Amuse Yourselves
There’s a reason roller coaster cars have two seats. Amusement parks were practically invented for cozying up, dating back to the Coney Island days when rides were constructed with little other purpose than to give passers-by a glimpse of ankle, or a lady a reason to clutch a firm shoulder. Set aside a warm evening to capitalize on the coziness with a trip to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for good-old fashioned fun, or Great America for higher-octane thrills.

Shot Through the Heart
Nothing says romance like stomping around a dark room whilst cradling a heavy piece of plastic machinery in your arms. Often the domain of 8-year-old boys’ birthday parties, laser tag can also be adapted into a more intense, paintball-type experience if you do it right. Laser Quest in Mountain View is about the last laser tag establishment in town, and boy does it deliver, with a sprawling playing field and no-holds-barred 30-minute group games. Laser Quest is open until the very adult hour of midnight, and if you come late enough, chances are you won’t be the only ones there with driver’s licenses.

One way to loosen up around someone is to dive headfirst into improv. Though terrifying at first, improv can be a good way to get yourself acquainted—very acquainted—with someone you like spending time with. Comedysportz in downtown San Jose and Made Up Theatre in Fremont offer fairly priced 8-week classes, but if you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, check with your local community center for one-time workshops.

Go Retro
If you must do dinner and a movie, you might want to substitute the Retro Dome for the megaplex. Situated on the outskirts of a mid-sized shopping mall, the Retro Dome specializes in old, obscure, or cult-appreciated films, so they always have a good, weird selection to choose from. Pick a film that neither of you have seen before, or watch an old favorite on the big screen. For dinner, there’s a plethora of eateries just across the street.

Get Cooking
Cooking classes are a good way to ease committed couples out of routine, scheduled date nights and into more adventurous territory. There are a shocking amount of cooking classes and workshops throughout the valley, tailored to every level of experience and interest, from the basics to fusion to cake decorating. Sur la Table in Los Gatos is a good place to start, with expert instruction from authors and cooks, and, yes, a weekly date-night program.

Sing Your Heart Out
While we’re on the subject of public embarrassment, we might as well suggest karaoke, another guaranteed good time that requires a little bit of guts. Fortunately, unlike improv, there’s no pressure to be good at it. And even more fortunately, it’s pretty much mandated that karaoke establishments have a bar just a few paces away from the stage. Once you knock back a few, you’ll find it that much easier to warble through “Don’t Stop Believin’” in front of your date.

Watch the Skies
The moon, the stars, and other celestial bodies have been used as romantic metaphor for who knows how long, and with good reason. Get better acquainted with your date and your home galaxy at Lick Observatory or Foothill Observatory, both of which offer free public viewings though their state-of-the-art equipment, weather permitting. Few things are sexier than simultaneously pondering your place in the cosmos with a partner.

Hit the Tank
A Sharks game is pretty much always a win-win (well, maybe not always for the Sharks). No one in San Jose turns down a trip to the tank. If your date is a local, she’ll love cheering on her hometown team. If he’s new to the valley, it’s about time he was initiated into the teal and black. And if, for some reason, your date doesn’t have a good time… well, you might want to reconsider that good-night kiss.

Go Museum-Hopping
There are museums and galleries dedicated to anything and everything in San Jose and the surrounding areas, hiding in every nook and cranny of the county. We’re willing to bet you haven’t been to a museum since you left grade school, so take the time to re-discover San Jose’s bountiful museum scene with your significant other. Start with the downtown area, where the Museum of Quilts and Textiles and galleries like WORKS dominate, then branch out from there. Pro tip: South First Fridays make this task especially easy.

Blow Your Allowance
For only $2 “cover” and as much change as you can find on the floor of your car, Nickel City is the easiest way to look like a big spender and a creative date without actually having to be one. As the name suggests, all you need is nickels to last you until closing, which is as late as midnight on the weekends. No matter how old you get, the thrill of watching a machine spit out a never-ending stream of prize tickets never gets old.