What is a Group Date?
A group date is a social activity involving a group of couples and friends. Usually, the group size is around 4-8 people. For a larger group, the term group outing is more common. Sometimes, group date also refers to activities involving a group of friends who aren’t romantically involved or a date where the parents bring their kids along. Although a more accurate term for the latter should be family date.
23 Fun Group Date Ideas to Try
Going on a date as a group could be fun. It is a different experience from your regular one-on-one date. But date night ideas that are ideal for two people may not work for a group of couples. To help plan a group date that everyone enjoys, here are some fun and interesting date ideas for inspiration.
1. HOUSE PARTY
Organize a cozy party at home (or at the dorm) for the group. Get everyone to help out with the preparation and split the cost. Make sure there are enough food, snacks, and drinks for everybody. If your group can cook, it would be fun to do a potluck-style gathering. Otherwise, pizza is a tasty and popular party food loved by many. In terms of drinks, beer and wine are de facto party staples but don’t forget some soda, juices, and water for people who don’t drink alcoholic beverages. Music is the soul of a successful house party. Create a song list on Spotify or YouTube Music before the party. Borrow someone’s premium Spotify account if you don’t have a subscription because the ads are very disruptive. Remember to mix in some love songs so that the couples can have some romantic time with their respective partners. Another pro-tip for creating a party playlist, many music streaming services support collaborative playlists, this means everyone with an account can add the songs they want to the list.
2. BBQ COOKOUT
Fire up that grill and do a cookout at a location of your choice. The backyard is a tried and proven location for a BBQ party. Otherwise, let the group scout for a location with free barbecue grills or pits to use. Try parks, picnic areas, campsite, etc. Another idea is to bring your grill to any scenic location and do the BBQ party there. Needless to say, remember to stock up on your favorite cuts of meat, veggies, fruits (fun fact: corn is technically a fruit), and spices. Nothing ruins a BBQ party like running out of food!
Summer is the busiest barbecue season. The weather is lovely and suitable for all sorts of outdoor activities including BBQ. In colder months the grill takes longer to cook and the food can get cold before you finish them. That said, BBQ-ing in winter is a unique experience you should at least try once in your life. Enjoying a fresh-off-the-grill steak and a cup of hot chocolate on snow paints a serene picture.
On the other hand, doing it in fall and spring allows you to take advantage of the freshest specialty produce of the season. Another way to enjoy barbecue differently is to do a thematic party. For example, a Halloween BBQ party or St. Patrick’s Day BBQ party.
3. PLAY BOARD GAMES WITH THE GROUP
Parties are fun but there’s a lot of work involved, i.e. planning, logistics, clean up, etc. Some days you just want to sit down and take it easy. When that’s the group consensus, board games are a fun option for the group to pass time. Monopoly is the goto board game for many people. Virtually everyone has played it at least once growing up. Nonetheless, its rules are simple and straightforward enough for a total beginner to pick up and stand a chance at winning.
Looking past Monopoly, we have Catan which is a hex-based resource management board game. While it still has a heavy luck element, Catan is generally viewed as a more skill-based board game. It does have a learning curve, so new players will need to play a few times to really learn the ins and outs of the game. Other popular board games to try are Pandemic, Life, Cluedo, and Sorry!
4. COUPLES’ POKER NIGHT
Show the group who’s in charge by playing and winning at poker. There are a variety of poker games you can play as a group. But Texas Hold’em is the most popular and for good reasons. The game is fast-paced and has simple rules. But it becomes increasingly complex as you factor in human emotions and the act of bluffing. To make the game more exciting, betting is a must. Put real money on the line if you’re up for it (nothing life-changing, just pennies and quarters) or as I’ve personally tried and enjoyed–betting Monopoly money.
Switching it up from board games and poker. What does the group feel about a friendly bowling game at the local bowling alley? If you’re lucky to live nearby a “bowling-in-the-dark” place, make this the excuse to check out the place. Play as individuals or couples vs couples. It’s fun to get some competitive vibe going but remember it’s just a game! Call ahead to make a reservation if you have a big group. Some bowling alleys can get crowded during weekends or holidays.
After the game has concluded, hit up the local hot dog spot with the group for some spicy dog topped with tons of caramelized onion to regain some of that lost calories from bowling.
6. TAKE PAINTING CLASS
Check with the group if any one of them is an expert painter because a painting class is the most fun and beneficial when the whole group is new to painting. Depending on the class syllabus, you may learn about acrylic, oil, or watercolor paints. Other knowledge you’ll acquire may include understanding different types of brush and the proper way to use a brush. But most importantly you’ll be guided by an instructor to produce a good-looking art piece for you to bring home at the end of the class. Some studios even offer you wine during the painting session. These painting classes are aptly called “sip and paint” or “paint and wine”.
With the wine flowing and French accordion music playing in the background, it’s almost feels like you’re painting en plein air at the French Riviera, surrounded by your partner and favorite friends.
7. WINE TASTING
You’re naturally a creative person. But some creative minds prefer to make art in private. Or perhaps you value efficiency above all and the painting part of “paint and wine” feels like superficial fluff. Get straight to the point already–the wine itself!
It’s fine to enjoy a bottle (or a few bottles) of wine with the group at home. But nothing beats the experience of a wine tasting session at a vineyard. Your experience may differ but many vineyards’ wine tasting sessions are the finale for their vineyard tours. Depending on the season and vineyard management, you might get to see different stages of the winemaking process.
Start by researching for a good vineyard nearby that offers a tour and wine tasting session. If there isn’t one nearby, it might be worth your time to make it a day trip or weekend getaway.
Sing your lungs out with your date and friends. All you need is your voice, so if your group is stuck and bored without any equipment, this is definitely a fun activity you should consider. That said, it’s a lot more fun if you sing with a mic in your hand. Yes, I’m talking about Karaoke! Karaoke is totally awesome. Not many of us have a karaoke system at home, so head out to a nearby karaoke bar and go on the stage to sing a duet with your partner–not before downing a few drinks, for some courage! Again, do some research beforehand. Task the group with finding a karaoke bar with private rooms (sometimes called Asian-style karaoke) because it’s the one true way to do Karaoke. The truth is not many people enjoy singing in front of other strangers. For introverts and shy people, it’s a nightmare and basically a cringey moment that keeps you awake at night in the future. With a private room, you can sing to your heart’s content and you get more airtime–sounds like a win for everybody.
9. VISIT NEARBY NATIONAL PARK AS A GROUP
There is so much to see and experience in a state park or a national park. Follow a recommended scenic trail to see the best of the park has to offer. Get off the beaten path for couples who are adventurous and know what they’re doing. Immerse yourself in the great outdoors, let Mother Nature relieve your stress and worries. Listen to bird sings and enjoy the beautiful weather–be mindful of serene moment and take it all in. See the national park and its multifaceted nature by visiting in different seasons. The park in summertime is vastly different from fall (autumn) or spring. Pack food! It’s romantic to picnic at a scenic and secluded spot. Just remember to bring your trash home with you.
Form teams and play against each other. For a competitive date, do a little tournament with some kind of prize for the winning team. Usually, you’d form a team with your own partner, but don’t be afraid to switch things around for variety. Dress functionally but cute to spice things up.
Get some swinging action going by playing golf. For experienced couples who have time to spare, an 18-hole game is the way to go. For newbies and couples who have other matters to attend to afterward, the driving range provides a non-competitive and quick way to enjoy golf. On the other hand, if going to a golf club sounds overwhelming or boring to you, I’m sure you’d still enjoy a fun session of mini golf (also known as minigolf and putt-putt). In mini golf, you focus on the putting aspect of golf. What’s great about mini golf is everybody can play and have fun doing it–even first-timers. Minigolf is often part of a bigger attraction. And its decoration may include miniature windmills and other interesting elements that make it a great spot to take some cute photos.
There are endless ways to enjoy camping. But they all share one thing in common–escape from the clutch of urban living into the arms of Mother Nature. Start by researching for a camping ground that fits the criteria of your group e.g. distance, amenities, and activities. Some camping sites offer amenities like a shower, toilet, locker, fire pit, and barbecue grill. Pitch your own tent or rent an established tent (or recreational vehicle or cabin–though I’m not sure if the latter fits the description of camping). Of course, no camping would be complete without some exploration around the area. Following a scenic trail is a safe and fun way to explore. Some trails may involve some hiking. Other fun activities to do on a camping trip with your friends include fishing, canoeing, snorkeling, crabbing, hunting, cooking, etc. At night, gather the group around the campfire for some quintessential camping activities such as eating, drinking, singing, and story-telling. As the fire crackles in the pit and a shooting star glides through the serene night sky, precious memories are made.
Pub crawling, club tour–whatever you choose to call it–means a fun and liquor-filled night out with your friends. Plan ahead or as most barhopping goes, simply start somewhere and frantically search for the next spot using your phone. Teetotalers are welcomed as long as they’re willing to join. Clubs and bars are surprisingly fun when you’re clear-headed, not to mention that it’s safer to have someone who’s not drunk to look after the group. And it would be perfect if he agrees to be the designated driver–just remember to buy him lunch to compensate.
14. HIT THE BEACH
Beaches and pools are the quintessential summer experience. Nothing cools you down like the sea breeze and cool ocean water. But virtually nobody is looking to stay cool at a beach in the middle of summer. It’s about the sandy beach, bikini, and getting sunkissed skin. There so much to do at the beach especially when you have the whole entourage with you. Build a sandcastle, play beach volleyball, surf, drink, explore the nearby cove away from the crowd.
Don’t let the colder weather stop you from having a fun day at the beach! The beach is less crowded and feels more peaceful in spring and fall. The girls won’t be able to wear their bikinis but in return, you get the whole beach to yourselves. Some of the activities the group can have fun doing include barbecuing, flying kite, picnic, playing ball, or just chill out.
15. VIDEO GAMES
For some folks, the phrase video games conjure images of first-person shooter, racing, and sports games. To be fair, these genres are really popular but there are other categories of games that are just as popular and perhaps more fun depending on your preference. When you have a group of people, party games and other multiplayer games are the best options. You do need to get as many controllers as the gaming console can support so that everybody can play without waiting forever for their turns. If you’re stuck in quarantine or prefer to avoid gatherings, I have some great news for you. Gaming is a date that can be done entirely virtually over the internet. Otherwise, a BYOL (bring your own laptop) setup could be the ideal way to get everyone playing at the same time. Some of the group-friendly games are Dota, Fall Guys, Overcooked, and Among Us.
16. BOTANICAL GARDEN
This location that allows you to appreciate nature is not in nature at all. As a matter of fact, it is often found close to the city. We’re talking about botanical gardens–curated collections of plant living inside man-made structures. While there are lots of flora you can see in nature, none of them is labeled, organized, tended to by professional botany staff. Spend a few hours at the botanical garden with your date group to check out their collections of unique plants. Every botanical garden is unique and some of the collections of plants you may be able to see include various types of flowers, cacti, herbs and spices, tropical plants, trees, and even fungi (mushrooms).
Play a friendly match of paintball. Form a team with your friends and your date, or against your date in a date vs. date deathmatch. Wear a comfortable outfit that doesn’t restrict your movements. Ideally long-sleeves and pants because getting hit by a paintball can be painful. Alternatively, go for its futuristic and painless variant–laser tag. Despite its name, no laser is involved. The laser guns are infrared-emitter and when a player is hit by the infrared ray, the sensor the player is wearing detects it and notify the players of the successful shot.
18. MOVIE MARATHON
Camping and barhopping are fun but sometimes you want to just kick back and relax with the group on a lazy Friday night. For this group movie date, all you need is a television, a streaming service subscription, plenty of seats, and some food and drinks. Provide a shortlist of movie series or TV series in the group chat and ask to vote on it. Some marathon-friendly movie series are Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Alien, and Resident Evil. For TV shows, there are just way too many great TV shows for me to recommend, but you can try Gilmore Girls, Z Nation, The Office, and for cyberpunk fans–Altered Carbon.
19. CHARTER A YACHT
Charter a boat and head to the ocean. Explore unfamiliar shores. Snorkel in the sea for some breathtaking view of fish and corals. Get yourself a healthy tan on the deck. At dusk, wind down after a long fun day by enjoying a scrumptious dinner prepared by the crew. Clink your wine glasses to commemorate a day well spent on the sea. Understandably, many of us don’t live close to the sea. But if you live close to a lake, you might also find a yacht chartering service there. The American Midwest is blessed with a natural wonder that is the Great Lakes which is serviced by many yacht chartering businesses.
For adventurous couples, skydiving will get your adrenaline pumping. First-time solo skydivers are required to take hours of classes on skydiving and parachuting. Alternatively, you can also piggyback on an experienced skydiver. If your group consists of experienced skydivers, jump as a group, make a circle in the air, and get someone to take photos. This will be a fun photo to show the kids when you’re older.
21. GROUP COSPLAY
For an uncommon experience, how about dressing up as your favorite group of fictional characters? In true group spirit, dress up according to a particular theme. For example, it could about a particular anime, comic, movie, or TV show. I have seen people dressed up as the Mystery Incorporated members from Scooby-Doo and they were slaying it. Another great time to play dress-up would be on Halloween.
Enter the world of tabletop roleplaying games (RPGs). In the digital age, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) are more popular than ever. There are other RPGs available but D&D is hands down the most popular and has the largest player community. A D&D game is prepared and run by a game master. The participants are the players who play various characters that they build and grow. As a group, you’ll be exploring different exotic locations and encounter dangers that require your skills and knowledge to overcome. Here’s a useful guide on how to start your own D&D group.
There are countless adventures you can embark on and people you can help in the world of D&D. But the adventures can also be found in the real life. The world we’re living in needs your help. Charities such as animal shelters, soup kitchen, etc. could always use some extra hands. They’ll be happy to get a group of friendly people to help them out with various tasks. At an animal shelter, some of the things you can do to help out are feeding the animals, playing with them, cleaning their housing, and perhaps help out with the logistics of a charity donation drive. Volunteering your time at a charity helps you to grow closer as a couple and as friends. Lastly, you’ll also be making a positive impact on this world so this is a group date that is beneficial to everyone who’s involved.
And these are some of the group date ideas that made it to our list. There are many other ideas that didn’t make it, for example, amusement park, water park, jungle trekking, archery, card games (too similar to the board game idea), group dinner, etc. Anyway, I hope you found this article helpful.