real life

3 months of creative date ideas (because we're kinda sick of the dinner-and-movie routine).

Too often, date night falls into the tired old dinner-and-movie routine – but it doesn’t have to be so boring.

Kicking your dates up a notch doesn’t have to involve a Fifty Shades-style “red room” (but it can if that’s what you’re into).

There are plenty of creative and unusual date ideas ranging in price and effort, whether we’re talking about date nights with a brand-new flame or your long-term love.

We’ve gone and set you up for the next 12 weeks with activities for the adventurous, competitive, active and relaxed – so now you have no excuse.

For the active:

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by SodaStream. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

1. Hiking.

A hiking date is a great way to keep fit. Pack a picnic, a good pair of joggers and get chatting in between panting. There’s no pressure for constant eye contact and you can easily have a gander at your date if you let him or her walk in front. #howstheserenity.

2. Indoor rock climbing.

Rock climbing is all about supporting and trusting your partner so your date could be a pretty good indication of the state and future of your relationship. Work on any sore muscles with a post-date massage.

Related: Amy used high school maths to build the most popular online dating profile. Ever.

3. Trampolining.

Trampoline centres with wall-to-wall bouncing are not just for children’s parties – they can definitely make a fun date. But go in prepared, because most of us aren’t as fit as our seven-year-old selves and it’s easy to forget that trampolining is bloody hard work. Prepare to get red-faced and super sweaty.

For the adventurous:

1. Hot air ballooning.

Take in some of Australia’s most spectacular locations from the air with a hot air balloon trip. Some companies even include a champagne breakfast with their flights. Fancy.

2. A mini road trip.

Write 30, 60 and 90 on three separate pieces of paper, put them in a hat and get your significant other to draw one out. Whichever number they choose, drive for that many minutes in a random direction and do whatever activity you find there.

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3. Treasure hunt.

This one takes a bit of effort but for the organised types it certainly pays off. Each person sets up a series of clues and challenges for the other to complete over a few hours. You can decide on what the first to finish wins.

For the competitive:

1. Paintball.

This one is not for the faint hearted or anyone with a low pain threshold – paintball can get rough. But it’s certainly a novel way to hash out any unresolved issues or show a first date who they’re messing with.

2. Laser tag.

With laser tag you still get to punish your partner for consistently leaving the toilet seat up but without the painful bruises. Amp up the competition with a wager – the lowest point scorer pays for dinner and drinks after.

Related: NSFW: I’m 28 years old, and last week I went on my very first date.

3. Miniature golf.

Mix a little healthy competition with some sexual innuendo (getting it in the hole, am I right?) and you’ve got yourself a hot date.

For the relaxed (*cough* lazy).

1. Board game night.

Date night doesn’t always have to involve leaving the house or putting pants on. Organise a cheese board, a bottle or two of your favourite wine and attempt to crush your partner in Monopoly. A game of Twister can also have pleasing results.

2. Comedy show.

If you’re sick of coming up with your own impressive jokes, take your partner to see someone else tell them. There’s nothing like bulk laughs to get the endorphins pumping. Plus, if it’s a first date you don’t have to worry about awkward lapses in conversation – you’ll be too busy watching the show.

3. Brewery tour.

Plenty of local breweries offer tours and tasting sessions, which are a bit easier than travelling to a vineyard for a wine tasting. You also don’t have to pretend like you know all the notes of a beer. Winning.

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