couple at bowling alley, day date ideas in Boston
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Once my partner and I discovered the magic of the “day date,” we’ve never looked back. Why limit dates to date night? Opening yourself up to dates during the day can expand your activity options — whether you have an hour or a whole day. The best part? You can act like a kid again without having kids around! Get out of that dinner-and-a-movie rut with these Boston-area day date ideas!

Arcades — not just for kids anymore. 

While attending a birthday party at Ryan’s Family Amusements, I quickly learned that not only do they have an arcade, bowling, axe throwing, and laser tag, they also have a bar! It’s like Dave and Buster’s (also fun), but with more things to do! If you venture into the city, there are a number of arcade theme bars like Versus and Play, which open late afternoon. 

Challenges — escape rooms are just the beginning! 

We did a family mystery escape room recently at the Kingston Collection and had a blast! If you like puzzles and being trapped in a room with your significant other, it could be for you! Level 99 in Natick offers a number of mental and physical challenges, and it’s conveniently located in the same space as Night Shift Brewing. Red Fox Escapes in Cambridge’s Central Square is known to be one of the best escape rooms in the area, and Boda Borg in Malden is a very cool way to experience a variety of mental and physical challenges with your partner!

Take a hike.

One of the great things about Massachusetts is the bounty of nature experiences — whether you’re hiking on a trail in the forest or walking along the rocky coastline. The Boston Harbor Island site lists hikes of all varieties on the Harbor Islands as well as their mainland sites. also has a great database of hikes searchable by where you are. If you’re in the city, try one of our favorite nature walks!

Go bowling!

Bowling is such a classic date experience! I didn’t know what candlepin bowling was until I moved to Massachusetts, but it’s a rite of passage for any New Englander. We love Sacco’s in Somerville and Brighton Bowl in Brighton for candlepin bowling and delicious pizza. Bowling alleys like Boston Bowl (Dorchester and Hanover) offer both styles of bowling. And for bowling, live music, and even golfing, try somewhere like Ryan’s Family Amusements (locations in Hanover, Millis, Raynham, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island and New Hampshire), Kings (Back Bay, Seaport, Burlington, Dedham, Franklin, Lynnfield), or Splitsville (Foxborough).

Golf — without a caddy.

Whether you’re looking to for putt-putt, virtual, or simply hitting balls at the driving range, there are options all around Boston — try Putt Shack in Natick or the Seaport, Five Iron near Government Center, The Range in Hingham, or Top Golf in Canton. The best part? You don’t have to lug a golf bag around!

Visit a brewery

From Dorchester to Cambridge to Hingham and beyond, our roundup of Boston-area breweries has you covered — and with all the different dining options on-site and from visiting food trucks, you can make a day of it! 

A day at the museum

Imagine visiting a local museum without making it about the kids! Stroll the halls of the MFA at your own pace, take time to soak up the immersive audio guide at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, or peruse the many galleries at SoWa in the South End.

Let’s go to the movies 

OK, this one may not feel like the most original of ideas for your Boston day date. But the movie theater experience has gotten such an upgrade in the last few years! Some theaters offer food and drinks to be delivered to you in the theater, and others even have tables. Want to sit in a repurposed Cadillac seat? Check out Chunky’s (also great for kids). The Seaport’s Alamo Drafthouse features more than 30 craft bees and a full menu. Showcase Cinemas and some AMC locations offer food and cocktails.

Courtney Medlin
Courtney was raised a Navy brat, growing up in Washington, South Carolina, and Virginia before her family put their roots down in Florida. She studied at Loyola University New Orleans earning her degree in communications PR with a minor in English, and she earned her master's in marketing from SNHU. She moved to the Boston area in 2008, where she met and married her partner-in-crime, John. Mother of Jackson, 5, and stepmom to two 16-year-olds (boy and girl) and dog mom to Riley. Courtney is raising her family with a love of the outdoors, scary movies, and lots of laughs. Courtney works corporate communications/marketing/pr and lives on the South Shore. She has a passion for cooking and traveling. She volunteers her time as a Gold Award advisor for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and serves on the planning gala committee for South Shore Health. She loves days that start with a latte and end with champagne.


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