If you’re at a complete loss for date ideas, look no further! We’ve left it to our favorite teen movies to give us all the inspiration we need. Sure, most of these movies are pretty unrealistic, so don’t expect your date to end in fireworks and a musical number, but they do have a few great date ideas underneath all the glitz and glam. Whether they’re perfect recreations or loosely-based on these romantic movies, they’re sure to be a success. So grab your candles, red wine, and evening gown, because it’s about to get tender.
16. Enjoy an Italian Dinner Like Ethan and Kate in The Lizzie McGuire Movie
While Kate and Ethan were obviously not the key couple in The Lizzie McGuire Movie, they definitely gave us something to work with when cooking up date ideas. Yes, Lizzie had that amazing tour of Italy on a motor scooter with Paolo, her hunky love interest. But since *spoiler* Paolo is a total trash human and that date would be a little harder to recreate, we’re gonna focus on a more successful couple. At the end of the movie, we see Kate and Ethan chowing down on spaghetti and meatballs (think: Lady & the Tramp), and having an unusually tender moment. Basically, there’s nothing more classically romantic than a candlelit Italian dinner. Bonus points if you’re in Italy!
15. Try Mia and Mike’s Romantic Ballroom Dance from Princess Diaries
Is there any teen movie romance more pure than Mike and Mia in The Princess Diaries? The answer is no. The two of them were unbelievably adorable and had a whole bunch of romantic moments, but few date ideas since they didn’t get together until the end of the very end of the movie. However, their most romantic scene came when they slow-danced, just the two of them, in a romantic courtyard. The ambiance is a must, but the formal ball gown is definitely optional. Plus, consider ending the date with M&M-covered; pizza in a classic Michael Moskowitz move.
14. Get Artistic Like in 10 Things I Hate About You
A movie like 10 Things I Hate About You is sure to have at least one super-creative date idea. As if their little paddle boat ride wasn’t cute enough, Kat and Patrick take their date to a whole new level when they head to a paintball arena. There’s no better way to say “I like you, a lot” than by running around and pelting someone you’re romantically interested in with paint! But seriously, this date would be totally unforgettable and one-of-a-kind.
13. Enjoy Your Fave Movies Like In Pitch Perfect
If you’re looking for date ideas for the romantically-cynical, try gaining some inspiration from Pitch Perfect. Not only is this a free date, it’s a great way to ask someone out without really asking them out. Just like Becca and Jesse did, keep it simple! Grab a few of your favorite movies, some popcorn, and hang out at one of your places. Plus, Jesse even provided us with some great options for material, particularly The Breakfast Club. Sure, you might be falling into the questionable “Netflix n’ Chill” scenario – but if you’re looking to keep things low-key, this is your best option.
12. Try A Nostalgic Date Like in 13 Going On 30
First of all, any date would be amazing if it included Mark Ruffalo. However, these date ideas work for everyone, even if they can’t be Mark. The pseudo-date between Matt and Jenna was hands-down one of the cutest parts of this nostalgia-filled movie. Granted, the two of them have the added cuteness of being childhood friends, but you can do this even with someone you don’t know. Grab some class 2000s candy (they suggest Razzles), maybe that really gross junk food your mom used to buy on special occasions, and head to a playground at night. Relive your rebellious high school days!
11. Hit the Beach Like The Last Song
This “date” idea is really just a dose of summertime inspiration. As the weather gets warmer, try to spend as much time outdoors with your S.O. as possible. Like Veronica and Will in The Last Song, take advantage of the approaching warm weather and enjoy a few lazy summer days. If you’re feeling bold, take a three-day weekend, book an Airbnb and head to the nearest beach. If you don’t have that kind of time, find a nice, quiet place to lay around and soak up as much sun as possible.
10. Go On a Crazy Scavenger Hunt Like in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is for sure guilty of giving us some unrealistically-high expectations for date ideas. However, it could potentially be recreated by you and your date, given enough creativity and dedication. The two of them spend the whole night trying to figure out clues that will lead them to a secret concert. For your own twist, make clues for your date that will lead you to a final, romantic meeting place. The whole fun of it is exploring your town or city together. For even more thrill, add a time limit!
9…Then End It In a Late-Night Diner Like Nick and Norah
There were too many romantic moments in this movie, so we had to include another. If you’re not into all the labor and time-commitment that a scavenger hunt requires, skip right to the end of Nick and Norah’s night together. In the super-early hours of the morning, the two of them reflect on their night together while chowing down on Ukrainian food at Veselka Restaurant. However, if you don’t live in NYC, heading to a diner late at night can be strangely romantic and unique in terms of date ideas.
8. Explore Nature like Bella and Edward in Twilight
Okay, this may seem like a stretch in terms of date ideas, but work with us. Granted, your date will not end up with an intense vampire battle, and your date (probably) won’t be scaling trees with you on their back, so it won’t be exactly like Twilight. But, if you remember that one scene in which Bella sees Edward sparkle for the first time — it’s super romantic and totally recreate-able. Wait for a warm, beautiful day and head to a local meadow or forest and just lie down, and enjoy each other’s presence. It couldn’t be easier, and it’s a great way to really get to know each other. Just a warning though, your date probably won’t sparkle in direct sunlight.
7. Go For a Drive Like in The Perks of Being a Wallflower
A lot of the ~romantic~ scenes in Perks of Being a Wallflower are pretty intense and confusing. However, the one super iconic scene that everyone knows, even if they’ve never read/watched Perks is the tunnel scene. Patrick and his friends go driving at night through a long, dimly-lit tunnel listening to The Smiths and feeling free. You don’t even need to get in the back of a pickup truck, just go for a long, romantic drive at night.
6. Recreate Cher and Christian’s Kind-of Date With Your S.O.
While the whole thing wasn’t technically a date, Cher and Christian had tons of fun together on their evening out together in Clueless. Before learning that Christian was gay, Cher had the perfect evening planned and we think this would be a blast for any new couple. First of all, the two of them look amazing, because who doesn’t love getting all dressed up? Then, Cher *attempted* to make a home-cooked meal for the two of them. Then they spent the night cuddling and watching movies. Super low-key and cute!
5. Go To A Museum Like in The Fault In Our Stars
Okay, we’re definitely not saying that the date ideas from The Fault In Our Stars are realistic or attainable, but they are definitely inspiring. We know you may not be able to take your date across the world to meet their favorite author at the drop of a hat. However, you can try to experience as much culture as possible, regardless of where you are. Go see some art at a nearby museum, go to a historic house or village, explore the local attractions! It may not be Amsterdam, but it’s something.
4. Got to the Fair Like in She’s the Man
Technically, this isn’t a date, but this scene in She’s The Man has a lot of romantic potential. If you don’t recall, this is the scene where all the various couples and love triangles seem to come to a head at a local fair. Plus, there’s the whole added cuteness of the kissing booth that Viola works at. Either way, we think the a fair or carnival is a classic (and perfectly cheesy) date idea. Play the games, go on rides, eat a bunch of sugar while strolling around hand-in-hand. Not recommended: confusing your date by doing an outfit change every ten minutes.
3. Go to the Drive-in Like Danny and Sandy from Grease
Yes, Grease is a little bit dated and totally cheesy. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the cutest love stories of (before) our time! Sandy and Danny are straight-up adorable, and if you can’t impress your date by serenading them, try a few different Grease-inspired date ideas. In particular, we think you can’t go wrong with a drive in. Sure, it’s retro and cliché, but that’s what’s so great about. Cuddle up in the back of your car with a bunch of junk food and you’re all set! Let’s just hope you don’t get ~stranded at the drive-in~ after trying to grope your date without her consent!
2. Explore Your Local Ikea Inspired by 500 Days of Summer
It’s true, 500 Days of Summer may not seem like the place to look for date ideas, since their relationship ended in disaster. However, this date was so freakin’ cute we just had to include it. While Ikea is notoriously a great place for couples to go and argue, we think it could be seriously romantic for just hanging out and browsing. Summer and Tom spend the afternoon playing make-believe, acting as if they’re a married couple living in their new home. In reality, they’re surrounded by strangers in the Ikea showroom, but something about it is so whimsical and sweet.
1. Go On a Romantic Boat Ride À La Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
While it may be a little hard to recreate this date due to the fact that it takes place on an island in Greece, you can still recreate its ~essence~. If you don’t have access to a boat (like most of us), try planning a candlelit dinner under the stars. You can even have it in your own backyard! However, if you have access to a waterfront, definitely take advantage of it for added romance. Have a picnic by the river if not on it. Get creative!