Not sure what to do on a first date? A movie and dinner is always a safe bet for a first date. But this isn’t exactly going to help you stand out and make a memorable impression. So, if you have a really special girl, then you will want to make sure your first date is something special.
Here are 28 ideas for what to do on a first date which aren’t your typical movie and dinner. I’ve broken them down into outdoor first date ideas, indoor first date ideas, and daytime first date ideas.
What Makes a Good First Date?
Before we get into the first date ideas, we need to establish what makes for a good first. According to Art Markman, author of Smart Thinking, a first date needs to have:
- A chance to get to know each other
- Some energy
By “chance to get to know each other,” we are talking about conversation and chatting. But you’ve also got to have some sort of energy on the date. Otherwise, you end up with too much attention on yourselves and feel pressured to talk incessantly. So, a good first date will have the right balance of conversation and distracting energy.
This is why the movie/dinner date idea is so popular. You go to the movie first so you have something to talk about during dinner. The process of going from place to place, ordering, waiting for food, etc. provides just the right amount of distraction so you don’t need to constantly talk. You would NOT, however, just take a girl to a movie because there is no chance for conversation.
All of these first date ideas provide a chance to get to know each other, such as by putting you into situations where you need to exchange your opinions (like at a museum). They also have the perfect balance of energy so you both have a memorable experience.
Outdoor Date Ideas
It shows that you are a capable leader, that you are adventurous, and that you are trustworthy. Just make sure that you don’t get lost in the wilderness somewhere. Bring a compass and a map! Of course, you wouldn’t want to take a high maintenance girl hiking. Be on the lookout for signs like long fingernails and excessive makeup.
2. Miniature Golf
If you want a really relaxed, fun date, then miniature golf is a sure bet. The friendly competition is a great way to get to know each other. If you are actually good at mini golf, then use it as a chance to put your arms around her and “show her how to put.”
3. Ice Skating
I honestly have no clue how to ice skate and always wanted to learn, so I’d be really happy if someone took me ice skating for a first date. It would be so romantic to hold hands while gliding and falling all over the ice – and each other!
4. Go Canoeing or Paddle Boating
I’ve got to warn you: canoeing is hard work. So make sure you are up to the challenge if you want to take her out on the water in a canoe or paddle boat. If you are up for this challenge, then you will impress her. She will never forget the intimacy and romance of your first date on the water.
5. Nighttime Walk on the Beach
You know the cliché line about “likes to take long walks on the beach.” Well, there’s a good reason for it – walks on the beach are romantic! Going for a walk on the beach at night is going to have a very different mood than in the day. It is quieter, more intimate, and cooler so you aren’t unattractively sweating up a storm. Remember to be a gentleman. If she is cold, offer her your jacket.
A lot of magazines recommend going to a playground for your first date. If a guy took me to a playground, I’d probably think he was cheap and/or way too quirky. However, there is nothing wrong with going for a nice walk in a park and “happening on” the playground, where the two of you teasingly bump into each other on the swings.
Indoor Date Ideas
If you are stressed about the date, then bowling is a good option. There is always something to do (keep score, take your swing, refill the beer pitcher…), so you have an excuse to duck out if there is a lag in the conversation. Oh, and this is a pretty cheap date too.
8. Roller Skating Rink
Just like with ice skating, roller skating provides all sorts of opportunities for intimate moments. You two can hold hands while whipping around the rink, act silly dancing to the music, or pretend to fall so you can get your arms around her.
This is a classy version of the movie/dinner date idea. When you go to the theatre though, it is a lot more memorable and there is generally an intermission where you can chat.
10. Dinner Cabaret
If a classy theatre date isn’t your style, then go to a local dinner cabaret instead. Cabaret tends to be a bit lewd, which will give you a reading about how sexually open your date is. As another bonus, you don’t have to worry about taking her two places because dinner is served while you watch the show.
11. Stand-Up Comedy
Stand-up comedy shows don’t give you as much room for conversation, but they will get both of your laughing and in a really good mood – which will help open you up for conversation after the show.
12. Live Music at a Small Venue
You wouldn’t want to take a first date to a big concert. The atmosphere is too chaotic and not at all intimate. However, seeing live music at a smaller venue where you can sit down and have a drink is a good choice. You will be able to chat, and there is so much energy at a live show that she will think you are a fun, outgoing type of guy.
13. Museums, Aquariums, or the Zoo
If you are a good conversationalist and already have your flirting skills down (download our free flirting guide), then one of these places is a good bet. The atmosphere is very relaxed, you will have plenty to talk about thanks to all the exhibits, and it will also be memorable since she probably hasn’t gone to any of these places recently. *Note that this might not be the best first date for a single mom. She probably does this all the time with the kids!
14. Trivia Night
This is an especially good first date idea for people who are bad conversationalists. The trivia will fill in for the lack of chatting.
15. Exotic Food
If you want to take her out to dinner, then choose some sort of exotic cuisine. You will come across as worldly and adventurous, it will be more memorable, and you’ll have more to talk about over dinner.
A bit of friendly competition is a great way to get to know each other. Make sure you scout out the 2-player games at the arcade before you go, or try playing some more active games like having a Dance Dance Revolution face off.
17. Take a Class Together
If you both share an interest in something like cooking, dancing, yoga, or ceramics, then sign up for a class together. If you really like the girl, you might even be able to hire a private instructor for just the two of you.
Karaoke dates are generally best when there are more people involved, so this is a good choice if you are going out on a double date or in a group. You will be able to see how inhibited – or wildly outgoing – by how she takes to the stage.
19. Go Dancing
You know how some birds do mating dances? Well, the same applies to humans. Women find it irresistibly sexy when a man knows how to dance (it is a sign he is good in bed). So, show off your moves by taking her dancing. Be on the lookout for themed nights at bars and clubs, like Salsa, Swing, or Tango.
20. Poetry or Book Reading
It you want to impress her by showing off how much of an intellectual you are, then take her to a poetry or book reading. Make sure that this is something she actually enjoys though. Otherwise, the date might be a bit boring. Of course, you will want to go to a bistro afterwards for espresso and to talk about the reading.
Day time Date Ideas
A lot of the above dates could be done during the daytime. But, because daytime dates are generally a bit harder (more conversation required and usually alcohol isn’t involved for social lubrication), I decided that daytime dates needed its own section.
21. Local Flea Market or Farmer’s Market
You will have fun while looking over all of the items, and you’ll get a sense of her personality by which items she likes – like whether she is drawn to the expensive Victorian chandelier or the cheap Crack Jack box toys. Make sure there is a good place nearby where you can stop for a bite to eat. Buy her a souvenir so she won’t ever forget your first date!
22. Go Shopping Together
Tell her that you’ve got to buy a present for your mom/sister/etc. Then take her to some interesting places. You’ll be able to get to know each other well when talking over the present ideas. Or, if you want to spoil her, take HER shopping for a new outfit. She will feel like a princess trying on the outfits for you!
Stroll to a nice spot together and have a picnic. If there aren’t any sites to walk to in the area (like a pond where you two can feed the ducks), then bring along a board game to play so you’ll have something energetic to do.
24. Be Tourists
When was the last time you visited the tourist hot spots in your town? Go there to check out the sites. Some of them are probably actually really romantic. For example, I used to live in Philadelphia, which has a Clock Tower that you can go to the top of and get an amazing view of the city. I think I was the only local who ever went there! For a goofy fun time, make up characters for yourself to play while at the tourist spot. You can be Boris from Russia and she can be Monique, a Parisian artist visiting for the first time.
If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, take her there for some swim and sun. You can have fun splashing each other and build up sexual attraction while you rub sunscreen all over her shoulders.
26. Go Photographing
Pretend to be all artsy and sophisticated by taking her for a walk somewhere beautiful (like a botanical garden or a really nice park) to take photographs. Have her pose in the photographs and she will feel flattered by your attention!
27. Geo Caching
Geo Caching is a scavenger hunt game for adults. You go online to the website, type in your location, and it will show you the coordinates of where “caches” are hidden. Then you go and find them. Your date will think that you are adventurous and that you are in-the-know with cool underground things to do.
28. Fly a Kite
I wouldn’t take a girl on a first date which was just flying a kite. However, you two could go on a walk to a park together (with a bottle of wine, of course) and bring a kite along to fly. The kite will give you something to do so you don’t have to chat as much. Plus, you’ll get points for originality.
Need some help with your flirting and bantering skills? Download our free dating guide and you will be set for first date success.