51 Non-Cliched Second Date Ideas That Will Lead To A Third

Dating experience | | , Expert Blogger
Updated On: April 11, 2023
second date ideas

Unpopular opinion, you may say, but coming up with good second date ideas calls for a lot more thoughtful planning than the first. Why, you ask? While you’re skating on thin ice on the first date, what with the jitters and awkward silences, the second serves as a harbinger of hope. The fact that you’ve agreed to meet again suggests that there may be real potential here. That’s why when planned right, second dates can be the real game-changers.

Therefore, if you hope to take things forward, you must think of some truly unforgettable ways to turn the second meetup with a date into a big success. Also, second dates can lay some important groundwork and reveal interesting things about the personalities of both people, which is necessary to establish attraction and see if there is synergy between the two of you.

Given that there is so much riding on this all-important date, we’re here to help you come up with out-of-the-box, fun, and engaging date ideas that will ensure that you and your romantic interest have a good time while also have ample opportunity to get to know each other better.

51 Impressive Second Date Ideas That Will Lead To A Third 

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So, you’re looking for inspiration for an epic second date, hoping it’ll eventually get you some action, or at least not cause your date to delete your number from their phone. Well, look no further. From karaoke night to flea market hauls, from hot air balloon rides to laughing your guts out at a comedy show, we bring you a rollercoaster of creative date ideas for you to secure a third date in no time!

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Each one of these date ideas has been curated keeping in mind that you’d want to use your time together to get to know each other better. Apart from offbeat date spots, we also bring you some solid second date tips on how to ask for a second date, what to talk about on a second date, and more! Without any further ado, let’s unravel our bag of 51 bankable 2nd date ideas that will lead to a third date.

1. A baking class 

Sharing his second date success story, Rob, a reader from Auburn, says that after his first date with Suki, he wanted to make their second even more special. He loved to cook, and he knew she loved to eat. Of all the date ideas he had in mind, he asked if she would like to attend a baking/cooking class. Suki loved the plan.

They signed up for a weekend cupcake baking class and Suki’s love for decoration shone alongside Rob’s baking skills. They had such a fun time that a third date seemed like a natural progression. The takeaway: Be thoughtful about what to do on a second date and use common interests to your advantage.

2. Go to an open mic night

If you and your date love performance art, an open mic night will surely be a big hit. Imagine listening to poetry, enjoying some stand-up comedy, and meeting artists. This will truly make for an exceptional evening, and we’re sure your date will be impressed enough to go out with you again. 

Related Reading: 12 Reasons Dating An Artist Can Be Exciting

3. Attend a book launch 

Are you and your date big readers? Was your first date conversation peppered with animated discussions about books? If so, why not go to a book launch for your next meet-up? This could be a nice way to introduce your favorite authors to each other. Interacting and enjoying the work of an author and listening to their readings is such a non-cliched way of spending time together. Besides, when you bond over something you’re both passionate about, you won’t have to contend with small talk interspersed with long awkward pauses.

4. An outdoor picnic 

If you’re looking at low-key arrangements for the day, plan a picnic outdoors, especially if the weather is pleasant in your city. Pack some sandwiches and a nice bottle of wine, and you can’t really go wrong. You can carry books, Zenga or Scrabble, and lots of food to enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company. If things take off and you’re really into each other, you might just end up exploring the possibility of outdoor sex. Tell us, is there a better way to spend a beautiful fall afternoon with this lovely person sitting next to you?

5. Massage at home 

Instead of racking your brain over, “Where should we go on a date?”, how about you keep it simple and organize an intimate massage session at home? It may be a little forward and suggestive to bring this up on a second date, but if you and your date already have chemistry, then it could work wonders.

Tread carefully when proposing such ideas. If you barely know each other and don’t share that comfort zone yet, you can come across as creepy. A good rule of thumb to decide whether this is a good idea for a second date can be that your first date ended with a passionate kiss (perhaps more), and your conversations since have been a lot more intimate and flirty.

Even then, you need to be careful about how you approach this. Maybe start off by asking if they’ve had a hard week and would like to do something relaxing over the weekends. Light some candles around the house and put on soft music to set the mood, but always make sure they feel safe. 

6. Go clubbing 

If both enjoy dancing to unwind after a long work week, going clubbing is your best bet. A night out with him/her can truly turn the heat up on a second date. If there’s one thing that can build up burning chemistry between two ‘almost strangers’ attracted to each other, it’s dancing. Dress up, get yourselves some good cocktails, listen to that fabulous DJ, and dance the night away in each other’s arms.

7. Enjoy a bike ride 

amazing second date ideas
Bike ride for an amazing second date!

Looking for something off-beat but fun to do on a second date? If you’re both active people who enjoy the outdoors and getting your daily dose of exercise, an early morning bike ride could turn out to be just perfect. Spend a lovely morning, biking and letting the day take you where it may. A good morning workout can get those endorphins surging, so make the most of it by sharing the experience with your romantic interest.  

8. Visit a museum 

If you or your date are into art, history, or culture, then spending a Sunday at the museum should be right up your alley. Museums are a great place for spending some quality time together because you can come up with a lot of topics of conversation and engage in a free exchange of opinions. This way, you can really enjoy some intellectually stimulating moments together. 

Related Reading: 51 Cozy Winter Date Ideas To Try This Year

9. Shop together 

Unless you or your date shudders at the thought of entering a mall, a little retail therapy can be a great way to decompress and enjoy each other’s company. Yes, hitting the mall for some try-and-buy can turn out to be one of the best second date ideas if you keep an open mind and prepare yourself to embrace the experience. And hey, maybe you can model some cute outfits for each other, click lots of pictures, gorge on some burgers or donuts afterward.  

10. Go horse riding 

If you’re both animal lovers and enjoy the thrill of riding, going horseback riding over the weekend could be a beautiful way to unwind, share some laughs, and have good conversations. Bonding with animals can truly bring out a different side to people’s personalities. Who knows, watching your date commune with their horse may just make you fall for them a little harder (and vice versa). 

11. Try your hand at mini golf 

Common interests in relationships can be the building blocks of a strong, sustainable bond. The only way to discover what interest you may share with a potential partner is to try new things together. One such activity is miniature golf. Regular golfing is just as good but is longer and better suited for more ardent lovers of the sport. Even if neither of you is a sports aficionado, you can still have a good time (and a good laugh) hitting the greens and some balls. One of the best ways to truly bond on your second date. 

12. Who can say no to arcade games?

Who says arcade games are only for kids? If you and your date are in for some light-hearted fun, one of the more exciting ideas for a second date is to hop on to an arcade and get nostalgic for some old-time fun. This could truly be a great way to connect with your date. It’s also a casual but interesting way to spend time together before taking things forward. 

13. Hot air balloon ride

The thing about trying out new things together is that it gives you a chance to curate a couple’s bucket list and opens up newer avenues for you to bond over. If novelty is what you seek for your second date, a hot air balloon ride is the way to truly knock it out of the park and take the romance a notch higher, quite literally! A gorgeous sunset at the horizon, the view of the valley unveiling at a wide angle in front of your eyes, and absolute serenity – it’s bound to catch your date spellbound. Plus, you can pull off a picnic in the air if they let you bring some food and a bottle of wine on board.

14. Run a marathon 

Not a movie marathon (however that works too) but an actual 5k. You do not have to be fitness freaks to run for a cause you both believe in. Running a marathon solo can feel daunting but with your date by your side, it can turn into a new activity to bond over. You can cheer, encourage, and pull each other along, all the way to the finish line. If that doesn’t help you bond, we don’t know what will.

Related Reading: 40 Cute Things To Do With Your Girlfriend At Home

15. Movie night 

Hitting the movies and sharing some popcorn is one of the simplest and most old-school second date ideas. Movies always leave so much room for things to talk about. You can go for a walk or grab dinner afterward. Or, better yet, go to a drive-in movie club. You turn the heat on and cozy up in your car. And if you are looking for some privacy, you can always turn to the home theater to Netflix and chill! One of the best indoor date night ideas that will give you ample opportunity to bond (*ahem*).  

Movie night date ideas
Movie night at home will get you to bond

16. Fine dining 

If your first date was rather casual, it would be nice to scale up a bit for the second. Go on a nice dinner date at a fancy restaurant just to change things up and let your romantic side shine through. Good food, the shimmering candle-lit ambiance, perhaps some live music – it’s sure to sizzle things up between you two! Besides, you can go all out with trendy dinner date outfits and finally bust out that new shirt, or those new slingback heels you just bought. 

17. Indoor skydiving 

Skydiving isn’t really an activity you’d associate with a second date unless you’re a thorough adrenaline junkie! But the indoor version can surely turn out to be an exhilarating experience. It’s a bit out of the ordinary, which is exactly what makes it one of the most memorable ways to spend time with a romantic interest.  

18. Night under the stars 

A bottle of wine and comfortable sheets spread out in a local park or the beach at night can make a beautiful second date. You can stargaze, talk about your dreams, or simply lie down and hold hands. Want to let your date know romance is on your mind? This is the way to go.

Related Reading: Top 10 Date Night Gift Ideas Any Couple Will Love

19. Hit the bookstore 

If you both have a thing for literature, bond over your shared passion by spending some time at a bookstore. You can browse through your respective favorite genres, recommend books to each other, or read out excerpts. You could even hit the poetry section and read your favorite poems aloud to each other. If the bookstore has a cafe, continue the date over a hot cuppa and let the conversation flow.

epic second date ideas - bookstore
Spend the afternoon at a bookstore

20. Watching a baseball game is a great second date idea 

If you’re looking for a fail-proof idea for a second date, let me hand you the cheat sheet – buy two tickets to a baseball match (or any sport you’re both passionate about) and invite them to go with you. The way your date reacts to the hits and misses during the game can tell you a lot about their personality and help you ascertain if there are any signs of chemistry between you two. So, what are you waiting for? Put on your favorite jerseys and get that cheer on.

21. A long drive to watch the sunset 

If you are up for some old-school date ideas, get in your car, roll the windows down, and hit the road. Some fun Neil Diamond tunes with a beautiful sunset in the backdrop and a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the way back – could this date be any better?

22. Go fishing 

Just going to the lake in itself is a fun way to spend some quality time with your date in that calm, relaxed environment. To set out on a boat with your gear and trying your hands at fishing only makes it double the fun. If the date goes well and you’re both up for it, you can even rent a cabin in the woods and spend a cozy night together.

Related Reading: 50 Double Date Ideas That Are Fun

23. Go to an escape room 

This is more of a modern-day date idea and makes for a truly enthralling experience. You are purposefully stuck in a room with clues that you must decipher so you can get out in the stipulated time. It allows you to put on your thinking caps and get your minds to work in sync. Partnering with your romantic interest to play sleuth in an escape room sure qualifies as one of the most fun second date ideas.

24. Hit the Go-Kart track 

Still in two minds about what to do on a second date? Wine tasting or a fun water taxi ride? We have a better suggestion to beat all the cliched 2nd date ideas. Go Go-Kart racing and engage in a little healthy competition with your date. This is the perfect activity to pump up the excitement and bring out your intense side. But do not get too carried away. Coming across as too aggressive is one of the habits that can make you undateable.

25. Wine tasting 

Think cute date night ideas and wine tasting always pops up as a potential winner. If you and your date enjoy indulging in an occasional drink and are trying to develop your palette like a true wine connoisseur, wine tasting at a nearby vineyard is just the activity for your second date. A classy evening together that leaves you both a little tipsy is one you will not forget. 

26. Take a dance class together

How about salsa? Neither of you needs to be a good dancer for this. You can step on each other’s feet and fall multiple times because that’s what makes it so fun. To get that sexual tension going and learn a thing or two, a salsa lesson is just the thing for you. 

salsa class second date idea
Dance away any blues

27. Take them to a party 

If your friend is throwing a bash, you can invite your date as your plus one. This is one of the effortless yet best second date ideas if you’re looking forward to an evening full of good food, good company, some booze, a bit of intimacy, and perhaps a good night kiss as you see each other off.

28. A touristy walk 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve both been living in the same city for as long as you can remember. Being a tourist in your own home has its unique charm. Make a list of all the touristy sights and destinations, and spend the day exploring them all on a second date. Imagine the long walks around the city, hand-in-hand, breathing in the fresh air, sharing a cotton candy or ice cream off the street carts – it will be a walk to remember, forever.

Related Reading: 20 Valuable Tips For A First Date After Meeting Online

29. A rooftop lunch 

Find a gorgeous rooftop bar or restaurant in your city. When you clink your glasses and enjoy some laughs overlooking the entire cityscape, you know it will be an afternoon well spent. 

30. Live music makes for a great second date idea 

Keep an eye out for any concerts or your favorite music festivals in and around your town. It could be a new artist or someone you’ve been a fan of for years. Tapping your feet with some new music or enjoying old tunes will always make for an electric date.

31. Go for a hike 

If you’re both sporty and enthusiastic about fitness, a morning hike followed by a heavy breakfast can truly be the perfect second date for you. Instead of overthinking, “Where should we go on a second date?”, put on those running shoes and set out on an adventure with your date. If your date has mentioned their love for hiking to you, it can be the best way to show them you can be an attentive partner. Even if either of you is not too physically active, you can always give it a shot for the scenic view of a trail!

32. Drive to the beach 

If there is a beach near you, you don’t need to rake your brains over how to plan a second date. Pack those suntan lotions and beach balls to spend a day soaking up the sun and sand together. Nobody ever said no to enjoying a nice morning by the ocean. And if it’s a secluded beach, a short and sexy make-out session in the waves could surely amp up the heat.

33. Play laser tag 

Laser tag can be a great bonding experience that brings out the child in you and definitely qualifies as an amazing idea for planning a fun date night. It’s also the perfect way to let your date know that you’re not one to laze around but genuinely enjoy trying your hand at different things.  

34. Go to a karaoke bar 

Listen, if you can’t belt out some Mariah Carey or Journey in front of them, what’s even the point of dating? You do not have to be a singer to enjoy a round of karaoke. Besides, karaoke really brings out the uninhibited side of people. To let down your guard after taming the first date nerves, this is one of the most fun second date ideas to try together. 

35. Go to a rock climbing gym 

Rock climbing is an underrated recreational activity but one that really gets your heart pumping. Help each other up and share some scares on your way to the top when you go to a rock climbing gym on your date.

Stories on art of wooing

36. Make s’mores 

Looking for ideas for a cozy date night for winter? Look no further, we have just the thing for you! For an ultimate fall or winter experience, s’mores are the way to go. You can create a bonfire in your backyard or on a beach or simply roast them over the fireplace in your living room. Marshmallows and romance go hand in hand. Top it up with a cup of piping hot chocolate and this date will be a hit!

Related Reading: 60 Awesome Date Ideas For Friday Night!

37. Go bowling 

If you don’t have much time to plan this date or just want to keep it simple, go bowling before drinks or after lunch. Bowling alleys are equipped with the perfect snacks and the right music, which will set the tone of your time together. Your second date would certainly invite a third one.

38. Play board games at home 

Turn it into a zesty tournament or a friendly affair, board games at home promise a great time and can be good icebreakers. This is a great way to bond when dating a shy guy/girl because these games have a way of drawing people out of their shells and shed their inhibitions. A great indoor second date idea!

39. Try your hand at ice-skating

How about blending playfulness with romance and nailing a second date like a pro? Ice skating is the way to go. Take your date out to the most beautiful skating rink in your town. Bring out your inner child with games like freeze skate or ice skating chicken, or a real skating race followed by a snowball fight. Top it up with some hot chocolate afterward. If you have a friend who is also planning a second date of their own, you can easily turn this into a fun double date.

40. Attend a jazz concert for an epic second date

An evening spent listening to some smooth jazz is one of the more classy and romantic second date ideas. Jazz concerts have an electrifying and wholesome energy. A few drinks against the sound of some trumpets and saxophones will let your date know you have refined taste. 

41. Go to an art gallery opening 

Discussing art is a subtle yet effective way of getting to know another person well. Their feelings, perspectives, and thought processes all come to light when they are viewing and analyzing art. Support an upcoming artist in the city by going to their opening on your second date. 

42. Volunteer at an animal shelter 

Playing with and caring for animals can be a great way to bond, provided you have a shared love for them. Pick out a weekend where you spend time together, feeding animals, walking dogs, and volunteering at a shelter. It’s also a great way to let your date know they’re dating a sensitive man/woman. It’s a great way to show your sensitive side to your date. This will also serve you well if you’re cash-strapped, and wondering “Where should we go on a date?” A perfect way to spend some quality time together without burning a hole in your pocket. Maybe get coffee and a sandwich afterward, though.

43. TV series marathon 

If you’re trying to ace a virtual second date, the world of OTT platforms has your back. Find a new 6-8 episode-long series that you can binge on in a day, or pick a list of movies. Connect over a video call, as you settle in for a viewing marathon. Order pizza or snacks, grab a beer, or pour some wine to heighten the mood. This can also be a sweet and romantic option if you just want to spend some time at home with your date. 

Related Reading: Best Netflix Series And Shows For Couples

44. Organize a painting night 

To bring out your creative side and get down and dirty, invest in some paints and throw it all on a blank canvas. Whether at home or against a scenic background, this second date activity is an incredible way to bond over your artistic talents or lack thereof. 

45. Visit a botanical garden 

If there isn’t one in your city, you can try to find one in a neighboring town. Walking the trails of a lush green botanical garden on a serene afternoon offers a beautiful opportunity to talk to and get to know someone. You can extend this date for as long as you like and ask interesting questions to know your date better.

46. Hit the casino 

So, you both like living a little dangerously? You should totally take your chances on a night at the casino. Bring out your finest clothes, and try your hand and luck at some poker. It is always exciting to team up with your date. The adrenaline rush of the experience will certainly leave you both asking for more.

47. Go to garage sales and flea markets

Navigating garage sales and flea markets is an unusual idea for a second date, but it can be lots of fun. Browse through the eclectic mix of things on offer, explore some antiques or handmade jewelry, buy a snack from a cart, and walk around hand-in-hand – sounds like a cutesy date that neither of you will forget anytime soon.

best second date ideas
Do some shopping

48. Attend a carnival 

The local town carnival can also be somewhat off-beat but an exciting avenue for a second date. It is the perfect blend of culture, fun, food, and frolic. You are never too old for playing games and sharing an intimate moment on the Ferris wheel. 

49. Trivia night at a bar 

You can really impress your date by doling out trivia that most people won’t know or can’t recall. So, let your trivia nerd out, and wow your date over drinks at a local bar.

50. Cook dinner together 

Are your cooking skills on point? Exploit this gift to your advantage and turn it into one of the great date ideas – cooking a multiple-course dinner from scratch, and use your time together to connect with your date. You can divide responsibilities, try new recipes, and then enjoy your delectable meal together.  

51. Try out a pet-friendly cafe

Regardless of whether you have your own pets or not, a pet-friendly cafe can still be a great experience. Get out there and interact with the cute pooches and have fun bonding with your date over your shared love for fur babies.

Related Reading: 10 Tips To Date When You Have Social Anxiety

How to nail a second date?

So, you have got yourself a second date. And you have not one, not two, but 51 date ideas to choose from. Things seem to be working out well for you, and you have every reason to feel pretty good about yourself. But hey, don’t let any of it make you complacent. Now more than ever, your dating etiquette needs to be on point. To ace this make-or-break meet-up, here are some second date tips you need to keep in mind:

  • You don’t have to wait three days to call your date
  • Let them know how you had a wonderful time and are looking forward to your next meet-up
  • It’s a nice gesture to pick up your date; maybe show up at their door with a bunch of flowers
  • If you are planning something adventurous or cooking a special dish, discuss it with your date and make sure they’re okay with it
  • Go prepared with some safe second date questions up your sleeve so that there are no awkward silences or you don’t inadvertently end up asking something that makes your date uncomfortable
  • Exes should better be off-limits at this stage
  • Be charming and chivalrous but don’t overdo it. Keep it real
  • Gentle, non-sexual touches are the way to go to make the experience more intimate without making your date uncomfortable
  • If the second date goes well, don’t shy away from a goodbye kiss
2nd date ideas
Gentle touch can help you break the ice and bring you closer

What to wear on a second date?

Be it a first or second or tenth date, your turn out goes a long way in making a favorable impression. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t show up in a pair of old shorts and tattered shoes unless you already share a deep comfort level with this person
  • Choose your second date outfit based on what you plan on doing together. Your choice of clothing for a hike and a candlelight dinner, obviously, cannot be the same
  • Comfortable and presentable are the buzzwords for nailing your second date look
  • Whatever you choose to wear, make sure you’re well-groomed, smell nice, and don’t leave room for any faux pas

Related Reading: What To Wear On A First Date? (For Men)

What to talk about on a second date?

You know it reminds me of a friend, Rita, who had a huge crush on a guy in her college days. She would ogle at him as he passed her by in the hallways or spent most of her time talking about him dreamily. Then one day, they happened to share a table at lunch and he cracked a poor sexiest joke. And that was it for Rita! All the infatuation fizzled out like a pricked balloon.

Do you see where I’m going with this? You have gone over the most perfect second date ideas and picked out the perfect outfit – the date is well planned. Now there is one last order of business to attend to – what to talk about on a second date? Unless you are a natural chatterer like a Magpie, trust me, you need these second date conversation topics to get through the date without unwittingly offending or putting off your date:

  • Passions, dreams, and goals
  • Childhood stories and memories
  • Your favorites – books, movies, music, artists, genres
  • Guilty pleasure
  • Anything silly or cute that may have happened on the first date
  • Your pet peeves
  • Places you have both traveled to
  • Relationship deal breakers and dating rules
  • What you both like about each other

Second dates are crucial but not necessarily difficult. With these second date ideas, you have a range of options to try to keep your dating spree going. 

This article has been updated in Feb, 2023. 

FAQs

1. What to do on a second date?

Plan this date to make your girl/guy feel extra special. So, counting them in on the planning must be a good idea to make sure you both are on the same page. For this date, we suggest, you do something completely different than the first one. Attending a baking class or dance sessions, going for a museum or bookstore visit, catching a live concert, comedy show, or some sporty activities like hiking and horseback riding are all amazing ideas for a second date.

2. How to ask for a second date?

If the first date seems to be going pretty smoothly, don’t wait up to three days to ask them for a second one. Give them a ring as you reach home or perhaps break it at the end of the date. Share honestly how you felt and your expectations for spending more time together. Don’t play overly nonchalant, rather be genuine about your intentions. Approach them leniently asking about their interest and a convenient time for a second meeting.

3. What to talk about on a second date?

You can talk about your passion, a dream job, discuss favorite authors or songs, share your love for traveling, ask them about their dating rules, or perhaps something a little flirty like what they find the most attractive about you or what made them say ‘yes’ to a second date.

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