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Meeting Up For A First Date? Here Are 55 Ideas To Make It A Memorable One

Sarah Regan
January 17, 2024
Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
By Sarah Regan
mbg Spirituality & Relationships Editor
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, and a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.
January 17, 2024

There's nothing quite like the excitement and anticipation of a first date; it's your first chance to get to know someone, and meanwhile, you have a chance to put your best foot forward while still remaining true to who you are.

But of course, you'll need some first date ideas in order to figure out what you'll actually do—and to get those sparks flying. With the right first date, you and your dating app match (or IRL crush!) can spend intentional time doing something you both enjoy together, while bonding, making memories, and of course, deciding if there'll be a second date.

So, without further ado, here are 55 first date ideas to consider if you're planning a first date:


Catch a new movie you both want to see

Starting off simple, hitting the movies is the perfect opportunity to snuggle up in front of the big screen and indulge in some movie theater popcorn. Bonus points if you have some discussion points on the drive home!


Go to the drive-in

Switch up your usual movie date by finding your closest drive-in and enjoying an outdoor movie. You'll have a bit more privacy than you would in a theater, plus drive-ins often show throwback movies if you want to enjoy an old classic together.


Go out for dinner

Going out to dinner is a date night staple for a reason. You can converse over good food, wear your best outfit, and gaze at each other over candlelight. To make things interesting, go to a restaurant you've never been to—or at least try something you've never had.


Play mini golf

It's cute, it's fun, and it's classic: Putt-putt courses are everywhere, and many also feature arcade games and snacks, so you can make a whole evening out of letting your inner-child out for some fun.


Visit the driving range

If one of you is more of a golf aficionado than a putt-putter, you might consider hitting up your local driving range to work on your swing. Whoever is the pro can sweetly put their arms around the other to demonstrate—oh-so-romantically—how to get a hole-in-one.


Go for a hike

Any nature lovers out there? Going for a hike on a nearby trail is a great way to take in some nature and give you time to connect outside of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. (Easy walking trails are an option too!)


Go for a bike ride

Want to take in more of your city in less time? Map your ideal route around town and go for a bike ride together. Even if you don't have bikes, you could borrow a friend's or see if your city has a local bike-share program.


Go to your local history museum

Museums are a great way to learn something new and foster good conversation. If one or both of you is into history, don't miss out on your nearest history museum to learn more about the area you live in.


Visit an art gallery

Speaking of museums, history is just one option—art museums are another. You can gaze at paintings and discuss how they make you feel—or perhaps chuckle at the ones you're surprised made it into an exhibition.


Check out the nearest botanical gardens

Many cities have botanical gardens with a variety of plant species, which is a fun way to learn about plant life up close—plus admission is typically pretty affordable too, which never hurts.


Explore a new science museum exhibit

Speaking of learning something new, see if your local science museum has any cool exhibits opening up. From geology to biology exhibits, there's usually at least one exhibit that could pique both of your interests.


Go to a paint and sip

Paint and sips aren't just for ladies' nights, and going to one on a first date is a low-pressure way to tap into your more creative sides. Plus, if you like your paintings enough, they can serve as a memory of one awesome first date.


Rent kayaks and go out on the water

Getting out on the water is an instant recipe for serenity—and an arm workout! Grab kayaks or a canoe (or rent them if you don't have any) and take a leisurely row down your nearest creek or river.


Get tickets to a dinner cruise

If you like the sound of getting out on the water—but without the arm workout—consider finding a local dinner cruise to attend. You and your date can enjoy a night of dressing to the nines, having a nice dinner, and dancing the night away.


Go fruit picking

When you go berry picking, apple picking, pumpkin picking, etc., you're connecting with both nature and your date. Plus, you can go home and make something with your harvest, like blueberry pie or a strawberry tart.


Stop by your local farmers market

Farmers markets are a great date option that allow you to simultaneously support local farms and get to know your date's shopping habits. Are they going for the broccoli or the fresh-cut flowers? When you're done shopping, try to come up with a meal you can make together with all your fresh ingredients.


See a play or musical

From big Broadway shows to local theater company originals, consider having an evening with the arts by seeing a play or musical. Put on your fanciest theater attire, grab a cocktail beforehand, and enjoy the show.


Catch some live music

Want to see a different kind of show? Check out the concerts coming up near you! You don't have to drive for ages to see a bigger artist—get into your local music scene at nearby bars and venues.


Go ice skating

Ice skating might be tricky if either of you aren't the most graceful, but if you're confident about your skating skills, it's a super-romantic first date idea. Even if it's warm where you live, check out if there are any indoor rinks near you.


Have a picnic

Pick a romantic and picturesque spot near you, pack up your favorite picnic dishes, and take a trip out for the afternoon. Don't forget a portable speaker, sunscreen, and some fizzy drinks!


Visit your local zoo or aquarium

Get up close and personal with your favorite animals at your local zoo or aquarium. Some of them may even offer volunteer opportunities, workshops, or demonstrations if that's something that interests the two of you.


Try rock climbing

For the adventurous daters in the bunch, find your nearest rock climbing gym and give it a go. Belaying each other can even foster a sense of connection and trust.


Go dancing

Going dancing is a tried-and-true date night activity that, quite honestly, needs a renaissance. You could attend a dancing class to brush up on your skills or just have fun with it and dance like no one's watching.


Have a karaoke night

Whether you rent a karaoke machine for the night if you're too shy to do it in public or go all-out at your nearest karaoke bar, you and your date can let your goofy sides out, serenade each other, or find your new go-to duet.


Attend a sound bath or breathwork ceremony

For a little spiritual connectivity and relaxation, see if there are any sound baths or breathwork ceremonies happening near you. It's a chance to try something different and tap into your spirituality together.


Go foraging in the wild

Speaking of plants, you can also forage in the wild if gardening isn't an option where you live. From mushrooms to ramps to dandelions, there's no shortage of dinner ingredients to use when the Earth is your grocery store.


Hit the slopes

Whether you're an avid skier or more the bunny-hill type, spending the day skiing or snowboarding is a great way to get outdoors together in the colder months plus get a workout in too.


Build a campfire

From the warm glow of the fire to cozying up in a hammock together, sitting by a campfire is super romantic. You can swap memories, ask each other questions, tell ghost stories, and make s'mores—whatever tickles your fancy.


Volunteer for a cause you both care about

Are the two of you both big environmentalists? Or perhaps you've bonded over being vegan? Bonding over shared advocacies is an equally rewarding way to form a meaningful connection. You get to observe how your date functions within a community and values relationships.


See a speaker or attend a lecture

People go to concerts all the time, but when was the last time you went to see someone speak? Find out if there are any cool speakers giving talks near you—and check out local universities too, which often have opportunities to attend events on campus.


Watch the sunset

Whether you're on a roof or a beach, watching the sunset together is a classic romantic move. Or, if you're early risers, don't let us stop you from venturing out early for the sunrise.


Visit a winery from some wine tasting

Enjoying gorgeous wine trails and sampling wine? Talk about a simple but elegant date idea. Of course, if you're not too into wine, you can also see if there's a brewery nearby that you'd prefer.


Go to a local sports game

Does your town or city have a sports team, big or small? From football to basketball to baseball, there's no shortage of sporting events to attend, and you and your date can cheer on your favorite teams together.


Go bowling

Who doesn't love a classic trip to the bowling alley once in a while? It's easy to make conversation between turns, you don't have to take it too seriously, and you can have a little friendly-competition fun.


Hit up a local trivia night

Trivia is certainly not everyone's strong suit, but it's all for fun and games, right? Find your closest trivia night and form a team, whether that's just the two of you, or with the addition of some particularly brainy friends.


Go horseback riding

Going for a trail ride on horseback with your date can be relaxing and allow you to connect with local nature, and it's well worth it to find the best trail you can, even if it's a little far away.


Check out your local comedy scene

Want a night of drinks and laughter? Go to your local comedy club, or see if there are any open-mic comedy nights near you. Bonus points if you go to an open-mic and both perform a bit yourselves.


Go thrifting

Get thrifty with your date and hit up the nearest flea market, thrift store, or antiques shop. You can spend literal hours in secondhand stores, looking at all the old treasures and making up stories about where everything came from.


Explore a new neighborhood

Be tourists somewhere you've been meaning to visit. In addition to giving you both things to talk about and new things to experience, you just might discover new spots for your second date.


Visit a library

Some libraries offer events and exhibitions that are great for sparking conversation if you're worried about awkward silences. You can also swap book recommendations and read together, exchanging thoughts when you feel like it.


Take your pets on a playdate

A good way to gauge how affectionate someone is is by seeing how they interact with animals. You're also giving your fur baby a new friend, so it's really a win-win situation for everyone involved.


Get a psychic reading

Find out if you're destined to be together just for laughs. You might even discover something new to look forward to in each other's futures.


Go on a photo walk

You can exchange visual inspirations beforehand and try them on the streets. This is also great for discovering new spots around the city.


Go coffee tasting

For a creative spin on the classic coffee date, consider attending a coffee tasting or even a coffee-making course instead. You can discover new things about each other while learning a cool hobby.


Attend a book reading

Book readings can spark an interesting conversation between you that goes beyond the classic, "Tell me about yourself." You and your date might even find a new author to fan over together.


Go to a bookstore

Any bookworms present? Take your coffee date to the next level by getting coffee and then browsing a bookstore. Not only will your date's picks be revealing, but this is a super-chill, low-pressure option that can be as long or short as you want.


Visit an animal sanctuary

If one or both of you are animal lovers, visiting and/or volunteering at an animal shelter is a nice way to give back to the animals and spend quality time with your date doing something that makes you feel good.


Try an escape room

Solving puzzles together gets the conversation flowing minus the awkward lulls. This is also a good opportunity to observe how your date deals with pressure, as escape rooms usually have a time limit.


Visit a planetarium

Speaking of science, nothing says romance like gazing at the whole known universe. Sit back in the dark and wonder at the beauty of the night sky without actually having to camp out in the cold.


Take a cooking class

Another win-win date night? Taking a cooking class together. You'll learn how to make some amazing recipes—and get to enjoy eating them too.


Go fishing

Fishing can be relaxing (and momentarily exciting when you actually catch one), plus you'll have plenty of time to chat with your date on the water. Bonus points if you go home and make dinner with your catch.


Watch each other's favorite movies

Who are we to assume that your first date won't be relaxing at home? To make your Netflix and chill sesh a little more romantic, consider watching each other's favorite movies. Your date will likely love sharing it with you—even if you've seen it before.


Go on a photo walk

If one or both of you are into photography, grab your camera, Polaroid—or, let's be honest, your phones—and take a photo tour around a picturesque area. You can exchange visual inspirations beforehand and try them on the streets, plus this is great for discovering new spots around your city.


Eat your way around your city

Speaking of new spots around your city, who says you have to have a five-course meal in just one place? Stop for cocktails at your favorite cocktail bar, apps at a local tapas joint, entrées at a swanky five-star restaurant—you get the idea.


Try a workout you've both never done

Going on a date that gets you both out of your comfort zones is a great way to bond, and trying a new workout is a great date option for the gym rats out there.

The takeaway

Whether you matched with a cutie on a dating app or you had a meet-cute IRL, the only question now is what to do on your first date.

You can never go wrong with an intimate dinner or simply taking a walk together, but if you're looking for a first date idea that's a bit more inspired, don't be afraid to go for one of the more unique options on this list. It's sure to be a first date to remember!

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