Have the greatest first date ever with the help of these first date ideas dedicated to the soon-to-be couples. Not sure what to do on your first date? Get inspiration from our list of cute, romantic first date night ideas below.
1. Classic dinner & movie
Nothing says “first date” like dinner and a movie. It’s a great way to split the time between getting to know each other and, well, just spending time together.
Pro tip: start with the movie first. This gives you the chance to have an experience together that you can talk about while you mull over the menu at dinner.
2. Meet at the zoo
If you and your date are looking for a fresh take on the first date, try monkeying around a bit! Going to the zoo is a fun activity for anyone. It’s a comfortable place for animal-lovers and plenty of attractions to keep the conversation going. You’re sure to learn a lot about someone by seeing their reactions to wildlife.
3. Have a DIY night
DIY nights have become a popular choice for daters of all ages. It’s a chance to go somewhere, get creative together, and bring home a memento from what will (hopefully) be a great first date. Try out paint night, make your own terrarium or any other fun crafts your city has to offer!
4. Take a cooking class
Nothing’s quite as romantic as making your date dinner. On a first date, you might not want to take that step just yet, so making it together can be a great interactive option. You get to see each other’s culinary knowledge and learn some more tips to put in your arsenal. It could also lead the way to some follow-up dinners if all goes well.
5. Play Escape the Room
Escape the Room is an interactive adventure where groups are put in a riddle-fooled room and tasked with breaking themselves out. It takes a lot of teamwork and brain exercises, making it a stimulating first date experience for intellectual hopefuls. This will definitely put your compatibility, and tempers, to the test, so make sure your date knows what they’re in for!
6. Attend trivia night
Pair up as a team on your first date for trivia night. It takes the competitiveness between you away and forces you to work together to win. With the same end-goal in mind, you’re sure to be on the same page and get a chance to see the impressive knowledge your date has stored away.
7. Schedule a doggie-date
It may seem like a tough task to come between man (or woman) and their dog. If you have a dog, too, it turns from obstacle to opportunity. Proud pet parents love taking their furry friends out for a playdate. Both couples are sure to have a good time. Similarly, if you’re cat owners, you might want to host a meet and greet for the kitties. Although being cautious in nature, the cats might not get a long immediately.
8. Go to karaoke
For those with the voice (or the guts) to try out karaoke on a first date, it will definitely be a date to remember. Turn up to a place where you can sign up and watch who dares to take the stage. Once you have a few drinks, you’ll either decide to duet or decide you’re better off watching others flop through lyrics. You may even get to find out their favorite song!
9. Stop by a flea or farmer’s market
Browsing local goods together is a great way to give back, spend time well, and learn a lot about each other. The shopping experience will show what your date finds most important to spend money on, giving you some good ideas for next time. Extra-points for picking up some fresh-cut flowers.
10. Let’s grab coffee
The best way to get to know someone better is over a cup of coffee. The black liquid stimulates the mind and loosens the tongue. Usually done at a café and with one or more cups of coffee (hence the name coffee date), you can do it pretty much anywhere and with any beverage that you prefer. Tips: pick a cozy location that has a great atmosphere — bonus point if their music playlist is awesome. To minimize surprises, pick a café that you have been to before. Check out this list of questions aka conversation starters before you go so you can always keep the conversation going.
Sometimes the best way to start a healthy relationship is by doing something fun. Here are some fun date ideas you should try out.
11. Attend a comedy show
Nothing cures nervousness like a good laugh. Comedy shows are the perfect way to make your night easy, fun, and enjoyable. First dates are much less awkward when there are some laughs in the mix – just don’t get yourselves call out by the performer unless you both have a REALLY good sense of humor!
12. Take bar-hopping tour of the city
A date over drinks is nice, but it can be far more exciting and impressive if you turn it into sightseeing. This is an especially attractive option if your date is new to town. Round up some of your favorite bars in the neighborhood, and keep the pace of the date steady by popping in for a drink at each. It also takes the pressure off picking the one perfect fun place.
13. Try whiskey/wine tasting
Date drinks are always a favorite since they help break down barriers. Wine or whiskey tasting puts a fun spin on it. You’ll learn a lot about your date’s taste preferences while getting to expand your own palate in the meantime. Since you’re in it together, it gives you plenty of room to share thoughts, opinions, and anecdotes as the liquor flows.
14. Take a boat ride
Whether it’s in NYC’s Central Park or your local lake, pushing off the dock in a boat for some quality time with a date is a surefire way to make sure you both have each other’s attention. It’s a nice relaxing way to spend some time in nature and with each other. Bring some snacks or a bottle of wine so you’ve got all your bases covered and you’ll both be happy to be spending a little time isolated from the land.
15. Catch a live concert
No matter what town or city you live in, there’s sure to be a band playing somewhere on some night during the week. Make that night your date night and enjoy the experience of live music together. Whether it’s in a park or in a bar, it will make for a great fun time dancing, drinking, and enjoying the sweet sounds of a possible new romance.
16. Conquer a theme park
If your budget allows, Disneyland and Universal Studios are fun day trips to take. If not, you can always find a smaller theme park with a few Google searches. Find one that offers rides that make you feel like your heart is beating out of your chest. Parks with great roller coaster rides are a good start. Why? Well, according to scientific studies, you become more attracted to each other if you participate in adrenaline-inducing activities (such as riding a roller coaster).
17. Exercise your lungs at a karaoke bar
This the ultimate time to show off that golden voice! If you want to make a good impression, practice beforehand, choose the genre you sing best. If you’re not really a songbird, don’t sweat too much about it. Just be yourself, let those vocal cords do their thing. If your date can accept you at your worst, then he definitely deserves you at your best!
Don’t overthink it. The first date is just like any other date. The last thing you want is to stress out. Below are some cute date ideas that are stress-tree.
18. Hit the ice cream parlor
A date at the ice cream parlor or the ice cream stand at the local park — it’s your choice — but having a place to sit down helps make the cute date more comfortable. Find out their favorite ice cream flavor before the date and order it during the date for them as a surprise. Or maybe your date doesn’t take ice cream because they’re lactose intolerant. See? You’re already getting to know each other even more.
19. Have fun with puppies
Who wouldn’t love these little creatures? They’re so irresistible, so lovable and fluffy! If you don’t have any, volunteer to walk the neighbor’s cute dog, or head out to the shelter. As the saying goes, “A dog is a man’s best friend”. It’s true, you’ll never know what wonders a dog can do to both of you. If one of you is a cat owner, have some playtime with the kitty cat instead. Every cat is different and has different personalities and likes and dislikes. So your activity may vary from bringing the cat out to explore the world on a leash to brush her fur on the couch while watching a movie.
20. Try trampoline parks
Yes, you might sweat a bit, but you can turn this around to your advantage. Practice those sexy sweat-wiping moves and master your facial expressions (like closing your eyes while wiping your neck). Aside from your boobs bouncing up and down, this one is a sure hit!
21. Be a scaredy-cat, go ghost haunting
It may not sound too intimate, but this one could work like a charm when played well. Hang out at the local cemeteries, or scout for a spooky house. At least now you’ll have the best excuse to snuggle close, be clingy, and throw your hands around your date.
22. Feel the rush, do an Escape room
Have you heard of these games? It’s a good bonding activity to get you closer together. Google where you could find these escape rooms and go for it! Feel the thrill, solve the mystery, work hand in hand to make your way out. What an exciting first date!
23. Look sporty, go bowling
Hit the alley with your signature moves, make a statement, and exhibit a friendly competition. Ask to improve your skills. Stand next to each other, your bodies whipping up that friction. Feel those manly arms around you while he teaches you the right pose.
24. Play some two-player games
It doesn’t matter what game it is, it could be arcade, a PC game, or a mobile game. Some girls usually hate their boyfriends for being so into games. Let him feel you’re different, be a tag team and go for the win! Bash those trash talkers and represent!
25. Do a photoshoot
Dress up, make cute funny faces, strike a pose. Take a snapshot of those memorable moments. Laugh, reminisce, and exchange thoughts. Create scenes, portray characters, let your imagination take you to the next level.
Not the planning type? Take it easy with one of these casual first date ideas that take things slow.
26. Quick lunch
Nothing is more casual than a lunch date. Not just any lunch date, one that is quick — usually squeezed between classes or when you have to go back to work in another 30 mins. This date blurs the line of a date and just lunch. Talk about life, school, or work while you eat. Get to know each other a little bit more before deciding if they’re worth your investment.
27. Grab Coffee
You can grab coffee anytime during the day. It’s the quickest type of date to organize and most affordable too. Not too much to spend with some coffee and a couple of bagels. Take this time to have a meaningful conversation, but stay casual, don’t push too much though! You don’t want your date to think you’re creepy.
28. Evening Stroll at the Park
Why evening? Night time usually promotes a sense of intimacy. Just a quiet walk, holding hands, and having a casual conversation would already making its own way towards a whole new level of connection and attraction.
29. Feed the local pond creatures
If you want to unwind and let out all that stress that’s been piling up from a week’s work, take this chance to feel the tranquility of nature with your date. Feel relaxed and refreshed, breathe in the natural smell of the air. Be a little cheeky by splashing him with pond water every now and then.
30. Watch a Blockbuster Movie
Always the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to dates. Do your research. Know what your date likes, surprise him with tickets to the movie he’s been longing to see. Take out some mouth-watering snacks and forget about your non-carb diet this day.
On a shoe-string budget? No worries, we have all been there. Here are some cheap date ideas that are affordable but fun nonetheless.
31. Play some arcade games
Arcade games are a great way to stir up some nostalgia and have a few laughs along the way. If your date is into a little friendly competition, arcades are a great place to let loose and show off some skills for the cost of a pocket full of quarters. Did we mention that it’s cheap?
32. Visit a museum
Museums are one of the best, least demanding dates there are. There are always classic, contemporary, or rare pieces of art to explore and discuss while you learn more about your date. It’s a casual walk through a beautiful building and most of the conversation is built from the surrounding artwork. This is an excellent date idea for introverts.
33. Stop by a record store
“When words fail, music speaks.” Music is a magnificent way to share what you’re into. It can be wildly personal or surprisingly relatable thumbing through some vinyl. Learning what bands are artists you share an interest in can make things all the more special next time you meet up. The vinyl records may not be cheap but checking them out and, if you’re lucky, listening to the demo are things that you can do for free.
34. Go bowling
A good game of bowling can be a wonderful bonding experience. You share one lane and tally up each other’s score, with just a hint of competitive nature. Plus, depending on the bowling alley, there’ll probably have some light snacks and dancing available if you want to move into a new activity.
35. Have a picnic
Everyone likes to spend a sunny date outside with nowhere to go. Pack a nice picnic lunch and head your local park to soak up the sun. It’s lowkey, low cost, low pressure. Plus, you have the added bonus of entertainment: people watching!
36. Go for a hike
Two people who are already nature-lovers will undoubtedly have a great time in the great outdoors. Gear up and meet at the base of your favorite trail or summit and spend the day breathing fresh air, spotting wildlife, and sharing your love of nature.
37. Play tennis
38. Become rivals at the bowling alley
Check out 80 Cheap Date Ideas: Ultimate Guide to Frugal & Fun Dates for more frugal dates like these.
Although challenging, you can absolutely spend quality time with each other without spending any money. Here are some free date ideas that don’t involve money.
42. Spend time at the beach
Public beaches are great dating spots that are open to everyone. Do your homework before the date. Find a beach near you or one that is less popular if you want to stay away from the crowd. You probably won’t have a crowd problem if you go there during cooler months. Yes, the beach is fun to visit even when it’s not summer. If you aren’t comfortable, skip the swimwear and go in a beach-inspired attire instead. Take a stroll along the shoreline with your date. Enjoy the ocean breeze and the sound of a thousand waves as they hug the shore.
43. Visit an art exhibition at the local college
Local colleges and universities routinely organize exhibitions (for example, art exhibitions by their students or alumni) that are free for the public to visit. Pay extra attention to their website, Facebook page, and Twitter profile for this kind of events. You should definitely take advantage of this if you’re a broke college student (like most students are). Even if you’re not broke, attending such exhibitions is a great way to show some support to the community.
44. Hike as a couple
Hike the familiar local trails or challenge a new trail in a nearby county. If both of you are into physical activities, the kind that gets your adrenaline pumping for free, hiking is the way to go.
45. Spend time at the library
The best first date for book lovers. In addition to books and magazines that you can read for free, the library also provides free air conditioning. Lose yourselves in the labyrinth of books. The only way out is a kiss between two new lovers in an unseen corner among the books.
46. Quick date at the local park
Rejoice if you’re blessed with a good local park. The park is a perfect spot for your first date, especially if you don’t know your date well enough. Go when the park is busy. The crowd is perfect for the people watching that you do in between conversations. Find somewhere to sit down — perhaps the bench or on the grass. Have lighthearted conversations to get to know each other better. If the date doesn’t go well, you can always excuse yourself easily without feeling awkward — you can exit the park in all directions. If the date goes well, you can extend the date into perhaps a coffee date, or schedule for a second date another time.
Here are more date ideas that won’t cause you a dollar.
47. Go biking
48. Check out the local farmer’s market
49. Visit free exhibition at the local college
50. Volunteer for the animal shelter
51. Play card games or board games
Have A Great First Date!
Although meeting someone new can seem intimidating, the list of first date ideas proves that it doesn’t have to be boring or nerve-wracking to be a successful first date! Shake things up from the norm and you may find that while impressing your date, you impress yourself as well. After all, nailing a creative outing is sure to leave a lasting impression and they’ll surely want to see what else you have in store next time you meet up.