You know date night is an important part of keeping the spark in your relationship. But there’s nothing like a rut to dim a spark. So if you’re looking for an alternative to dinner and a movie, fall is the perfect time to explore one of these off-the-beaten-path ideas.

  1. Go roller skating. Hold hands and whip around the rink together like a couple of teenagers (and without your tots slowing you down). Find a rink here.
  2. See a comedy show. What feels better than sharing a good laugh together?
  3. Take in some jazz. Check out this New Jersey Monthly article about how you can catch some of the best jazz acts around right here in New Jersey (at restaurants where you can also get dinner!)
  4. Explore a new town. Heard a lot about the fine dining and cute downtown in a semi-nearby place but never had the chance to check it out? Now’s your chance! Duck into antique shops, walk around a lake, and discover something new together.
  5. Pursue a common passion. A friend of mine takes advantage of date night to go golfing with her husband—something they did often before they had kids. My husband and I, both writers, often go to the café at Barnes & Noble, sit down with lattes, and work on our writing together. Think about common interests you have with your sweetie (Both love cooking? Consider a cooking class. Tennis? Reserve a court.) and see if you can use date night to pursue them (Remember: Date night doesn’t have to happen at night!).
  6. Plan a picnic. What’s more romantic than a picnic in a picturesque spot? In my neck of the woods, the Rutgers Gardens Farmers Market is open until 5 pm. It’s a great place to grab a baguette, fresh cheese, and a bottle of wine, then spread out a blanket in one of the most romantic settings around.
  7. Send your kids to a “parents’ night out.” Seen those flyers for “parents’ night out”—a night when places like the YMCA watch your kids onsite? Grab one and send your kids for three or so hours of fun while you and your spouse have the run of your own house for a change.
  8. Get a room at a motel. I don’t have to explain this one, do I?

What are your great date night alternatives to dinner and a movie? Comment below!