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6 Summer Date Ideas to Start Planning Today

Spring is in full swing here in the Pacific Northwest and nearly all our favorite bulbs and flowering trees have blossomed. That means summer is just around the corner and after the year we've had, we couldn't be more ready.

If you’re a planner, you’re probably already scoping out what’s happening in your city this summer, and marking up your calendar with all the places you want to visit. Why not plan a special day (or several) with your special someone? Here are six ideas to get you started. For those who are single, these are all great outings to plan with a friend, too. Get out there and seize the summer!

1. Catch an Outdoor Concert or Movie

Every city has its concert series, film festivals, and music celebrations—many of them held outdoors during the summer. We expect this summer we will see the return of more outdoor shows as lockdown restrictions ease. Why not make an evening of it when your favorite performer comes to town—or favorite old movie is shown outside? Get to the venue early to enjoy an al fresco dinner before the show or get carryout from a restaurant or food truck nearby.

  • Pro tip:What if your date isn’t familiar with your favorite music or movies? If they’re willing to try something new, use this as a chance to share more about your passions and what makes you “you”!

2. Book an Overnight Camping Trip

What’s more romantic than a night of stargazing and sharing a tent with your sweetheart? Those who like to camp and backpack know that the best spots of the season fill up early—especially over holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day. Look online or visit your local tourism bureau to find a new (or old favorite) campsite.

3. Plan a Dinner Using Only Farmer’s Market Finds

Starting in the next few weeks, local farmer’s markets will begin bursting with produce that tastes its absolute best when it’s in-season—berries, asparagus, tomatoes, melons, and so much more. Why not plan ahead to make a special dinner, and then shop the market for all the ingredients you need? You can cater your whole menu around what you find.

  • Pro tip:Want to make this more challenging? Both you and your date can surprise each other with a secret ingredient the other must use for their part of the meal (just like an episode of “Chopped”).

4. Chart a Weekend Road Trip

There’s a reason summer is peak road trip season. The warm weather means you can roll down the windows, turn up the music, and enjoy the scenery whirling by with your favorite person. Even if you aren’t planning a big vacation, there’s plenty you can do in a weekend. Maybe it’s a nearby city, beach, or an out-of-town destination you’ve never visited together. Try opening up Google Maps and consider what’s within a five-hour drive or so. Or consider making a loop that includes lots of destinations over the course of a weekend.

  • Pro tip: Bring an actual (printed) map—just in case. And car chargers!

5. Get Outside and Explore Your City

Does your city offer walking tours? What about a bicycle tours? Or how about a class on how to stand-up paddleboard or kayak? Learning new things is always more fun with your special someone. Not only will you have someone to talk to during the activity, but you’ll have new memories to share. Many of these activities book up early with class size restrictions, so if this sounds like something you’d enjoy, try doing your research now and sign up ASAP.

  • Pro tip:Look for discounted offers on sites like Groupon or Yelp.

6. Plan a Night at the Ball Park

Cheering on your hometown baseball team is one of the quintessential summer experiences. Even better if you can share a hot dog and drink with your partner. Of course, professional sports spectating isn’t for everyone. But if it’s something you and your date enjoy, the ballpark can actually be a fun and romantic place to spend the evening—with a cool breeze, bright lights, and the chance to catch a fly-ball for your sweetheart.

  • Pro tip:Many teams have themed nights throughout the summer, such as “Star Wars Night” or “80s Night.” Pick one that you or your date are passionate about and go all out!