8 Great Date Night Ideas That Are Perfect for Empty Nesters

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
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Date nights are important in all relationships, and we’ve found they’re especially important to maintaining a healthy relationship as empty nesters. When the kids were little, we planned date nights mostly to have some time to ourselves. As empty nesters, we find that we plan date nights more to get out of the rut of our to-do lists and routine! Do you find that too?

As new empty nesters (which I know some of you are or are about to be!) date nights are can play an important role in rediscovering each other. You may find that you need to not only remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place but also to reconnect with the people you have become. So today, we’re sharing eight great date ideas for empty nesters.

At the bottom of this post we have a list of even more great date night ideas.

As always, you can click the pink text links or any image for more info!

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Date Night Ideas

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Date Night Idea #1 – Target Shopping Challenge

Have you seen this idea on social media? It seems like it’s everywhere, and I think it looks so fun! I mean, who doesn’t love a trip to Target! You might as well turn it into a date! Here’s how it works:

  • Set a mutually agreed upon budget.
  • Set a mutually agreed upon time limit.
  • Go! Find everything on the list below. (Printable at the bottom of this post!) You’ll be surprised how challenging and fun this is!

Date Night Idea #2 – Build a Fort and Have a Picnic

There is something about building a fort that brings out your inner child! You probably remember doing this as a kid with chairs and pillows and blankets! You can do it that way, or snag one of the fort-building kits that are so popular today. (Just think how much fun the grandkids are going to have with it the next time they visit! It’s so much fun to get creative and build a cozy home under the blankets. String up some battery-operated twinkle lights, grab the pillows, and snuggle in for a grown-up style picnic and a movie. No wonder kids love it so much!

Date Night Idea #3 – Take a Virtual Cooking Class

Cookware | Pots and Pans | Cookware Sets | Cozymeal

Cooking classes are a lovely date night idea, but they can be expensive, and a bit overwhelming! Cozymeal is a great alternative! You can take a cooking class right in your home kitchen, and then, of course, relax and enjoy your meal when you’re finished. Choose from a wide variety of classes! You can learn how to make pasta from a chef who is live in Italy, or Tapas from a chef in Spain! They also have multiple kinds of tastings, from coffee to wine. You pay based on the number of devices you use, so you can make it just the two of you, or invite friends and family to join you!

Be sure you have aprons all ready for your date, or consider personalizing a couple of aprons for an extra treat!

Date Night Idea #4 – Host a Trivia Night

Hosting trivia can be super fun for friends and family, but also for the hosts! Creating the questions together can be great quality time! The first time Bob and I played trivia, I was shocked 😲 by his vast knowledge of 70s and 80s music, and not really surprised by his knowledge of sports. I think he was shocked at my random pop culture knowledge! 😂

Not into making up your own questions, just snag a game of classic Trivial Pursuit, and you’re good to go! This is also a fun family night activity over Zoom, especially if you’re spread out geographically and you have a wide age range of people involved. As a bonus, snag THIS cute notepad for everyone involved as a party favor! (Use code ENB10 for 10% off!)

Date Night Idea #5 – Recreate Your First Date

Do you remember your first date? Is there any disagreement over where or when it was? Bob and I went to a Michael W. Smith concert back in college on our first date! We have plans to recreate this date by seeing him in concert again this year! I think it’s so fun to revisit your first date and spark those memories.

If you can’t recreate your first date, pack a picnic and talk about it. What first attracted you to each other? When did you first know you were with THE ONE? You may even rekindle some butterflies! Bob and I have loved these TableTopics for Couple question cards. They’ve sparked some great conversations and led to a deeper understanding of one another.

Date Night Idea #6 – Take a Mini Road Trip

Are you up for an adventure? Go old school with this idea! Here’s how to do it:

  • Look up a map of your state.
  • Use a string to set a radius for distance, and draw a circle.
  • Close your eyes, hold hands, and pick a random point on the map together.
  • Drive there and explore!
  • Try a local restaurant, or pack a picnic!

Date Night Idea #7 – Adventure Book or Jar

The Adventure Challenge Book will give you the best date night ideas if you’re ready for a random experience! Simply scratch off a section to reveal a mystery date night idea. This is a fun way to get creative with date night because part of the challenge is agreeing that once you scratch it off, you have to do it! It’s for all ages and rated PG.

Spruce Up Your Date Night - Rachel Hollis

Alternatively, write down your own date night ideas on slips of paper or craft sticks, and personalize your own “Adventure Jar.” Once you’re ready for a fun date, choose one stick from the jar and read what it says! If you like a little more predictability and planning, choose this Bucket List Scratch Off for Couples!

Date Night Idea #8 – Monthly Surprise Date

Take turns planning monthly surprise dates for each other. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit down together with a calendar and mutually agree on a date and time frame for the surprise date night.
  • Figure out who is in charge. (Consider taking turns each month.)
  • For the date planner, the main consideration should be what would please the other person.
  • Before the surprise date, lay out an outfit for the person being surprised.
  • Go and have a blast!

I hope these ideas have gotten you excited to plan your next date night! Whatever you decide to do with your precious one, I hope it’s special. Do you have some unique date nights that you’ve done as empty nesters? Please share them in the comments! You might inspire someone else!

Want more empty nester date ideas? Click below!

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  1. What great ideas! Last Covid summer we hiked a different metropolitan park we had never visited. It made for a memorable summer. Our first date – college – the movie Jaws – haha! Def doing Target! 😉


    1. Nancy,

      The park idea is so great! Thank you for sharing that with us! I hope Target is fun for y’all! That was Casey’s idea and I think it’s so fun! We haven’t done it yet either, but we can’t wait!


  2. Excellent ideas! I am going to give some of these ideas to my son & daughter- in- law.

  3. Holly,

    I am so glad you enjoyed the post – and so glad you’re going to share it! That’s honestly the nicest compliment you could give me!

    Yay! I hope they have fun!


  4. What a great post! I was feeling down thinking about our first thanksgiving coming up next month without either kid coming home ( both in college) and this blog about date ideas really lifted my spirits. Maybe we will just do something fun together like eat turkey sandwiches in a fort instead! Thankyou for your sweet ideas!❤️

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