feet walking on a sidewalk with light shining behind

An artist date is a concept created by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. Cameron recommends that once a week, you treat your inner artist (or writer, or what have you) to a fun, engaging experience that will spark your inspiration. The only ones on this “date” are you and your creative self.


book cover for THE ARTIST'S WAY (25th anniversary edition) by Julia Cameron, which features a mountain peak on the cover


Now, once a week is a lot, and it might not be practical for everyone. But I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of an artist’s date. I’ve never deliberately gone on one, but I’ve been thinking about it lately! Y’all know how much I love to make lists, so I thought I’d make a list of ideas for artist dates.

Many of these are cheap, or free. The last fifteen are ones you can do without even leaving the house. I hope you find some ideas that you enjoy!


interior of antique shop "50 Artist Dates inspired by Julia Cameron"


1. Go to a museum or an art opening.

2. Go to a farmer’s market.

3. Take a walk in a park and listen to your favorite music…or take a walk in a nature preserve and listen to nature.

4. Buy sidewalk chalk and draw designs on your driveway or the sidewalk in front of your house…

5. Or, write positive messages in your neighborhood, or sidewalk poetry.

6. Go to a public place, like a park or a mall, and make sketches and doodles of people…

7. Or, write descriptions of them in a journal. (By the way, this is a great thing to do when you’re in a waiting room or at the bus stop and you’re bored. It’s a lot more creative than staring at your phone!)

8. You can also go to a lake or the middle of a field and sketch or describe nature.

9. Go to a café or diner to write, read, or sketch. (This is classic…but so enjoyable!)

10. Take a local tour of a factory or brewery.

11. If you live in a city, go on a do-it-yourself architecture tour. Research significant buildings, and go visit them and take pictures of them.

12. Tour a historic home.

13. Go to a concert (sometimes, you can find free ones!)

14. Go to the movies.

15. Go to a play.

16. Attend an event that’s really out of character for you! For instance, if you’re a classy, refined person, go to a monster truck rally.

17. Go to a perfume or cologne counter and smell ten different fragrances. (But only if you like fragrances!)

18. Or do the same thing at a scented candle store.

19. Go to an old-school arcade to play games.

20. Bounce around at a trampoline park.

21. Go indoor skydiving.

22. Attend a free event at your local library…

23. Or just spend an hour or two browsing at the library.

24. Browse in a bookstore.

25. Try a tea tasting or wine tasting.

26. Take a walk in a cemetery. (I know this isn’t for everybody, but I always enjoy doing this, especially if it’s an older one.)

27. Take a crafting class (maybe at a store like Michael’s or Joann’s, if you are in the U.S.)

28. Buy greeting cards and send them to people you haven’t connected with in a while.

29. Shop for a new writing notebook or sketchpad.

30. Take a bike ride on a new route.

31. Shop at a thrift store, a garage sale, or an estate sale…

32. Or browse an antique shop.

33. Pick wildflowers and press them in books.

34. Get your fortune told or get a Tarot reading. (You don’t need to take it too seriously, but it may make you see something in a different light.)

35. Get up early and go somewhere to watch the sun rise.

36. Gaze up at the clouds and see if their shapes remind you of anything.

37. Gaze up at the moon and the stars.

38. Catch a virtual comedy show.

39. Try origami.

40.  Sculpt something with modeling clay.

41. Lie down for an hour and just listen to an audiobook. (I have to say, this is really relaxing and rejuvenating.)

42. Watch an opera for free! The Metropolitan Opera of New York streams a different opera every day.(I personally love opera and couldn’t resist putting one in my latest WIP!)

43. Write a poem…even if you don’t consider yourself a poet. For inspiration, check out these easy poetry exercises and prompts.

44. Try newspaper blackout poetry.

45. Try a meditation video, recording, or online class.

46. Make a mood board for a writing project…or just a mood board to express your mood!

47. Try a YouTube tutorial or DIY for something you’ve never done before, or haven’t done often.

48. Build something with Legos.

49. Read old diaries or love letters.

50. Bake a cake.

I hope you got some great ideas for artist dates (or just inspiring and fun things to do) from this list!

Do you have suggestions for creative activities that leave you inspired? We’d love to hear about them. Have you tried Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way before? If so, what did you think? Let us know all about it in the comments! Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

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