Consider this: a dream date usually begins with a unique experience – often something not previously imagined. Nature can be the unique backdrop – and the soundtrack – for the most unforgettable dates you’ve ever had.
It is well documented that time spent in nature enhances mental health and helps us to become happier people—getting outdoors is a natural antidote to depression. The great outdoors is one of the few spaces in our modern chaotic life that lets our brains focus on the moment – so we can rest.
Nature’s awe-inspiring beauty provides infinite opportunities to marvel at life's miracles, and it’s even more inspiring when done together.
Time shared in nature is proven to build better relationships. Here’s a (not so short) list of fun and unique nature date ideas if you want more from your next romantic outing than another swanky restaurant with craft cocktails.
Common (And Uncommon) Outdoor Date Ideas
1. Rock Out at an Amphitheater
Is there anything more universally connecting than music? Pair that with a stunning landscape and you’ve got yourself the perfect nature date. Imagine seeing your favorite musician or band set against the backdrop of sunset at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. The venue’s ancient sandstone formations make it, arguably, the most scenic concert venue in North America. Check out the local outdoor theater venues near you for a perfect night out.
2. Float, Float, Float On
Find a local body of water and rent a kayak, a one- or two-person boat invented thousands of years ago by the Intuit. Or head to a lake that rents pedal boats at night. These people-powered boats can be a romantic way to spend some seriously leisurely time together. Floating. Free.
3. Stop and Smell the Roses
The expertly-curated grounds of botanical gardens and arboretums can provide the setting for a tranquil nature date. Many public gardens also have onsite museums, to turn your pleasant stroll into a bonafide cultural experience.
4. Go Mining
With gemstone mines scattered throughout the United States and the world, a mining trip makes for a truly unique nature date. Many mines will even polish your stones onsite, and you can leave this natural history date with a unique keepsake. You might even find your own engagement ring. (What a unique way to propose!) A quick Google search will lead you to a mine, maybe closer to home you than you think!
5. Source Your Own Food
To tap into your primordial nature, go fishing or crabbing off a local dock. All you need is a bucket, chicken on a bait line, and a net. There is an effortless connection we feel in nature from the stillness of water. That peaceful setting can provide an intimate and fun nature-inspired date.
If you’re a vegetarian (or even if you’re not), check out a local foraging group to discover edible plants right outside your front door. Educational nature dates not only stimulate the brain, but can also provide a window into sustainability and conservation; core values here at a.c.e. Nature.
6. Make Your Own Flower Arrangements
Floral arranging is an art that provides instant nature-is-breathtakingly-beautiful moments. There are many approaches to arranging flowers, only one of which is the Japanese practice of Ikebana. Look for Ikebana classes at your local Japanese Cultural Center. Alternatively, pick up the supplies from your local home and garden store and make a DIY session together at your favorite park your next nature date.
7. Take a Good Ol’ Fashioned Bike Ride
Ever notice how much of your neighborhood you didn’t know existed until you went for a walk? Well, biking broadens your horizon even more. You’ll appreciate the small details of your city or town while you bond with each other on this take-it-at-your-own-pace nature date. Rent bikes and explore bike-friendly trails near you, or discover different neighborhoods.
8. Explore Local History
Searching for ancient Petroglyphs is a decidedly unconventional way to connect on an exploration-themed nature date. If you’re interested in history and humans’ first expressions of art and communication, this date idea is for you.
Along the same lines, and for an extremely adventurous nature date, try spelunking, also known as cave and grotto exploring. This should be a thrilling and truly unique dating experience.
9. Stare Into a Campfire
Cozying up to a campfire is a wonderful way to connect intimately in the great outdoors. Whether at a campsite in one of the many parks and recreation sites throughout the U.S. or in your own backyard, open campfires and firepits are perfect settings for intimate quality time and deeper conversations. Top off the ambiance with a glass of mulled wine or hot tea. Finally, get some music playing in the background—or let the cicadas provide your soundscape.
“a.c.e.” Nature to Deepen Your Relationships
At a.c.e. Nature, we believe that when we admire, connect, and explore nature, we deepen our relationship with our planet, our universe, and each other. Nature brings us into the present moment. These fun and unique nature date ideas are a surefire way to be fully present on our special outings, and to connect in more meaningful ways that create more conscious relationships with loved ones and partners.