Date Nights Need A Makeover, So Here Are 15 Offbeat Date Ideas Gen Z Loves

If you've ever been part of the modern dating scene, it's probably no surprise to you that dating can get old, fast. Maybe you frequent the same bar or restaurant for first dates (so frequently, in fact, that the servers know you by name), or maybe you feel like getting to know a new person over a drink just isn't cutting it for you anymore. One thing's for certain: The dating scene is calling for a drastic makeover, so much so that Gen Z-ers are resorting to different methods of finding love from the typical "Let's-go-grab-a-drink."


Relationship expert Tina Wilson gave Daily Mail some valuable insight on why Gen Z babies are dating differently from their predecessors: "After surviving the coronavirus trauma of quarantines, isolation, being close to a deathly virus, it has caused people to sub-consciously challenge their belief system ... Gen Z are 'cutting to the chase' by jumping into dates only friends or couples might normally do together, such as going for a gym session on a first date." In a way, it seems that Gen Z may be taking dating more seriously — they're less willing to waste time on formalities, and are opting for out-of-the-box date ideas to help them quickly suss out compatibility. Honestly, they may be onto something. If your dating life has seemed a little lackluster or routine recently, it may be a good idea to shake things up a bit with some of Gen Z's favorite offbeat date ideas. 


Go shopping together for dinner ingredients

Honestly, what's sexier than showing off your cooking skills to your potential partner? The next time you're trying to see if that special someone is really relationship material, suggest a date to the grocery store. It may not sound romantic at first glance, but the cooperation and collaboration that goes into a grocery store trip can give you some valuable insight on whether this person is a good match.


Try going to the grocery store together without an agenda — simply plan on finding ingredients to cook dinner together while you're there. You're sure to learn about each other's food preferences and allergies, which is important info to have on hand in any relationship. Shopping for ingredients is just the first step, though. Afterwards, go back home and cook dinner together. You may find that you have great kitchen chemistry. Maybe one of you gravitates toward prep and another toward cooking, or one person prefers to set the table while the other works on clean-up. However it may go for you, you'll definitely learn more about how you and your partner work together as a team. 

Go through your archives with each other

Maybe you and your partner have seen each other a few times and you want to get to know more about each other. What better way than by digging through each other's pasts? We're not suggesting you go searching for anything scandalous; rather, take this as an opportunity to learn about one another's childhoods, family life, and fond memories. Depending on your age (and your parents' preferred method of documentation), you may have some old photo albums or home videos to go through together.


Leave room for questions and storytelling when you're looking at each other's memorabilia. You never know what fun facts you may learn about your partner when you're having your archival footage date, or what funny or embarrassing stories may come up. Make this night extra special by cozying up together with a blanket and some of your favorite beverages before you embark on your journey through each other's past. Chances are, you'll end up feeling more connected to them than you did before. 

Visit an indie bookstore together

If you and your date are book fiends, you may have already ventured into a bookstore once or twice, but bookstore dates aren't only for bookworms. There may be an independent bookstore near you that boasts cozy seating and a coffee shop where you two can sit and chat with each other. We bet you could also each find a book that lets you dive more into a niche interest you have. 


When you go on your bookstore date, feel free to go in without expectations. You could each browse the aisles, find your all-time favorite books, and buy them for each other. After all, reading someone's favorite piece of literature is a great way to learn more about them. Or, find an instructional book that dives into your favorite hobby, and share it with your date so they can learn more about the things you enjoy. You could also simply pick out a random book to read together later. There's really no wrong way to do a bookstore date, so however you decide to do it, the two of you will have a great time. 

DIY some home improvement together

We're in the age of DIY everything, and it's probably not outlandish to suggest you may already have at least a couple home DIY projects in mind. Though we're sure you're more than capable of accomplishing them solo, everything's more fun with a friend — including that stressful DIY that you've been loath to tackle yet. A great way to test if your potential partner has what it takes to move past the dating stage is to invite them to do the DIY with you as a date idea. 


Your DIY doesn't have to be simple to make a great date centerpiece; in fact, the more complicated it is, the more opportunity you have to see whether you and your date work well together. Start off your date by going to your favorite home improvement stores to stock up on whatever supplies you'll need, then go home and get started! Order some food (or cook together!) when you get hungry, and most importantly, look forward to the good conversation you'll be able to have while working together. 

Go cliff jumping

This offbeat date idea is for all the extreme adventurers out there who feel most connected with your partner when you're jumping into the unknown — literally. If you happen to live near a local cliff-jumping spot, you should take your date there for a day filled with fun and thrills. Obviously, they don't have to cliff jump, but if they don't, are they really the right person for you?


If you can manage to find a little-known swimming hole, you may even have the whole place to yourself for an ultra-romantic experience. Spend some time getting your fill of diving off the cliff, but be sure to get in quality time chatting with your partner in the water, too. Cliff jumping is sure to get your adrenaline pumping, which could lead to some fun romance between the two of you. When you're done splashing around, head home, and cap off your date with a stop at your favorite local ice cream joint. 

Take a stroll around a cemetery

Maybe you consider yourself a bit macabre, and you're in need of an outdoor date idea that isn't all sunshine and roses. Have you ever considered going on a walk through your local cemetery as a date? Being surrounded by death may not sound all that romantic at first, but it can make for a calm, peaceful setting if you're with the right person. Cemeteries are a great place to wander and chat in an interesting setting without facing a ton of distractions. 


Cemeteries can also be a great conduit for deeper conversation. Since you're not at a noisy bar or crowded restaurant, it can seem more appropriate to approach serious topics on your cemetery walk. After all, death is a pretty serious topic in itself. Take your cemetery date as an opportunity to have the "what are we?" conversation, or even just to talk about what each of you is looking for in a relationship in general. 

Plan your dream vacation

So you've been seeing your partner for a significant period of time, and the idea has crossed your mind of taking a couples vacation together. Taking a vacation with your significant other can seem daunting, and may even be a relationship make-it-or-break-it situation. What if it turns out that you two don't travel well together? If you want a good indicator of whether you and your partner will be decent travel buddies, take a step back from vacation mode and do a trial run with them by planning your dream vacation together.


Planning an ideal vacation with your partner can give each of you lots of hints about the other's travel preferences, and is a good way to start sussing out whether you'll travel well together. Make a date to plan everything down to the most minute detail. Pick out where you'll be visiting, how you'll get there, where you'll stay, and sketch out a rough itinerary of your time together. Maybe you and your partner are on relatively the same page when it comes to your desired accommodations and activities. If you're on different pages, don't freak out. See it as a sign to learn more about your partner and to practice compromising with one another. 

Order each other food off your favorite delivery app

Are you all dated out and in search of a great at-home date night idea that's not your typical Netflix and chill? There's a plethora of things you could do on your night in with your boo, but if you've been dating for a while now, it may be time to test how well you know each other ... and each other's food preferences. Take a risk on your next date night in, pull out your phones, order a meal for your significant other off a delivery app, and have them do the same for you. 


Don't worry; this doesn't have to be a completely blind meal-ordering date. Maybe you two are still getting to know each other. Have a quick conversation about some of your food preferences before you order, and then see what they surprise you with. Maybe it's a meal from one of your favorite local joints, or maybe you'll get to try something completely new. Whether you decide to pair your meals with a cozy movie or some nice, intimate conversation, this is a fun and low-key date idea for when you need to put minimal effort into your date night. 

Dress up for afternoon tea

On the other hand, maybe you've outdone the low-key date nights and you want to pull off something extra special for your partner. Don't panic — "extra special" isn't synonymous with expensive, time-consuming, or hard to pull off. In fact, you may find that you have a great time hosting a simple, fancy afternoon tea celebration for you and your special someone. 


Invite your date over for afternoon tea and encourage them to dress in tea-worthy attire. A dress or slacks and a button-down are perfectly appropriate here, so don't feel the need to wear anything too fancy. Go get some of your favorite tea (loose leaf if you can find it) and brew some up in your favorite teapot. Decorate your teatime table with sweets and snacks. Your local bakery might have some yummy mini cakes or cupcakes that you can snag, or if you're a baker, you could make your own pastries and tea sandwiches. Then, dig in and look forward to some good conversation as you enjoy your mouth-watering spread. 

Tour a local factory

Dates are great opportunities to explore and learn something new together. To that end, if there's a factory nearby that offers tours, why not take your potential partner there on a date? This is an especially great date idea if you haven't been seeing your partner for a long time because you won't have to worry about lulls in the conversation (especially with guided tours). It's also a date with a clear beginning and end, making it easy to leave when it's over if you don't want to continue the date.


Food factory tours are especially fun, as they'll often offer samples after going on the tour. Stay toward the front of your tour group if you want to absorb the information, or hang toward the back with your partner if you want the freedom to chat a bit. If guided tours aren't your thing, look for a local factory with self-guided tours; that way, you two can work with whatever time frame you have and stay as long or as little as you'd like. 

Do a puzzle together

Maybe it's starting to get chilly out and outdoor dates are suddenly a no-go. You're looking for a fun and cozy fall-inspired date idea to give you and your partner some quality time together, but you've already exhausted all the standard options, like cooking together and having movie nights. Here's an offbeat date idea for you: Have you ever put together a jigsaw puzzle with your partner? 


We'll be the first to admit that puzzle dates aren't for everyone. It takes a special type of person to sit and focus on doing the same thing for long periods of time, and it's easy to get frustrated and impatient with puzzles if you aren't used to them. But if you can get in the groove of doing a puzzle together, it can be a great meditative date to do with your partner. You could have a great time puzzling together in silence, or if you're a chatty couple, a puzzle is a great opportunity to get some conversation flowing. 

Learn a new skill together

Are you and your partner each avid students of the world? Your curiosity is boundless, and you're always on the lookout for new information to absorb and skills to learn? If this sounds like you, chances are you and your boo would have a swell time learning something new together on your next date. 


Do a quick Google search and find out if there are any classes being offered near you that focus on a particular skill. It could be something like a language class, a pottery class, or a dance class. You don't have to have any experience in the field — in fact, we think it may even be more fun if you and your partner have zero experience, and are learning from scratch together. If you'd rather learn on your own rather than in a group setting, pick a crafty skill that offers instructional books (like origami, crochet, or the like) and learn the skill with just each other.  

Take a day trip together

The two of you have been together long enough to know that you're both adventurers at heart, but you don't want to pull the plug on a full-fledged vacation just yet. Do a mini-vacation instead by taking a day trip to a town a few hours away that's new to both of you. The time spent in the car will be a great opportunity to chat and catch up, while the activities you plan for the day can feed your adventurous spirits. 


Before you embark on your day trip, decide whether you want to plan it out or go in blind. A blind day trip just requires a general destination; once you're there, you can browse the streets for yummy restaurants to eat at, cute shops to browse, and local parks to people-watch in. If you're more of a planner, you may want to plan every last detail, including where you'll stop for gas along the way. However you do it, a day trip is the perfect opportunity to get out of your town with your partner for a bit and experience something new together. 

Attend an open mic night

You and your partner are the most social of social butterflies, and your favorite date nights are the ones spent out in the midst of a crowd of people. Instead of going to concerts or sports games like you normally do, try dialing it back a little bit by going to a local open mic night. Not only will you get to experience the artistry of some of your community members, but it could give you a chance to express yourself, too.


If you consider yourself a bit of a poet, you could take a leap and surprise your date by reading one of your poems at your open mic date night. Or, if you're a singer, grab the mic and regale everyone with a song or two. Of course, you two don't have to participate — you could also just sit back with a drink and enjoy what everybody else has to offer throughout the evening. The great thing about open mic date nights is that they require minimal effort (you really just have to show up), and each one will be a little bit different, making this a date idea that never gets old. 

Top it all off with a slumber party

The two of you are simply exhausted after a day spent doing one (or all) of the above, but you're not ready to let each other go just yet. Keep that date night spirit alive by having a super old-school slumber party together. You'll probably fall asleep on the couch in the middle of a movie, but hey, that's what slumber parties are made for. 


Stock up on your favorite sodas, snacks, candy, and cozy blankets for your night in with your boo. Dredge up old gossip or just talk about whatever strikes your fancy. Put face masks on each other, light a candle and pamper yourselves; eat, drink, and be merry. This is an especially great date idea if one (or both) of you are in a stressful life season. Take the evening off to unwind with your boo, and throw a nostalgic movie on the television to fall asleep to.