It is my firm belief that first dates should set the tone for the relationship. There’s nothing wrong with the usual dinner and a movie, but wouldn’t it be great to add a little spice? After all, first impressions are extremely important, and you want your possible new boyfriend to think you’re fun to be around. If you’re at a loss for exciting and out of the ordinary places to take your new beau, try some of these fun first date ideas!
1. A Night at the Theatre
No, not the cinema. The theatre, with live actors and actresses. This is by far my favorite first date idea! Most people don’t venture to the theatre for a night out because they don’t realize how great a show can be. Better than any movie! If your guy is the artsy type, he’s sure to love a good musical. So the next time Wicked is in town, offer that as your first date!
If he’s more inclined to sit in stadium seats than theatre seats, go to a game with him! Even if you’re not much into sports, guys absolutely love it when women seem to be interested in things they like. And they love answering questions. So if you have no idea what’s going on during the game, ask him and watch as his eyes light up as he explains free throws or field goals. Or, if you are a sports fan, wow him with your own knowledge and bond over hearty shouts of triumph.
3. His Sports
To add onto the previous one, if you know your guy is an athlete, offer to go to one of his games and then make a date out of it by getting something to eat after. He’ll probably try to impress you by showing off in the field, and you’ll have plenty to talk about over your meal afterwards.
4. Rock Climbing
I think rock climbing is just about the most fun thing! The best thing to do is make it a race between the two of you. If you want to raise the stakes and definitely catch his interest, add a prize to the pot. The winner gets a kiss.
Okay, this isn’t as weird as it sounds. If you know your guy is an outdoorsy type, and you like the outdoors yourself, go fishing! Whether you go on a boat or do it off a pier, it’s loads of fun and a great time to talk and get to know each other. Plus, a lot of guys love a girl who isn’t afraid to get a little dirty.
6. Paint Some Pottery
Have you ever been to one of those ‘paint a clay sculpture’ stores? If not, it’s really fun! This is a nice opportunity to be creative or funny, depending on your sculpture choice, and it’s also a relaxed environment to talk. If you’re feeling extra flirty, you could always have a little fun with the paint and his face! (Just make sure he wouldn’t freak out about it!)
A classic art museum may not be for everyone, but there is tons of fun to be had at a modern art museum. In my experience, there is nothing funnier than walking through a modern art museum and making some jokes with a friend about the pieces. (Sorry modern art lovers!) A guy will always feel more relaxed if he knows he can joke around and have a laugh. Even if you do genuinely enjoy the artwork, you can enjoy it together.
8. Workout Together
Not many women would want a get sweaty and disheveled with a guy they don’t know very well. But exercising together could be a great opportunity to get to know a guy. If he goes to your gym, or you know that he runs every morning, bring up the idea of working out together. Ladies, this is the time to pull out that pair of spandex exercise pants that make your butt look amazing.
9. Scuba Diving/Snorkeling
Going for a swim is always fun, but if you really want to have a great time, bring along a mask and go snorkeling! If you’re scuba certified, go for a dive too, although that may be more difficult to do with your date if he isn’t.
I recently went to an arcade for my birthday, and I realized just how ridiculously fun they were. Challenge your date to beat your score at Pac-Man, or take him on at Dance Dance Revolution. Whatever games you decide to play, the great thing about an arcade is that there is always another game to go play if you get bored.
Can you think of anything more fun than racing around in a little car? Racing around in a little car with a guy! Unfortunately, I’ve never Go-Karting, but from what I hear it’s tremendous fun.
This is one of the more eccentric first date ideas, but not any less fun. Paintballing is definitely not for the faint of heart, as it’s a very intensive and even painful sport. But there’s nothing like the thrill of tag-teaming against your enemies. Only do this if you know your guy loves it and you’re willing to go home with a few small bruises at the end of the day.
13. TV Show Marathon
If you know your guy loves absolutely loves a TV show that you’ve been wanting to watch, invite him over and make a date out of watching the first season! He’ll enjoy sharing something he loves with you, and you’ll get to fall in love with not just a new TV show, but hopefully him too!
Keeping it simple can also be unique. When was the last time you ever went on a genuine blanket-on-the-grass picnic? If the weather is nice and you know of a gorgeous park, pack a yummy lunch and head out with your date! For some extra fun, bring a kite to fly!
15. Cook Dinner Together
My mom always says that a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Instead of cooking him a delicious dinner for him, cook one WITH him. Find a delicious recipe online that involves lots of ingredients so you don’t run out of things to do too quickly. It may seem odd at first, but once you get the pan sizzling, you’ll be having so much fun. What I like to do is assign him to be in charge of a specific task, and give him the pleasure of being the taste-tester.
Not really anything too extraordinary about bowling, but who actually goes there for dates anymore? Unfortunately, not many people, which is why it may seem like something new and exciting for him. This first date idea will definitely «get the ball rolling» in your relationship, and it’s guaranteed to be an enjoyable night out. Even if you’re not a good bowler, he’ll think it’s cute.
You might now be in an area where you can build a campfire, but if you have a fireplace of some kind, that’ll work too. After you’ve eaten dinner, build a nice cozy fire to sit around and melt some s’mores. Fires are the ideal place for chatting and will help get rid of any awkwardness or nervousness.
18. Go to a Horse Race
This first date idea sounds like it can get boring, but the trick is to make a game out of betting against each other. Bet on a different horse than your date each time and tease him about it. Let some friendly and flirty competition evolve, and I guarantee you’ll have a great time.
There is no sight in the world that can compare to the night sky. Take a walk through the park, or find a hill somewhere and lay out a blanket. Snuggle up together and try to count the stars together. I did this once with a friend, and before I knew it we were so comfortable talking about anything with each other. It was a great bonding moment, and it’s very romantic.
20. Be a Kid Again
Find a nice, big playground and run around. Play tag, play hide and go seek, just let your inhibitions go and channel your inner child. I think this is one of the most organic ways to bond with someone because for that time you’re not worried about impressing them. All you’re worried about is not getting tagged.
A great way to introduce your date to your interests and passions is to volunteer together at an organization you support. Volunteering can be fun! Choose an animal shelter to help socialize animals or spend some time with kids or seniors. You get to see how your date interacts with others while you do something good for your community!
22. Live Music
Grab your date and head out for a night on the town. Seeing a live band, no matter what genre of music, is fun because it's loud and you can dance to it! Even if the band ends up being far from your cup of tea, it'll be a night the two of you won't soon forget.
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24. Be Tourists
Another first date idea is to be tourists in your own city. Go to all the popular tourist attractions and do all the typical tourist-y things. Often times when you live so close to something, you never end up going there. Take this opportunity to explore your city and see it through the eyes of a tourist.
25. Progressive Dinner
A progressive dinner consists of dining at different establishments for each course. You can start off at your favorite place for apps, then pick a random spot for your entree, venture off to your date's favorite spot for dessert.
26. Cooking Class
Look for a local culinary school or community center that offers cooking classes and take a class together. Even if neither of you are top chefs, it's a good way to get to know your date and have fun in the kitchen!
27. Haunted House
Is there a haunted house or another spot in your city that has a reputation for being haunted? Grab your date and explore! You might even get some compelling paranormal evidence.
Some of these date ideas might not be practical for all women, but if your guy seems receptive to trying something different, go for it! Even if it doesn’t go farther than that first date, I can guarantee you’ll always stand out in his mind. What are your thoughts on some of these ideas? Will you try them? Have you ever had a really fun and out of the ordinary first date? What are some ideas you’d like to add?
This article was written in collaboration with editor Lisa Washington