By Amanda Green
Every relationship expert will tell you that going on regular dates is a great way for couples to reconnect and feel close. But unless you're a vampire, there's no need to limit yourself to nighttime dates.
Daytime dates are just as romantic and contain even more potential for fun, bond-enhancing activities that you can't always have at night. Here are eight bright ideas for daytime outings that are great for helping couples turn up the romance and strengthen their connection.
1. Embark on a day trip to the country
There's nothing like getting away from it all... together. And if you do it during the daytime, you and your partner can spend more time exploring life outside the hustle and bustle. Experts agree that nothing sparks romance like a surprise or the unexpected, so start exploring early. If the weather's nice, try engaging every sense during your excursion — eat local foods, take in the sights and sounds of the town's unique gems, and spend some time outdoors just soaking up the vibe of a new location.
2. Brunch and a matinee
Dinner and a movie? Been there, done that. What about brunch and a matinee? You and your partner can indulge by sleeping in, enjoying a nice, leisurely brunch then catching an afternoon flick. If you're on a budget, matinee tickets might come with a discount. A meal, a movie, and then hours of the day left to relax as a couple? Truly priceless.
3. Take a hike
When you explore a new place, you also learn new things about your partner. So pack a romantic picnic — sandwiches, fruit, cheese, and maybe even some wine — and spend the day off the beaten path. A hike gets your heart pumping. Whether you prefer to end your day on an outlook high in the sky or in a meadow of flowers, you and your partner can pick one that's just the right amount of challenging, scenic, and sensual. (And maybe even, ahem, private.)
4. Spend a day at the beach
The ocean has inspired some of our greatest lovestories, and skimpy swimwear doesn't deserve all the credit. A day of sunlight, surf, and fresh air lifts the spirits. It's also full of romantic possibilities, both wet and dry. You and your partner can walk down the shore hand in hand, lounge and sip drinks in the sun, or splash in the water. Don't forget to rub sunscreen on each other's backs!
5. Go berry-picking
Quality time with your beloved is always in season — and so is fruit-picking. If both you and your partner enjoy local produce, skip the grocery store and visit an orchard instead. The two of you will work together outside to pick your own fruit, which you can feed to each other right off the branch or use to make a fruit salad, pie or ice cream when you get home. Blackberries and raspberries are ripe for the picking in the summer months. Apples are bountiful in the fall. If you're lucky enough to live in a warm climate, you'll have even more produce options all year long.
6. Shop at the farmer's market
The farmer's market is another practical, but fun, alternative to your typical grocery shopping and food preparation routine. But it's about more than fruits and vegetables. Farmer's markets also sell cheese, flowers, handmade soaps, decor, and more. You and your partner can explore the market in the morning and buy items for a romantic lunch and afternoon together.
7. Visit a museum
Your partner's interests and smarts are part of what initially attracted you. Keep the intellectual intercourse strong with a trip to a museum or cultural institution, like a botanical garden or an animal sanctuary. You and your partner should pick a destination that interests you both. Don't be afraid to go somewhere neither of you knows anything about — learning something new together is a bonding experience. Make sure you have enough time to take in the exhibits while stopping along the way to chat about what you see.
8. Go for a bike ride
The couple that plays together, stays together. Bike riding is an easy way to enjoy the outdoors while getting some light exercise. Even better, it can be part of the journey or the date's destination. For a longer day date, you and your partner can combine bike riding with any of the activities above. Even the most time-strapped couple can make time for a short ride around the neighborhood or to a neighboring town. There's not a more intimate way to experience the outdoors together.
In partnership with YourTango