Summer Date Ideas That Go Beyond A Long Walk On The Beach

Photographed by Renell Medrano.
Summer is here… and people are ready to date. According to data, the most popular time of the year for online dating is the week after the Fourth of July. Which makes sense — when it’s cold or rainy outside, we’re much more likely to want to stay inside and watch Netflix. There’s a reason “cuffing season” exists, after all. But there are so many fun summer date options that a summer romance — or a fling — just makes sense. Bonus: it's easier to find a cheap or free date in the summer than it is in the winter.
Here are some of our favorite summer date activities:

Visit a museum

If it's too hot to go outside, many museums have extended hours, free nights, or special exhibitions in the summer.

See a summer blockbuster

Enjoy that movie theater A/C and catch one of this year's best summer movies.

Master a summer recipe

Cooking together can be lots of fun. For summer, try a seasonal treat such as crab-stuffed avocados or summer spring rolls.

Visit a water park

Relive your childhood (in a much cuter swimsuit) with a trip to a local water park.

Soak up the sun

Whether on the beach, in a park, or even in your yard, spend a lazy day catching rays together — don't forget the sunscreen.

Take a walk on the boardwalk

If you’re not too terrified after watching Us, summer is a perfect time to take a stroll on the boardwalk and maybe share some cotton candy.

Eat ice cream

Ice cream in winter just isn’t the same! Take a trip to your favorite local ice cream place — or visit a few and debate which is best.

Go to the beach

Whether you’re swimming, sunbathing, or just hanging out, the beach is a great summer date location… plus, it gives you a chance to show off your new swimsuit.

Go to a local fair

Whether you’re eating an elephant ear at one of the many street fairs in New York, or trying deep-fried Jello at the Texas state fair, a summer fair makes for a fun date.

Go for a bike ride together

Whether you go to a park or just rent Citibikes together, a leisurely bike ride can be fun (and it doesn’t have to be leisurely).

Catch an outdoor concert

Outdoor concerts are a summer staple — and many of them are free, if Lollapalooza is out of your price range.

Drink at a rooftop bar

You don’t have to give up the traditional “let’s grab drinks” date during the summer, but how about switching up the location... to a roof?

Eat al fresco

Likewise, a traditional dinner date because a lot more exciting when you’re outside.

Challenge your date to a lawn game

Live out your Heathers (or Riverdale) dreams with croquet, or give bocce ball a try.

See an outdoor movie

Check if your city offers free movies at a park… or if there’s a drive-in nearby.

Go camping

Whether you’re totally roughing it or just setting up tent in your backyard, go camping — and don’t forget the s’mores.

Go to the zoo

As the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend song goes, “It's so relaxing at the zoo / Sayin' ‘what's up’ to kangaroos.”

Go canoeing

Don’t know how to canoe? It’s time to learn — together!

Ride a rollercoaster

Riding a rollercoaster with someone you’re into can be thrilling in multiple ways.

Have a cookout

Have a picnic

Picnics might sound twee, but they’re really just snacking and hanging out outdoors… who can turn that down?

Go to a pool

If the beach is too far, or if you just want to vary it up a bit, hit the high dive (or the shallow end) at a pool.

Go skateboarding or roller skating

Bike riding isn’t the only active summer date option — there's also skateboarding or roller skating.

Take a dog for a walk

Do neither of you have a dog? Maybe your friend will let you borrow theirs!

Take surfing or snorkeling lessons

And then try to reenact your favorite Blue Crush scene.

Take a long walk on the beach

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