With the three kids, finding time for a date night isn’t always our top priority. Ed and I used to ensure we made an effort to have a dedicated night just for us once a month, but we have fallen into bad habits and, with the Bourmemouth Bloggers network having more events lately, I have had a busy diary and we just haven’t gone on as many dates lately.
As it was Ed’s birthday a couple of weeks ago, and he also finished his teacher training course, I wanted to take him out and celebrate. If you are looking to go on a date with your partner, these are five date ideas for the summer months.
A Comfortable Classic – The Cinema
Ok, the cinema is probably the most cliched date idea ever, but it’s also one of our favourites since a new Odeon opened up locally, with a whole host of modern features and creature comforts.
As well as several screens to choose from, the cinema also has the option to sit in a variety of different seating including our favourite – the recliners at the front of the screen. These seats are in pairs, and can be reclined right back so you can really snuggle up and enjoy a film together (top tip: take along a blanket from home and get cosy in the air conditioned cinema).
The cinema is a great date night option if you’re short on time as you can watch the latest films, whilst also enjoying all the snacks, without the need to have a meal out. Our local Odeon has a huge range of food options including nachos with a vast selection of dips, hot dogs and crispy chicken. If you fancy something sweet they have from popcorn with toppings, chocolate, ice cream and sweets. They also offer more substantial options in the bar upstairs including pizza.
You are spoilt for choice with drinks too, with slushes, soft drinks, bottles and a range of alcohol to choose from, they even have cocktails, and all can be taken in plastic containers into the cinema itself, making the humble cinema trip an occasion to remember! We went along to see Deadpool 2 recently, and it was so much fun!
Tapas & Drinks
With this heat, a big meal is not always that appealing. We have been along to Slug & Lettuce a few times recently, and are big fans of their new tapas style sharing menus for both food and drink. Their sharing platter, in particular, is delicious and more than enough for two to share.
Reasonably priced, and with 2 for 1 available on their cocktail range all day everyday, it’s a brilliant budget friendly date option for the summer months when all you want to do is chill out and chat with a cocktail. My current favourite is the pornstar martini, although I do also like the Gordon’s Pink Spritz, made with my new favourite Gordons pink gin and prosecco.
Slug & Lettuce is also a fantastic option if you are going on a double or group date, and is informal enough for first dates, when you are just getting to know somebody. Our local branch also has plenty of outdoor seating, which is perfect during the heatwave we have been having here recently!
Picnic in the Park
Sometimes the simplest dates are the best. The weather lately has meant the evenings are still really nice and warm, and perfect for an evening picnic in the park or down by the beach (although I always, always end up with sand in my food when we do this, just me?).
Stop off on the way at the supermarket and stock up on your favourite snack foods, drinks and desserts, and chill out together as the sun goes down. The best bit? Distractions are kept to a minimum, and you can really appreciate each other’s company and catch up.
Make sure you take along a blanket or towels to sit on, and bring a cardigan in case the air gets chilly as the sun goes down, and remember to check out local laws regarding drinking in public if you plan to take along any alcohol in your picnic.
Drive in Movie
Drive in Movies are no longer just for America, there are several venues offering this around the UK, and it is the perfect alternative to a trip to the cinema over the summer months. Films on offer are usually classics such as Dirty Dancing, and Grease, but I have also seen venues offering current films and outdoor screenings of The Greatest Showman too!
This is the perfect group date option, and would also be a great choice for a first date as the film can provide a distraction if conversation is a little stunted at first. I really want to go this summer, as they are showing Back to the Future, which is one of my favourite films!
Action Packed Activities
If you fancy something a little different for your date this summer, why not think outside the box and head to an outdoor activity such as the local Bournemouth Pier Zip, a zip wire which goes from the end of the pier to the shore and is a lot of fun (I have done it five times).
If you aren’t quite brave enough for this, there are plenty of other local activities to try out including learning to surf with Surf Steps, and the New Forest Water Park, which is reminiscent of the iconic Total Wipeout course.
Remember to book in advance for activities to avoid disappointment, as they can get incredibly busy especially during the summer months when holidaymakers will be around. It may be a good idea to plan for food afterwards too, as active dates will likely build up an appetite.
The BH2 leisure complex in Bournemouth town centre is the perfect base and has plenty of brilliant food options including Las Iguanas, Pizza Express and The Real Greek – their halloumi fries are to die for!
We were provided with vouchers for the Odeon Cinema in BH2, however there was no obligation to write this post and all photos and opinions are my own.