Ben and I never had a first date.
Well, not technically.
We met as friends after having spent a couple of weeks chatting via Reddit every day, and met up for a pint and pizza after my plans for the day had fallen through. We both wanted to get out of our respective flats and enjoy the summer weather, so figured why not meet up and see if the friendship would translate from online to real life.
We’ve been inseparable ever since.
Before meeting Ben though I had been on a lot of dates, and have had a lot of crazy experiences on those dates. One time I was called a sociopath (because I collect books on political philosophy), another time the guy was actually looking at my Tinder photos to make sure I was actually me, then there was the guy who decided to pee into the Thames, and another who took me to a “club” that I am pretty sure was a front for a drug den, considering we were both patted down before we went in and there were a lot of shady people, shady corners, and just general shadiness. Oh, and one guy cried and sent me an essay after I sent him home in a taxi because he was too drunk to handle.
In fact, I have seen a lot of tears and bared souls, which isn’t a bad thing, just unexpected on a date. However, most of my dates involve the pub, bar, or alcohol in general.
Sure, dates can be absolutely nerve wrecking – what if you’ve nothing to talk about? What if you get bored? What if you’re just not that into them? That’s why people tend to want to drink on a date, to help out with social lubricant, and make the date a little bit more fun in case they (or you) are a total bore.
But where’s the fun? Where’s the memorable experience? Dating is supposed to be fun and is a great way to explore new places, and try new things, with someone new and different, so let’s get creative, let’s try something different.
I have compiled 50 great date ideas that will cover every age, every interest, and every season. It’s a list to inspire you to try something a little different, and make each date memorable!
So, here we go – 50 great ideas for dates!
- Afternoon Tea: It might sound a bit fancy, but a cup of tea over a scone is a great way to get to know whether they’re a jam or cream on top, kinda person, you know, the important things.
- Amusement park: Ferris wheels, dodgem cars, haunted house. ‘Nuff said.
- Aquarium: Visiting an aquarium is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon – you may even be able to watch a show!
- Arcade: find an old school arcade and compete against each other at pinball, or racing!!
- Art Class: Whether you’re sculpting or painting, learning a new skill together is sure to be a bonding experience.
- Ballet: Dancing in the club isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so you can’t go wrong leaving it to the professionals.
- Beach: Few things are more romantic than the sun setting over the ocean, and if there’s a cool breeze, you’ve an excuse to cuddle! Or, you know, you could build sand castles.
- Board Games: A lot of pubs or cafés have board games available to play for free.
- Bookstore: Every city will have one of those bookstores that span multiple levels, with comfy nooks hidden throughout. It’s a great way to learn more about each other’s interests.
- Botanical Gardens: In Spring when the weather isn’t too warm, and the flowers are in full bloom, if either of you are into gardening, then a visit to the gardens, and a cup of tea at the gardens café is a gentle, yet scenic date.
- Bowling: Bowling is a great way to bring out your competitive spirit, and get a bit of fun rivalry growing.
- Brewery, distillery or winery: If you both like your booze, it’s easy to book yourself into a tour of brewery, distillery or winery. You’ll learn a lot during your time there, as well as get to taste the produce.
- Brunch: If you’re both morning people this is a great way to start your day together, and you can find out their very important opinions on Avocado quickly.
- Bush walk or Nature Hike: Whether it’s the bush, the forest, a mountain, or a meadow, walking through nature away from the distractions of technology will help bring you closer.
- Carnival or Fair: Carnivals and Fairs are full of vibrant colours, music, and food, all which lead to the perfect first date.
- Cocktail bar: Spice things up by trying different cocktails, rather than having your usual vodka or wine, and sharing.
- Cocktail class: Rather than have your cocktails made for you, why not learn how to make your own!
- Coffee Date: Find a cute café with the perfect espresso, and you may just have the perfect date.
- Comedy Show: Whether the comedy is good or bad, having a laugh on a date is essential.
- Convention: There are always conventions in town, from comic book to food to lifestyle, and can lead to a fun afternoon discovering new things.
- Fishing: There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting by a lake, waiting for that tug on your heart strings, oh wait, I meant fishing line! .
- Gig or Concert: Live music is soothing to the soul, and a great way to introduce your date to something different. Unless of course you love the same music, in which case you can rock on together.
- Go for a walk: Every city has a large park, or even a river, great for long walks that can lead to long conversations.
- Horseback riding: This one may not be for everyone, but it’ll definitely be a memorable first date.
- Harbour or River cruise: It can be a cruise along the river, or perhaps a ferry across the harbour. It’s something a little different, and very romantic.
- Haunted House or Graveyard: In most older cities, and even some of the newer ones, you’ll be able to find a spooky tour, or haunted house tour. You may not believe in ghosts, but holding your date when they’re scared is always a bonus!
- Ice cream: Who wouldn’t love an icecream date in the middle of summer? The icecream will cool you down as things start to heat up on your date.
- Ice Skating: All rugged up for winter, why not hit the ice rink for your first date? You can teach each other to skate, or laugh when the other person falls down!
- Markets: There’s a market for everyone, whether it’s a foodie market or craft market it’ll give you lots of talk about, and maybe even lots to eat.
- Movie and then dinner: This way you can talk about the movie over dinner.
- Mulled wine by the fireplace: Is that flush in their cheeks from the wine? Perfect for the seasonal months, curling up by the fireplace in a cosy pub, and sipping mulled wine is not only warming, but incredibly romantic.
- Museum or art gallery: Art and history are great conversation starters.
- Open-mic night: Most pubs have an open-mic night where performers test out their material on the locals. It may be terrible, but it may also be a lot of fun – either way, it’ll lead to great conversation.
- Petting Zoo: Furry animals you can cuddle and pet. ‘Nuff said.
- Photography date: If you’re both fans of photography, grab your cameras and go on an adventure, and your photos will be a lasting memory of your date.
- Picnic: Rather than hiding in café, grab some sandwiches, a nice shady spot in a park, enjoy the sunshine and fresh air.
- Planetarium: If one or both of you love science and astronomy, exploring the universe together is a great way to spend time exploring each others interests.
- Pool: The game, not the water-filled hole in the ground. Why not play a game or two of pool over a pint? If your date doesn’t know how to play, you can always get cosy whilst you teach them.
- Psychic: Go see a psychic together and see if your futures are truly aligned.
- Pub Quiz: Most pubs hosts pub quiz’s these days, so it’ll be easy to find one locally to test out your knowledge together.
- Salsa dancing: Salsa and Latin dancing are a lot of fun and very sexy. Even if you can’t dance, at least you’re willing to try!
- Sightseeing: If your date is new to town, why not show them your favourite places? Maybe you’ll make some new memories together.
- Sports match: Whether it’s rugby, soccer, or tennis, it’s a great to watch your team win together (or maybe lose – oops!)
- Sunrise or Sunset: Watching the sunrise if you’re morning people, or sunset if you’re night people, is a relaxing and calm way to start (or end) your date.
- Swimming: Either at the local pool, or the beach when you’ve Bikinis and Boardies, that’s ‘nuff said.
- Table tennis: You won’t need any gear or attire to play table tennis, but you’ll still be able to bring out their competitive spirit.
- Theatre: Whether it’s Cats or Wicked, there’s always something showing somewhere – even if it’s a local production!
- Theme Restaurant: If you do want a more traditional date, you can still add a memorable twist to the evening by taking your date to a themed restaurant.
- Toy Store: Everyone likes toys of some sort, so walking through a giant toy store together, sharing childhood memories, or having a mock-battle with pool noodles is hours of fun spent together.
- Volunteer: It might seem a bit of a weird idea for a date, but it’s something important, it’s giving back, and something serious to bond over.
So there we have it – 50 great date ideas to try out. Now, just remember to be confident, be yourself, and have fun!