The days grow longer and longer as summer grows ever nearer. Ah, summertime. Though there is a lot to be said for those other seasons, summer has a magical hold on many of us. There is something enchanting about warm summer nights, relaxed summer days, and of course, summer love.
Whether you’re enjoying a passionate summer fling or looking for some fresh date inspiration for you and your long-term partner, we have 29 summer date ideas ready and waiting for you.
These 29 ideas make for fabulously romantic dates, but most of them can also be fun with friends and family or on your own. So even if you’re single, these summer activities are total must do’s. Add all 29 to your summer bucket list, and enjoy the best of those 3 glorious months.
1. Go stargazing on a clear summer night.
Summer is all about being outside. Though you’ll probably be soaking up the sun during the daytime hours, don’t forget about ohhhh those summer nights! The stargazing opportunities in summer are endless. Grab your sweetheart, a bunch of blankets and pillows, and find a spot with little light pollution. (Psst: Vermont and other parts of New England are great for stargazing!)
2. Relax around a big bonfire or a regular ‘ol campfire — with smores!
It wouldn’t be summer without sitting by the fire. A huge bonfire with a group of friends is such a fun way to spend an evening. It always reminds me of being young and free and without a care. (Of course, now that I’m a 30-something adult I can’t help but tell you to make sure you’re following the rules of fire safety, Smokey Bear style!!)
If you’re having a smaller blaze, just sitting around a campfire with your significant other, I definitely recommend toasting some s’mores. A marshmallow roasted over an open fire….there’s nothing that compares. Bring a guitar if you play, or just pop on a romantic playlist, and voila, you’ve got the perfect summer date night.
3. Have the perfect romantic summer picnic.
We Two Drifters love a good picnic in all seasons. Eating delicious food is wonderful at any time, but dining outside makes foods taste fresher and richer. And summer, of course, is the ideal time of year for having a cozy picnic.
Remember, you don’t need to eat fancy when on a picnic date. All you have to do is grab some favorite snacks from the grocery store. When in doubt, go for cheese, bread, crackers, and fresh fruit. Those are classic picnic grub.
4. Go camping, even if it’s only in your backyard.
Every couple should go camping together at least once. It’s a fantastic way to adventure together, and to be honest, camping as a couple is incredibly romantic and intimate. There’s nothing like heading out to the woods together to bring you closer to nature and to each other.
But, let’s be honest. Maybe you’re not the camping type(s). Never fear. You can alter this date to fit your style. Try backyard camping to enjoy the pleasures of sleeping outside while still having your favorite home amenities at the ready (a full bathroom, reliable WiFi). And if even that is too much, well, then a living room slumber party will have to do.
5. Make boozy popsicles.
Stay cool (and pleasantly buzzed) with some booze-infused popsicles. Just like when you were kids….except, not.
Here are 10 yummy recipes to get you started.
6. Watch fireworks.
Fireworks are an essential part of summer. In the US, you’ll probably find firework displays around you on and near the 4th of July. Don’t miss these events! Fireworks are an incredible spectacle, and I always feel like the 4th of July is the pinnacle of summer. In other words, the perfect excuse to have a summer date night and smooch under the colorful explosives.
7. Have a delicious summer BBQ.
Fire up the grill! Summer’s here!
This is a really fun date idea for summer (and it can also extend into the other months) and it offers a chance to dine on traditional summery food. You and your partner can shop for all the essentials together (corn on the cob, cole slaw, baked beans, burgers, macaroni and cheese, etc) and then prep the food together. Not sure what to make? We have a pork chop recipe we made last summer and it’s delish.
If your sweetie is really into grilling, this is a nice chance for them to show off their culinary prowess.
8. Have a beach day (or week).
If you live near a beach, you’re in luck. And chances are, you’re probably planning to spend a lot of your summer beachin’ it. If not, you’ll have to plan a longer getaway or find a suitable beach substitute. But truly, what can compare to that brisk sea air, especially in the height of summer?
Make it a date. Head to the beach with the one you love and have a wonderful day enjoying the best of summertime.
9. Attend a music festival.
Music festivals abound in the summertime! While some of the bigger festivals sell out way before summer arrives (and might require some planning ahead), there are plenty of smaller festivals you could attend. This is a terrific summer date for couples, as dancing and chilling to your favorite live music will put anyone in an awesome mood.
10. Go on an epic hike.
Stretch your leg muscles and go in search of hidden waterfalls and beautiful views. Hiking is one of our favorite pastimes, and even if you don’t do it often, summer is the right time to be outside in Mother Nature. We recommend starting early in the morning if you want to avoid the hottest part of the day.
11. Have a massive water balloon fight.
Is there anything more satisfying than pelting your boyfriend with a humongous water balloon? I think not.
12. Catch fireflies.
Do you live where fireflies (aka lightning bugs) come out in the summer? These insects are mesmerizing. The two of you can have some childhood fun on this summertime date, collecting vibrant fireflies in a mason jar. For a short time, you can marvel over their illuminating bodies. Then, let them go, so they can soar off into the summer night.
13. Go to a summer fair or carnival.
Taking your darling to the fair. Oh my, this is such a classic date for summer. There’s a lot to do at a summer fair, from riding together on the Ferriss Wheel to playing games (and of course, winning your partner a stuffed animal!)
14. Dance in the rain.
On a warm summer afternoon, you might get a lovely rainstorm. As long as it’s not thundering and lightning, run outside together and dance in that rain! Walk in the rain, kiss in the rain, play in the rain, sing in the rain. This is absolute romance at its best.
15. Visit a farmer’s market.
Where we live, farmer’s markets are at their peak in the summertime. So many fresh veggies! Find a market near you and peruse the goods. You’re likely to find not only some delicious farm-grown produce but some home-baked goods and some creative crafts.
16. Get ice cream together and visit a park.
Sometimes the simplest date ideas are the best of all. Grab an ice cream cone and take a stroll in a pretty, natural place.
17. Play a baseball game with friends (or dodgeball, volleyball, whatever!)
This is a group date for summer! Grab your buddies and some supplies and have a rousing game of whatever sport you want. Kickball is always a good choice, especially if you have a lot of players who aren’t super sporty (::: raises hand :::)
18. Go tubing on a river.
If you’ve got a river in your area, tubing is likely the best way to travel on it! This is such a classic New England activity in the summertime, so we’ve gone tubing in a bunch of local rivers. It’s always awesome, and it’s so fun as a date or in a group. Grab the right tube (I recommend choosing one with drink holders, obvy) and hit the rapids!
19. Take a road trip.
Road tripping is more of an extended date, but we believe every couple should travel together at least once. A summer road trip is a great trip to take with your S.O., and you can easily incorporate other summer activities for couples, like camping and hiking, in this trip too.
20. Hit up garage sales or go antiquing.
For a more unusual date, go antiquing together! You’ll have a blast finding all sorts of cool and weird things at your local antique shops. If you don’t have any of those around, hit up weekend garage sales. I guarantee laughter and good memories for this date.
21. Pick berries.
Summer is when fresh berries thrive on the vine (bush?) Go pick some together and then spend the rest of the day baking. Blueberry pie is so summery.
22. Run through the sprinklers.
Who says your dates have to be mature? Act like kids again and go racing through the sprinklers. This is a great way to cool down on a hot summer day.
23. Go mini golfing!
I LOVE miniature golf. In the summer, it’s the best date night activity. See which of you is better at this ultimate “sport.”
24. Spend the day at your favorite lake.
Lakes in the summertime are so wonderful. If you have access to a lake in your area, make a plan to either camp there or visit for just a day trip. (Airbnb is also a possibility). If you don’t have nearby lakes, time for that road trip!
Lakeside fun can include swimming, boating, BBQing, kayaking, canoeing, and other water sports, and a whole lot more. The ultimate weekend date for two!
25. Find a drive-in movie.
Step back in time at a drive-in movie theater. You might be surprised at how many of these still exist around the country. If you don’t have one close by, go ahead and create your own at home.
26. Go fishing.
You get a line, I’ll get a pole, honey. You get a line, I’ll get a pole, babe.
Fishing is a super sweet couples activity to try this summer.
27. Night-time skinny dipping.
Told you these summer dates were sexy. Have you and your partner been skinny dipping together? Try it out somewhere safe and private, and you’ll be embarking on a classic summertime activity that surely dates back decades.
28. Visit a water park.
Slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, you, and your partner. Sounds ideal.
29. Spend a day reading and relaxing together on a shady porch, with a pitcher of lemonade nearby.
Lastly, not all of the items on your bucket list for summer have to be super adventurous and active. We LOVE just chilling together with our books and one another. Find a shady porch and some rocking chairs, stir up some sweet sugary lemonade, and just laze away the summer afternoon with the one you love.