Summer date ideas for when you’re at the cottage

Two people on a summer date, clinking wine glasses on a checkered picnic blanket. Photo by Soloviova Liudmyla/Shutterstock

Everyone knows that cottage country is the perfect place for a getaway—cozy cabins, stunning lake views, peace and quiet. Whether you’re looking to plan a romantic day for you and your partner or searching for a first date idea, you’re in luck! There are countless options around cottage country for planning an intimate summer date, and we’ve narrowed down some of our favourite ways to spend quality time with the ones you love.

Go for a hike

Get outdoors and spend some time in the wild with your date. Hiking offers a great opportunity for conversation (and photo-ops). If it’s early in the relationship and you’re still getting to know one another, it’s a fun way to spend time opening up and learning about each other. To avoid awkward silences, playing a game like “never have I ever” or “two truths and a lie” can help you discover something new about your date and keep the mood light. And, if you’re starting to think about popping a certain question to a long-time partner, hiking trails and lookouts are some of the most romantic places to propose.

Taste-test some local brews 

Heading to a brewery to taste-test some cider or beer is a great date idea if you’re looking to cool down on a hot day. Plus, breweries can be some of the most stunning locations for sunny lunches or romantic strolls with your significant other. Going out for patio drinks or a tour is a fun excuse to get out of those cottage sweats and dress up. And, if wine is more your style, there are plenty of options for a boozy outing.

Visit a local farmer’s market or pick-your-own farm

Farmers’ markets and their selection of local produce are basically a cottager’s heaven. If you’re craving a day out, see what deals you can find on fresh foods by driving around to different markets. There are also many pick-your-own farms in and around cottage country to visit, which make great outings for a date in the summer. Even better, choose a recipe to make together and gather the ingredients locally while you’re out! 

Spend the night in

If staying in at the cottage for some alone time is what you’re after, plan to cook dinner or bake with your partner. Choose a recipe, gather local ingredients, throw on some tunes, and you’ve got yourself a date night! After dinner, light up the grill (or firepit) and treat yourselves to a decadent dessert. Spending time in the kitchen is a fun way to figure out whether you enjoy doing the simple things together, like sharing a meal. 

Have a picnic on the dock

Picnics are a classic choice for a summer date and can be as casual or romantic as you want. Just grab a few blankets, some cute decor, and your favourite snacks, and set up on the dock or the shoreline for a picture-perfect setting. Picnics are also easy to plan as a thoughtful surprise for your partner or as a memorable first date. Just make sure to keep it eco-friendly by choosing reusable options for containers and cutlery.

Take a sunset boat ride

Whether you’re paddling out together in a canoe or taking the pontoon for a spin, watching the sunset on the lake makes for a date you won’t forget. Decorate the boat with some outdoor string lights or DIY mason jar lanterns, and make sure to pack some snacks. Choose a warm, clear summer night for the best views, and bring a camera to capture your favourite moments. 

Visit a drive-in theatre

If you’re up for a movie night, skip the indoor theatre and visit a drive-in instead. Drive-in theatres are an intimate yet casual setting for a date night, and there’s something about watching a movie under the stars that beats visiting a Cineplex. There are plenty of outdoor theatres across Ontario, and opting to go to a drive-in is a great way to support local businesses. Snacks, a cozy atmosphere, and quality time with your date—what more do you need? Just remember to bring your booster cables.

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