Originally Published on July 29, 2021. Last Updated on June 12, 2023.
Life keeps us busy, so squeezing in a date night can be tricky for some couples. Between work, sleep, chores, and family obligations, it can feel like your energy is spent by the time the evening or the weekend arrives. But a date night doesn’t have to be a big to-do with fancy outfits, dinner reservations, and valet parking. In fact, a fun date night at home in your own backyard can be rejuvenating and just as romantic. It’s a great way to wine and dine with the one you love without leaving the comfort of home.
Did we pique your interest? If so, browse our backyard date night ideas and get ready for some much-needed quality time.
1. Candlelit Dinner
It’s the classic romantic date done alfresco. Set the mood by breaking out your best tableware, lighting some candles, and turning on romantic music. Order takeout from your favorite restaurant and serve it outside with a bottle of bubbly for dinner. It’s less work for you, which means more time together.
2. Paint Date
Painting is so much fun, even if you’re just doodling. Instead of making a mess inside, take your painting date outdoors. Get the supplies you need, follow along to a YouTube video, and enjoy creating art after dark.
3. All-Grilled Meal
Want to show off your searing skills? Get creative and plan an entire meal on the grill—even dessert. Nothing beats grilled oysters, and paella on the grill is as impressive as it is tasty. As for dessert, how about grilled peaches with ice cream or s’mores?
4. Outdoor Movie Night
Consider adding an outdoor home theater to your back patio to make time together extra entertaining. Installing an outdoor TV or projector-and-screen combo is an investment, but it’s worth it for all future backyard date nights. Grab a big bowl of popcorn, get cozy on a deep seating sofa or sectional, and settle in for a starlit and star-studded movie night.
5. Picnic Date
If you’re looking for a more casual dinner date, a romantic backyard picnic could be just the thing. Fill a basket with your favorite foods and drinks, cutlery, plates, and glasses. Then lay out a soft picnic blanket and accent it with a few outdoor pillows (to make it extra cozy). Finally, string bistro lights overhead to give your picnic area an enchanting glow.
6. Backyard Game Night
Enjoy some friendly competition outside. Two-person board games, a hand of cards, and lawn activities like giant Jenga and cornhole will keep you both entertained for hours.
7. Sunset Gazing
Here’s a simple date night idea: Watch a gorgeous sunset from your deck. Just grab a pair of wine glasses and your favorite bottle of vino, cozy up on a deep seating loveseat, and watch Mother Nature work her magic.
8. Night Swim
Have a pool or hot tub? Enjoy a romantic and relaxing soak with your partner. Then stretch out on a pair of chaise lounges and enjoy some quality time together.
9. Backyard Campout
Who says you need to leave your house to camp? Set up your own campsite right in your backyard. Grab your s’mores supplies, pitch a tent, unroll your sleeping bags, and cuddle up in a pair of Adirondacks next to a warm fire.
10. Double (or Triple) Date
Invite other couples over for a backyard double date or big get-together. This is a fun outdoor date idea that lets you get social and enjoy the great outdoors. Plus, more people means you can do activities and play games intended for larger groups, like scavenger hunts, multiplayer board games, and at-home cooking classes.
If more than one couple has young kids, hire a babysitter and split the cost.
Preparing Your Yard
Use these tips to ensure your backyard is always ready for date night.
1. Keep Pests Away
Take a preemptive approach to ensure mosquitos, squirrels, and other party-crashing pests keep their distance.
- Remove standing water.
- Set up patio screens.
- Add pest-repelling plants to your landscaping.
- Keep your landscaping clean and clutter-free.
- Mix up a batch of eco-friendly bug spray.
- Add bird feeders, owl boxes, tall flowers, and water features to attract animals that deter other pests.
- Repel pests with peppermint oil and other strong scents.
Want More Ways to Keep Pests at Bay?
2. Tidy Up the Area
A clean and clutter-free space makes any outdoor activity much more enjoyable. Washing your furniture, mowing the lawn, and sweeping away leaves and debris are just a few easy ways to keep your backyard beautiful.
3. Don’t Forget the Furnishings
The right outdoor furniture and decor can take an outdoor space from average to amazing in no time. All yards are different, so pick pieces you like that fit your date night needs (and beyond). Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Deep seating sectional or sofa: The perfect place to cuddle up and watch movies under the stars.
- Stocked bar cart: Keep bottle openers, ice buckets, and everything else you need for a cocktail nearby.
- Bistro set: A tall two-person bar set is ideal for watching the sunset from your terrace.
- Outdoor lighting: Enhance the ambiance with the warm glow of fairy lights or lanterns.
- Porch swing or glider bench: A swaying seat for two is great for relaxation and reconnection.