19 gay date ideas beyond the usual bar scene

19 gay date ideas beyond the usual bar scene

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An illustration of a gay couple enjoying time together that conceptually represents gay date ideas and celebrates love within the LGBTQ+ community.

In the world of dating, finding unique and memorable ways to spend time with your partner can sometimes feel daunting, especially when the default often leans towards grabbing a drink. This guide is dedicated to those who are ready to explore vibrant and memorable gay date ideas that venture far beyond the usual bar hangouts.

Whether it’s the excitement of a first encounter, the joy of celebrating an anniversary, or the romance of Valentine’s Day, we’ve curated a selection of activities that promise fun, flirtation, and a fabulous time together.

Budget-friendly outdoor adventures

Two men on a beach date dressed in speedos are joyfully constructing an elaborate sandcastle together on the beach. The scene is stylized with a limited color palette of red, black, and white, capturing the essence of a cheerful beach day.

Embrace the great outdoors and the endless possibilities it offers for romantic escapades and playful adventures, all while keeping your wallet happy.

Picnic in the park

Imagine a laid-back afternoon under the sun, with a blanket spread and a basket filled with your favorite goodies. A picnic in the park isn’t just affordable; it’s a perfect way to enjoy each other’s company in a serene setting. For first dates, it offers a relaxed environment to chat and get to know each other. Add a personal touch with a homemade meal or a selection of treats that mean something special to both of you.

Hiking and nature walks

Connecting with nature can be incredibly romantic. Choose a trail that matches your fitness levels and lose yourselves in the beauty of the natural world. For anniversaries, consider revisiting the spot of your first hike together or exploring a new trail that’s been on your bucket list. Sunrise or sunset hikes add an extra layer of magic to the experience.

Beach day escapade

Whether it’s building sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, or simply soaking up the sun side by side, a day at the beach is filled with potential for fun. For a romantic Valentine’s Day twist, pack a cozy blanket and a bottle of wine to enjoy as the sun sets over the water, turning the day into a romantic evening.

City exploration on bikes

Renting bikes (or scooters!) to explore new neighborhoods or hidden gems in your city can turn an ordinary day into an adventure. It’s an excellent way to create shared memories, especially on a first date, as you’ll have plenty to talk about with all the sights around you.

Indoor activities for any weather

an illustration of two gay men participating in a cooking class at their home.

Don’t let the weather dampen your spirits! These indoor date ideas that promise comfort, laughter, and a touch of whimsy.

Cooking class at home

Turn your kitchen into a culinary studio with an online cooking class or meal kit. Cooking together not only teaches you new skills but also allows for cute moments and deeper connections. Celebrate an anniversary by preparing a dish that holds special meaning to your relationship.

DIY art night

Set up an art station at home and let your creativity flow. Whether you’re painting, crafting, or working on a pottery project, sharing this creative space can lead to deep conversations and a lot of laughter. For Valentine’s Day, consider making art pieces for each other as a heartfelt gift.

Virtual museum tours

Travel the world from your living room by taking virtual tours of museums. Discussing each piece can spark interesting conversations and reveal new insights about each other’s tastes and perspectives. This is an awesome option for first dates when you’re looking for ways to connect intellectually and culturally.

Out-of-the-box opportunities

an illustration of two gay men on a date, engaging in a stargazing trip, reclining closely on a blanket with a backdrop of a vivid night sky rendered in abstract patterns. The stars and constellations are illustrated using a striking color palette of red, black, and white.

Exploring unconventional yet feasible date options can add an element of surprise and novelty to your relationship, making each moment together unforgettable.

Stargazing trip

Find a spot away from the city lights, bring a telescope or download a stargazing app, and look up at the stars. This peaceful and awe-inspiring activity is perfect for romantic occasions, providing a backdrop for deep conversations or comfortable silence.

Themed movie marathon

Pick a theme that you both love and queue up a selection of movies. Whether it’s classic rom-coms, thrillers, or a fantasy series, setting up a cozy viewing area with themed snacks or drinks can make the experience even more enjoyable.

Volunteering together

Choose a cause you’re both passionate about and spend a day giving back. This shared experience can strengthen your bond and offer new perspectives on your community and each other.

Attend a workshop or class

Learning something new together, whether it’s a dance class, fitness class, pottery session, or language course, can be incredibly bonding. It’s a chance to support each other, laugh at your mistakes, and celebrate your successes.

Tried and true classics

An illustration of two gay men enjoying a board game night together, sitting across from each other at a table. They are engaged in playing a board game, with expressions of focus and enjoyment.

Inject some extra fun and flair into your dates with these lively and engaging activities, guaranteed to keep the laughter flowing and hearts fluttering.


Hit the lanes for a retro-inspired outing that promises both nostalgia and novelty. It’s an ideal blend of casual competition and laid-back fun, suitable for those who are just getting to know each other or couples looking to switch up their routine date nights.

Mini golf

Mini golf (or putt-putt, depending on where you’re from) is the perfect backdrop for a date, offering just enough of a challenge to keep things interesting without overshadowing the opportunity for conversation and connection. It’s a playful setting that’s ripe for flirting and gentle teasing.


Step into a world of flashing lights and classic games at an arcade. From ’70s pinball machines to the latest video games, this date idea is perfect for unleashing your competitive spirit or working together as a team on co-op missions. Challenge each other to beat high scores, win prizes, and share in the joy of friendly competition.

Board game or puzzle night

Challenge each other to a board game or collaborate on a complex puzzle. This can be a cozy way to spend an evening, offering plenty of opportunities for banter and teamwork. Spice it up with playful wagers or rewards for the winner to keep things flirty and fun.

Seasonal date ideas

An illustration of two gay men enjoy a springtime date together, surrounded by blooming flowers and foliage.

Let the changing seasons inspire your dating adventures, with each offering its own unique flavor and opportunities for romance.

Winter wonderland

Embrace the magic of winter with ice skating, cozying up at holiday markets, or sharing a hot cocoa under a blanket of stars. These activities promise a wonderland of warmth and whimsy.

Spring bloom

Welcome the rebirth of nature with a stroll through blooming gardens or a picnic amidst the flowers. Spring is a time of new beginnings, making it the perfect backdrop for budding romances or rekindling flames.

Summer fun

Dive into the vibrancy of summer with outdoor concerts, beach parties, or midnight swims. It’s a season for sun-drenched adventures and nights filled with laughter and whispered secrets.

Autumn adventures

Get lost in the rustic charm of autumn with pumpkin carving, apple picking, haunted house explorations, or leaf-peeping excursions. The crisp air and colorful landscapes create a cozy setting for sweet nothings and shared discoveries.

Navigating the “Who pays?” question

The question of who pays on a date can vary based on personal preferences, the nature of your relationship, and cultural norms. A good approach is to communicate openly about it or consider splitting the cost to keep things equitable.

For first dates, offering to pay or suggesting splitting the bill can set a positive tone, while for anniversaries or special occasions, you might decide to treat your partner as a gesture of love and appreciation.

Final thoughts

Crafting unforgettable moments with someone special means stepping out of the ordinary and embracing the extraordinary.

This collection of gay date ideas offers a variety of options to suit any preference, occasion, and weather condition, stepping beyond the conventional bar scene into a world of shared adventures and experiences.

Whether you’re planning a first date, celebrating an anniversary, or looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day idea, remember that the best dates are those where you connect, enjoy each other’s company, and make lasting memories together.

Did we miss any hidden gems that you and your partner adore? Share your go-to activities and any unique date suggestions in the comments below.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the Queerty newsletter for a regular dose of inspiration, entertainment, and the latest in LGBTQ+ news and culture.


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