15 Great Summer Date Ideas

by the Guest Contributors from YourTango

From music to movies and activities – it’s every kind of summer date you can dream of!

Day Trip: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture; Pocantico, NY

Located north of Manhattan, the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is a mecca for locavores. The 80-acre sustainable farm cultivates local, seasonal food and lets you see just where it comes from, through tours of its livestock pens, planting fields and greenhouses. You and your sweetie can also wander along the woodland trails, watch animals grazing in open pastures and help gather vegetables and eggs. Once you've worked up an appetite, you can share a romantic dinner at the award-winning Blue Hill at Stone Barns restaurant, which serves "farmer's feasts" using fresh ingredients from the day's harvest.

Cook Up Your Childhood Favorites!

Nothing says youth like summer love, but no matter your age you can enjoy childhood food favorites with an adult spin! From popsicles to grilled cheese, kiddie classics will remind you of those carefree summer days, maybe even easing those first date jitters. Some examples include: homemade pizza, pigs in blankets, shaved ice, banana splits and some good ol' mac n cheese!

More Summer Date Ideas: Food and Drink Trends

Summer Import Movie Pick: Submarine

This quirky Brit-flick was a hit at Sundance, where it earned comparisons to past-favorites like "Harold and Maude," "The Graduate," and "Rushmore." Newcomer Roberts plays Oliver, an oddball 15-year-old perpetually stuck in his own head who attempts to A) stop his mum from having an affair and B) lose his virginity to an equally strange, pyromaniac classmate named Jordana (Yasmin Paige). With a cool soundtrack by Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner and Ben Stiller shepherding the film's stateside release, this could be a cult classic in-the-making as well as a perfect date destination for adventurous teens/hipster types.

Summer Concert Pick: Sade and John Legend

In support of Soldier Of Love, Sade will be seducing couples across the country with their smooth jams for the first time live on tour in a decade. And as a majorly manly bonus, they're taking John Legend with them! If you want to slow dance and make romance, you have to score a ticket to this irresistible R&B team up. The tour will tempt audiences starting June 16th in Baltimore and run all summer long through September.

Day Trip: Garden of the Gods; Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado is famous for its amazing ski slopes and snow conditions, but the outdoor action doesn't stop once summer arrives. One of the state's most stunning attractions is the Garden of the Gods, a public park featuring towering red sandstone formations that are more than 300 million years old. The steep, Salvadore Dali-esque rocks are perfect for rock climbing (which is permitted) and provide a beautiful backdrop for twosomes who want to hike, mountain bike or take a horseback ride along the 15 miles of nature trails.

Let's Go to the State Fair

A fair is a great summer date spot, because it combines all kinds of date activities in one location: food, activity, people watching, and just walking around. You can learn a lot about your date based on their fair preferences: do they like the rides, or prefer the animal showcases? Be sure to hit up the carnival games for some friendly competition, which studies show is one of the most important elements of a date and naturally leads to flirting.

Day Trip: Museum of Glass and Tacoma Glassblowing Studio, Tacoma, WA

There's nothing hotter than playing with fire, and the artists-in-residence at the Museum of Glass do just that in the Hot Shop, where you can watch them create stunning masterpieces from molten glass. Inspired, you and your date can then head to the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio to melt each other's hearts while melting your own glass and blowing and shaping it into pieces of art.

Activity: Zip Lining

An increase in adrenaline has often been linked to an increase in attraction, and Historic Banning Mills in Whitesburg, GA, can get hearts racing in more ways than one. The property's exhilarating zip line course features the world's longest continuous zip line (at a half-mile long) and dozens of sky-high suspension bridges and tightropes. Couples who really want to up their attractiveness can take on the adrenaline-pumping "Big Daddy" zip line, which reaches heights of 200 feet and speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

Day Trip: Catalina Island

Even though it's just 22 miles from LA, Catalina Island feels more like Capri than California. The intimate isle boasts soft white sand beaches, colorful marine life (including dolphins, sea lions and flying fish) and every Los Angeleno's dream: no traffic (cars are banned on the island so residents and visitors get around on golf carts). The clear blue waters surrounding Catalina Island also make it an ideal destination for snorkelers and scuba divers.

More Best Summer Date Ideas: Day Trips

Summer Rom Com Movie Pick: Larry Crowne

Speaking of romantic comedies -- Julia Roberts is back in what is sure to be the go-to movie for the older set this summer. Good 'ol reliable Tom Hanks is taking his second stab at directing 15-years after "That Thing You Do," playing an enthusiastic-but-uneducated man who loses his job and decides to go back to college, and of course falls in love with his professor (Roberts). Do two of the 90's biggest stars still have what it takes to pack 'em in to a solid romantic comedy? We shall see!

Rooftop Dining

Imagine the entire city at your feet, lush greenery above you. So often in big cities it's difficult to find a splash of nature, and after the long week you and your date have had, a rooftop picnic might just be the relaxing, restorative time off you need. It's a visual feast to accompany your actual one, and the scenery will be worth it at the very least! Get cozy in green spaces like: Cambridge Center Roof Garden in Boston Massachusettes; Kaiser Center Roof Garden in Oakland, California; and The Lotus Garden in New York.

Feed Your Senses At Food Festivals

A great date should be a sensual experience—why not try a date that literally feeds your senses? Food festivals are everywhere this season, so walking around not only holds the possibility for delicious food, but that oh-so-subtle hand-hold that can kickstart summer love.

Summer Movie Pick: Midnight in Paris

It's always difficult to classify a Woody Allen movie, especially after cranking 'em out for four decades has essentially made the Wood-man a genre of his own, but unlike some of his more serious pieces like "Match Point" this year's model is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Owen Wilson, who fits right in with Allen's sensibilities, is vacationing in Paris with his shrewish fiancé (a "Wedding Crashers" reunion with McAdams!) and her conservative family when he stumbles upon a magical part of the city of light that ain't in Foder's Guide. Do yourself a favor and don't read about the film's fantastical twist, just go and enjoy this endearing love note to the world's most romantic city.

Summer Concert Pick: Journey

If you're looking for some sentimental songs to reignite the spark, perhaps power balladeers Journey and Foreigner can take you both back to a magical time when you wanted to know what love is. The ‘80s bands are hitting the road, touring in support of Journey's new record Eclipse. While you might have danced back in the day to Foreigner hits "Feels Like The First Time," "I Want To Know What Love Is," "Waiting For A Girl Like You," and Journey's "Lights" and "Don't Stop Believing," we're sure all those moves with come back to you and you and your date will be waiving lighters in the air in no time.

Gourmet Picnics, Local Products

Your date is one in a million, and they deserve more than any old picnic. You wouldn't settle for your sweetie, so why settle for egg salad when you could have so much more? With enticing fresh markets popping up everywhere as we head into summer, try some locally grown or gourmet products to make your picnic that much more special. Go for goat cheese instead of cream cheese, pear-apple wine instead of beer, arugula instead of lettuce.

35 More Summer Dates...

Like these so far? Well, YourTango has more brilliant ideas just for you right here!

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