13 Last-Minute Birthday Date Ideas That Are Still Super Special

Originally Published: 

You had every intention to plan for your partner’s birthday ahead of time. Truly, you did. But the occasion snuck up on you fast, and now you’re scrambling to put together an epic date in just a few short days. Or maybe your original date plan fell through and now you’re at a loss for what to do. But before you frantically call every restaurant within a five-mile radius for a reservation, don't freak. There are several last-minute birthday date ideas that can ensure the celebration is still special, with minimal prior planning needed.

A great date is really all about connection. It matters less what you do together and more that you’re spending quality time as a couple. Think about your partner’s favorite activities and hobbies, and try to plan the date around the things that make them happy. Your undivided attention will matter more to them than a fancy dinner reservation.

You can’t go wrong with one of these last-minute birthday date ideas, as long as you choose one that fits your partner's vibe and personality.

1. Picnic In The Park

Slavica/E+/Getty Images

Fight me on this: There will never be a cuter date than a picnic in the park. Pick up a bottle of wine, a picnic basket and blanket, and an assortment of fruit and cheese (or any of your favorite snacks). Break out the wine glasses, and voila, you've got the perfect date for anytime and anywhere.

2. Stargazing

You don’t need a prior reservation to look at the stars. Drive out to a local park or somewhere else without much light pollution, and stargaze on a blanket or the hood of your car.

3. Day Trip

Is there a neighboring city or town you’ve been wanting to explore? Hop in the car and surprise your partner with an unknown destination. You can spend the day walking around and exploring together.

4. Cook Breakfast

Breakfast in bed is the ideal way to start out a birthday. Get up early and cook your partner’s favorite foods, then wake them up to the smell of fresh coffee and sizzling bacon. Dreams do come true.

5. Go Out For Breakfast

If you’d prefer to go out to eat instead of cook, breakfast restaurants and cafes are often easy to get into without a reservation (as long as it’s not a busy weekend brunch). Wake up first thing and start your day with some one-on-one time.

6. Recreate A Memory

Mixmike/E+/Getty Images

Is there a specific location where you two met or first said “I love you”? If possible, try to recreate this special day. Write your partner a letter telling them about this memory and why it means so much to you. Talk about how much your relationship has grown since then.

7. Food Truck Festival

Not only are food truck festivals perfect for last-minute gatherings, but they’re arguably better than sit-down restaurants. Both people can choose from an endless array of options and just eat to their heart’s content.

8. Hiking

If your partner is the outdoorsy type, they’ll probably enjoy an outing to a local state park or forest. Pack food and even camping gear if you want to make it a full weekend affair.

9. Bar & Arcade

Bring out your competitive streak by facing off in partnered video games and Dance Dance Revolution. Bonus points if you find a place where you can grab a drink and win some cool prizes.

10. Roller Skating

There’s something so old-school about going on a date to the roller skating rink. It brings back feelings of being head-over-heels for your middle school crush. (No? Just me?) Combine it with a stop at the ice cream parlor for the perfect retro-themed date night together.

11. Wine Tasting Or Brewery Tour

If you can find a place that doesn't require advance reservations, this can be a perfect fancy date that makes it look like you planned way ahead. You may even learn a thing or two about wine or craft beer, while you're at it.

12. Pottery Class

ljubaphoto/E+/Getty Images

A pottery class is so unique. It's probably not something your partner has done (unless they're a pottery expert already), and getting a quick, last-minute reservation is probably easier than you think. (Check Groupon!) Plus, you'll each make something that'll remind you of this special day.

13. Have A Stay-Cation

It’s just like a weekend away, but you can do it from the comfort and ease of your own home. Transform your space with decorations and photos, and cook dinner with all your partner’s favorite foods. Then, pack your weekend with fun adventures in your own city.

It doesn't take a ton of advance notice to put together an unforgettable birthday date. With a little creativity (and maybe a last-minute phone call or two), you'll be set to make a fun new memory together.

This article was originally published on