Outdoor concerts, romantic picnics in the park, strawberry picking, day trips to the beach… Summer is peak season for romantic day dates. Which is exactly why when those summer thunderstorms roll in, it can be a major buzzkill. If your weather app is showing clouds and showers for the foreseeable future, you may be tempted to reschedule your date, but you absolutely shouldn’t. According to Dating.com vice president Maria Sullivan and Charly Lester, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Lumen, there are plenty of amazing dates you can enjoy despite the rain. Not only are they fun, but they can deepen your relationship—especially in those early still-getting-to-know-you days. Grab your umbrella, because these date ideas will help shake the June gloom.
Check out these five rainy day date ideas from dating experts.
1. Sign up for an escape room. Sullivan and Lester both picked an escape room experience (like Escape The Room) as a relationship-building rainy day date pick. “Some are designed for just two players and it can be an amazing adventure and a real bonding experience,” Lester says. Sullivan points out that the activity requires lots of communication and helps you see if you make a good team. “You and your partner must work together to solve puzzles and riddles in order to escape a room,” she says.
2. Cook together. Cooking can be really sexy (you’ve seen Chocolat, right?!), and learning a new skill together is majorly bonding—two reasons why Lester suggests trying a cooking class on a rainy day. “In my experience, dates work better when you’re side by side rather than face-to-face because it feels less like an interview,” she says. If you’re nervous about the conversation flowing, this is the perfect date idea because if you run out of topics, you can always talk about the food. The cookware store Sur La Table offers classes at select locations across the country; Groupon also has deals periodically for cooking classes.
If you don’t want to shell out for a class, Sullivan recommends cooking together at home for similar benefits. Choose a recipe together, pour a glass of wine, and get your hands dirty in the kitchen together. “If you are feeling competitive, challenge your partner to a cook off,” Sullivan suggests. Whatever the ground rules, you’ll have a delicious meal at the end of it, which means everyone’s a winner. (Bonus: Unlike at a cooking class, you can make out as much as you want at home…)
3. Go indoor rock-climbing. If you’re looking for an activity that offers a bit more of an adrenaline rush, Sullivan suggests indoor rock climbing. “Get your adrenaline going in the comfort of a t-shirt and shorts,” she says. Again, you’re working as a team and it requires lots of communication in order to help each other get to the top.
4. Check out an art gallery. Going to a local art gallery is typically one of those activities you keep *saying* you’ll do, but never actually get around to it. A rainy day is the perfect opportunity to actually make it happen. “If there’s an art gallery exhibition or a museum exhibit you’ve been meaning to try, why not combine it with a date,” Lester says. “Dating is a great opportunity to play tourist in your own town, and by doing something you wanted to do anyway you’re not wasting your time, and you can properly work out how compatible you are with your date.” Plus, imagine how much you’ll learn about your partner hearing their take on different types art!
5. Challenge each other to a game night. “Get nostalgic and have a game night with your partner,” Sullivan suggests. “Play all the board games you used to as a kid, or even pick up a puzzle and work on that together for some quality bonding time. As the nostalgia kicks in, take turns sharing some of your favorite memories from your childhood as a way to get to know each other better.
If it’s a first date, here are some conversation starters to help you out. Plus, the argument for not online stalking your date ahead of time.
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