The sun is shining, the beach is beckoning, and summer love is in the air. But with so many outdoors activities this time of year, wouldn’t it be great to have someone with whom to share the gorgeous weather? The answer, of course, is yes, which is why we’ve got you covered for vegan date ideas sure to impress. From warm-weather cooking to breaking a sweat in the great outdoors, these five ideas are perfect for basking in the sun, vegan-style.
1. Park it
A picnic date might be a bit cliché, but there’s nothing better than relaxing in the shade, people watching, and noshing on nibbles such as artisanal vegan cheeses (Kite Hill is a personal fave) with seeded crackers, homemade plum basil jam, and a portable dessert. Having a date at a park is also a much less intimidating atmosphere—as opposed to a fancy restaurant—that ensures light and fun conversation will be flowing for as long as your inconspicuous Thermos is filled with wine.
You don’t want to break a sweat in front of your crush, so any cooking that has to do with a hot stove is a definite no-no. Instead, create raw dishes such as our Marinated Kale Salad that allow you to work together in the kitchen … with the windows open, of course. Doing so allows you to show off your knife skills and maybe hand-feed kale to one another. Whatever you choose to make, don’t forget the Very Berry Vegan Popsicles, which can help lovebirds cool down when the romance gets hot.
Want to know if that summer fling will last through Halloween? Take your date to a local animal shelter, and watch how he or she interacts with animals. A positive experience means you’ve got yourself a keeper! If you’re near a farmed animal sanctuary, save your snuggles for pigs, cows, and chickens who will return the love the same way as cats and dogs. You’ll learn a lot about your partner while helping animals, which is a total win-win.
4. Hot for hikes
Summer means breaking a sweat, and no physical activity does this better than a good hike up your favorite local mountain. Grab your backpack, and load up on snacks (we suggest dried mango from Trader Joe’s) before choosing a trail flat enough that you can have a good conversation while getting your heart pumping. If your hike is going to be an all-day activity, end your date by watching the sunset. If all goes well, watching the sunrise over a pair of Mason jars filled with overnight oats is just a few hours away.
5. Frozen fun
For the sweet-loving types (that’s us!), head to a frozen yogurt shop, where vegan options are easier to find than ever. Chains such as Pinkberry, Menchie’s, and 16 Handles have recently introduced plant-based yogurt options, which allows us to swirl our yogurt before piling on nuts, fresh berries, and toasted coconut until our creations tower over the cup. If your date is also vegan (score!), they’ll understand if your excitement for dairy-free froyo trumps your remembering to share.
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