Everyone loves a sweet, romantic date night out or an evening spent home together on the couch, snuggled up with a good movie and a bowl of popcorn. Once in a while, however, it’s a great idea to get out in the community to give back and make a difference. So why not turn the opportunity into a fun date night? Not only will it be something new and different, but you and your date also will get to spend quality time together while doing something meaningful and building your relationship in a proactive way.

Check out our list of fun ways to go on a “date with a purpose” and get planning!

Get Cooking

Do you and your date enjoy working together in the kitchen? Love to spend a lazy Sunday baking up a storm and then enjoying the fruits of your labor? Plan a Sunday date afternoon making your best muffins, quick bread or any other delicious concoction you can think of and take it to a local homeless shelter! Organizations such as The Parish Kitchen in Covington rely on home-baked treats to serve their clients and to make mealtime a little more comforting. If you’re really looking to get involved, contact a soup kitchen or shelter and offer to help cook or serve. Put together a group date and cook an entire meal at your local homeless shelter or Ronald McDonald House. The possibilities are endless, and nothing gives you the warm, fuzzy feeling of community like helping provide for those in need in such a basic way. Bake a birthday cake! Spend the day baking a cake with your partner to donate! Our Daily Bread accepts birthday cakes for their guests’ birthdays. You also can put together a birthday bag filled with essentials. For more information and details on donating, click here!

Go Walk a Dog

… or play with the kittens — whatever makes your tail wag! Animal shelters always are in need of volunteers and supplies, so if you and your date have an affinity for four-legged friends, this is the opportunity for you! Put together a mini-supply drive — dog food, cat litter, treats, toys, blankets, towels, whatever you can think of — then collect supplies, drop them off and spend an hour walking dogs or petting kittens until your heart is content. Spend a weekend afternoon helping to clean out kennels, bathe animals, or anything else your local shelter might need. Giving back to furry community members is just as fulfilling and important as any other service work, and who knows — you just might find a new friend to take home!

Practice Random Acts of Kindness

If you want to make your date a little spontaneous, plan some “random acts of kindness” that you and your special someone can do together to brighten up someone’s day! Write friendly Post-It Notes that you can leave in random places throughout the community (car windshields, doors, etc.), collaborate on thank-you notes to people you interact with frequently (the barista at your local coffee shop or your mailman) or put a little change and a “random acts of kindness” note in Easter eggs and hide them in a neighborhood park for children to find. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can have the most impact!

Visit a Nursing Home

Some of our oldest community members are often the ones most in need of your time for a little extra care. Spend an hour or two reading aloud to a resident, or simply half an hour engaging in small talk. You and your date might find yourself fulfilled by the conversation. If you and your date are creative or love to take on art projects, take an afternoon to make crafts or festive decorations and distribute them throughout the facility to bring a little extra cheer to the residents. Time is your most valuable resource; giving of it freely is an excellent way to build a stronger relationship with your special someone — and yourself.

Build Something Great

Are you and your date the kind of people who love using your weekends to lounge around and watch HGTV? Put your expertise to a good cause by volunteering with an organization like People Working Cooperatively, a nonprofit that provides home repairs so low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners can continue living independently in a healthy, safe environment. You and your date can volunteer to help People Working Cooperatively tackle their “Wish List” of maintenance projects, or just take on some small jobs. Either way, you and your date will learn useful skills about home repair and get to experience the satisfaction of successfully repairing something for someone in need — a great bonding opportunity, indeed!

Go Green

Sign up for a park cleanup, help landscape the community center or do any other “green” activity you can find in your area. Many local community centers are in need of able-bodied helpers to do heavy lifting or to roll up their sleeves and get dirty. This is a great way to get off the couch and get active while making a real impact in the community. Consider finding a local community group online and look for events to sign up for. Then spend a day digging in and helping out. Follow up your morning or afternoon of hard labor with a delicious lunch or dinner date together. You’ll leave feeling satisfied in body and spirit!

Special events to put on your calendar!

Bethany House Services: 26th Annual Mardi Gras For Homeless Children Help them get set up for a party to help homeless children in the Cincinnati area. February 22, 2017 Shift Time- 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (20 people needed) Assisting with setup of the room at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. This includes setting up restaurant booths, tables, chairs, trash cans, etc. February 23, 2017 Silent Auction Set up Shift Time: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (15 people needed) Arranging and styling silent auction items for display. Making sure each item has a bid sheet that is accessible and clearly displayed. Numbering bid sheets. Displaying items in a manner that will attract bidders and increase the possibility of selling. Click here to volunteer. My Furry Valentine Event Looking to adopt? Want to help set up? Check out My Furry Valentine. While there, you also can check out other volunteer opportunities to help out throughout the year. Main Event Dates & Times Early Bird Entry, Saturday: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Saturday, February 11th, 12 – 6 p.m. Sunday, February 12th, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. General Admission: $5 per person, ages 5 and up Early Bird Admission: $25 for 1, $40 for a pair, children 17 and under free when accompanying an adult Click here for more info! Song of Songs Valentine’s Benefit Concert Enjoy a night of classical music at the second annual Valentine’s Benefit Concert. Presented by 9258 Wealth Management, American soprano Rachel Sachs and Swiss pianist Daniel Sachs will be performing at both locations.Tickets are $25 at both locations and all proceeds will benefit The Marriage School, Inc. Click here for more info! These ideas are only a few of many ways you and your special someone can give your next date night an added sense of purpose. Doing good not only helps others, but it also helps you and your date to feel better — all while building a stronger relationship and enjoying time together. Do you have a favorite way to give back as a couple? Share in the comments!

Date Night Cincinnati

Author: Date Night Cincinnati

Date Night Cincinnati is your one-stop resource to plan date night -- from tips on great destinations and budget friendly dates, to deals and specials.