Meeting a new person for a first date can be awkward. Sitting down for a multi-course dinner is a huge time commitment. If they’re boring or you weren’t attracted to them when you first sat down, now it feels like you’re stuck there.
But, coffee dates can feel a bit like you’re interviewing someone for the position of dating you and if you’re go-to is meeting at a bar for a drink, there’s probably only so many of those dates you want to have a week.
Fun First Date Ideas
1. Go Through an Escape Room
You can learn a lot about your date in an escape room. How do they perform under pressure? How well do they play with others? Do they have debilitating claustrophobia? Most escape rooms usually have the option to play with a group or a private room just the two of you. But don’t get any smart ideas – the rooms have cameras.
2. See a Women’s Sports Game
Sport game tickets aren’t inexpensive–especially when you add the cost of a soda with no ice–but women’s sports tickets are often cheaper. Anything the boys can do, women can do better.
3. Visit the Dog Park
Bring your furry friends to a dog park for a double date. Don’t have a dog? No one can stop you from watching other people’s dogs play, no matter how many people complain to the parks and recreation department.
4. Go to the Library
Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card. Your local library hosts tons of free events, from cooking classes to mahjong tournaments. Or just browse the books and get close enough to whisper in their ear. Shh!
5. Visit Your Local Weird Museum
Every state has a museum that makes you think, “What could even be in there?” Now’s the time to find out. Visit your local weird museum, whether it’s about spies, bugs, or potatoes. Keep that library card out, because many libraries give you access to free museum passes.
6. Play at Trivia Night
Check out your local trivia night and unleash your inner Jeopardy contestant. It’s like someone is reading you a list of discussion questions so you never run out of conversation. Even if the date’s more like an interview, at least somebody will be asking you questions.
7. See a Drag Show
Throw money at your local drag artist. Unless you have a newspaper with the headline “Tennessee Lawmakers Recover from Evil Sorcerer’s Curse, Apologize to Everyone,” then gently place that on the stage.
8. Go Roller Skating
Make like your elementary school party and hit the roller skating rink. FYI, nowadays the cool kids are wearing skates instead of blades. If you’re not ready to hit the rink butt-first, see if your local skate rink hosts roller derby games.
9. Present at a Powerpoint Night
Powerpoint nights are all the rage on TikTok. Watching someone talk about a topic they’re passionate about can be fun and even sexy. Your date claims they love Succession, but are they ready to give a presentation on how the story of Nero and Sporus informs Tom and Greg’s relationship? If so, invite us.
10. Play at a Board Game Cafe
Getting a cup of coffee is nice, but it’s even better if somebody can win. Instead of the same old coffee shop, check out a board game cafe. After that cup of coffee, you’ll have the energy you need as you drain their bank account of Monopoly money. Hey, they could have bought Boardwalk.
11. See a Play
Check out your local community theater show. Your local theater scene probably has many kinds of shows available, from Broadway-style classics to original shows. The weirder and more experimental, the more you’ll have to talk about after.
12. Get Cozy by a Bonfire
Nothing’s cozier than snuggly up next to a warm fire. Smokey Bear says to only light fires where it’s safe to do so, like a park or camp site with a fire pit. It’s a better plan than lighting fires in your house until 911 sends the cute firefighter.
13. Sing at Karaoke
Warm up your vocal chords and head to the karaoke bar. Singing helps get out those first date dinners, because you’re embarrassing yourself on purpose. Even if you’re too shy to take the stage, you can bond over watching a frat bro sing “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”
14. Visit an Amusement Park
Visit an amusement park and ride the tunnel of love, if there are any left that weren’t closed for bodily fluid contamination. Now that you’re all grown up, you’re tall enough to ride all the rides and no one can tell you what is a reasonable amount of cotton candy to eat.
15. See a Live Podcast
See if your favorite podcast or a podcast you’re interested in is recording a live show in your area. There are approximately one bajillion podcasts out there, so you should have plenty of options. Your date will be there to hold you as you process how the host’s face is so much different from what you imagined based on their voice.
16. Volunteer for a Good Cause
You’re already doing so much good for the world by gracing your suitors with your presence, but you can always do more good. Pick a cause you both care about and spend some time volunteering. Play with animals at a shelter, build a house with Habitat for Humanity, or distribute Stanley tumblers to recovering Hydro Flaskers.
17. Go Thrifting
Hit the thrift store for affordable fun. Play a scavenger hunt to find the weirdest item. Pick out a gift for each other that’s less than $5. Hide in the racks and jump out to scare them.
18. Play Arcade Games
Put your game face on and head to the arcade for old school fun. You have a big kid job now, so you can buy as many tokens as you want. Or better yet, your date can buy them for you.
19. See a Psychic
See what the future holds by getting a psychic reading. Is there going to be a second date? A dramatic break-up? Marriage? There’s only one way to find out, besides experiencing the journey of life. But what fun is that?
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