surprise date ideas

7 Surprise Date Ideas to Plan for Your Partner

Whether you’re still looking for a partner, or already have one, I think it’s important to do unique activities to help you stay connected.  With busy lives and the need for a lot of mental health breaks, having someone plan something for you (or you plan something for your busy partner), can be a huge relief. These surprise date ideas give you a chance to do something spontaneous and fun, and hopefully allow both of you some quality time together to relax.

See if the ideas in this guest post are something you’d be interested in doing!

As summer approaches and the weather improves, many couples are excited to get out for some much-needed dates. If your partner has planned most of your recent dates or has a mountain of work to get through, a lovely surprise date could be the best way to give them a break.

There are many ways to create a romantic date. While you can go all-out and spend hundreds of dollars on a surprise weekend away, you can also create a fantastic budget-friendly afternoon outing with a cute picnic blanket and a homemade lunch. Creative, fun date ideas are endless.

Tips for Planning a Surprise Date

Surprises are challenging in today’s busy world since many people have full calendars already from work, childcare, and hobbies. If you want to pull off the perfect surprise date, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Check the Calendar

Don’t pick a day your partner usually works or has other commitments. If that’s unavoidable, you’ll need to give your partner some information so they can ask for time off or reschedule their other activities.

Arrange Childcare or Petcare

If you have young children or pets, have a plan for them during your surprise date. Your partner will love that you’ve taken this additional step, especially if they usually handle more than their fair share of the mental load in the relationship.

Think About Clothing

If you want to keep the destination a surprise, consider packing a bag for your partner or giving them a dress code. Arriving at a Michelin-starred restaurant in jeans and sneakers could ruin the evening while wearing a cute sundress and heels for an 8-mile hike might cause injury. You don’t need to ruin the surprise. Just give a dress code and temperature range. If you feel comfortable, you could even lay out an outfit for your partner.

Take Their Interests into Account

Too often, people think a romantic date needs to involve an expensive dinner followed by a night at the symphony. However, the best dates are ones that cater to you and your partner’s interests.

Did you bond over hiking? Then head out into the mountains. Are you homebodies who love a good movie? Order a delicious meal and a nice bottle of wine to enjoy with the newest Academy Award winners. You can tailor each of these date ideas to your interests and your budget. Remember that planning a date should be about enjoying your time together rather than showing off your planning skills.

7 Surprise Date Ideas

1 – Picnic Lunch

This date is a classic for a reason. Picnics are a fun and easy way to blow your partner away. One of the best things about picnics is they can be as cheap or expensive as your wallet allows. Having homemade turkey sandwiches with pickles and watermelon for dessert keeps the cost low, but if you surprise your partner with a picnic basket full of freshly created food, they’ll love it. You could also go all-out with a fancy spread from your local bakery or diner, or get nice French cheese and a fresh baguette.

2 – Weekend Getaway

If you know your partner has a free weekend, plan an overnight getaway. This could be just to a hotel downtown, complete with room service and a jacuzzi, or the nearest beach town for two days of relaxing in the sun.

It’s important to think about your partner’s feelings when planning a weekend getaway. If you have a young child, they might not be ready to leave them overnight. However, if you’ve both just finished a few busy weeks at work and have some time to relax, this might be the perfect option. Consider checking in subtly to work out whether a whole weekend away is the best idea.

3 – Spa Day

Spas are the perfect place to relax, soak up some perfume and aromatherapy. Many offer couples packages, which can be an excellent way to unwind together. A benefit of a spa day is many offer gift cards, meaning you can surprise your partner with the day but have flexibility with the date.

4 – A Day in Nature

The United States has an unmatched number of national, state, and local parks, which all offer hiking, camping, and unspoiled nature. Find the nearest park to you, pack up your car, and explore nature with your partner for a day.

If it’s feasible, you could also book a campsite in or around the park. Most parks have glamping options as well, with permanent tents with cots, hotels with air conditioning, and luxury dining for those who don’t like sleeping on the ground, allowing you to create the perfect national park vacation from rustic to elegant.

5 – Virtual Holiday

If you’re still saving up for a big vacation abroad consider surprising your partner with a virtual holiday taster. For instance, cook or order a delicious Italian meal, whether that’s homemade pumpkin ravioli with a decadent cream sauce or an authentic thin-crust pizza. Splurge on some Italian wine and, to top off the evening, have some tiramisu and Grappa for dessert.

Before dinner, plan a virtual tour of your dream destination. If your partner loves art, you can peruse the masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery. For couples who prefer ancient Roman ruins, explore the Colosseum without the soaring summer temperatures. 

6 – Beer-Tasting Evening

If you and your partner are IPA fiends and have missed trying the newest craft beers, schedule a beer-tasting night. You can either head to your favorite craft brewery, order burgers and fries, and make your way through their many options, or you can plan a pub crawl that hits all the major craft breweries in town. Just remember to organize safe travel home since, after several 7% IPAs, neither of you will want to drive.

7 – Concert & Drinks

Keep an eye on your partner’s favorite band’s travel schedule, and snag tickets as soon as they announce a date near you. Bands aren’t the only option for this type of date. Look for Cirque du Soleil, a traveling Broadway show, or even the local symphony’s outdoor summer concerts.

Connect with Your Partner

The most important thing about date night is that you and your partner have the time and possibility to connect. Whether that’s through experiencing something new, bonding over a shared passion, or relaxing together after a long week, dates are essential. Surprising your partner with their perfect date is a wonderful way to show you understand and care.

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