Romantic first dates ought to be enjoyable and it should not compel you to make harmful choices such as having beer all through the week or making you bored.
These 30 interesting first date ideas below will make you think outside the box and they will probably form a bond between you and your date. You can make use of them for any kind of date, the first and others which follow!
20 Interesting First Date Ideas
Has anyone perfected the art of the first date? Just wondering, because it’s sure as heck ends up more awkward than not.
Raise your (virtual) hand if you’ve been on a dinner date searching for anything—anything—to talk about because you’ve already breezed through your planned points of conversation.
Since the anxiety that comes with planning a memorable date is very real, here’s a prepared list of not-so-boring first date ideas to get the fling off to an exciting start—even if it ends there. And as the saying goes, “it’s either a great experience or a great story.” Let’s go date:
1. Plan A Progressive Dinner
Here’s a twist on the typical dinner date: Instead of grabbing a table at your go-to date spot, agree on a neighborhood and visit different places for drinks, appetizers, dinner, and dessert. You’ll try out new restaurants and bars, but without the stiff interview feeling typical dinner dates bring. If all goes well, you can add a nightcap to the itinerary.
2. Take A Bike Ride
Rent bikes on a sunny afternoon and take turns deciding where to stop off, like a pretty park or local coffee shop for a latte pick-me-up. As you pedal along, Cohen suggests checking in with yourself. Can you see yourself riding down the same path ~of life~ with this person?
3. Have A Picnic
Now, a picnic might sound more romantic than it turns out. Have your way with the whole foods hot bar and grab a canned wine or two. Just don’t forget the blanket—no first date “my butt is wet” horror stories allowed.
4. Have A Beach Day
Like long walks on the beach? Same. Use your beach day to let other people into your world, and hopefully, you share some of these interests together. Regardless of how it ends, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D.
5. Go On A Boat
Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream of love. Too much? Okay, so you might not feel comfortable enough to hop in a kayak with a first date (understandable). In that case, a sightseeing boat tour is a must—as long as no one gets seasick. This is one of my favourite good first date ideas.
6. Go To The Zoo
First date talk can be exhausting even for the biggest chatter of them all, says Golden. Date fatigue is real. So if things get stale? Focus instead on that lioness that’s giving you the eyes.
7. Visit A Bookstore
You can tell a lot about a person based on the books they read—and if they comfortably navigate a bookstore. Trade recommendations and get a peek into your date’s interests bookcase by bookcase. And if you’re lucky? You’ll catch a poetry reading.
8. Go Rock Climbing
Belay, baby! Test your sense of trust right out of the gate, and take your attraction to new heights.
9. Take A Walk
Just like a casual beach date, strut your outdoorsy self with a hike or stroll through your favorite park in the city. “We often have deeper, more substantive conversations when we’re side-by-side rather than face-to-face.
10. Go To A Comedy Show
Still not into the idea of embracing your inner Ali Wong? Hit up a local open mic night or comedy show. Cohen says sharing a small laugh together—even at a joke that fell completely flat—is a joint experience that communicates interest.
Besides, you can figure out your date’s sense of humor and if the vibe is right, post-show drinks keep the evening going. You can never be wrong with a comedy show when it comes to first date ideas.
11. Make Dinner Together
Teamwork makes the dream work. Say you and a friend decide to give your flirtation a real shot—test your compatibility over taco or pizza night. (Maybe think twice about inviting a random app date to your digs). And if they can’t handle the heat? They gotta get out of the kitchen.
12. Go For Brunch
Flip the script and go for a day date, preferably where cinnamon rolls are involved. The ambiance will be more low-key and you can chat without needing to yell about your life’s greatest passion from across the table. Then it’s up to you if you want to extend the date or just bounce.
13. Browse A Record Shop
As with a bookstore date, music taste reveals a lot. And it’s an easy way to weed out those annoying music snobs (if someone knocks my Harry Styles love, I’ll ghost).
Flipping through records is also a great conversation starter: you can talk about your dad’s favorite tunes, what you grew up listening to, your first concert…you get the idea.
14. Visit A Museum
So many options. Pondering hidden messages in modern art? Gallery time. Into exploring the seas? See you at the aquarium. Time-traveling type? Meet up at the natural history museum. You’ll come away with an understanding of how your date sees the world and what they’re drawn to.
15. Go Bowling
Hold the blue ball jokes—and we hope your date does, too. Bust out your best moonwalk-in-bowling-shoes dance moves, drink some watery beer, and heckle your date. The bowling alley keeps the mood light, so you can simply enjoy the night. Have a ball, as they say.
16. Enroll In An Art Class
Get your creative juices flowing at an art class! You can get to know each other while you paint a still life, and then you’ll have a souvenir to take home so you can remember the date forever!
17. Game Night
Nothing brings out your true self like a game night! Get competitive with your date and have some fun talking a little trash. It will break the ice in seconds and you two will be laughing in no time. This is one of the best romantic first date ideas.
18. Be Tourists
Even if you’re both from the area, pretend you aren’t and explore together. You’ll make some fun memories and find some new spots in your own neighborhood that you never knew about.
19. Support A Cause
Are you both passionate about a specific issue? Spend your first date protesting! It will be one to remember.
Get romantic and pack up a picnic on a warm summer day. You can learn more about each other over fruit salad and sandwiches! Are you wondering what to do on a first date with a guy? Ride on with picnic.
5 Low-Cost First Dates Ideas
You don’t need to break the bank to enjoy a first date with your girlfriend. Planning low-cost outings, if only for the first time is actually doable.
Dates that are fun and that don’t cost a whole lot are not only good for the soul, they can be easy on the wallet, too. It’s all a question of balance and planning.
There are a lot of singles who choose a short meeting as a first date, like grabbing a coffee or a drink. Something non-committal, just to see if there’s any chemistry between you. Easy and cheap. But when cupid finally strikes, how do you continue in this frugal vein without spending beyond your means?
Below are some good first date ideas that’ll keep you under budget and still impress your better half. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for date ideas that are absolutely free, I’ve written a well-curated piece on summer date ideas that are absolutely free you should check out.
1. Stay On Top Of Restaurant Deals
Dinner dates never go out of fashion. It’s a chance to get to know someone better and discover the other person’s tastes in food, with the menu surely becoming a hot topic of discussion! A lot of restaurants grow their businesses by offering meal deals. These usually happen on low-traffic weeknights.
2. Enjoy Happy Hours!
When you want to go out after work, the happy hour tradition can help keep your costs down. Two-for-one offers, specials on feature products and free finger food when you buy a drink are a few examples of great deals. Keep an eye out for them and take full advantage.
3. Take In Cultural Activities
Checking out the artists at a festival or open-air concert, whiling away the hours in a free gallery or museum, settling in at a bar-café that offers performances, going to see a movie on a Tuesday… all these activities are accessible, inexpensive and perfect for a couple’s night out. So why do without?
4. Take A Hike
Whether it’s the athletic or contemplative kind, going for a hike is a cheap date where you also get some fresh air. You can take a stroll just about anywhere.
5. Bring Your Date To A Group Dinner
Planning your budget for cheap outings is one thing, squeezing it all into your busy life is quite another. Get the most out of your time by combining your different social circles.
Dinner with friends can be a chance to get to know your date a bit better; your friends will have fun chatting with her and, when she meets them, your new flame will learn a whole lot more about you!
So, why put off a date, so you don’t miss a friend’s birthday when in any case, the invitation was for you and a guest? So man up and invite her! You may be surprised at how she answers.
First Date Ideas At Night
1. Enjoy A Movie Night
Planning an at-home movie night is easy and low-cost; all you need is the movie and some snacks. The trick to this one, especially if your usual M.O. is to spend your free time in front of the TV, is to elevate it by making it special and different from the norm.
Here are some ideas for achieving that:
- Set the scene with lots of blankets and pillows or even a mattress on the floor.
- Have lots of fun snacks, like candy you normally wouldn’t eat but might find at the movie theater – Don’t forget the popcorn. You can keep it plain or try a gourmet popcorn recipe like these from Food Network.
2. Enjoy Music And Drinks
A dinner date may be more than you want to commit to, especially if having dinner together as a family is important to you. But you can still enjoy drinks together reminiscent of that cool lounge bar you used to go to.
3. Have A Game Night
Playing games together is one of my and my husband’s favorite activities, and it’s something we rarely get to do with our little one as he’s only 3. So for us, game night is couple time. It gives us the chance to spend one-on-one time together while doing something fun.
Sometimes it can be difficult to find two-player board games, so here’s a list to get you started. Note that some of these are traditionally kids’ games, but that can make them even more fun as it will feel like a guilty pleasure to play with just the two of you. And you might already have some of these games on hand, which makes the total cost for date night zero.
4. Play Video Games
For the overly competitive, video games can be an even better option than board games, which generally produce a winner and a loser. If you know it will be difficult to win or lose without conjuring bad feelings, try a two-player cooperative video game where you try to complete a game together.
5. Have A Couples Quiz Night
This idea is less about showing off your trivia skills than it is an opportunity to learn more about each other. You can make your own version of the Newlywed Game, play Truth or Dare, or make a set of “Would You Rather?” cards where you pick the “best” out of a set of options – for example, “Would you rather go skydiving or hang gliding?”
You can even make up your own quiz by writing down a set of 10 or more questions you’ve always wanted to ask your spouse, where nothing’s off-limits.
The most important thing to keep in mind about date nights is this: There is no connection between how much money you spend on a date and how good the date will be. You can have fun and connect without spending any money at all.
Although it can be fun and worthwhile to go out once in a while, it’s important to know that you can just as easily stay in and enjoy all the benefits of a regular date night.
Research shows that relationship happiness is cultivated through time spent connecting with each other, and that can be done curled up on the couch just as easily as at a fancy restaurant.
As long as you’re focusing on each other – connecting, communicating, and enjoying each other – that’s what matters.
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