Have you just summoned up the courage to ask out that person you’ve been trying to land a date with for months, and now need some help in coming up with the best first date idea?
Or, are you on a dating app and are getting tired of suggesting the same safe bar/café/restaurant for your first meetups?
Here’s a guide to some really terrific first date ideas:
There is a large variety of activities, from the typical to the atypical, so you are sure to find something that will make you stand out in the crowd, or, at least, have your date thinking at the end of the evening…wow, that person really put a lot of thought into our first date!
1. Go to a karaoke bar together
Even if you can’t sing, the silly atmosphere and camaraderie of the group as they support (or make fun of) the singer guarantees a fun evening.
2. Go bowling
For some, bowling is the ultimate retro evening out.
What’s not to like? You get to wear cool shoes, it’s not really that difficult once you get the hang of it, and helping your date position themselves to get a strike will give you an excuse to touch them.
3. Do a pottery evening
Lots of malls have a pottery workshop space where you can throw a pot or glaze a plate or mug. Show off your creative skills by having your first date in a place where you both come away with a cool ceramic souvenir.
Maybe your two handprints on a platter? How romantic is that?
4. Participate in a political rally
Nothing says “we’re in this together” than marching, chanting, a holding a sign that says “Vote for …..”.
You’ll want to make sure you are both on the same page politically before proposing this as a first date, however.
5. Volunteer an evening for a good cause
How about meeting at the local soup kitchen and working the line there?
Research says that involving yourselves in a volunteer activity will bring you closer emotionally.
Meeting up to do some community service, like working the food bank, helping kids gain some literacy skills, or just passing out warm coats to those in need is a win-win proposal for your first date together.
6. Meet up at the arcade
Got a Chuck E Cheese in your town, or a Dave & Buster’s? Take your date to one of these fun places where you’ve got arcade games and pizza.
It’s noisy, sure, but it will get your adrenaline pumping and put you in high spirits as you play against each other. Bonus points if the arcade has vintage games from your childhood.
7. Spa date
For a moment of mutual pampering, book a couples’ spa date.
How relaxing (and potentially intimate) would it be to have a massage and sauna with the person you’ve got a major crush on?
8. A poetry reading
Are you both into poetry? Check out a local poetry reading or poetry slam.
After the reading, go to a nearby coffeehouse and deconstruct the poetry you’ve just heard so you can show off how well-read you are.
9. Do you both have dogs?
Suggest a long dog walk together, or take your puppies to the dog park. You’ll learn a lot about the person by watching how they interact with their (and your) dog.
10. Get your palm read
For some fun, visit a psychic or palm reader together. See what they predict for you.
If this first date turns into a solid relationship, be sure to thank the person who foretold your happy future!
11. The Planetarium
Does your city have a planetarium?
You may have thought this was just for school groups, but it’s a really cool idea for a first date. You’ll have stars in your eyes, not just because you like this person, but because you are actually learning about the night sky!
12. A specialized tasting
Find a wine-tasting, whiskey-tasting, vodka-tasting or another sort of spirited, themed alcohol tasting workshop.
A fun, educational way to spend an evening with your new person and the pressure is off because you aren’t having to interact just with each other. Bonus: the alcohol will loosen you both up, so by the end of the evening your conversation will flow easily!
13. Is there a fun fair in town?
Take your date to the carnival.
The noisy, cotton-candy atmosphere will make you feel like a kid again. Try all the rides you used to love, ending the evening on the Ferris wheel, where, with a little luck, you can grab a kiss when your car stops at the top of the wheel!
14. Quiz night at the local
Got a bar that features a quiz night? Take your date there.
You will see how they function in a team and get some insight into their trivia skills. Throw in a couple of beers and this will be a first date that you’ll both enjoy, especially if your team wins.
15. The Farmer’s market
If it’s summertime, why not meet up for a stroll through the local Farmer’s market.
It will give you a chance to see what their eating style might be (organic? vegan?).
If you both get along well, you can take your purchases back to your place and cook up a nice brunch together.
16. Ethnic restaurant or tea room
Pick a place that is truly an exotic experience, a cuisine that takes you to a faraway place – North African couscous, for example, or Ethiopian Wat.
This will open up the conversation and you can talk about places you’ve traveled to, or wish to travel to.
You’ll get an idea of your date’s sense of adventure (or if they aren’t into travel at all).