When you’re first dating someone, it’s typical to simply grab a coffee or eat out at a restaurant. Although there’s nothing wrong with that, after the initial “standard” dates, you’ll want to spice things up a little to keep things interesting.
Here’s 25 first date ideas that will help you get to know one another better and deepen your bond together.
1. Go bike riding
Depending on how outdoorsy you are, perhaps going on a bike ride together would be fun. It also gets the blood flowing and removes the pressure to make conversation.
Find a nice trail in your town to take your bikes and enjoy being out in the fresh air and the scenery.
2. Go on a long or short hike
If you’re going on a short hike, you can always end the hike with a cute little picnic. Longer all day hikes are nice if that’s your kind of thing, just make sure you’re prepared. Hikes are also a great way to see how “flexible” someone is in terms of being lead or leading in a team. Hiking trails may take many different turns and it could be interesting if you were to “get lost”.
It also allows you plenty of time to get to know each other.
3. Go to a dancing class together
Take a salsa class or any other kind of dance that requires two people to work together is a fun way to spend an evening. It can be quite a workout but it also shows you once again how well you work together as a team. (Also can check out his dance moves).
It may be fun also for a laugh and you can grab food afterwards.
4. Go to a seminar together
Are you both interested in the same hobby or subject matter? Perhaps it’s real estate investing, perhaps you both like art and crafts, perhaps you’re both writers. Take a free seminar together related to the thing you both have in common. This could promote new discussions and further your bond together as a couple.
5. Go to a games night
Most people enjoy playing games so finding a local event that hosts board games or trivia night games is always a fun way to spend the evening.
If no one is hosting any board games in your town, you could also host one yourself and invite a group of your friends around.
You can also find nearby pubs or clubs that host weekly trivia nights if that’s more your thing.
6. Plan a picnic together
Get together, hit the grocery store and plan your picnic day. I believe it’s best to do things together so early on in dating, and that includes planning and going on a picnic together.
Use teamwork to source out good locations to go to and how to prep the food you’ll bring. This will also give you a feel for how well you work together as a team.
7. Go to a local art gallery or museum
Whether you’re into art or not this will make for a relaxing day for the two of you to muse over good or bad paintings. I’ve always had more fun just making fun of bad paintings myself.
8. Visit display homes
This was one of the first dates me and my husband went on and it was a lot of fun. Plus it’s completely free. It’s also a great way to pretend for a day you’re a “married couple” and see what kind of house décor and layouts you’d both like. Talk about what you would change, how you would use a certain space and what you’d spend your time doing, this will get both of your creative juices flowing.
9. Go to a local festival
Check what’s going on in your local area for small festivals. If any looks interesting, schedule a time to check some out. Even if they don’t look too interesting, go anyway (they’re free) to look at shops, stores or just wonder through crowds of people.
10. Play miniature golf
A leisurely game where you can walk, talk and get slightly competitive with each other can always be a fun way to spend the day – especially if you’re both bad at the game in question. Remember to not take it too seriously.
11. Cook a new meal together
Take the time to source out a good (perhaps even somewhat complicated) recipe to make together. You could even split it up so you’ll make the main dish and him the dessert – or the other way around if you prefer.
If you cook a lot, you can challenge yourself to something more challenging than normal. Enjoy this with a glass of wine and end off with a movie to snuggle up to. A fun and simple date night together!
12. Go stargazing
This can very romantic and intimate-feeling, especially with someone new. Lay down next to each other on grass or bring some sleeping bags to lay out, make sure you are comfortable and look up at the stars. Perhaps this sounds “boring” to some people (and I thought it would be too) until I tried it. Looking up at stars and the vast sky has a real calming effect.
13. Go for a night time walk.
Another cheap and easy activity is simply to go for a night walk around your neighborhood. If there are nice scenic paths to take near your area, that’s even better. You can also go for a night drive to explore new areas in your town.
14. Build a bonfire and toast marshmallows
Sitting around a crackling fire is so relaxing and peaceful, you can stare into the fire, introspect or talk.
15. Draw a mini comic/storyboard together
A game my husband and I played when we first started dating was creating a mini comic strip. You don’t need drawing skills for this, think stick figures here. We’d give each other a basic scenario like: “Girl goes to the zoo” or “Man loses his keys.” Then we’d spend the next 30 minutes coming up with a mini comic of what happens next.
When your time is up, you both take times running through your mini story with the other person. This can get really funny, especially the worse the drawing is and the less the story actually makes sense.
16. Do a new workout together
This can be interesting if you’re both into fitness as each of you will have your different routines. Try to do a program together and see how each other fares, particularly one neither of you have tried before.
17. Movie night
Have a movie night with a slight twist by making sure you each pick a movie you think the other would like to watch. At the end see how close you both were at picking a movie the other actually liked. I find picking movies for others is constantly a trial and error process. Just because you “think” your partner would like a movie does not always mean they’ll like it.
18. Super fancy dress up night
It’s always fun to dress up every now and then. Plan a date night where each of you need to get super dressed up and looking amazing next to each other. Then get a friend or family member to take pictures before you head out. (Great social media pics to show off!)
Go to a nice restaurant and indulge yourself for a night.
19. Scout for best “x” eatery
If you’re a bit of a foodie, try to hunt down and try all the best “x” food places you can find. Eg, best fish and chip place, best pasta place, best pizza place etc. And give them a rating out of 10.
20. Play drinking games
It’s good to know how your guy acts when he’s drunk. Set aside a Friday or Saturday night. Load up with your favourite alcohol. Find some simple games to play and away you go.
It’s a good way to test whether the two of you can get drunk together and have fun. I’ve heard this is not always the case with some couples.
21. Go window shopping together
Sometimes it’s fun just to stroll through shops and look what things on display. You can also try on outfits for each other, find out what your shopping styles are like and take breaks with a coffee and lunch.
22. Go exploring with a camera/video camera
Are there areas in town you haven’t been to before? Most people get stuck into a routine and don’t think to explore what new things are out there.
Take a minute to research some new locations and just get up and go. The point is to be spontaneous and go with an open mind. Bring your camera with you and snap shots, videos and just muck around with each other. Even if you don’t find anything interesting, you can still make the day fun.
23. Go on a spontaneous day/night trip
Ok if you plan this one ahead of time, it kind of defeats the purpose. Remember when you’re first dating someone it’s good to inject spontaneity and excitement (you’re not a married couple so do things that are outside the comfort zone).
So if you’ve been chatting through text for hours and neither of you have anything major planned, tell him, let’s do something crazy. Come up with a quick destination (somewhere you know is nice but a little further away) and just do it.
The fact that it is completely unplanned is what makes this kind of date super exciting. It also tests the “spontaneity”-ness of the guy you’re dating. If a guy isn’t willing to up and go (provided he doesn’t have to be up super early the next day), then being in a relationship with him may be too boring.
24. Go on a day camping trip without technology
Plan a day trip somewhere in the wilderness, pack a picnic, bring your camera, grab whatever else you need minus your technology (phones can only be used in case of emergencies). Leave early in the morning and plan to be out all day. Mini camping trips like this can be good for first dates because you’re not spending more than a day with that person. It’s a preview of what “real” camping with that person would be like.
25. Go to a drive-in movie cinema
These used to be the most common place to take your date back in the 50s and 60s. Now you can step back in time and try these different type of movie dates.
It can be romantic and intimate as you’ll both be in the privacy of your car. Sneak in some make-out session and really steam up the windows.
I purposefully include dates that can be accomplished within one day. When you’re first dating, you don’t want to spend more than a day with someone. You want to keep the “newness” and “excitement”-factor high. Gradually as you get to know each other more and want to deepen your bond, I would suggest longer weekend trip away or others like it.