The first date can define everything for a relationship, so you might as well try to start it off on the right foot. But as much as we think that planning a first date is a challenge, it can actually be much more simple than you think. We put together the 30 best first date ideas to make it even easier for you so that you will not only have a great time with your date but also lay the groundwork for a relationship in the future.
#30. Go For A Walk
Who would’ve thought that literally, the easiest thing to do in the world would be a good date idea? Sometimes, it is the simplest ideas that have the best results. If the weather is nice and you find a nice area to walk through like a park or a cool neighborhood, take your date for a walk so you get to know each other better as you enjoy the scenery and of course, each other’s company.
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This is a good idea for many reasons. First, physical activity and getting some fresh air is great for getting you both in a good mood. Also, it is the perfect opportunity to just talk and bond! There are no distractions between you two and you can just focus on sharing a special moment together. Also, it’s a money saver, for those who don’t have much cash ready to spend.
#29. Visit A Museum
Visiting a museum with your date is one of the greatest first-date ideas because each museum isn’t the same. Whether you’re into history, art, science, sports, or pop culture, you can find a museum exhibit that fits your and your date’s interests. And they are great conversation pieces. Don’t know what to talk about? Just comment on the artwork that is right there in front of you!
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Not only that, but there are many affordable and even free museums out there so you won’t be splurging all your cash. And, most museums have a little café inside so that you can sit down, get to know each other better and have a drink after walking around the museum. So basically: cheap, fun, interesting, and no awkward silences. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect date?
#28. Go To A Farmers’ Market
Going to a farmers’ market on a first date is perfect for those who tend to be really shy on first dates. It’s a public place and there’s plenty of people around so you won’t be pressured by any intimacy. And, just like museums, farmers’ markets offer an endless supply of conversation starters. All you have to do is walk around, look at what they’re selling, and simply talk about it.
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It also helps you learn about each other’s preferences, as you’ll be looking at flowers, food and drinks together. After walking around for some time, you can purchase something to drink and sit somewhere nice outside. It also helps setting up a second date if all goes well, as you can buy some ingredients and offer to cook together on your next encounter. Hopefully, they’ll say yes!
#27. Go To An Escape Room
Escape rooms are the latest trend of fun, exciting and creative ways to get to know someone. In an escape room, people are locked inside and need to work together to find clues and solve several puzzles to figure out how to get out so you can get to know your date in a very exciting way. You’ll be working together, talking, and interacting physically, which is great for bonding.
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Working on solving the puzzle will also take the awkwardness away and prevent silence from settling in. And, if it’s a scary escape room, the adrenaline will pull you even closer! Afterward, you can go out for a drink or something to eat and discuss your opinions on the puzzle, which will give you much more to talk about. No wonder these things are so popular right now!
#26. Go Hiking
Hiking is an all-time classic for those on the more adventurous side. If you and your date like being outdoors, just find an exciting location with a great view to go hiking together, and you’ll most likely have a successful first date. It doesn’t have to be a secluded or challenging trail though. What matters is that you get time to talk and bond without any distractions in the way.
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Find a walking trail around your area, pack some snacks and water, and hit the road. It is a great alternative that beats the overrated dinner and a movie plan because it’s something that neither of you has probably done before. The excitement of discovery and adventure coupled with the thrill of meeting someone new is the perfect formula for a fantastic date.
#25. Go Skating
This one is a bolder choice than others, but if done right, it will most likely be the best date idea ever. If you’re both active and not afraid of falling down and scraping your knees, going ice skating or roller skating is a fun, creative way to get to know each other. You can help each other stay on your feet and get a good number of laughs each time you fall, which will help you bond.
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Doing something new with someone new just makes everything all the more special, and you can see how much you really have in common just by the way you both handle the challenge. However, this only works for those who can take a hit. If falling and getting a bit hurt puts you in a bad mood or embarrasses instead of making you laugh, go for something more relaxed instead.
#24. Do Karaoke
Doing karaoke is an excellent way to get a few laughs and all the endorphins running through your veins. If you’re not terribly shy when it comes to singing in front of people, then take your date to do some karaoke on your first date. The best part of doing it is to show that even if you aren’t professional singers, you know how to have a good time and feel confident as you do it.
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Showing vulnerability (i.e. that you aren’t the best singer out there) lets your date know that you’re open, honest, and confident and that you don’t care about what other people think about you. You just want to enjoy some music with someone special! When you share about yourself, that encourages the other person to do the same, so it is a great opportunity to connect and bond.
#23. Go Bowling
While bowling is a popular date idea, it is not so common as a first date plan. But if you wanna trade the traditional and boring dinner and a movie plan, then why not have some fun at the bowling alley? First of all, it is a great conversation starter. You can easily break the ice and get comfortable around each other as you start playing and talk about the game as you go.
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It also helps to get past what is known as the touch barrier, meaning that it provides an opportunity for some physical contact that is non-threatening and is simply playful and friendly. This will put your chemistry to the test, help you bond, and of course, get to know each other. It is also super easy to set up, not expensive, and if it goes well, you can go do something else afterward, like going for a drink.
#22. Try An Art Class
So far, we’ve looked at a lot of options for adventurers, but this one is perfect for those who want to do something exciting that doesn’t include physical activity. Instead, stimulate your brain with a fun art class!. Painting is a relaxing activity that will let you have a conversation but also keep you busy, so awkward silences will definitely be avoided. And, you’ll take your painting home as a souvenir.
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Taking an art class together is a great way to de-stress, explore your creativity, and set a great tone for a future relationship. Just like what happens with karaoke, you have to leave your insecurities at the door. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a great painter, what matters is that you learn something, get to know your date, and most importantly, have a great time together on your date.
#21. Volunteer At An Animal Shelter
The best first date idea for animal lovers is to definitely visit an animal shelter. Seeing how someone interacts with animals says a whole lot about that person, and in just one date you can learn about their personality and see if they have traits such as kindness, empathy, and if they are caring, friendly and open. Seeing how he or she treats animals is super important for a relationship.
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Also, getting to cuddle and play with adorable dogs and kittens is a plus. You can also hang out with more exotic animals, depending on the shelter, such as Komodo dragons. Also, helping out at the shelter, giving to the community and caring for the animals is a relaxing and rewarding experience, and sharing that with your date will create precious memories that you will cherish forever.
#20. Go To A Game
For sports lovers who don’t actually want to play a sport on a date, this is the perfect choice. It combines the relaxed feeling of sitting down next to your date and watching something with the excitement that only a sporting event can bring. It is also a great opportunity to see whether you have certain things in common, such as how you react in a setting like this.
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This date idea also shares an important point with those we mentioned before on this list: it’s a conversation piece, and it avoids those awkward first-date silences. Don’t have much to say at the moment? Just order a beer and watch the game. As simple as that! But be careful with this; if your date isn’t into sports, this could potentially be the most boring date ever. Choose it at your own risk!
#19. Visit A Jazz Club
Going to a chill jazz club and enjoying a couple of drinks with your date under the dim lights as you listen to some very romantic and relaxing music is a great first date plan. It is definitely more romantic than going to a typical bar, but it is still relaxed and intimate. Also, the music is a great conversation starter and awkward-silence buffer, which we already established is super important on a first date!
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Make sure the place isn’t too fancy though. You might think that going to a very elegant place will impress your date, but it can actually put a lot of pressure on them that is just unnecessary. This is why a jazz bar is a good option because it is a classy choice but not overly elegant, and there’s music but it’s not too loud or crowded that you can’t talk to each other, which is one of the biggest problems with bar dates.
#18. Try A Cooking Class
A cooking class is a fun way of getting to know each other, and it’s great for getting past the touch barrier in a comfortable setting. A cooking class is super hands-on, and getting your hands dirty and working on a dish with your date is an excellent way to bond. Dates that involve doing an activity together are usually the best of choices because it gives you something to focus on.
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Of course, it also gives you something to talk about, and it also allows you to see how the other person acts in certain situations. This will show you how they’ll act in future dates when you actually cook together at home, for example. These are things that you can’t learn during a typical dinner date, so trying any type of class or activity together is a time-saving, fun way of getting to know each other better.
#17. Go To A Local Festival
Attending a festival with your date gives you plenty of things to do. A festival is a place where you can usually get many tiny dates all packed into one: you get food, drinks, music, games, activities, time outdoors, and more. They also usually offer free entertainment and rides to keep you busy all afternoon. Of course, it depends on your area, but it is not hard to find a festival in your city.
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You can walk and look around everything, grab a drink, and simply bond. If you’re feeling nervous or don’t know what to talk about, you can catch a performance or go for a ride (if they have any, of course). You can also learn a lot about their likes and dislikes in food, music and drinks and you’ll easily figure out how much you actually have in common.
#16. Go To A Drive-In Movie
The classic and overrated movie theater date can be turned into a fun, creative and romantic date if you catch a drive-in movie. When you go to a movie theater, especially for the first date, you can barely talk to each other and therefore get to know each other, and you must do something else afterward to actually spend quality time together, like going for a drink or to grab dinner.
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But a drive-in allows you to chit chat and have some privacy without anyone else munching on popcorn right next to you. You can eat, drink, make jokes and comment on the movie as much as you want and share an intimate time without anyone else around. There’s also something really romantic about the whole thing, so you’ll definitely not regret it.
#15. Go Wine Tasting
Leave the boring going-for-a-drink idea behind and trade it for a fun wine tasting class instead. You can learn a thing or two about wine, have a nice drink, and get to know your potential significant other this way. Yes, it involves drinking just like a bar does but in a cultured, classy way. If you go to a local vineyard or brewery tour, you can also learn about the history of the place and how wine is made.
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There are many wine and beer festivals nowadays as well. They usually also come with food options and live music, which is also a relaxed and fun idea for a first date. However, always keep it responsible; you don’t want to get hammered in front of your date, do you? Sharing a drink is a good way to break the ice and learn about each other in a comfortable setting, but don’t take it too far.
#14. Go To The Beach
For those who have easy access to the coast, going to the beach is a fun, romantic and relaxed idea for a first date. This is because there is so much to do at the beach! You can go for a swim, walk along the water, sunbathe, play a sport, bring your pets, eat and drink, and the list just goes on and on. The beach is also a super romantic setting, especially at sun fall.
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Going to the beach in the evening is also a great idea. You can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the calming sound of the waves as you talk and get to know one another. There is something very romantic about getting some fresh air and sharing a quiet moment at the beach rather than a bar or a restaurant. If there’s no beach where you live, a lake or a pond will do just fine.
#13. Go On A Culinary Tour
Going on a self-made culinary tour is perfect for those who want to impress their date in a creative, fun way. Instead of just going to a restaurant to have dinner, you can try different places around the area. For example, having an appetizer at one place, then eating something somewhere else, and then going to another place for dessert and/or a drink. Your date will most probably love it.
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First, it shows your creative side. Second, your date will see that you actually took some time to plan it all out and went out of your way to have a nice time together, which will add many points to your favor. And most importantly, it’s fun and it’ll give you plenty of topics to talk about. You can keep hopping from place to place until you’re both full and satisfied.
#12. Watch The Sunset
There is definitely a reason why watching the sunrise or the sunset is regarded as one of the most romantic activities a couple can do. It’s relaxing, peaceful and intimate, and it allows you to get to know one another and have a meaningful conversation as you enjoy the beautiful scenery in front of you. You just can’t go wrong with this one on a first date!
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Of course, for those who don’t fancy waking up early or staying up all night, watching the sunrise is a no-go, but thankfully the sunset exists, right? And don’t worry about having any awkward silences. Staying quiet while admiring the beauty of nature that we usually take for granted is anything but awkward, and it actually serves as an intimate moment for you to bond.
#11. Go To The Zoo
If going to an animal shelter is too hands-on for you but you still like the idea of spending time around animals, then take your date to the zoo. You can enjoy some time outside and get to know your date while still driving the focus onto something else (in this case, the animals) so the ice can be broken easily and you can find plenty of stuff to talk about.
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You can feed the animals, enjoy the view, and talk about pretty much anything with your date. Just like the animal shelter date, you get to see how your date behaves around animals and interacts with them, which gives away more personality traits than a simple conversation does. It also isn’t expensive, and if the date goes well, you can literally spend the whole day there.
#10. Grab Some Ice Cream
We have normalized having a coffee as a standard first date idea, but why not go for ice cream instead? If you still want to keep it simple and relaxed and the weather is cooperative, take your date out for some ice cream and enjoy a walk around the neighborhood or a park. It’s simple, affordable, laid back, and just fun. Sometimes, less is more, and doing something simple goes a long way.
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You can also go on a dessert tour and try the best dessert places in town. Some cities even offer cupcake tours, so it’s worth checking out if there’s something like that in your area. The point is to keep it simple but fun, and going out for some dessert gives you a comfortable, romantic setting and plenty to talk about with your date. Hopping from place to place will help you feel less nervous too.
#9. Go For A Picnic
Going for a picnic is a romantic and affordable first date option, but you must plan ahead. First of all, the weather has to be nice, or else it will be a disaster. Also, find a nice spot where you can both sit down and enjoy the view while breathing in some fresh air. And of course, you have to bring food. But it’s all very easy to do, and it helps when you don’t have much money to work with.
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This cool date idea also allows for many different activities. Aside from drinking a glass of good wine and enjoying some cheese or sandwiches, you can cloud gaze, watch the sunset, and even play around with a frisbee or a ball. If you’re animal lovers, you can also bring your dogs with you. The idea is super simple and easy to do, yet it’s super fun, romantic and creative.
#8. Go For A Bike Ride
If you and your date enjoy being outdoors and are also pretty active, picking a nice area and going for a bike ride is the perfect idea for your first date. Enjoying the nice weather and the view is already nice, but sharing an activity together is a plus. It also helps with getting comfortable with each other, since there can’t be many awkward moments of silence while you’re on your bikes.
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Don’t go crazy, though. For a first date, you shouldn’t go on a 100-mile bike tour. The bike is just an excuse to share a nice moment with your date and get to know them, it’s not a sports competition! You should also be prepared to take breaks and be considerate of your date’s needs if they’re getting tired. And to top it off, bring some water and snacks to sit back and relax afterward.
#7. Visit A Trampoline Park
Trampoline parks allow adults to wake up their inner child and have some fun, so going to one is a great idea for a first date. First of all, it is a great ice breaker and much more creative than grabbing dinner or watching a movie. Second, it’s a refreshing change of scenery and a great way to get comfortable with each other. Sure, you might fall and make a fool of yourself, but that will make for a good laugh!
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It is outside your comfort zone and extremely energetic, but also relaxing and de-stressing, because you will not be taking yourself too seriously. Also, the nostalgia factor makes it even more exciting. It is also relatively inexpensive, and if you’re having a good time, you can extend the date with some drinks or dinner afterward. There’s a reason why these places are popping up all over the place!
#6. Go Dancing
This one is surely not for everyone, but if you and your date enjoy dancing, you’ll have a wonderful time. It is a fun and non-threatening way to get close and comfortable with your date and see if there’s some spark between you. It basically helps you kick things off from a physical perspective right from the start and test the chemistry you have with your date.
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Of course, you don’t have to be professionals to enjoy a dance class. It is a good idea though to choose a fairly simple dance style that allows you to be close and not a super complicated and advanced class. It is bound to make you laugh and flirt, and it also helps shy people get out of their comfort zone. Another plus for the shy ones is that there’s not much talking going on as you dance.
#5. Go To A Concert
Switch things up taking your date to a concert instead of the typical coffee date. Although it’s not your typical option, the cool atmosphere and the fun energy of a concert will help your relationship start on the right foot. Find out about their favorite music in advance and, if you and your date share your taste in music, don’t doubt it for a second, especially if one of your favorite bands is playing in your area soon.
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As the musicians are playing, you will be sharing the moment without talking so there won’t be any awkward silences, and you will have plenty to talk about afterward so you might consider going for a drink right after. Don’t be afraid to bust some moves and enjoy the music with your date, which will help you bond and test your chemistry. If you don’t like the same music, however, this is a no-no.
#4. Check Out A New Place In Town
If you live in a big city, there are probably tons of places and areas you haven’t seen before, so why not take this as an excuse to take somebody out on a date? You gotta do your research first, however. Find a nice, cool area, preferably a place you or your date have never been to before. It is a good idea to pick a public place and not a secluded area unless you want to scare your date off!
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You can find plenty of things to talk about as you walk around, and might even find something else to do afterward if the date is going well and you’re having fun. For example, maybe you spot a nice place to sit down and have a drink. All in all, checking out a new neighborhood is a fun, cheap and exciting way to get to know someone and find lots of things to talk about.
#3. Go Kayaking
If the weather is good and you live in an area that allows it to happen, take your date kayaking! It’s super creative, adventurous and fun. How many people can say they’ve gone kayaking on their first date? Not many. So this is a great way to kick off a relationship and create a unique memory that you will cherish forever and will tell all your grandkids about!
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Of course, this is a very energetic first date, so make sure your date is active and into sports or else it won’t go well. If you share a passion for the outdoors and exploring the beauty that the world has to offer than you should definitely try it. Some rental places not only offer individual kayaks but tandem boats for you to share, which will make it super romantic at the same time.
#2. Get Brunch
Dinner is too risky sometimes for a first date, and a coffee is just too casual. So what is a good alternative for these two overrated options? Getting brunch for your first date. The truth is that a dinner date puts a lot of pressure on the participants. It tends to be more of a fancy affair, it takes a couple of hours, and it doesn’t give you much room to get comfortable around each other.
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Meanwhile, going out for coffee is way too casual. So casual, that a person can literally finish a coffee in 20 minutes. How much can you learn about a person in that short amount of time? Or are you just going to keep ordering coffee until you overdose on caffeine? Brunch is a good daytime option that is super relaxed, not fancy, and you can even have some mimosas in between. What could go wrong?
#1. Go To An Arcade
Nostalgic, exciting, creative and fun; those are some words to describe this awesome first date idea. Why waste your time going to some boring restaurant when you can take your date to an arcade? There’s just so much to do there. There’s classics like Pac Man and Skee-Ball, plus lots of other options that fit everyone’s taste. By the way, you should let your date choose first!
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Some healthy competition will help you break the ice and create a friendly and comfortable atmosphere for you to get to know each other. If all goes well and you can feel the chemistry between the two of you after a fun night of playing, you can go grab some dinner or a drink to cool down and really get to talk. Some bars already come with arcade games, so that’s an option as well.