Giving and receiving are two wonderful parts of your anniversary, but having new experiences and building up memories with your loved one tops it all. Memories are (usually) more budget-friendly and way more fun. So instead of spending hours trying figure out what to get your SO, plan an epic day themed around that traditional gift. Just grab your camera and you’re on your way to the best anniversary ever. Take a look at these anniversary date ideas inspired by those oh-so-traditional anniversary gifts to get inspired.

1 paper

Year 1: Paper

How’s your handwriting doing? Your SO’s probably isn’t so good either. Spend an hour or two learning calligraphy and then practice with a love letter to your boo. (via Design Love Fest)

Year 2: Cotton


Use those fancy cotton sheets you got for your wedding to build an epic love fort. Stack it high with pillows and spend the night in watching movies, eating popcorn and snuggling the night away. (via Brit + Co)

Year 3: Leather

3 leather

Keeping a couples journal is a great way to record memories. Decide on a pretty leather-bound book and take turns adding entries about all your anniversary dates to come. (via Vickie Jean)

Year 4: Fruit

4 fruit

How do you make fruit into a date? Head out to your local orchard or fruit farm and get to picking. (via Booth Photographics)

Year 5: Wood

5 wood

Whether you’re a hardcore camper or a casual hiker, take some time together to get away and stroll through the woods on your anniversary. (via Ciara Richardson)

Year 6: Candy

6 candy

It’s time for a date at home with… candy. Melt down that chocolate and enjoy dipping your strawberries in some delicious fondue. (via Food Network)

Year 7: Wool

7 wool

Have you ever visited a sheep farm? Go find one then. Take a tour, pet a lamb and buy yourselves matching wool scarves. (via Mayflower Farm)

Year 8: Pottery

8 pottery

Channel the epic romance of Ghost and take a pottery class for your eighth anniversary. (via Tales from Tavanti and Beyond)

Year 9: Willow

9 willow

When you’re married nine years, you’ve put in a lot of hard work. So roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty together while you add a willow tree to your landscaping. (via Focus Maui Nui)

Year 10: Aluminum

10 aluminum

You see the sights, you get some exercise, you go on adventures. That makes biking a great date idea, especially when you end it with a stop at your local ice cream shop. (via Chard Photography)

Year 15: Crystal

15 crystal

Did you know that there are mines where you can dig for your own crystals? Time for a road trip to make a really cool memory. (via Soul Makes)

Year 20: China

20 china

Get your passports ready, because this anniversary date goes way beyond dishes. You’ll fill up your camera in no time with all the sites you’ll see. (via Curious Cat on the Run)

Year 25: Silver

25 silver

25 years later, it’s about time you had another ring to mark the occasion. Go ring shopping together and reminisce about when you got engaged. (via The Huffington Post)

Year 30: Pearl

30 pearl

Time for another trip, but this time to beautiful Hawaii. Go diving and maybe you’ll find your very own pearl. (via 1000 Lonely Places)

Year 35: Coral

35 coral

Yeah, we knew you couldn’t get enough of that ocean. So make your 35th anniversary an opportunity to swim with the fishies and take in the beauty of a coral reef. (via The Chronicles of Kim)

Year 40: Ruby

40 ruby

Reserve dinner for two at the fanciest restaurant in town and go buy yourself a new ruby red dress to wear for the occasion. (via Sincerely Jules)

Year 45: Sapphire

45 sapphire

Blueberry picking is always a fun activity, especially when you can make a fresh pie or cake to enjoy afterwards. (via City Planning News)

Year 50: Gold

50 gold

50 years is a very long time, so we think it’s time to revisit your vows. Exchange gold rings again as you recite them to each other in a vow-renewal ceremony. (via Jillian Zamora Photography)

What are your anniversary date ideas? We’d love to hear them below!