First dates can be nerve-racking, we know! The pressure of making a great first impression is intense, so we’re here to help ease some of your anxiety.
Here are 50 date ideas, from a relationship experts’ perspective, that are guaranteed to ignite a spark:
- Comedy night
Nothing like a good laugh to break the ice! Try heading to a local bar and sitting in on comedy night – it’s a great way to gauge a new date’s sense of humor.
- Participate in an open mic night
Let your guard down! Attend an open mic night and each promise to do some kind of performance whether it’s singing, slam poetry, or playing some kind of musical instrument. Being adventurous and putting yourself out there is a great way to bond on a first date.
- Cooking class
Attending a cooking class together is a fun way to get creative and learn something new, plus dinner’s included! It’s a no-brainer.
- Art class
If cooking isn’t your thing, but you are still looking to get creative on a first date, look into an art class at a local studio. Whether it’s a pottery class, or a painting class, doing an art class together will show you their artistic side and you’ll end up with fun pieces at the end.
- Ghost tour
Google “haunted house tour” or “ghost tour” in your area to find a spooky spot to visit. You’ll learn a lot about your date by how they react to fear.
- Axe throwing
Axe throwing has emerged as a new form of sport that can test out your strength and aim. If you and your date are into sporty things, and a little friendly competition, this could be a great first date spot.
- Go bowling
Some things are classic for a reason, and bowling on a first date is just one of those things. It introduces just the right amount of competition that can help you out of the conversation is dragging a little bit.
Arcades are making a comeback, and as it turns out, they’re a great date spot! Playing arcade games on a date is a lighthearted way to break the ice with some competition.
- Rock climbing
Rock climbing is all the rage these days! Whether you are solo-ing or having your date belay you, you will get a good workout and bond over the rock course together.
- Try horseback riding
This is a rather niche first date idea, but if you’re in an area that has horseback riding classes (and you’re the adventurous type), it’s a great way to explore new parts of your area while bringing out your rugged side.
- Tarot reading
Whether or not you believe in the art of tarot reading, getting your cards read can be a super fun date option because it will teach you more about yourself and your new date.
- Palm reading
Along the same lines as tarot card readings, palm readings can tell you about your future with this new person, your overall compatibility, and what your life paths will look lik – definitely things that would be good to know as you start out a relationship!
- Rooftop bar
Dinner or drinks with a rooftop view is fun, relaxing, and a great first date setting!
- Concert in the park
Who doesn’t love a good concert? It’s a perfect first date! It’s an opportunity to explore what kind of music you both like and check out their moves on the dance floor.
- Music festival
If you and your date are both into music, consider buying a day pass to a music festival or even a weekend pass if you’re feeling up for it!
Mini-golf is such a nostalgic experience for most people, going on a first date will be sure to bring out the inner kid in you both.
- Driving range
Places like ‘Top Golf’ are popping up all around the country and offer a great date night spot with drinks, golf, and a chance to correct your dates form (wink wink).
- Food festival
If you love food and the idea of trying new things, consider going to a food festival together and sampling different dishes from around your town.
See if your date has the need – the need for speed – on this flirty, fun, and competitive first date.
If you and your date both like the outdoors, and the weather is right, take advantage of some local hiking trails. There’s nothing more romantic than discovering a new scenic view together!
- Bike ride
Going on a bike ride is another great way to explore where you live and get your endorphins pumping, which is sure to generate some extra chemistry.
- Go on a run
Do both of you love running? Go for a run on your first date! You can hit your favorite running trail and grab coffee (or beer) afterward.
- Rent canoes or kayaks
Another great way to soak up the sun on a first date is to hit a local river or lake for some canoeing or kayaking. If you go at sunset it will be a super romantic trip!
- Karaoke bar
If you aren’t afraid of embarrassing yourself (or if you have an excellent singing voice) consider trying karaoke for your first date. Pick out your favorite song or decide on a duet to perform with your date.
- Go thrifting
Thrifting together is a great way to get a sense of your date’s style. If you visit a thrift store together you can even take turns picking out outfits for one another in a kind of adult dress-up.
- Go to a flea market
If you are both into shopping, or just up for an adventure, go to a local flea market and search for little treasures. You can turn this into a little scavenger hunt or pick out presents for one another.
- Visit a local bookstore
If you are a couple of book worms, hitting a local bookstore is a great first date spot! Go to a local spot and ask for a recommendation, look at the rare books in stock or try to pick out books for one another.
- Pop into a record store
If you’re more into music than books, try hitting a record store together. Most places have listening stations so that you can jam a newfound record together or listen to a classic.
- Go to Ikea
If you’re a fan of the movie 500 Days of Summer, then you understand the appeal of an Ikea date idea. Explore the store, identify your style, and shop around while trying the awesome samples that are available.
- Go to the zoo
If you’re looking for an outdoor activity, it’s always fun to visit a zoo on a date. Take a peek at the animals, buy a silly souvenir and enjoy each other’s company.
- Go to the aquarium
Choose your favorite exhibits and spend time learning about marine life together!
- Visit a museum
Decide on a topic that both you and your date are interested in, whether it’s art, history or sports. There’s bound to be a museum in the area that you can visit together!
- Hit the farmers market
In need of produce? Looking for an artisan candle? Or a local kombucha dealer? Hit the farmers market as a date activity and support local business while you get to know each other.
- Do a wine tasting
Wine tastings are a fun and flirty way to get to know a new date while learning about wine!
- Visit a local brewery
If wine isn’t your thing, try visiting a local brewery. A lot of breweries offer flights of beer, which are little tasters of a bunch of different brews that showcase what the brewery has to offer. Grab a flight and bite to eat (there’s probably a food truck nearby!) and enjoy the atmosphere.
- Volunteer together
It’s always a great idea to volunteer together for a cause you’re both passionate about.
- Go to the movies
Netflix n’ chill is a classic choice, but there’s just nothing like the real deal. Support a local theatre, load up on snacks and candy, and take some of the pressure off of a first date. Then grab a drink afterward and talk about your favorite parts!
- Try out a drive-in movie
Drive-ins are a fun and nostalgic alternative to the traditional movie theatre experience. Pack a picnic (or at least some popcorn) and curl up in your car as you enjoy a movie together.
- Go to a play
Support your local thespians and buy tickets to see a local production of whatever is playing at the nearest theatre.
- Have a picnic
Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine, and take them to a special spot in town (whether permitting, of course). Super romantic!
- Compete in a trivia night
Trivia is a fun and competitive way to get to know a new person and their interests. Play on a team together, join another table or recruit some friends. Don’t stress if you don’t know the answers – it’s all about having fun!
- Try an escape room
You’ll be thrown into a real-life puzzle and will have no choice but to chat and work together against the clock – a whole new, fun kind of pressure for a first date!
- Do a puzzle
If you are looking for a low-key first date idea with minimal socializing (hello, introverts!), try completing a puzzle together.
- Visit an animal shelter
Checking out a local animal shelter and playing with puppies is a snuggly way to get to know your date. (Who doesn’t love baby animals, right?)
- Go to a baseball game
Are you and your date both sports fans? Buy tickets to a local sporting event! It’s entertaining and there’s plenty going on if you run out of things to talk about.
- Take a dance class
If you are open to learning something new on a first date, consider enrolling in a dance class. Dancing together will test your chemistry from the get-go!
- Create a mini food tour
Instead of deciding on just one restaurant, you can each pick a few of your favorite places and create a mini food and drink tour of your city. You can guage each others likes and maybe even find a new favorite spot!
- Take a day trip
Pick a nearby city and hop in the car for an adventure together! If you can handle an entire day with this person right from the start, it’s a great sign moving forward.
- Go on a scenic drive
Hop in the car, crank up the radio, and go for a drive! You’re bound to find a cool cafe or scenic spot to enjoy together.
- Do a seasonal activity
Getting into the spirit of the season isn’t just a fun first date, it’s a great way to connect! Take advantage of the season’s offerings, whether it’s visiting a botanical garden, grabbing snow cones, exploring a pumpkin patch, or going apple picking.
No matter what you decide, try to remember to have FUN! First dates don’t have to be scary, and with these 50 ideas, you’ll be feeling that spark in no time.