Maybe you’re a regular at the rink and you want to show off how fun your hobby is to a date you’d like to impress, or perhaps a new rink has opened up in town (one of those seasonal outdoor ones even) and you fancy checking it out.
Whatever your reasoning, you’re probably asking yourself, ‘is ice skating a good first date?’ or maybe even ‘Is ice skating awkward for a first date?’
In my opinion, that’s a hard yes and a hard no! I mean, if you are super worried about looking suave when you first meet that hotty from Bumble (or Tinder, or Hinge, or Match… or, if you like to make connections the old fashioned way I guess someone you met eyes within the grocery store?) then maybe wobbling about on the ice isn’t your idea of a great first date.
But personally, I think both being bad at something can be really fun.
There’s also a possibility that you’re an amazing figure skater or something, and you’re going to triple-axel your way into your date’s heart. If that’s the case, please remember not to leave them behind on the ice!
The bottom line though? Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a first-timer, ice skating can be an excellent first date.
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Why Is Ice Skating Is A Good First Date
Like I already mentioned, ice skating dates can go one of a few ways.
If you’re an amazing skater and your date is too you can impress each other zipping about on the ice.
If one of you is great at it, it can be a cute lesson (in fact, the lesson would probably have to involve hand-holding!). And if you’re both terrible and slipping about like newborn animals trying to stand?
Well, then you can have a lot of fun clinging to one another, the side, and those weird giant penguin things they give children and inept adults.
Basically, ice skating is a good date because it’s a (usually) low-pressure activity that’s fun, a bit silly, and can be as easy or as taxing as you like.
Once you have rented your skates, you can spend as much or as little time actually skating as you like. Lots of rinks also have snacks and drinks for sale and are built so that you can make a night of your skating date.
Almost all of them (indoor and outdoor) at least have seating areas to relax and people watch, and you can get to know your date pretty well on an ice skating date just by sitting on the sidelines with them and watching other people fall over on the ice!
What Should I Wear On An Ice Skating Date?
You want to stay warm on an ice skating date, obviously, but you’ll also potentially be moving about a lot so you’ll need layers you can remove.
As with all dates, you will want to look as good as you can on an ice skating date, but please remember that it’s probably not the perfect time to show off your best outfit.
Unless you don’t mind potentially ripping the knees of your best jeans, or think that your favorite shirt looks best slightly wet and/or a bit sweaty of course.
It goes without saying that a Torville and Dean-style ice skating costume is a possibility for an ice skating date, but it’s a real commitment.
I mean, first, you would have to get it professionally made and rhinestone-coated, and then you would have to live up to having worn a spangled catsuit on your first date for the rest of your potential relationship.
Ultimately, though, it’s up to you!
What Should A Guy Wear On An Ice Skating Date?
One of the best materials for really high-quality layered sportswear is merino wool. It’s not the cheapest option by any means, but it’s natural, breathable, long-lasting and it doesn’t feel synthetic.
Ibex makes particularly high-quality merino wool clothes built for layering, check out some of their most popular (and warm) men’s apparel here. They also make great socks that manage to be practical, warm and provide arch support without being ugly.
I know socks aren’t exactly sexy, or usually the most important part of a date outfit, but do you know what’s even less sexy?
Massive blisters and trying not to cry when you take your hired skates off. So, trust me on this one, and wear good socks for your date on the ice!
If you want to achieve the layered sportswear look at a lower price point than Ibex (I mean, I get it, their stuff is great but not affordable to everyone) then you could also try Public Rec.
They do particularly great pants that look smart but feel like warm joggers, so there is almost no chance of them ripping as you either show off your skills on the ice or fall on your ass on the ice.
Or whatever combo of those two you manage to achieve I guess! Public Rec’s Better Than Down Bomber is a good choice for a top layer, particularly because its filling is eco-friendly and sustainable, aka no birds were harmed in its making.
Plus it looks like a classic bomber jacket rather than a down-jacket that would probably scream ‘hiking obsessive’ or ‘you won’t see me all ski season’ to your date, and has a water-resistant coating and a bunch of useful pockets.
And when it comes to before and after having your skates on, I think this look is perfectly topped off with a pair of white sneakers. Check out these select pairs that KicksCrew Sneakers are offering with free shipping.
What Should A Girl Wear On An Ice Skating Date?
As an ice skating date is essentially meeting up to do a light round of winter sports, women should keep it practical on the rink too.
The same rules about layers apply, though women probably want to add a sports bra as layer number one.
Just like the socks thing, I know this isn’t the sexiest first-date wear but you’ll definitely appreciate its practicality while skating.
And there are definitely better women’s sportswear options out there than there are men’s sock options!
In fact, Ibex makes a pretty excellent Crop Sports Bra that not only offers the support you would expect but also helps you control temperature (aka keeps you warm on the ice) and is antimicrobial and odor-controlling.
I know, I know, I said it wasn’t sexy! But it’s better than the alternative, right?
Normally I feel like women can wear workout tights for most sporty activities, including things like hiking dates or a date to play tennis, but you would just get too cold ice skating in such thin fabric.
Public Rec does great women’s sports-ready basics as well as men’s, and I think their Luxe Fleece Joggers are great.
They’re slim cut so there’s no extra fabric flapping about, and the medium-high waist is flattering on pretty much everyone while also keeping your kidneys warm no matter how often you land on that chilly rink.
Ice Skating Date Accessories
I’ve already talked about socks, but I’m going to say it again. Wear good socks to go ice skating! Maybe even pack a thick pair to change into at the rink.
You don’t want your date cut short by sore feet, right? So be sensible!
Beyond that, you should definitely bring a wooly hat or beanie and a pair of gloves. Grab a Chill Beanie from Public Rec when you get your pants, maybe.
These hats are affordable, breathable, and moisture-wicking, and obviously, they’re warm too.
If you have the money for proper snow sports gloves, then go for something like these Hestra Freeride gloves.
They’re undeniably stylish in leather, but if that icks you out a bit or you can’t stretch to the price, you can get something in nylon or Gortex like this Wind Rider pair instead.
And if that all sounds like overkill because this date is the only time you will ever play on ice or snow? Then get yourself a nice pair of mittens like this synthetic fleece-lined pair from isotoner.
They keep your hands warmer than gloves with fingers because all the heat from your hands gets trapped in one pocket. Admittedly, they do make cheeky on-ice hand holding more difficult.
Finally, what time are you going ice skating? If this is a daytime ice skating date and it’s an outside rink then you should think about sunglasses to combat the glare of the sun on the ice.
If you actually want to be able to see your date’s face, anyway. I find Sunglass Hut is great for name-brand deals, and if you want something stylish but good value enough that you won’t be heartbroken if they smash on the ice when you try to skate backward then Vincero’s glasses are also a good idea.
Types Of Ice Skating Dates
Of course, not all skating rinks are created equal, and just asking a potential date ‘do you fancy going ice skating’ doesn’t tell them very much.
I mean, firstly, they’ll want to know how good you are at skating and how good you expect them to be at it, and secondly, they’ll probably ask ‘what sort of ice skating?’
By this they probably mean, is it an indoor ice skating date, an outdoor ice skating date, or, the rarest of the three, a brave wild ice skating date?
Romantic Outdoor Rink
These rinks pop up in towns all over the world in the winter. They’re often at historic landmarks or existing tourist spots, so you can fold in a whole winter wonderland experience to your date no problem.
They can also be a bit pricey, though, and crowded so do take those factors into account when planning your outdoor ice rink first date.
I would advise booking ahead, or even looking up deals online before you ask your potential date if she wants to go skating.
Cheesy Indoor Skating
I love an indoor ice rink. They remind me of being a kid when friends would have parties at them.
This can be a fun, affordable date and leaves the option of going out to dinner or drinks afterward because it doesn’t eat up all your cash.
Make sure you go on a day when public skating is allowed because these rinks are sometimes used for private events, sports games, or semi-pro skating practice.
You will often find that local rinks even have events like roller discos from time to time, only colder and with blades of course. These make a great silly first date!
Adventurous Wild Skating
Finally, this option is really for experienced skaters. If you live somewhere cold enough, you might take a date out skating in the wild.
You’ll obviously need to both have skates for this, and find a safe frozen area to skate.
If you get it all right though, maybe combining it with a romantic winter picnic, it could be an unforgettable first date.
What To Bring On An Ice Skating Date
I covered a lot of what to take clothing-wise above, but I would always suggest grabbing an extra hat and gloves if you’re going skating with someone as there’s a moderate chance they’ll forget something.
Or lose a glove on the rink, even. It’s also a good idea to bring extra warm stuff, like a blanket and some hand warmers.
You can go upmarket with the gorgeous USA-made merino wool blanket from Ibex or keep things cheap, lightweight and practical by grabbing an easy-pack travel blanket that you can shove into your bag or even a large pocket.
What’s more impressive than being prepared? Okay, a few things. But if being prepared means remembering to bring a Thermos of coffee, hot chocolate, or even mulled wine if you’re feeling spicy, on a cold-weather date then the list is narrowed down!
Grab a decent-sized Thermos in whatever color goes best with your eyes, and get on with impressing your date.
Ice skating might sound like a sort of intimidating the first date to some, but in my opinion, that’s what makes it such a good one!
If you’re both rubbish at it, the stakes are low and the playing field is leveled. You can tell a lot about someone new based on how they react to being crappy at something, in fact.
Plus, it’s great to have a new experience together! It creates a bond and it makes it really hard to get bored or run out of conversational topics, even if you usually get nervous on a first date.
And if you both hate ice skating, you can just give back the painful skates, go get a drink, and bitch together about how you will literally never step foot on a rink again.