If you are looking for some out-of-the-box first-date ideas, know that you’re the only one racking their brains trying to solve this puzzle. After all, first dates are your chance to make that favorable first impression, and it’s only natural to want them to be special. But sometimes the classic wine and dine becomes a bit too predictable. Do you always have your first dates in your favorite pub? Does the loud music get in the way of meaningful conversation? Do you feel constantly distracted by all the known faces you bump into?
Doing the same song and dance routine and following the endless circle of revisiting the same places gets a tad bit monotonous. Dates are meant to be exciting. First dates, even more. To make sure your first dates are always memorable and special, it may be time to do something different. Get out of your comfort zone, explore newer date venues. Here we have a list of first-date ideas for you to try.
30 First Date Ideas That Never Fail To Impress
Yes, we know that you are not always looking for that fine-dining experience on your first date. You don’t want to scare your date off especially when you plan to split the bill (we do know of some appalling ghosting stories that unfolded right when the time came to pay the bill). So sit back and relax.
Sometimes it’s the cheap first date ideas that work better. If you keep the first date ideas low-key and simple, then you could actually concentrate on the date better instead of fixating on the venue, ambiance and the bill. Here is our lowdown on 30 best first date ideas that never fail to impress:
1. A rooftop rendezvous
Ditch the whole going out for dinner altogether. You or someone you know might have access to the rooftop, so make use of it to bowl your date over. If a classy first date is what you are into, this is a perfect idea for you. Set it up at night.
A little breeze, preferably a starry night and the city view from the terrace. Light up the place with little nice lights, some music and possibly, self-cooked dinner. It’s one of the best first date ideas to keep it low-key, cheap, and yet let your effort shine through.
2. Enjoy a ride on a roller coaster or carousel
A date in a theme park is a sure-shot success. What’s better than going on a roller-coaster ride, shrieking like twelve-year-olds, holding hands (possibly) and splashing about in the water at the end of a water ride? It guarantees a crazy fun-filled day.
First, make sure you both are the roller coaster types because you wouldn’t want your date throwing up when you go out the first time. Also, if a theme park turns out to be a bit expensive and you are looking for a cheaper first date idea, go to a local fair. And try the carousel instead. It’s a lot of fun trust us.
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3. Go bowling
Even if you suck at it, plan a date in the bowling arena. If you are trying to open up to someone or the other way round, mixing conversation with a fun activity takes the pressure off. Imagine the sound of dropping of the pins, with music, maybe beer, lots of snacks, and a friendly bet on who can score more.
Pretty romantic right? Well, okay. Maybe not romantic in a traditional way but a bowling date sounds like a fun date. But this is actually a funny first date idea because it allows you to laugh at your own follies like two mad people.
4. Meet for breakfast
A good low-key first date idea is to meet for breakfast instead of an elaborate dinner. There is something very fulfilling about the first meal in the morning. Waffles and maple syrup, sunny-side-up eggs and crisp bacon strips truly make for soul food. Instead of meeting up for dinner or lunch, how about planning a breakfast date?
If both of you are into food then you can try out some nice breakfast place known for its eclectic mix of options. The best part is if you two hit it off, you can plan the entire day while gorging on eggs and coffee. And maybe breakfast would roll into a lunch date.
5. Why not karaoke it?
This is one of the good first-date ideas that is way too underrated. Karaoke is a great way to prove you are a gutsy, outgoing person. And who doesn’t like a memorable night where you get to bring out the Beyoncé in you? Be it cheesy pop tracks or Indie-blues, or some track you have just heard, a karaoke date night will surely make your first date an amazing one.
And if you mess up on the karaoke, it’s gonna be more fun. This could actually turn out into a funny first-date idea. On the other hand, if you are a good singer, you can woo your date with your amazing talent. Win-Win!
6. Haunted mansion
No one wants a screaming first date. But remember the zombie flicks where a boy and a girl escape the apocalypse, holding hands and being there for each other? Well, your first date in a haunted mansion will be something like that.
With the right first date tips, you can make this a memorable experience. For instance, if you are both brave people, find a dark corner in the middle of it and share a deep, long kiss and watch people disguised as a ghost either boo you or try harder to scare you.
Related reading: What should a woman talk about on her first date?
7. Open-air theatre
Looking for creative date ideas? If you are both movie buffs, then this ought to check that box. Whether you love black and white classics from the 1960s like the Casablanca or are into action-intense, superhero cinema, this can be a perfect date for you.
All you need is a backyard, a hired projector and a screen and you are good to go. Get wine and pizza, a mat to sit on and have an amazing first date. It gives you the privacy you need, and if things get heated up, you can easily shift the action from the screen to the bedroom.
8. Explore an off-beat food joint
This is actually one of the cheapest first-date ideas because exploring an off-beat place won’t cost you a bomb. There are plenty of small joints in every city serving African, Ethiopian, Lebanese or even tribal cuisine.
Most of these places have intimate seating arrangements, which make for a cozy first-date setting. Add to that the unusual, and in all likelihood, delectable cuisine and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable date.
9. The sunset point
Is there a place in your vicinity that’s known for its breathtaking view of the sunset? Fix a date there. You can also go for a stroll as the sun goes down. Carry some munchies with you like sandwiches and juice to share in a picturesque setting. This is one of the cheapest and the best first date ideas that we strongly recommend.
10. Take a ferry or a boat ride
This is one of the most fun first date ideas and romantic as well. Taking the ferry or an exclusive boat ride for just the two of you is a great way to enjoy a date. Any waterbody, be it a river or a lake, has a kind of serenity that does something to the senses. Just sit back and savor the views and the ride. Some places have water taxis. You can give that a thought as well.
11. Hit an ice cream parlour
There isn’t anyone in the world who doesn’t like ice cream. But if your date is on a strict diet, then entice them enough to let the diet go on your first day together. This is one of the cheaper first date ideas because even if you hit an ice cream parlor that boasts of the most exotic varieties, you wouldn’t be spending anywhere close to what you would be spending at a Michelin starred restaurant. This is one of the good first date ideas because it’s bankable and pocket-friendly
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12. Explore a religious place
No, we are not saying that you have to be religious, even belong to the same religion or have religious views to explore this first-date idea. We are just saying that some religious places like churches, temples, mosques or synagogues have magnificent architecture. Just visiting a place like this might make your first date a different experience. If you both like history, then you will also have a lot to talk about.
13. Create your own photo walk
People don’t have to own DSLRs these days to take great snaps. There are plenty of features in the smartphones we own. Chalk out a photo walk route and both of you just embark on the journey. You will be astonished how you see things in a new light because of your new company and because you are seeing through your lens as well. This is hands-down one of the most creative date ideas. We guarantee your date will be blown away.
14. Try an open-air coffee shop
A coffee date may seem run-of-the-mill and boring, yes. But not if you add an interesting twist to it. Look for open-air cafes in your vicinity, and take your date there. This is one of our most popular first date ideas because you can actually spend hours sitting in the open, sipping coffee and talking. Of course, the weather has to be on your side.
But those who have done it, tell us that except for the really cold season, you can actually spend an entire day chatting with your date at an open-air coffee shop. That’s a cheap date option too.
15. Go for an art class
Speaking of creative date ideas, why not do something that brings out your artistic side. There are a lot of art places nowadays that provide you with all the supplies like canvas and paint and you can just let your imagination flow. You don’t really have to be painters to be here.
You can do anything with the colors and may even end up creating art, you never know. But this could be a unique date idea that wouldn’t really pinch your pocket. And the painting will stay with you as a first-date memory.
16. Opt for a comedy movie
This is one of our funny first-date ideas because you can really have a good time at the movies if you can laugh your head off and the nachos and cola don’t come with a huge price tag. It’s a great way to find each other’s funny bone and this could pave the way for more such dates at the movies.
17. Try the street food walk
If you live in a place that actually has a street food walk, then nothing like it. But if there isn’t any, then you can create your own route for a street food walk and surprise your date with new tastes and sights. This is one of the fun first-date ideas that any foodie would love.
18. Take a duo cycle ride
A cycle ride together is a great fun way to have a first date but if you can manage a duo cycle ride then nothing like it. Cycling together, keeping the same rhythm can be a great way to find out how much you are in sync. It could give you an opportunity to have a good laugh at yourselves.
19. Meet at a bookstore
If you both are into books, then meeting at a bookstore could be a brilliant first-date idea. Nothing like rummaging through books and having a conversation around it. Some people become all excited when they enter a bookstore, if your date is as excited as you are then you have ticked in a few right boxes. A lot of bookstores these days have coffee shops too, so you’re sorted in case you want to sit down to chat over a cuppa.
20. Have a picnic in the park
This is a cheaper first date idea because you just need to get the sandwiches, maybe throw in some pasta and juice (or wine) to enjoy a picnic at the park. Sitting under a tree, soaking up the sun, this romantic setting is just perfect to stir things up between you two.
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21. Buy tickets to a music concert
We are not talking about famous bands here. Just go and hear a local band play. If music is your jam and your date’s too, then swaying to some new tunes is sure to bring you closer. Besides, the electric energy of the concert is sure to charge you up, and things can escalate quickly from there.
22. Hiking trails
Hit the hiking trail if you are both fitness freaks. Hiking is a great way to discover nature and discover each other as well. The flowers, the pebbles, the animals that you see together could be a brand new experience to savor. This is one of the off-beat first-date ideas that can hit all the right notes.
23. Register for a fitness class
This is a fun way to go on a date. From Pilates to Zumba and yoga, there are so many different fitness programs that you can choose from depending on your preferences. Check out how you bond over fitness and you will absolutely thank us for this idea. Umm…if you are more adventurous try CrossFit. Your search for good first-date ideas doesn’t get any better than this.
24. Go to the museum
Chances are you have one of the best museums in your city and the last time you went there was holding your dad’s hand in Grade 3. Try it out again but make it a grand venue for a first date this time. Exploring a museum together can turn out to be a wholesome experience provided both of you have some level of interest in history and art.
25. Become a tourist in your own city
In your city, do they have those buses with an open-air seating arrangement on the roof? Just buy a ticket and hop on and hop off. You will have a ball exploring your own city and discovering all the things you never knew. This is one of those cute first-date ideas that will give you endless opportunities to bond and common ground to connect over.
26. Go swimming
A lazy day at the pool in the summer is a great idea. If you have a heated one in the vicinity, then you count this among the great first-date ideas in the winter as well. If there’s a beach close by, then nothing like lounging at the beach on your first date. You can try a bit of snorkeling also. Or, if you can, drive to a nearby lake to enjoy a swim and a small picnic. A great first date idea, isn’t it?
27. Camp in your backyard
Set up a tent in your backyard, grill some sausages on the barbeque, wash it down with wine or beer. It’s a wonderful way to have some fun right there in your backyard. What could be more romantic than spending your date talking and stargazing? This is truly a winner among the best first-date ideas.
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28. Go to a flower garden
Every city has a flower garden or a horticultural garden as they call it. A walk through the alleys in between the flower beds is a great way to spend your first date. It’s not only romantic but this is one of the most inexpensive first-date ideas.
29. Hit the mall
Going to the mall is always among the good first-date ideas because you can rarely go wrong with this one. You could buy each other a small gift, do a bit of window shopping, check out a movie and have a simple lunch at the food court. A visit to the mall allows you to throw in a lot but you can do all that under one roof and on a budget.
30. Check out a flea or a farmer’s market
The lively ambiance at such a place can instantly elevate your mood. You can actually go on a buying spree here without having to spend much. Your date could just love that old mantelpiece or that organic papaya that you pick up for them. Needless to say, there are always home-cooked savories to try out. Yum!
Decide on the kind of date you want and the interests you have in common. If you are both adventurous, go rock climbing. You will be sweaty but you will be sexy. Work on your common interests and you can come up with brilliant ideas on your own. If you need help, do give this list a try.