Looking for some fresh inspiration for date nights this summer? Here are a few ideas:

I love architecture and I love history, so I enjoyed getting the book “St. Paul’s Historic Summit Avenue,” written by Ernest R. Sandeen, from my husband for Christmas. One of my favorite summertime dates was walking Summit Avenue, book in hand, reading facts and stories about the houses as we walked past. The book only covers the section north of Ramsey Street to the Cathedral of St. Paul, but that was plenty to keep us interested for two hours. When we were tired of reading, we walked farther down Summit, enjoying the evening air and eventually walking one block south to Grand Avenue, stopping at the Grand Ole Creamery for ice cream. It was an inexpensive date, but interesting and fun. – Kathy Banta

No matter where you live (unless of course it’s in the desert) there are usually outdoor concerts and plays to be enjoyed in the summertime. Here in Minnesota there are lots of parks that offer free concerts, plays, and movies. If you Google “Free Summer Concerts (plays, movies) in name your location” you may be amazed at what you find. My husband and I enjoy packing a picnic dinner and heading to a free concert. Most of the concerts are pretty casual so if we get bored or the mosquitoes threaten to carry us away, we can just leave. There are, of course, plenty of outdoor events that require a fee which are worth exploring, also. If the idea of putting together a picnic overwhelms you (it does me sometimes) then just find a carry-out place at which to stop along the way. The important thing is to have time to talk, laugh a bit, enjoy something fun, and maybe even steal a kiss. – Nancy Holte

When my husband and I were newly engaged, we thought renting a tandem bicycle for a jaunt through a beautiful state forest would be a fun “date” activity. We quickly realized that we had a long way to go in learning how to work together and in unison! What was fun; however, was when we rented a tandem bicycle on our tenth wedding anniversary. After ten years of marriage, our ability to share a bike had improved remarkably. If tandem bikes aren’t your thing, think about canoeing down a stretch of local river or across a local lake. Hate water? What about a challenging hike? Finding a physical activity involving teamwork instead of competition is a great way to reconnect, let off steam and maybe even laugh as the canoe (or tandem bike) goes in circles rather than a straight line. — Julie Fisk

Since my husband and I are in the throes of raising four children, a night out isn’t always a possibility. But we have found a simple way around this by planning date nights at home. I’ll feed the kids a simple dinner and put them to bed a little early. My husband will then make us a more gourmet meal, while I sit at the kitchen table, enjoying our quiet conversation about the day. Sometimes we sit out on the patio, or our front porch swing, or we’ll have a fire in our backyard– any way to spend time, just the two of us. And as Nancy mentioned, if making a meal seems like too much, ordering out works too! The point is simply to find ways to enjoy each others company–in or outside–the home. —Kendra Roehl

So for those of you who haven’t had a chance yet to enjoy an evening out with your loved one–or if you’re just need a fresh idea–there’s never a better time than now to enjoy a summer date!