Someone agreeing to go on a date with you is totally thrilling. You’ve worked your magic, a few days have passed with a good amount of messages and plenty of coy smiles at your phone screen.
You’re learning a lot about each other but there’s so much more to know. And now they’ve said yes! It’s decided, you’re going on a date. You really want to pick a good place to go.
This decision can be a bit agonizing, we all know dates can be a drag if done wrong. It’s nice to think your charming personality and winning smile will be enough to make anyone weak at the knees but something that will definitely help is a super fun and engaging date that leaves little potential for awkward silence.
If you’re on this page I assume you’re looking for some more interesting date ideas than a night in, though movie nights have their charms.
You want to try to avoid being a boring date. The good news is there are plenty of great unique date ideas to be found in most cities, and I’m going to list 20. That should get you going!
1. A Breakfast Date
After all, it’s the most important meal of the day. There are so many great breakfast options, why not kick start your day with a date (the activity, not the fruit. Or both?).
Everyone has an opinion on breakfast so you know you can get the conversation going with a debate: grits or avocado?! Toast or a bagel?!
A great thing about a breakfast date is that if you are having a blast you can move on to another activity. Keep that thing going with a walk in the park or a trip to a gallery.
If it doesn’t go so great, well, you’ve got the rest of your day to enjoy and get past it.
And another benefit? It can also go either way vibes-wise, wholesome and sober if that’s what you’re after, or a boozy brunch if you so desire.
2. Go and See Some Stand Up
There are comedy shows all over the place so you’ll probably be able to find one. Going to see a live comedy is some people’s nightmare, the cringe potential is high (be careful where you sit if you don’t want to get picked on).
But, whether you laugh your ass off or want to disappear into your seat comedy will no doubt be a memorable first date.
For me, it’s important to know that I and my potential partner share a sense of humor! If I was cracking up during a show and glanced over to see that my date was sitting stony-faced, I reckon we probably wouldn’t be a great match.
3. Go Bookstore Browsing
Bookstore dates are great. They’re peaceful, interesting, and contain endless conversation starters. Reading makes you smart, and to most people intelligence is attractive.
Browsing together will help you learn about each other’s tastes and a pretty good start to figuring out whether or not you click. You don’t need to have deep book chats if you don’t want to, you can still keep things silly.
Lots of bookstores have coffee shops in them too. Or if not in them, nearby! So, if things are going well you can grab a coffee and keep chatting.
4. Rock Climbing
If you’re the sporty type and your date is too, why not go rock climbing? A bit more of an active option, this date also involves a fair amount of trust.
Rock climbing can end up being really rewarding and a nice way to spend time with someone. That is if you don’t mind getting sweaty on date one. And you’ll want to make sure your date isn’t scared of heights before planning a trip to the local climbing gym.
5. A Cooking Class
This might be a bit of a baptism of fire, but with the right person, a first-date cooking class is definitely fun.
There’s plenty of opportunity for bonding while muddling through a new cuisine, or maybe you’re already a great cook and get a chance to show that off. In a non-braggy way of course.
The worst that could happen is you come away with some new skills in the kitchen.
Let’s ignore the fact that there is any number of kitchen-related accidents that are the actual worst thing that could happen… but hey it’s going to be an interesting date whatever.
6. Go to a Market
Outdoor markets are so full of little surprises and bits and pieces of intrigue that it’s a super fun first date. Wandering around getting to know each other between food trucks and trinkets is a great way to get to connect.
7. Make it Seasonal
Apple picking, ice skating, pumpkin carving… choosing a seasonal activity for your date is a great way to take advantage of your local area and the time of year.
It always feels extra special as a date since these are things you can’t always do so it will never come across like a generic date.
Roaming through fruit fields chatting sounds pretty nice to me, and you come away with a good and healthy haul. Ice skating, on the other hand, can be quite challenging, but it’s a great way to get goofy and have fun.
There are plenty of season-specific activities, and they can be a great way to take advantage of the time of year and your local area.
1. Fruit Picking
Roaming through an orchard chatting sounds pretty dreamy to me, as does strawberry picking, or any other kind of fruit picking, depending on where you live. A wholesome way to spend an afternoon and make some sweet memories.
2. Ice Skating
This is obviously one for the colder months, ice skating is classic. Twinkly lights, mulled wine, frosty breath. If you’re anything like me you’ll come away with plenty of bruises but at least you’ll have fun getting them.
3. Pumpkin Carving
A spooky date! But why the heck not, if it’s Halloween season this seasonal and creative activity could be a fun way to spend some time together.
8. Visit an Art Gallery
I love a good art exhibition. It can be a bit vulnerable to take a first date there if you don’t feel like an art buff but just have fun with it, you don’t need to be!
Even better if there’s an exhibition you really want to see and can take your date along to, it’s a great way to share some of your interests.
While you’re meant to be kinda quiet in a gallery, it will leave you with plenty to talk about and a good opportunity to go for a drink afterward if you feel like it.
Ok, this is a pretty bold first date idea unless you’re a total extrovert, but maybe you are! Singing your heart out to Cher in front of your date will definitely make you seem ballsy, and karaoke is always a riot.
This date would probably have to start with a few drinks for courage but will definitely be a bonding experience, and hey, maybe you’ll find the perfect dueting partner.
10. Find Your Inner Child at the Arcade
Some of my most thrilling childhood memories are from the arcade. The bright lights! The weird electronic sound effects! The cascading coins!
For me and probably plenty of others, the allure of the arcade is still there as an adult, even though now it’s impossible to ignore the layer of grime on everything, and I have to admit I don’t really want a pocketful of quarters.
What I do want is a dance mat challenge with my date.
It’s still a really fun time that will bring out your competitive sides. You can decide if that’s a good or bad thing.
11. See Some Live Music
I think taking your first date to a show is a winner unless you (or they) happen to have really controversial taste in music.
It’s fun to share something you like, it’s a relaxed and chatty atmosphere that’s not too intense.
There’s a good conversation-to-music watching ratio and of course, you can keep the night going at the bar afterward. Who knows, if the date goes well you two could have found ‘your song’.
12. Go to the Board Game Cafe
Maybe a bit harder to find but if you have a board game cafe nearby it’s a great idea.
You can pass time with some party games or get stuck into a world-building adventure, whatever floats your boat.
You can have some drinks, there’s entertainment, it’s just the two of you, it’s a great first date. You’ll get to see how competitive your date is, or if you make a great problem-solving duo. You never know when that might be important.
13. Just Dessert
Ok, so dinner is a no for many on a first date. And it is certainly not unique. But heading straight to dessert is different! It’s more fun and relaxed and it feels like a treat.
Take your date to one of those places with loads of over-the-top insanely luxurious milkshakes, and laugh at how much whipped cream can be piled on top of one sundae.
14. A Walk in Nature
Meet your date at a local park or nice outdoor space and go for a stroll. This is a gentle and wholesome way to spend some time and it’s always nice to be outside (weather allowing, of course, you definitely don’t want to freeze your date half to death). It’s also a low-cost option for those of us who are looking to date on a budget.
A walk in the park can be any length, which is great because it means you can go as long as you like but also may be wise to come with an excuse to whip out in case you’re not feeling it, since the walk has no end time.
15. A Chill Picnic
What’s nicer than sitting in the park on a nice warm day? You will want to make sure it’s a nice warm day for this one. A picnic date is casual and low pressure but shows you’ve put a little bit of effort in.
Sandwiches might not sound like they have much wow factor, but with a few extra bells and whistles, a nice dessert, a bottle of wine, a comfy blanket to sit on, and the date is immediately ramped up to thoughtful and slightly classy. Read this for more first date picnic ideas.
16. Go to a Cat Cafe
Does your date have a photo on their profile of them and a pet? Do you?
Cat Cafes are everywhere these days and why wouldn’t they be? This adorable setting works perfectly if you’re dating an animal lover, you can sit and have coffee and cake surrounded by furry friends.
This date works even better if you’re good with animals because that is a very attractive quality to some people and it might melt your date’s heart.
17. A Few Rounds of Crazy Golf
Ok Crazy golf is pretty silly and trashy but it’s also very fun, just don’t get frustrated and throw your club across the course.
This very low-level sporting activity is a good mix of concentration and chilling, leaving plenty of time for chatting and messing around but also enough competition to keep it interesting.
18. Take Them on a Tour (The Drinking Kind)
Only choose this boozy option if you can handle yours! These tours tend to have a lot of samples included and are a nice way to spend an afternoon with your date and learn about something new. Visiting a vineyard for some wine tasting, going on a brewery or distillery tour to try some beers or whiskeys can be pretty interesting.
1. A Vineyard
This classy wine tasting option might teach you your tempranillo from your rioja, but it will also be a fun way to get to know your date over a few glasses.
2. A Brewery
Definitely a different vibe but also date appropriate, tasting lots of different beers is sure to lead to a fun time together.
3. A Distillery
One for the more hardy connoisseurs, a first date to a whisky distillery might be divisive if you have a delicate palate. So check first if your date is a fan of the hard stuff.
19. Play on the Same Team at Bar Trivia
This is a twist on a classic drink at the bar date. Bar trivia is light-hearted and fun and you can show off your general knowledge and might actually win a prize! Or commiserate over drinks together if you end up being awful.
Either way, you’re in a bar so it’s already a pretty good date, and being on the same quiz team is a fun way to make it your and your date against the world.
20. Visit the Aquarium
The aquarium is the romantic version of the zoo. There are less screeching and monkeys throwing excrement around and more dark zen spaces, beautiful and otherworldly creatures drifting across your vision as you and your date look on in awe.
A benefit is that you can whizz around an aquarium or really take your time depending on how much you’re enjoying yourselves.
Surely there’s something here that catches your interest and would be a great choice for your upcoming first date, so good luck! Since it’s date one, you’ll want to be on top form, so check out this article on what not to do on the all-important first date, and hopefully, you’ll get a second.