Have dinner in your garden or on the balcony. Make it somewhere different. Add a candle, or a wind candle / lantern.
Find a comfortable place on a picnic or on the balcony or in the garden: Read a book of short stories, or poetry, or magazine articles that you’re interested in – out loud to each other in turns.
Pick wildflowers on the way home.
Go pick fruit or berries at a farm.
Take a moonlit walk in nice scenery (whatever your area provides – mountain, forest, beach, downtown walking district, etc.).
Ride a tandem bike.
Get up early or stay up all night to watch the sunrise.
On a clear, warm night: Get out the lawn chairs or a blanket, stretch out on the balcony or in the garden, or somewhere under the stars, and stargaze together. A glass of wine or a hot tea to top it off. Whisper in the dark.
Take a walk down memory lane — if geographically possible, visit some of the special places from your early days of dating. If you now live elsewhere, take that walk virtually with Google Earth Street View!
Go on a walk in the rain – large umbrella is optional.
On a rainy day, go out and jump in the puddles, kick water around and then go inside to sit by a fireplace or the heater wrapped in a blanket and drink hot chocolate.
Go for a bike ride together. If there’s a lake nearby, make sure you pack a picnic.
If you know someone who has a boat, have dinner “on a yacht” (parked for storage.)
Go to a park and sit on a bench together. People-watch – be imaginative (and nice!).
Play a game of Frisbee.
Go hiking together.
Buy a loaf of bread and feed the ducks at a local park.
Watch the sunset.
If you live near, or go on holiday near, a beach, go beachcombing together.
If you have a car / cars, put on some appropriate clothes (bathing suit, or scruffies) and wash the cars together. Have fun – and get wet!
Give blood and then go out for ice cream.
Go for a drive with no destination in mind and stop anywhere that looks interesting.
If you live in America, go garage-saling together. In Europe, find out where the weekly flea markets, boot sales, or food markets are and have fun!
Take a roll of pennies to a fountain and make wishes out loud as you throw them in.
Invest time or money in making a decent kite, and find the perfect spot (in a park, empty lot or on the edge of town) to fly it together!
Rent a paddle boat together, or go canoeing. It’s about manpower and water, really.
Explore a new hiking path together.
Find out about your local fitness trail (outdoor parcourse), and take a crack at it together.
If you have a car, take a scenic drive together. Stop off for an ice-cream along the way.
If you have a car, drive for one hour in any direction and see what there is to see along the way!
If you have a garden, rake up autumn leaves and jump in the piles together before bagging them. If you don’t have a garden, volunteer to help a neighbour or family member that does, with the condition that you get to have fun in the process!
Play badminton at night in your garden, in a park, in the nearest empty parking area, or in your garage (if it’s a large underground parking garage).
Go snorkelling in the public pool.
If available: Dodge sprinklers on the public golf course or public park and see who can stay the driest. Otherwise, you’ll have to use water pistols…
I’ve collected these sparks over the years from various sources, and many I’ve written myself, adapting from our lives. Having been married 20 years so far, sometimes it gets tricky to find something new, which is why I started collecting these sparks! Whether you’re tight on budget or have no limits, or whether you’ve got an hour on a week night or an extended weekend on your hands, you’ll find ideas here. If you have any ideas to add, please do so in the comments!! Browse, apply to your marriage, and enjoy!
For any indoor event, candles are always an option. Stock up! Light candles around the room. I even light them in the bathrooms. Candles somehow slow down the pace of an event, even if it’s just dinner; they lend themselves to deeper talks, less busyness and more “being” than doing.
Break out your favourite card game, video, computer and/or board games. Set a prize for the winner: A kiss, or the loser gets to plan the next date night. Try to think of a new prize occasionally! Keep a tally of who has won the most games throughout the night. The winner gets to choose the romantic treat of their choice! Make sure to keep the game choices balanced so that one person doesn’t always win every week!
Start a weekly betting game on your (or your partner’s) favourite sport. Each week the winner gets to choose a romantic treat of their choice! This is a great way to learn about your partner’s favourite sport as well.
Set up mini challenges like who can find the oldest printed love letter or what is the oldest love poem, etc. first. Whoever wins gets to choose the romantic treat of their choice.
Re-watch the first movie you ever watched together.
Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie.
Curl up together with a crossword puzzle.
Bring home your favourite fast food, but serve it on your best china.
Make a scrapbook with photos, mementos, and little notes from your lives together. This can also be a virtual scrapbook, for example through a program like http://www.ifolor.com offers.
Have an Easter egg hunt, NOT at Easter. Hide them inside, around your home. They could be real eggs, or chocolate eggs, or Surprise plastic eggs with something inside.
Don’t cook and get your favourite take out.
Have a dinner where all the food and decorations are the same colour.
Have a theme night. You must dress, eat dinner, and watch a movie with the same theme. Think ‘Tex-Mex’ and dress like a cowpoke, eat Tex-Mex, and watch “Tortilla Soup”. Think ‘French’ and dress in black and white, make French onion soup, and watch “French Kiss”. Think ‘Asian’ and wear flip-flop sandals, eat Chinese and watch “High Road to China”. You get the idea.
If you’re into desserts, make a dessert together that you both like.
Take a shower and get dressed up to go out, but stay in.
Put a blanket down on the floor and picnic with a nice background CD playing.
Find a comfortable place indoors: Read a book of short stories or magazine articles that you’re interested in – out loud to each other in turns.
Write or read a poem together.
Pick a TV show, get a season’s worth on DVD and make a running date to watch it together every night.
Bubble bath for two. Candles. Champagne. Need we say more?
Get a fondue pot and have a feast. Add an old-fashioned movie such as “Christmas in Connecticut”.
Make a Jazz Club at home: Pop in a Jazz CD, and sit back with a mixed drink to just listen and “be”.
Make yourselves the biggest, craziest ice cream sundae ever.
Give each other haircuts (CAUTION: This is a trust issue, as well as a competence issue!!).
Make a finger-foods-only dinner and feed each other, or simply enjoy the simpler meal together.
Bake a cake together.
Sing a favourite song to him or her. Only do this if you can sing fairly well! Or sing really off-key just for the fun of it.
Share your favourite dating memory with each other over dinner.
Share your plans / dreams for the future.
Have a candlelit dinner in a room (or part of a room) you rarely use as a dining room.
Make a mix CD or play list to enjoy throughout the evening.
Choose an old CD that you haven’t listen to in a long time, and turn it on during dinner.
Make a platter or nibbles for dinner, then sit on the couch and talk while you eat together. The platter might include: Bite-sized cheese squares; black / green olives; bread sticks or bite-sized crackers; sausage rounds; slices of apples / pears; grapes; chocolate squares for the sweeter side; a good bottle of red or white wine (remember to chill the white beforehand). Good wine websites will tell you which wines go best with cheese, or which chocolate will bring out the fragrance of the wine. We do this occasionally, and it always leads to good talks by candlelight!
Dance! Make room for our own private dance floor and have fun. Slow dance to romantic music.
Write out an invitation card to your date requesting their presence at the VIP Lounge of your private nightclub, at home. Choose appropriate music, dress up, light the candles, and pop the cork or mix your favourite drink.
Contact someone from your past that both of you know.
Invite someone for a dinner date.
Give each other feet massages, after a foot bath together.
Do Scherenschnitte (paper-cutting) together. Designs can be found online.
Sort through old magazines or books together, choosing your favourites and explaining why.
Bake cookies to take to the office. It will make you and your spouse very popular!
Play a complex computer game, such as Riven, together.
Expand the “100 Ways to Confuse your Roommate“ list (Google it, and have a good laugh!!).
Get out the chairs and blankets and snuggle up under the stars, and count satellites. (That is, if you have a balcony or garden, or can see stars from your home. If not, drive out into the countryside, pull out the lawn chairs or spread out a blanket on the grass.)
Give each other a back rub, or foot massage. If your spouse is prone to headaches or neck aches, massage their neck and head.
Work out together. Set up a circuit somewhere convenient (in the garage or in the garden) with a jump rope, dumbbells (if you don’t have weights, be creative – use large tins of food, or make a sandbag of the right weights), push-up, and sit-up stations, or exercise equipment that you already have.
Cook together and try a new recipe for dinner or for a cocktail.
Play video or computer games together.
Watch a sports game and eat stadium food like nachos and hot dogs. (Betty Crocker has some great meal ideas under events such as “Super Bowl” recipes.)
Set up a pair of chairs and stick your feet in a tub of warm water in the winter, cool water in the summer. Take the opportunity to talk.
Prepare strawberries with fondue chocolate.
Snuggle together on a rainy day.
Send a love email or text message every day.
Take a bubble bath.
Have a snow ball or water balloon fight. Water pistol shootouts can be lots of fun, too.
Set up a monthly lunch date or phone call together: Perfect for contacting elderly friends or relatives, and doing something together for other people.
Feed each other grapes. Go Greek, or take aim!
Make presents for each other – together!
Wash each other’s hair.
Get out the crayons / markers and paper, and have fun! Play Tic Tac Toe, or Hangman, or draw something goofy together.
Recreate your partner’s favourite romantic movie scene. Have fun! [e.g. the Gerard Butler bedroom dance scene in “PS I Love You”.]
Pretend you’re going on a first date: Show up at the door with flowers, all dressed up, with your car washed and cleaned, looking spiffy. Recreate the first time, or improve on it!
Put on slow dance music, jazz, etc. and play Twister.
Do homework together – learn about something new. Wikipedia random articles are a good start.
Plan a weekend activity together.
Whisper into the other’s ear: Make a game of it to see who can make the other laugh first, or whisper sweet nothings.
Make a list of things you like about each other.
Choose a recipe together, and bake / cook together.
Camp out… at home! Set up a tent in your flat, or round up the chairs and a blanket. Get a torch (flashlight), a picnic blanket in front of your tent, and sleeping bags inside. Go all out! Have dinner delivered and tell ghost stories by flashlight.
Put on some nice music, and do a puzzle together. Make it a size do-able in one evening!
Set up a treasure hunt (each spouse is in charge one date night of two): If you’re good at making riddles, set them up through the flat, with a chocolate or some kind of small gift at each station, with a coupon for a larger gift, or the gift itself (even if it’s you) wrapped at the end of the treasure hunt.
If there’s something you’re both interested in, but haven’t really done anything about that hobby, start a collection together – stamps, postcards, recipes, websites, you name it!
Write your love story together. How you met, where you went on your first date, etc.
Choose a decade in history, and learn about it together.
Set up a mini-golf course in your home, and play with either golf balls and clubs, or a Ping-Pong ball and paddle.
Create a cocktail together and name it after yourselves.
Go to a bookstore or music store together, then split up. Your mission: Buy something you know they’ll love. Then wrap and exchange.
Go shopping and see who can find the strangest, tackiest, yet cheapest item for each other.
If you have Polaroid camera (old, or the new digital versions with portable printer), buy some film and then take pictures of people and give them their picture for free.
Have a scavenger hunt in your neighbourhood for cookie ingredients, then go home and make them, taking some of the cookies to everyone who gave you an ingredient.
Play Balloon Basketball. Use a rubbish bin for the hoop. Other games you could play are: Balloon Handball; Football while sitting; Race with a balloon on the end of a cooking spoon; Strip-Balloon (a player has to keep the balloon in the air while taking off an article of clothing); Blowing (keep it in the air only with your breath); Balloon Shaving (Cover the balloon with shaving or whipping cream, and CAREFULLY shave it. I’m not responsible for any messes you might make…)
Tell the story behind a photo as if your spouse were a stranger.
Look at wedding photos together.
Do a craft project together at the table.
Talk about the perfect birthday scenario you’d wish for your next birthday.
Talk about your favourite book, and why it’s your favourite.
Tell about your favourite kind of wild animal, and why.
Draw your dream house together.
Find an interesting website together.
Play table tennis: Set up a barrier along the “net” line of your dining table (make the barrier out of sheets of paper folded in half and “standing”), wad up a scrap piece of paper as a ball (if you don’t have a real ping pong ball), and use magazines for paddles.
Play Scrabble, with word themes such as relationship – every word has to have some connection to the theme.
Listen to a Bible CD together.
Re-write a newspaper article to comedy.
Look at a collection together. Whether you collected stamps or coins or whatever as a child, or still collect them, I bet you don’t simply enjoy them very often.
Practice drawing together.
Go late-night window-shopping.
Look through old slides.
Come up with new ideas for this list.
Creative intercession with a game of cards (every victory, pray, or every 7th card).
Play the Ungame.
Throw away some things: Simplifying life and possessions can be a very freeing experience!