Want to get some learning in while still going out on the town for drinks and dinner with your significant other? If so, then we’ve got the perfect list of date ideas for you. The negative “nerd” stigma is long gone, and smart is sexy. Whether it’s the intelligent look in fashion, cerebral shows like Cosmos and Star Talk, or awareness of issues like why it is important to go green, knowing your stuff looks good on you. So be it a new flame you want to impress with your knowledge, or a long-time lover you hope to grow and develop with, these smart and sexy science-related date ideas are sure to light up your life.

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1. Go Stargazing

One of the benefits of living in a state with so much beautiful nature and many undeveloped areas is that there are certain spots that are free from the light pollution of big cities. This makes for prime stargazing spots, and let’s face it, there is nothing more romantic and educated than gazing at the stars. To take it up a notch from simply laying on your backs on a blanket and saying “wow,” download an app to help you locate constellations, or better yet, invest in an affordable and portable telescope and do some up-close observations of the Milky Way. You’ll learn so much about our awesome and always expanding universe, share something really deep and spiritual together and hey, maybe even find an opportune moment to steal a kiss, too.

There are some really prime spots around Colorado to check out the stars, such as Red Rocks Ampitheatre on nights when no shows are happening, if you want to stay in town. You can also check out Garden of the Gods Road down in Colorado Springs or Lookout Mountain outside of Denver. To kick things up to a spookier level X-Files style, trek down to the UFO Watch Tower in San Luis Valley. Locals report that this is a great place to catch site of an unidentified flying object, and even if the aliens are a no-show, it’s still a great spot to catch a view of the stars.

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2. Take a Walk Around Dinosaur Ridge

If your interests lie a bit closer to the ground – actually, in the ground – then you may enjoy spending the day hiking around Dinosaur Ridge a bit more. The actual museum at Dinosaur Ridge is tiny, but packed full of awesome bones and exhibits to keep your interest. To follow up this short museum trip, do the easy day hike (only about a mile and  a half long) down Triceratops Trail to check out real dinosaur footprints and fossilized plants, both of which you can touch. This will also give you the chance to take in some great views of the surrounding scenery. You can learn a lot about the creatures who were on Earth before us and bond in your shared knowledge, as well as do some chatting in a relaxed and fun environment.

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3. Visit the Science Museum

If you’re looking for something fun and educational to do that doesn’t even require leaving town, head on over to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to check out some of the awesome exhibits. The cover price is super affordable for a day trip, just around fifteen dollars, and the museum is free every evening from four to five, right before they close. There is so much to see here that it is almost impossible to do it in one day trip. From space and the dinosaurs to pre-history and early civilizations, every room has a ton of things to look at, as well as interactive exhibits and more. And if that’s really not enough to satisfy you, there are always special, traveling exhibits to see. Plus, we can’t forget for just a few dollars more, there are the IMax movies and the planetarium, for those who want to sit in the dark and hold hands, steal a kiss and learn about the universe or the world around us.

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4. Check out the Aquarium or Zoo

If you’d like to  learn a ton about the varying animal life on our planet without even going outside city limits, then either the zoo or aquarium might be the perfect place for you. The Denver Zoo is conveniently located near City Park on the east side of downtown, and is home to all kinds of awesome, cute, terrifying and interesting animals. If underwater life is more your thing, check out the Downtown Aquarium to see all kinds of amazing shows, fish and underwater mammals. This is the perfect way to spend the day before taking things up a notch with the dinner-and-drinks part of your date.

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5. Do a Guided Nature Walk

Everyone in Colorado knows that the best way to truly enjoy the local scenery is by walking around in it. But usually, nature walks are excuses to spend time with friends, walk your dogs, party outside and just generally enjoy the great outdoors without paying too much attention to it. Next time you and your significant other or first-time date go on a walk out in nature, trying using physical guides or phone apps to identify some of the plants you see, animals or birds you hear and notice or even some of the awesome, ancient rock formations Colorado is known for. You’ll learn some amazing things about the state you call home and make some lasting memories while you’re at it.

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