Unless you are taking a Kardashian out on a date, odds are your date doesn’t want to go to the fanciest restaurant in town to sit in a stiff chair feeling like they’re on an interview.
That kind of high-stakes scenario could go well, if all the cards are played exactly right. But honestly, that isn’t going to be fun for either one of you, and one of you is more likely to back out of a date with that much pressure. Make it easy on both of you, and have some fun!
Playing, laughing and exercising all release endorphins, and these endorphins will forever be associated with that first fun date. Guards come down and infatuation slips in. This is the perfect potion you need in order to develop something past the first date.
If you’re ready to ask the girl or guy you’ve been chatting up online on a date, but need help with some creative date ideas, don’t worry- I’ve got you.
1. An interactive dinner
Ditch the white table cloth/reservations only establishment and make dinner an event! Download a Food Truck app and spend the night chasing food around town. Go for Korean BBQ, Japanese Teppenyaki or a Crab Shack where it’s totally ok to play with your food. Try a sushi bar where your dinner is your entertainment. All of these events are conversation starters which expertly dissolve those first date jitters for you both.
2. Attend a Sporting Event
For my first date with my long-term boyfriend, he took me to a baseball game. I wasn’t particularly interested in baseball but it didn’t matter. Between the handheld food, the cold beer, and the excitement of the crowd it was perfect. There is no pressure here, especially when you see spectators around you letting loose.
3. Amusement Parks
Or an arcade. Or a game café. Don’t underestimate just how charming your inner child is. There is nothing more impressive that a person who is willing to let go and be silly. An added bonus is the opportunity for just the right amount of physical touch! A Ferris Wheel will not only release those feeling of trust, but also gives you a chance to sit close. An arcade will also cozy you up to that date and allow you to work as a team. It’s a win/win!
4. Hookah Bar
Here is a unique activity with a super interesting atmosphere. There will definitely be some people-watching to fuel your conversation. It’s also nice to step outside the box and show the other person that you’re into trying new things. And if your partner is trying a Hookah bar for the first time – even better! Studies show that trying new things together evokes trust. Sneaky move, but totally permitted. Just make sure you run this idea past your date first, in case they have any opposition to tobacco.
5. Trivia Night
Any night of the week in any town in America, there is a bar or brewery hosting a Trivia Night. This is a guaranteed ‘No Awkward Silence’ Zone. You and your partner have to work together to overcome a challenge. Trivia Night vibes are generally lively and friendly, and make it really hard to feel stuck in your shell. There will also be beer and food, so if you were worried about holding a fork the wrong way – now no one is noticing.
6. Go to a Local Brewery
Breweries are like bars, but with a more interactive, laid-back ambiance. There are bound to be Beer Samplers to try, and most likely some games such as Cornhole or Giant Jenga available. Research some in your area to find a vibe you think will be the best fit.
This is probably better for third dates and beyond, since this involves inviting the other person to your home. Take advantage of the whole process. Go shopping for ingredients together at your local farmers market, fish market or plain old super market. Follow an unfamiliar recipe to experiment together, or use your own recipe to impress. Just make sure you have something planned upfront for afterwards so no one feels uncomfortable. Maybe your relationship is ready for a movie night, or suggest a board game for when your meal is through.
8. Get Into Nature
Bodies of water are romantic without being overbearing. Forests are a natural place for conversation. An open path is quite the metaphor. Go fishing and bring some beers. Go for a bike ride to a farmers market. Take a hike along with a picnic. Remember, the keys to a good date are endorphins and conversation.
9. Go to the Zoo or Aquarium
This is the oldest trick in the book for a reason! Who doesn’t love animals? They are now the star of the show and the ones who are put on the spot to entertain! Make up a fun game like trying to decide why these animals are in prison or which celebrity they most resemble. Or bring in a cheeky bottle of booze and make a drinking game out of it. You are never too old for such a classic adventure.
10. Go Picking
Depending on the season, you could choose from apples, pumpkins, even Christmas trees! This is an activity that welcomes long strolls and conversation. There are hay-rides, apple cider stands and pictures with Santa to stir up some nostalgia. A little research goes a long way!
The most successful dates start by building a healthy, and exciting foundation. And contrary to these recommendations, not all of your dates have to involve alcohol – but it certainly is more fun!