5 fun summer date ideas inspired by YA novels


School is out, comfy tennis skirts for the warm weather are in and there is nothing but time to enjoy in between. Without the added pressure of exams and essays, we know you're looking forward to spending some quality time with your crush. While we love the classic dinner and a movie date, sometimes it's fun to switch it up and try something new. If you've ever imagined yourself as the Lara Jean Covey or Maddy Whittier of your own story, this list of five summer date ideas based on YA novels is the perfect way for you and your S.O. to make the page's fiction your reality!

1. To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han: thrift store challenge

Readers of TATBILB might remember the scene when Peter takes Lara Jean to an estate sale before they even start dating as an official couple. Though on duty for his mother who owns an antique store, Peter and Lara Jean turn the errand into a fun outing as they enjoy each other's company while finding treasures among secondhand knicknacks. On the topic of Covinsky and used items, one of our fave date ideas for summer is visiting a local thrift store and gearing up for some friendly competition. You vs. your S.O., see who can put together the trendiest outfit for under $30 or who can style a plaid shirt the best. You can also check out who can create the most fitting outfit for themes like a fancy evening event or what you would wear if you were TikTok famous. This idea is super fun for sunny afternoons or laidback evenings and the perf opportunity to show off new fits on your Insta!


2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon: plan a day of virtual dates

In Everything, Everything, Maddy isn't allowed to see her crush in person—they have to resort to talking online and seeing each other through their bedroom windows. Whether you're in a long-distance relationship, you're in quarantine or you're just looking for fun and creative date ideas, there are *so* many activities you and your S.O. can plan together for a magical day of virtual dates!! First, have an art date. Get creative with it—your artwork can range from making portraits of each other to painting canvas tote bags together. Next, Netflix Party and chill with your fave romantic TV show or movie! You can then end the night with "Dinner Delivery Roulette." In this game, you and your S.O. both order food to each other's houses, but you don't tell each other what you ordered. When the food arrives, you can sit down and open your food with each other over Facetime or Zoom!


3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: pick out of a hat

We all know and love The Hunger Games, the infamous book series (and movie) that takes place in a dystopian world where each district randomly selects two citizens to join "The Hunger Games" each year. Based on the general idea of selection, we came up with a fun date idea! You and your S.O. should write out a list of a *ton* of super easy date ideas and mix them up in a hat. Then, each of you can randomly select two dates (totaling four dates) any time you're feeling uninspired! With so many amaze ideas, you can spend the entire day together without ever getting bored. Some of my faves include: getting ice cream, going to a restaurant, going on a picnic, taking a trip to the zoo, playing mini-golf, making dinner together, baking a cake, going to an art museum and walking along the beach!!


4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: go to a carnival

In Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Simon and Blue go to a carnival and it's *roman-tastic*! Go to a carnival with your S.O. for the perfect summer date. You can start the evening with a romantic walk and some cotton candy. Next, you can move onto playing some carnival games, aka *heaven* if you're ultra-competitive like me! You can spice things up a little by making the loser buy dessert. Then, finish the night with a super romantic ride on the Ferris wheel.

5. Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson: make a bucket list

When Emily's number one bestie Sloane suddenly vanishes before what should have been the best summer ever, the only trace Emily has left of her BFF is a comfort zone-pushing bucket list. Believing that completing all the tasks will reveal something about Sloane's location, Emily enlists the help of three new friends and begins an adventurous and completely unpredictable summer. Making a joint to-do list for the summer is a great way to score more than one date with your crush and get to know them better!! It's the perfect time to do all that you wished you could do when school was in session with the added bonus of enjoyable company! You could include some ideas from Emily's list like apple picking (or your fave fruit of choice) or you can come up with your own tasks specific to you and your S.O.!!


What are some date ideas you're hoping to try out this summer? Let us know on Insta and Twitter by tagging @girlslifemag!


by Tori Feinstein and Elizabeth Huang | 7/22/2021