip to the mall. Go with no agenda and think of it as the thrill of the hunt.
Eat, Eat, and Eat Some More
There may be something similar in other cities across America but for New Yorkers and Angelenos, Sundays just got tastier with Smorgasburg. The New York Times calls it, “the Woodstock of eating.” This is your chance to stuff your tummy with donuts to burritos to oysters to tacos and definitely dessert. Every Sunday all year round downtown Smorgasburg LA, has over 65 food, drink and even lifestyle vendors across five acres and it’s open all year. In Smorgasburg NY it’s in Brooklyn, where people head to Williamsburg on a Saturday or Prospect Park on a Sunday to try food and drink from 10 vendors between April to October. It’s in NYC at Smorgasburg, that I first tasted doughnuts from Dough and now make it a regular stop when I head back to the city. A visit to Smorgasburg can be a great way to try out a variety of restaurants you’ve been wanting to try.
A Little Tease
For a little tease while you have a drink in hand find a burlesque show in LA as a date night alternative. You may even pick up a few dance moves to try out in your bedroom at home later that night. I’m always in awe of the sultry and “bendy” moves by the performers. Some of the best places in LA include La Descarga, The Edison, Three Clubs and Pour Vous.
Paint and Sip
You’ve heard the term “wine and dine,” but now the trend is paint and sip as in paint something on a canvas and drink wine while you’re doing it. Grab your guy and channel your inner Monet while you get painting tips from friendly instructors and end the evening with a canvas that may be worthy of a wall at home. Some of the best places to paint and sip in Los Angeles include Wine & Design, Paint & Sip Studio LA, and The Art Room LA.
S’mores at the Shore – Beach Bonfire
What’s more romantic than a walk on the beach at sunset? Perhaps the addition of a bonfire and all the ingredients for s’mores? All you need is wood, lighter fluid, a lighter or matches, skewers, marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate. Bring a blanket for both sitting and snuggling.
Be sure to do your research ahead of time, but the beaches in LA that allow bonfires are:
Camarillo — Point Mugu State Beach.
Malibu — Leo Carrillo State Park.
Playa Del Rey — Dockweiler Beach.
El Segundo — Recreation Park.
San Pedro — Cabrillo Beach.
Long Beach — Colorado Lagoon, Marine Stadium
Another date night alternative that’s quite fun without kids are the olds standards of miniature golf, an arcade and go-kart racing. My husband and I pursue the combination of air hockey and go kart racing in Los Angeles as the ultimate combo competition night out.
Instead of gazing into each other’s eyes look up into the sky. In LA, you can take a stroll through the Griffith Observatory and end your night by looking up in the sky through telescopes. They’re open to the public all day till 9:30 pm. On one Saturday a month, the observatory hosts a public star party. Plan to attend one of these public star parties and learn more about the planets and stars.
Take a Hike
Get to know each other or reconnect by taking a hike on one of LA’s best hiking trails. It can become a fun checklist to make for each date. Sweat and swap stories while you get away from the hustle and bustle and take in a little nature off the beaten path. Visit some of LA’s best hiking trails.
Santa Monica Pier
If you haven’t visited the Santa Monica Pier in a while, it’s worth a re-do. There are 12 amusement rides like a big Ferris wheel to a seaside swing and plenty of old school games. Take a stroll on one of Los Angeles’ most popular piers and visit the Pacific Park. If a roller coaster isn’t your jam there’s a trapeze school and bicycles to rent and cycle along the beach. It’s so beautiful, it’s the perfect background to an incredible date. Visit the pier, which is open 24 hours a day and the Pacific Park is open most days from 11am-11pm.
Let’s be friends! Follow me on social media: @alisondeyette