Why is having a good anniversary date ideas so so important

...Because, you know how it is... when you first start dating someone, everything is fresh and new. Every date idea is novel and a new shared experience. You might even have several early date ideas all planned out and ready to go to recycle with whomever you've just started seeing.

But that changes as time goes by and you start having anniversaries. Thinking gets stale as time goes on and new experiences are harder to come by.

And this is a problem.

Celebrating an anniversary milestone is enormously important to the health of any relationship. It's not enough just to remember your anniversary, though that is a necessary condition, you have to mark the occasion.

That's where we come in.

Here's a list of anniversary date ideas to get your creative juices flowing. We've broken them down into a few different categories to align with where you're at in your relationship, or when you're actually going to be marking the occasion. Some are fun, some are going to get you outside your comfort zone, but all are designed to bring you and your partner closer together.


24 Best Anniversary Date Ideas

Let's not over complicate things if you're running late or your anniversary is, like, this week. We've compiled the best anniversary date ideas to get you started. You may need to do a little bit of legwork to make some of these happen, but there are plenty you can accomplish today.

1. Head Back to the Spot Where You Two Met

Show her you remember exactly where you were when the course of your life changed forever. Presumably.

2. Get a Room at a Chic City Hotel or Country B&B

Everyone deserves a little staycation.

3. Head on an Unplanned Road Trip

Get out of Dodge for a bit. Just skip Vegas. Vegas baby!

4. Head to the Spa

Maybe she's used to the pampering you know she deserves, but try a couples massage.

5. See a Band You Both Love in Concert

Music has the power to change lives. Spend a few hours bringing yours closer together.

6. Volunteer Together

Spend time on each other and make the world a little bit better. Win-win.

7. Head to a Theme Park

Sometimes the "Happiest Place on Earth" isn't just a marketing slogan.

8. Go on a Boat

Bring your swim trunks and your flippy floppies...

9. Take a Cooking Class Together

You can score a lot of man points if you can make more than grilled cheese, steak, and pasta out of a box.

10. Spend the Night Laughing—and Drinking—at a Comedy Club

A two drink minimum makes everyone funnier. But save your comedy stylings for after the show.

11. Find a Chic Bathhouse or Hot Springs

Your anniversary is a special day, but there's not a day a hot soak doesn't improve.

12. Relive your first date

You may need to check in with social media to remember all the details, but if you pull this off, you're a winner for life.

13. Relive the wedding, if you're married

Get down on one knee. Renew your vows. Don't invite all the cousins.

14. Go ballroom dancing.

Ballroom dancing lessons were probably a lofty goal in the lead up to the wedding. Now that you've got the extra time, learn the proper technique to cut a rug.

15. Go Glamping.

Fancy camping. It's a great excuse to drink champagne in nature.

16. Do a food truck tour.

Get out and see some of the city. Check social media to see where you'll be dining tonight.

17. Hit a dance club.

Pulsating beats and thirty dollar light beers. Talk about reliving yesteryear.

18. Try indoor bouldering.

This is an intense full body workout which gives you the chance to look like a complete stud... or at least show some serious vulnerability. Either works.

19. Go on a motorcycle ride.

Three hundred miles with her arms wrapped around you.

20. Attend an outdoor concert.

From ancient Rome to Woodstock. Music just sounds better outside.

21. Go to a local fair or festival.

Take in a little local culture. Can anyone say butter sculpting?

22. Taste wine at a vineyard

Sometimes you just have to go to the source to experience the joie de vivre.

23. Get dressed up to the nines and visit the Opera.

You don't need a reason to break out your monocle or learn to tie a bowtie, but your anniversary is certainly one.

24. Take a tour of your local brewery.

Similar to the vineyard, taking the time to learn something about your libations is a real bonding experience.

16 Anniversary Date Night Ideas

If you're not going for a weekend or a long trip, the anniversary date night itself is the big show.

This isn't just any night, so we've got you covered on some stellar date night ideas sure to score all the winning points.

25. Reconnect over your future

This is your person. This is your life. There's no better time to revisit your communal future than your anniversary.

26. Bar hop

Simple, but effective. Take the chance to cut loose with a few drinks at a few different venues.

27. Go out to a jazz club

Jazz clubs are great. You have the chance to dress up and have a nice cocktail without being stodgy.

28. Go to a Sip and Paint

The more you sip, the more creative the painting.

29. One night dinner cruise

There is little in life as romantic as a boat. Couple the high seas with dinner, drinks, and dancing for the easy win.

30. Ethnic Eats

Get outside your comfort zone with some global eats. Tums are your friend here.

31. Go Ice Skating

Man up and get the figure skates. Show a little vulnerability. Remember the Cutting Edge?

32. Schedule some hot tub time.

I'll say it again. A hot soak has never steered a man in the wrong direction.

33. Go to the ballet

Watch Billy Elliot first. You'll feel better about the ballet and you'll score so many brownie points.

34. Make out in the back seat of your car.

Remember to make sure the high school kids aren't around.

35. Go to a haunted house.

Pretty much the only way to ensure she's closer to you than the motorcycle ride.

36. Go to karaoke.

Don't stop believing! In you. Don't stop believing in you.

37. Crash a wedding.

You're swinging for the fences here. Have a backup if this blows up on you. And it will... almost always.

38. Wait in line for the new iPhone

It's what Steve Job's would do. WWSJD?

39. Have an arcade date.

Arcades are making a comeback. Nostalgia is a strong emotion. Play that card.

40. Take a pole dancing class together.

If ballet isn't your speed...

16 Cheap Anniversary Date Ideas

There's absolutely no requirement to spend your retirement savings (do you have retirement savings? I don't...) on your anniversary. In fact, cheap date ideas are often the most successful.

41. Go for a hike

Nature is free. That doesn't mean getting out in nature doesn't have great value.

42. Plan a romantic picnic

Plan it. Do it. All you need is a bit of grass and a blanket. Oh, and food. Get some cheese too. And wine. Get wine.

43. Stay in and watching a movie together.

In this era, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn't have a binge watch.

44. Spend the day at the beach

Rolling surf is extremely relaxing. Just another reason to get married in the summer.

45. Sit by the lake, pond or river.

There's a reason so many romantic stories happen by babbling brooks.

46. Go to a museum or art gallery.

Go look at something amazing. It will make you feel better about your sip and paint sessions.

47. Run a race or go to a charity event.

The couple that runs together stays together.

48. Learn to play an instrument together.

If you get through this one together, make sure there either is a ring on it, or you put a ring on it.

49. Take a drive to the best lookout point and spend an evening stargazing.

Get out of the city. Go where it's dark. Snuggle up and watch for a piece of dust to graze the atmosphere. Life changing.

50. Visit your local botanical garden.

If you don't live near water, hit up the local botanical garden. Plants are almost as relaxing as water.

51. Ride a Tandem Bike

This is a bold move, but you're going to get a crash course in interpersonal communication. Pun completely intended.

52. Go Antiquing together

No better way to remember you're growing old together than buying something ancient. Or just mid-century. The sentiment is the same.

53. Attend a poetry reading

Poetry is a natural aphrodisiac. I think. It was in the 60s at least. Just think of Ginsberg.

54. Go Bowling

If you avoid league night, you're in good shape. Never get married on league night. That's just amateur hour.

55. Exercise together

Bowling. Ice skating. Even the tandem bike ride. Literally grow stronger together.

56. Fruit Picking

It sounds cliche, and perhaps it is, but it is cheap. Plus you end up with fruit. So, win-win.

19 At Home Anniversary Date Ideas

Sometimes you're not able to get out of the house. Kids maybe. There's also nothing wrong with being a homebody. There are plenty of at home date ideas that can crush your anniversary.

57. Make it a Netflix Night

Get weird. Get deep. Get into the documentaries.

58. Plan a staycation

The magic doesn't have to happen in a single day. Expand your anniversary beyond just one day by planning a trip that can span several.

59. Re-create a pricey class at home

You can learn almost anything on YouTube these days. Grab a bottle of wine and learn something new.

60. Cook something you've never tried before

Order it first. Savor it. Google it. Learn it. Make it. Done.

61. Plant a garden together

You don't even need a yard for this. Plant an herb garden to spice up your next meal.

62. Make a romantic brunch at home

If you can make french toast and poach an egg you pretty much never have to worry about anything romantically ever again.

63. Plan a game night and break out the old board games

Arcades cost money. Board games? Not so much. Break out the Pop-o-Matic bubble.

64. Create a bucket list together

This is your partner for life. What do you both want to do? Even if it isn't on this list.

65. Build a fire at home and roast some s’mores.

Outside of arsonists, no man has ever gone wrong building a fire.

66. Cuddle up with some candles and your favorite bottle of wine.

Life is really pretty simple. Sometimes a little low lighting and a bottle of wine are all you need.

67. Chocolate Tasting

Err on the side of dark. Milk chocolate is garbage. Garbage!

68. Eat Take-Out By Candlelight

Again, simple. Order a properly prepared meal. Eat it right out of the takeout box. Save a dish.

69. Make Dinner or Dessert Together

Order a dinner take away. Eat the dinner and make the dessert. Drink the wine.

70. Ask Each Other Questions

We hope you're doing this regularly, but on your anniversary ask big questions. How are you going to change the world?

71. Do a Puzzle Together

The trick? FIND THE CORNERS. Start at the corners. Work your way in.

72. Take a Bubble Bath

Soaking. Never. Harms. That's just a relationship maxim. Just be mindful that you need a sufficiently large tub.

73. Play “Would You Rather?”

If you can't afford to go to the arcade, this is going to be as fun. No. More fun. Way more fun.

74. Give each other massages

This seems simple, but do a bit of research ahead of time. A massage can be divine if done properly, so... make sure you do it properly.

75. Make Homemade Donuts

Mmmmmm... donuts.

10 Winter Anniversary Date Ideas

When you started dating in winter, you probably thought it was great, but now, it's far tougher coming up with an anniversary date than in other seasons. Or is it? These anniversary winter date ideas stand up against those for every other season.

76. Find a DIY project

Build something you both really want together.

77. Watch documentaries

It's a laid back, but very intellectually stimulating anniversary date.

78. Print all pictures you have so far and make a scrapbook

Relive all your wonderful times together.

79. Make a date list of all dates you plan to go to in the next year

If you're low on money, you can spend a date planning more adventurous dates.

80. Write each other handwritten letters

She'll cherish it more than any expensive gift you could buy.

81. Have a quiet time reading interesting articles

When life is busy, sometimes quiet time together is the best.

82. Start a blog and commit to writing every week

Write about your time together and share in the writing process.

83. Record a music video while singing and playing the guitar

Channel your inner rock stars together.

84. Write a message in a bottle and find a body of water to throw it in

You can write it together and have fun coming up with a message for a stranger.

85. Hit the gym and enroll in HIIT classes

Why not make the anniversary a chance to get fit like you've both been promising to?

7 Free Anniversary Date Ideas

There's a lot of pressure to go all out and break the bank for an anniversary, but sometimes, you can't do that because the bank's already broken. That doesn't mean your anniversary is a failure. You just need these great free date ideas to find a fun, romantic activity that doesn't cost anything.

86. Make homemade face masks, download relaxing music and unwind while enjoying an at-home spa experience

When the real spa is out of your price range, DIY.

87. Drive to a location away from city lights and gaze at the stars

There's nothing as romantic as a clear night sky and just the two of you.

88. Make your own kite and try to fly it

It's a sweet and creative way to celebrate your time together.

89. Go people-watching at the busiest place you can find

Admire all the cute couples and wonder about the lives of all the strangers in the world.

90. Learn basic karate moves in Youtube

Become joint new karate kids.

91. Pick a free class to enroll in at an online academy

Commit to learning about some interesting topic together.

92. Dress up and partake in a DIY glamour photo session

The final photos together may end up on the wall.

12 Fun Anniversary Date Ideas

A lot of anniversary ideas focus too much on the romance and not enough on the fun. That results in sweet but dull dates that no one really enjoys. Instead, make sure you use these fun date ideas to create an anniversary that is as fun as it is affectionate.

93. Cook your own three-course meal

It's far more impressive than buying the meal somewhere else.

94. Fly in a private jet

Just for a short while, you can pretend you're both swanky rich kids.

95. Have a kiddie party theme

Spend a night playing at being kids again.

96. Experiment by making homemade ice cream

It's a creative project with delicious results.

97. Try your luck by buying a lottery ticket

Add some fun by making promises about what you'll do together if you win big.

98. Learn how to paint digitally and print your artwork afterwards

It'll matter more to her than any painting you might have bought.

99. Try glamping

Great fun for those who like the adventure of camping without enjoying roughing it.

100. Camp out in the back of a pick-up

Park somewhere remote and spend the night under the stars.

101. Ride the most terrifying attraction in your local amusement park

Enjoy the thrill together, then indulge in that awful—and delicious—park food.

102. Learn how to trapeze

A fun evening, even when you sail through the air at just a few inches off the ground.

103. Explore a random point in a map

Pick it out together and then see what you discover there.

104. Play hide and seek in IKEA

It's such a massive place, you'll be playing for hours.

10 Romantic Anniversary Date Ideas

Tired of coming up with fresh anniversary ideas year after year? We've got you covered. Our list of romantic date ideas is all you need to surprise your partner and make them fall in love with you all over again.

105. Do a Photo Shoot

What better way to preserve the memories from your special day?

106. Hit the Water

If you don't live by the sea or a lake, take your partner to a fancy pool instead.

107. Go to a Vineyard

While you are at it, don't forget to do some wine tasting!

108. Play with Puppies

Look up animal shelters and dog breeders in your area — they may have new litters of puppies that could do with a bit of socialization.

109. Take a Cake-Decorating Class

If your partner is into baking, they should love this!

110. Host a Dinner Party

Who said it should be just the two of you on your anniversary?

111. Go Stargazing

Here's a hint: there are handy mobile apps that tell you the names of the stars in the night sky.

112. Play Trivia About Each Other

You think you know each other? Let's find out!

113. Take a Hot-Air Balloon Ride

That's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

9 Anniversary Date Ideas That Can Be 3rd Date Ideas

There's nothing wrong with recycling date ideas. Many anniversary activities also make for great 3rd date ideas.

114. Take a Romantic Bath by Candlelight

Never gets old.

115. Go Parachuting

Is your partner a bit of an adrenaline junkie? If that's a yes, they should be on board with the idea.

116. Go Camping

If the two of you love the outdoors, that's probably your best bet.

117. Go to the Movies

Let your partner pick the movie, though.

118. Have a Gourmet Meal at an Exotic Restaurant

Ever tried zebra meat? Caramelized roaches?

119. Go to the Opera

High drama, rich costumes, and great music — what's more romantic than that?

120. Visit a Botanical Garden

Nothing beats a leisurely stroll in nature.

121. Visit the Place You First Met

A little trip down memory lane always makes for a great date.

122. Try Horseback Riding

Ride off into the sunset together.

Downloadable and Printable List of Anniversary Date Ideas

Here is a downloadable and printable list of anniversary date ideas (right click the image and select Save Image As...):

How To Pick The Perfect Anniversary Date Idea: 3 Steps

You only get a single anniversary date a year, so it is important to make sure you knock it out of the park. While we've thrown out some helpful ideas, selecting the right one takes a bit of work.

1. Know your budget

Do you have money to spend on this or not? You can do a lot with nothing if necessary. Be honest though.

2. Know your locale

Can you leverage the natural beauty of your surroundings or do you need some help from the city?

3. Know your audience

There are a lot of ways to get out of the box, but knowing your partner, their preferences and their appetites is, by far, the most important criteria.

More Great Date Ideas

Once you nail your anniversary date, you've got 364 other days where you could use a date idea in your back pocket. We've got you covered there as well.

Be it double dating with friends, or, if you have completely messed up your anniversary date (which, if you've read this list, you haven't), a first date idea, the key is to always be thinking. If you have the first date idea, have the second date ready to go. Then the third, and so on.

In Conclusion

Anniversaries are serious endeavors. Let's get that right. Marking another trip around the sun with your partner needs to be respected and acknowledged. Making sure that your anniversary goes swimmingly isn't exactly hard. Hopefully, we've provided enough anniversary date ideas that get the job done or get the mental juices flowing.

Next year, don't mess around. Just come back and let us help move the process along.