70 romantic ways to have fun
1. Clear out the garage, attic, cupboards or wardrobes* – it really doesn’t matter as long as you do it together.
2. Go charity shopping. While away the hours browsing for books, CDs, games, retro clothing, bric-a-brac. You could try a carboot sale or trawl round some antique shops.
3. Get some exercise. Go swimming or ice skating, or enjoy a walk in the rain.
4. Enjoy a movie marathon.* Visit the video shop, stack up on snacks and spend the day being film critics. And if you’re stuck for inspiration, take a look at bbc.co.uk/films to find out which new releases should be top of your list!
5. Visit an art gallery. Find an exhibition in your area.
6. Step back in time and visit a museum. Many of the buildings themselves deserve a look and you never know you might learn something at the same time!
7. Improve your memory. Try our online memory test then spend the day testing each other’s powers of recall.
8. Discover yourself. Bookshops and the internet offer a wealth of personal-profiling tools, which can help you find out your personality type, your IQ or your relationship style.
9. Make something,* such as a coffee table, some shelves, a bird table, pottery dishes, vases, face sculpture, candles or soap. Craft shops are full of ideas. Check out the Blue Peter archive for some ideas to take you back to your childhood!
10. Go to the football or rugby.* Even if you’re not into the sport, you’ll find the atmosphere electric. Especially if your team is playing their arch rivals! Take a look at the fixture list before you go.
11. Have an evening of pick’n’mix. Take a look at the TV listings and create a night of entertainment.
12. Go for a stroll* – anywhere you like.
13. Take a hike. Find a nice big hill and see who can fall into an exhausted heap at the top first.
14. Go for a bike ride.* Like walking, cycling can be energetic or gentle – it’s up to you. But either way it’s sure to give your health a boost!
15. Hire a boat. Choose from an energetic canoe ride, a romantic row down the river or a leisurely cruise on a motor boat.
16. Visit the park.* Spend the day on the swings or play a game of tennis. If you’re really adventurous, you could even try out your skateboarding skills on the half-pipe.
17. Take to horseback. Look in your local directory for places that offer riding lessons (you may need to book in advance). Or better still, along a beautiful beach!
18. Be risky. Try some exptreme sports – skydiving, rock climbing, potholing, ballooning, motor racing… the list is endless. (You’ll definitely need to book ahead, though.)
19. Visit a stately home.* You might even get some inspiration for your own love nest!
20. Obey your animal instincts by visiting a zoo or farm.* Relax as you wander round the park. And if you don’t like spiders you can always go and talk to the monkeys!
21. Remember the picnic.* To make all the above even more enjoyable, don’t forget to pack some gorgeous food and wine. Let BBC Food help you choose the perfect tipple!
22. Walk this way – the Pennine Way, the Cotswold Way, the South Downs Way, the Milky Way…
23. Go youth hosteling.* There are more than 100 youth hostels around the UK catering for individuals, couples and families – and they’re cheap. And believe it or not there is one five-star hostel in the UK. Can you guess where?
24. Take a city break. Look at UK options as well as those in Europe and the US.
25. Book a themed weekend break. There are plenty of options, from murder mystery tours to salsa dancing to yoga.
26. Go camping,* either in your own back garden or at one of the hundreds of specialized sites around the country. Staying put will give your children the chance to learn more about their surroundings…
27. Visit friends or relatives.* Take the chance to spend time with people in another part of the country. If they can’t put you up for the night, book into a B&B.
28. Indulge and pamper yourself at a health farm.
29. Pick any room in your house and give it a complete makeover.
30. Spring clean the house or give your garden a serious sort out. Make sure you take regular breaks and treat yourself to a delicious takeaway or meal out in the evening.
31. Play games, whether they’re board games, computer games, card games or naughty games…
32. Work your mind with brain-teasers, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords or quiz books. See how your IQ rates against the rest of the nation!
33. Pamper each other. Give your partner a massage, manicure and pedicure. We all need a little pampering sometimes!
34. Rent a film to suit your mood, be it a comedy, weepy, romance or horror movie.
35. Star gaze. Lie in the garden and see if you can name the constellations.
36. Have a blind food tasting.
37. Enjoy a romantic dinner for two: light those candles, put on some soft music and get out the posh crockery. As if you needed an excuse to indulge!
38. Have a picnic in the garden.
39. Put on a themed evening. Try a little Eastern promise or a sushi night.
40. Drag out the duvet, make two cups of hot chocolate and snuggle up on the sofa or in front of the fire.
41. Read the same book and compare notes. If you’re stuck for inspiration, why not see what everyone else is reading?
42. Dig out the photos and enjoy a night of nostalgia. Or if you want to get more involved, why not take some of your own portraits? You could be the next icon!
43. Try a new recipe together. Have a go at Thai, Indian, Greek – whatever tickles your taste buds.
44. Learn a language. With a BBC language course you can be confident in no time!
45. Go internet shopping.Why not treat each other to a surprise? Buy online and then wait for it to arrive!
46. Compose something: a poem, a story or – if you’re feeling musical – a song.
47. Go to the theatre. It could be the Palladium or, if the budget’s tight, your local am-dram group. Find out what’s near you or pack your overnight bag and make a weekend of it!
48. Get some exercise. Go swimming or to the gym, or play a game of badminton or squash.
49. Have an evening of ten-pin bowling.* Or join your local bowling club. Many are opening their doors to a wider range of participants!
50. Attend a concert. Try something different, such as jazz, classical or rock.
51. Go to the dogs* – but agree before you go how much you’re willing to lose in bets.
52. Enjoy a few drinks at your local pub, and keep a look out for quiz nights and local bands. They say music is the food of love!
53. Join an evening class. There’s a huge range available, from poetry and dancing, to local history, cooking and wine tasting.
54. Have a leisurely dinner. Whether it’s cheap and cheerful or top-class nosh, enjoy the chance for uninterrupted conversation.
55. Go to the cinema. Slip into the back row and enjoy the latest blockbuster. Find out what’s on in your area.
56. Have a fight* – with balloons or pillows rather than words. Or if you’re worried to be more loving, why not indulge in some sensual touching…
57. Have a bath with oodles of bubbles.
58. Eat in bed, whether it’s breakfast time or not. Make it all the more special by preparing an aphrodisiac meal!
59. Use your limited time to plan what you’ll do when you have a whole evening to yourselves.
60. Start researching your family tree, then add to it every time you have an hour to spare.
61. Bake a cake* or anything you’ll enjoy eating together.
62. Do a fitness video together, whether it’s aerobics, Pilates or yoga.
63. Do an online quiz.
64. Say “I love you”
65. Give each other a hug
66. Leave a love note, in a briefcase or on the TV screen. Or request a love song on the radio.
67. Blow a kiss – or just start flirting outrageously!
68. Give flowers.
69. Keep in touch. When you’re apart, send a text or email, or pick up the phone.
70. Write “I love you” in lipstick on the mirror or in glow-in-the-dark chalk on the front wall.
This article was last medically reviewed by Dr Trisha Macnair in August 2005.
First published in November 1997.