While Starbucks and Chipotle might be the top two date locations for first dates, we don’t think you need to resort to casual dining (or expensive cocktails) to have a good time. Don’t get us wrong — we love drinking and burritos as much as you do — but sometimes you need something a little more creative and fun to spice up that getting-to-know you phase. We’ve come up with 10 awesome first date ideas that are flirty, low-stress and won’t leave you bored or hungover.
1. Cook a Meal Together: Eating a well-cooked meal is a classic date option, but why not forgo the fancy dinner and try cooking together? Even if neither of you are very good at cooking, the laughter will definitely dispel any first-date awkwardness. Worst case scenario, you have something to giggle about and you can order a pizza instead.
2. DIY Wine Tasting: Obviously wine tasting is fun, but it can be expensive and maybe a little intimidating. Instead, have each person bring their two favorite types of wine (or make some sangria) and pretend to write the flavor description for each one. Not a wine connoisseur? Even better, since the made-up descriptions will have you both laughing.
3. Have Breakfast for Dinner: Craving something a little more casual? Maybe it’s time to choose a big stack of fluffy pancakes instead of that ribeye steak. And even though late-night diners might not be the candlelit dinner you’re used to, they are perfect for a more relaxed, fun setting.
4. Pretend to be a Tourist: It doesn’t matter where you live — we’ll bet there are some places in your town that you’ve never visited before. Instead of sitting in a coffee shop, take your coffee (and a baked goodie) to go and spend time wandering around a neighborhood you’ve never explored before.
5. Go to the Zoo: There is no better place to get to know someone and relive some childhood memories than at the zoo. Plus it’s a great excuse to eat “kid” food like snow cones and cotton candy. Extra points if you go wearing animal masks. Daytime dates like the zoo or an aquarium are great in case you need to bail early because you have “things to do.”
6. Take a Painting Class: Calling all artists and non-artists: Head to the easels instead of the bar this time. Find a painting class that serves wine or DIY your own painting class and you’re bound to come up with something fun.
7. Netflix Date: Depending on how cozy you want to get, a home movie night could be much more romantic than eating stale popcorn at the theater. Plus, Netflix has a plethora of ridiculous old movies that are bound to get a good laugh.
8. Go the Farmers’ Market: Take the date outside and spend time wandering through the stalls of beautiful produce, enjoying the weather and, of course, each other. And if everything goes well, you can enjoy picking out ingredients for an outdoor picnic or to take home and make dinner together.
9. Do Some Volunteer Work: Get some exercise and do something good for the soul like walking dogs at an animal shelter. Because they need the love, and there won’t be any awkward conversation lapses when you’re laughing at doggy antics. You could also combine two date ideas by baking up some doggy treats beforehand for extra kisses…. from the dogs of course ;)
10. Get Active: If you’re both the outdoorsy, sporty type, skip the movie theater and go for something more active like miniature golf, renting bikes or even trying something you’ve never tried before like rock climbing or a dance class. A little friendly competition encourages witty interaction, laughing and touching. It’s a win-win, right?
What have been some of your favorite first dates? Tell us your date ideas in the comments below!