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6 Rainy Day Date Ideas for 50+

Here are creative and fun ways to get romantic when it rains

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Photo Collage: AARP; (Source: Getty (6))

Rainy days get a bad rap. But people who love rain already know you shouldn’t let wet weather get in the way of a good time, including  a date.

Rain can even add to the ambiance of a date, says Karen Waldron, an event planner in Southern California.

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So if you have a hot date with a potential new boo (about a third of adults ages 50+ are single, according to a 2022 Pew Research Center survey) or are looking to mix things up with a long-term partner (the other two thirds), don’t let a little rain ruin your good time. There are plenty of creative and fun activities you can still do. Here are six rainy day date ideas that can cultivate romance no matter the forecast:

Hops on over to a microbrewery

A peanut butter porter. A coconut curry beer. These are not your father’s brews, and that’s why microbreweries give you both something to do and talk about, says Colleen Wilkinson, 56, a writer in Minnetonka, Minnesota. She and her husband, Ben, whom she describes as a “microbrew connoisseur,” have been married 24 years. On date nights, they often order craft beer flights — a few small pours of various drinks —  to compare and contrast unique flavors. It’s a fun activity in a low-key environment that “loosens you up even before the alcohol hits.”

Maybe take the opportunity to look into each other’s eyes and say “Cheers!” with each new sampling.

Many microbreweries have bookshelves stacked with board games, which Wilkinson says can be “a nice diversion,” especially if you’re dating someone new.

“A board game offers a little bit of respite from that pressure to constantly have a conversational topic,” she explains. “It gives you something else to focus on.” 

Be starry-eyed at your local planetarium

You can pretend it’s not raining at all with a trip to the planetarium.

“The skies are always clear in the planetarium — unless we purposely decide we want to show clouds,” says Danielle Khoury LeBlanc, director of the Center for Space Sciences at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts.

The lights go down (cue the snuggling), the stars come up and all of a sudden you’re transported to other parts of the universe — excellent material for thought-provoking conversation starters afterward.

With a 360-degree view of space, planetariums offer immersive, often-interactive journeys that stir up a sense of wonder and awe and invite an exploration of life’s big questions. Planetariums can even be popular sites for engagements and weddings. “We’ll often get calls from people who want to propose before or after a public show,” says Khoury LeBlanc, who agrees that the planetarium is a great date spot.  “There’s nothing more romantic than sitting underneath the starry sky. If you can’t get the real one, then we’re the next best thing.”

 Just roll with bowling

Another way to take the pressure off and stay dry is to go bowling.

In many bowling alleys these days, “the food quality and options are as good — or better — than most area restaurants,” says Robby Martin, operations director and chief operating officer at Pin Chasers Midtown in Tampa, Florida.

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Many bowling alleys also offer special event nights — such as Cosmic Bowling, which incorporates music, laser lights and glow-in-the-dark lanes for a high-energy atmosphere.

Other perks: You don’t have to dress up, and you have plenty of chances to be affectionate, whether you nail a strike (congratulatory hug) or throw a gutter ball (sympathetic hug).

Good sportsmanship and camaraderie matter much more than the score.

“There’s a little bit of competition, but the beautiful thing about bowling is that everybody can do it,” says Martin. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, or whether you’re good or bad. You can enjoy it.”

Be around beauty

Museums typically are beautifully designed and filled with incredible things, “and beauty in and of itself is romantic,” says Melissa Prestinario, 53, a marketing and events director in Eugene, Oregon.

If in a quiet gallery, you’ll have no choice but to exchange emotional reactions to the art in hushed tones — and whispering can be sexy. More interactive atmospheres, including living history museums, create intimacy by helping you learn new things together.  

Cafes inside museums are common and are perfect for sharing perspectives on the exhibitions over a nice meal.

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Get dirty by playing with clay

No, we’re not suggesting you recreate one of the sexiest scenes in cinematic history. But references to Ghost, the 1990 film starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, are a dime a dozen when people get near a pottery wheel, according to Samantha Hoff, founder and owner of Pottery With a Purpose in Needham, Massachusetts. “Pottery just has a very cozy vibe,” she says, noting that it’s a slow, be-in-the-moment activity where you can really take the time to connect with someone. While one-off classes using the wheel do exist, handbuilding — using your hands to create an object out of clay — is much more accessible and allows for much more control.

In less than two hours, for example, you can make a vase (for when you receive flowers), a mug (for morning tea after waking up together) or body sculpture (for a sensuous objet d’art).

If you want a pottery date at home, order a kit online. A great option for beginners, air-dry clay is easy to work with and doesn’t have to be brought to a kiln.

Embrace the rain

Put on your raincoat, pop open an umbrella and listen to the gentle patter of raindrops as you walk peacefully together, strolling hand-in-hand on routes that aren’t as busy as when skies are clear.

Perhaps go to an arboretum, where you may even be the only ones along one of many trails to commune with nature, which comes alive when it rains, says Tari Marshall, director of public relations and social media for the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.

Colors are deeper and brighter, scents are sharper and there may be a lot of wildlife to see.

Egrets, herons and turtles are just some of the fauna found along many lakes and waterways at the Morton Arboretum, for instance.

There is something about nature that is calming and quiet so two people can focus on each other, while also giving them interesting things to see and discuss, says Marshall.

And then there is always just the option of a romantic night in, listening to the rain, says Waldron, adding that a candlelit dinner and some cozy time on the couch while it storms outside can be a lovely way to spend the evening. “It’s a good reason to snuggle up to someone you love.”

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