Dating is such a strange phenomenon, so amazing and simultaneously horrifying. Who knows where the night will begin or where it could all lead? But here’s the kicker — dinner and a movie is totally played out. You’re interesting, they’re interesting — surely that’s not the best you can come up with! So here, for your romantic pleasure, is a list of unusual, interesting, fun ideas to try!
A Drive-in Movie. I admit, this one seems ultra-cool to me just because I’ve never done it and I am in love with Danny Zucco from here until eternity. Just don’t try to take your ring off by wiping it through your greasy hair and hit your girlfriend in the boob!
A Live Concert. If your date is into music or their favorite band is in your town, don’t think twice. Your date will be grateful and love you for planning a surprise date to the concert.
A Scenic Bike Ride. As somebody who has horrible balance, I do not like riding bikes – period. But I have seen countless friends go on first dates with men and women based purely on their shared love for bikes. The pair will take a ride to the beach or (for the daring sect) along mountain terrain, getting a great workout and a lot of bonding time in.
A Short Walk. Take a walk on a quaint street you know well. Every few minutes or so of walking, find a new place to walk into, be it for a coffee or to try something exotic. Just don’t walk down a dark and lonely street unless you’re looking for a few dark corners.
A Stand-up Show. Stand-up comedy is always funny, and a perfect date idea if you can couple it with dinner, either after the show or during the show.
A Visit to a Factory. If there are any happy factories around town, be it an ice cream factory, a cookie factory or a chocolate or confectionery factory; take your date out there. It’s not conventional, and worthy of a unique experience.
Amusement Park. Pick a few crazy rides together, and before you know it, the chemistry would be sizzling with adrenaline.
Aquarium. Aquariums are perfect to bring both of you closer, especially while pointing at fishes in a cool, blue surrounding.
Arcade Games. You may feel really awkward walking into a store full of kids. But it’ll only take a few games and a few minutes of awkwardness to bring out that inner child and have a wonderful date.
Attend a Cooking Class. Yes, technically How About We for Couples is, you know, for couples. But the site often has great non-membership deals for cool, kooky classes in your area. Just forgo the basic pie-making class for something more flavorful.
Backyard BBQ. Rather than the regular “let me cook you dinner sometime” date, I ask my date to bring over their favorite vegetables and meats while I take care of the prep work.
Be a Good Sport. Stand-up paddle board? Spartan race workout? Crossfit? If we’re both athletically inclined, we try a new sport that will challenge us both and give us something to talk about. Afterward, we stop by a juice bar and share our war stories or lick our wounds together.
Be a Kid Again. I find a nice, big playground and run around. Play tag, play hide-and-seek, just let my inhibitions go and channel my inner child. I think this is one of the most organic ways to bond with someone because for that time I’m not worried about impressing them. All I’m worried about is not getting tagged.
Beach. A day at the beach or an hour walking near the waves can make both of you feel really comfortable with each other. If you feel comfortable enough, don’t forget to hold hands.
Boat Ride. Pick what you intend to do, a romantic paddle boat or one with an oar, or a jet ski to make the date exciting.
Bookstore. Are you on the first date with a book lover? If so, nothing beats a street lined with bookstores selling second hand books. It doesn’t matter how many books they’ve read, but no book lover can hold a smile back when they’re in the midst of thousands of quaint books.
Botanical Garden. We smell the roses at a botanical garden and wind our way through manicured lawns and groves of blossoming trees, taking the time to sit near the fountains. Sip cups of tea at the outdoor cafe, and enjoy the romantic scenery.
Bowling. Bowling can be a lot of fun, even though it sounds like a total cliché. A bit of rivalry on a romantic date always spices things up.
Bring Half an Evening. One person organizes the food, and the other organizes a movie, or one person organizes tickets to an amusement park, and the other plans a walking tour. Very collaborative! You get the opportunity to impress your crush with your superior taste while also finding out more about them. You don’t have to meet at someone’s house, either — a park bench, good picnic spot or even town square could work too.
By the Water. Do you have a calm lake or a pond around your place? If you’re looking for a romantic time with no distractions, pack a picnic basket with sandwiches and drinks and spend a good few hours in each other’s company.
Campfire. I might be in an area where I can build a campfire, but if I have a fireplace of some kind, that’ll work too. After we’ve eaten dinner, we build a nice cozy fire to sit around and melt some s’mores. Fires are the ideal place for chatting and will help get rid of any awkwardness or nervousness.
Clubbing. If you’re feeling a lot of chemistry already, wrap your arms around your date and grind your way to a great night!
Coffee. A coffee date is a comfort date at its best. It’s easy and can help you date, judge you for who you are without being overpowered by the surroundings.
Collaborative Art Date. Get a canvas or even just a big piece of paper, some paint, pencils or pastels and go nuts.
Cook and Eat. A typical cook and eat restaurant is a wonderful experience for anyone. It helps you bond and laugh while you goof up, and awe when you cook up a perfect little dish!
Cook Dinner for Your Date. A warm and loving gesture on a first date is a home cooked meal. It’s not cheap; it’s personal and shows off your effort and culinary skills all at once.
Date’s Ports. If I know my date is an athlete, I offer to go to one of their games and then make a date out of it by getting something to eat after. My date will probably try to impress me by showing off in the field, and I’ll have plenty to talk about over our meal afterwards.
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.
Do Art Together. Do you have clay? Crayons? Paint? If you have art supplies, why not hang out at your house or apartment and make some art together? Buy some cheap take out, put on some great music, and make a night of it.
Drink Wine in the Bathtub. Drink wine in the bathtub, with the lights off and some candles going. Extra points if you buy bubble bath.
Dye Each Other’s Hair. There’s nothing like a radical change to make life more exciting.
Early Breakfast. We get up insanely early and become the first customers at our favorite breakfast joint – we get a chance to chat before the restaurant gets busy and have time to do some people-watching when the regulars start pouring in. If I find somebody who is cool with rolling out of bed early to join me for a breakfast date, it’d be a bad idea to let them get away!
Evening Beach Picnic. If we adore the ocean, but kind of hate crowds, for a romantic evening that neither of us will forget, we pack up a picnic basket full of goodies (all in resalable containers) and a mini bottle of champagne, then take a drive to your favorite coastline. We breathe in the air, talk about our favorite memories of the ocean and perhaps even dip our toes in the water.
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.
Explore Vineyards of the World. Take a wine tasting class together. Find a local winery, wine bar or restaurant to learn more about wine and food pairing. Buy a bottle that you both enjoy and make plans to drink it on your second date. Be sure to sip and not gulp. Try not to get drunk — unless you’re drunk on love!
Face Paint. Water-based face paint is cheap, especially if you have any left over from Halloween. Paint each other’s faces, and then walk around showing off your creations.
Farm Trips. Go berry picking or just take a walk down the endless rows of low hanging fruit bearing trees and shrubs.
First Date Night. This one works best if it’s not your actual first date. Like, for example, you’ve been together for 3 years and live in the same house. Get dressed separately, meet somewhere strange and a bit awkward and pretend you don’t know one another. Start from scratch. Ask all those banal questions you’re supposed to ask. Then at the end of the night, rejoice that you’re in a relationship and not dating any more!
Fishing. Drive down to a creek for a bit of lazy fishing or hire a boat to bag those bigger fishes, depending on what you want, romance or excitement.
Flower show. If your date loves flowers, don’t miss any opportunities to head to a flower show around your area code. It’s always romantic, especially if you gift your date a flower pot or two as a souvenir.
Fly a Kite. 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.
Fortune Teller. At some point on your date together, spend a while crystal gazing with your date. It’s a fun way to take a peek into your future and bond with your date. And if you do find yourself an eccentric fortune teller, it’ll be something your date won’t forget in a hurry.
Gallery. If your date has an artist’s streak in them, make sure you take them to an art exhibition or a gallery. For someone who appreciates art, it’s always a beautiful experience.
Gamble. Go to the creepiest casino you can find and gamble for real if you’re into it, but if you aren’t just play the penny machines, enjoy each other’s company and take in your surroundings.
Game of Pool. A game of snooker or pool can be a good casual date, especially if both of you have some time to kill before heading somewhere else. It’s a lot more fun if you’re helping your date learn the game or if they’re playing for the first time.
Geocaching. Geocaching 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 know cool underground things to do.
Get Your Palm Read. Get your palms read by a psychic – do a couple’s reading if possible.
Ghost Tours. Find the nearest ghost tour in your city or take a road trip to a haunted house. Take pictures to capture the moment and check for orbs in the photo.
Go Apple Picking. There’s something incredibly romantic about getting lost in a sea of crisp leaves in the fall. Being away from a ton of distractions lets you really get deep with each other.
Go Canoeing or Paddle Boating. I’ve got to warn you: canoeing is a 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.
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.