55 First Date Ideas That Are Actually Really Good

55 First Date Ideas That Are Actually Really Good

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First date jitters are real. And for those who feel the pressure of making a great first impression, deciding on the perfect date activity to woo a could-be new flame can be tough. Whether you’ve been messaging each other for a while but haven’t yet met in person or you’ve been part of the same friend group and this will be your first time hanging one-on-one, your first date should include plenty of opportunity for you all to converse and connect, and also limit any interactions that could potentially be awkward. That’s why we’ve taken the liberty of providing you with tons of fun first date ideas that will help you to break the ice and take that first step to your happily ever after... maybe!

Several of the options you’ll find below are great for winter dates, because they can be done indoors. Others here will better suit a fall date or summer date, when the weather is more conducive to exploring the great outdoors. Even if you’re sparking a connection that will be long-distance for a while, we’ve included romantic and unique date ideas that can be carried out virtually.

No matter if you’re leaning towards something more low-key or are trying to create the most iconic first date experience they’ve had yet, these ideas are sure to help you two hit it off. Plus, if you still need a bit more inspo, you can always check out a few of these date night subscriptions.

senior couple walking on footbridge in park
David Jakle - Getty Images

Active First Dates

  • Go go karting. If they're competitive, they won't pass up the opportunity to see you eat their dust as they race you to the finish line.

  • Take a walk. Lace up your sneakers and get outside. Choose a well-lit, populated walking trail, a local park or take a stroll around your hometown's Main Street together. If you run out of conversation topics, you can always comment on the scenery.

  • Go skating. Whether you choose ice or roller, skating's a classic date. You can hold hands to steady yourselves and laugh at each other's wobbling if you aren't expert skaters. Stop for hot cocoa or swing by the snack bar afterward to keep the fun going.

  • Play tennis or pickleball. If you haven't hopped aboard the pickleball train yet, what are you waiting for? It's a fun way to get your blood pumping and the rules are easy enough for anyone to learn quickly.

  • Take a dance class. Sure, anyone can go dancing at the club. But taking a class to get your two left feet to cooperate will prove that learning is hot.

  • Do couples' yoga. There's nothing like deep breathing and meditative movement to make you feel closer. Plus, you'll have that healthy glow afterward.

  • Play putt putt. If you haven't hit the (kiddie) links since you were in school, there's no time like the present. The cheesier the course, the better.

  • Ride bikes. Take another page out of the neighborhood kids' book and go for a bike ride. Bonus if it ends in an adorable picnic.

  • Try rock climbing. Test your upper body strength at an indoor climbing gym. Don't worry; most have instructors on hand for total newbies.

  • Go kayaking or canoeing. This one's got an element of risk to it, since you'll have to cooperate on rowing and you'll be stuck in a boat together if it goes poorly. So if you're skittish, stick close to the shore so you can abandon ship if need be.

  • Play paintball or laser tag. They're not just for teens' birthday parties anymore.

  • Try ax-throwing. If your date is a murderer, at least you'll know right away. (Just kidding!)

couple kissing and working in pottery
SimonSkafar - Getty Images

Creative First Dates

  • Take a paint and sip class. Trust us, even the least artistic people on the planet can create something pretty at one of these events. Plus, you'll get to see how they are at following directions.

  • Make a meal together. Whether you're the next Ina Garten or more of a David from Schitt's Creek in the kitchen, creating something yummy together is a delicious date.

  • Build a fire. Tap into your inner Boy or Girl Scout and make a roaring fire, indoors or at a fire-approved outdoor locale. Don't forget the s'mores!

  • Learn a tik-tok dance. Yes, you'll look silly. No, you probably won't go viral. But if there's a better way to get over first date jitters than dancing around like a goofball, we've never heard of it.

  • Make a craft. Pick up a crafting kit if you're not the DIY type, or drag out the supplies for your favorite artsy hobby and make something with your hands. Even if the sparks don't fly, you'll have something to show for your time.

  • Sing karaoke. Either you'll impress your date with your singing talent or you'll get to laugh together at your tone-deafness. It's a blast, either way.

  • Take a cooking class. Sharpening your knife skills and enjoying a meal you made with your own two hands? There's no way you won't have a great time.

  • Visit an art gallery. Nothing makes you feel creative than checking out others' masterful works. Plus, there's a ton of conversation fodder all around you.

  • Paint each others' nails. A fresh mani-pedi makes everybody feel like a new person, regardless of your gender. It also basically forces you to focus on each other.

  • Read a romance novel together. They're basically an instruction manual for love, right? The spicier and more blush-inducing, the better.

lesbian couple or friends drinking wine at kitchen
FG Trade - Getty Images

Indoor First Dates

  • Attend a comedy show. What better way to break the ice than with laughter? You both will be in stitches all night long and you can even follow up the show with drinks or dessert.

  • Go see a play. Much talking won't take place during the show, but real theater fans will want to chat about all of their favorite parts as soon as you leave your seats.

  • Try out a subscription box. If you've known each other forever, hanging out at home isn't farfetched. In fact, a long term friend turned lover would probably love the opportunity to DIY, cook or create your own escape room as long as you're together. Plus, the box will already include everything you need to create a unique, two-person experience.

  • Hit up a museum. History, science, or a weird and zany offering (World's Largest Ball of Twine, anyone?), museums give you lots to think about. Debrief what you learn at the cafe afterward.

  • Challenge them to trivia. We've all got at least one topic we could expound upon for hours. Find out theirs.

  • Watch a sports game. Even high school basketball can be a ton of fun if you really get into it. And we suggest you really get into it.

  • Go wine or beer tasting. Local wineries, breweries and even distilleries usually have tours and tastings. Learn something new about your favorite tipple for a fun alternative to the typical drinks date.

  • Shop for antiques. Challenge each other to find the strangest, coolest or creepiest item at the shop.

  • Go to an arcade. Get in touch with your middle school self and hang out at an arcade. They may even win you a stuffed animal.

  • See a play or a concert. OK, this one does have a lot in common with dinner and a movie. But supporting the arts is hot, and you can learn a lot about somebody by which music or plays they suggest.

  • Visit an aquarium. Did you know clams can "scoot" across the ocean floor? Replenish your bank of cocktail party conversation starters with some fun fish facts.

  • See a drag show. Fun, flirty and sometimes adult-themed, drag shows are an absolute blast. Don't forget to bring singles for tipping.

  • Go bowling. Those shoes may not do your outfit any favors, but is there a more creative way to flirt than asking them to help correct your form? Didn't think so.

  • Make tie-dye. Getting into the tie-dye trend means you'll have a homemade memento of your first outing.

couple lying in park
South_agency - Getty Images

Cute First Dates

  • Visit a winery. Everyone loves a good charcuterie board, a glass of wine and a good view. Try some new varietal or introduce them to some of your favorites.

  • Have a picnic. There's something so sweet about eating outside. Grab a blanket or just an old sheet and bring your favorite wine, cheese and crackers, cut-up fruit and vegetables or whatever else your little heart desires.

  • Choose library books for each other. Since you can't talk about a certain level in the library, pick out books that you think suit the other person then read them to each other over coffee afterward.

  • Visit a cat cafe. The two of you won't be the only cute ones in attendance.

  • Get ice cream or dessert. President Joe Biden is really onto something: No one should ever pass an ice cream parlor without stopping for a scoop. If it's not ice cream season, try pie, cake, cookies — you get the idea.

  • Shop for records. Paging through the bins for the best find will get you chatting about your favorite artists.

  • Go stargazing. Yes, there's an app for that. Cozy blanket, hot beverages and cuddling highly recommended.

  • Play a board game. Drag out your old favorites or head to a gaming cafe to test drive some new ones. Loser has to buy dinner or drinks afterward.

  • Pretend to be tourists. Every city or town has something only the tourists do, even if it's just a walk down the main drag. Do that, and fall in love with your hometown (and hopefully your date, too!)

  • Go bird-watching. It's trendy right now for a reason. Trust us, the excitement of catching a new-to-you species is infectious.

  • Check out the zoo. Watching the adorable antics of the animals there will get you giggling, guaranteed.

  • Shop at a thrift store. Set yourselves a budget and pick out outfits for each other; the more creative, the better.

excited friends playing video games
filadendron - Getty Images

Long-Distance Appropriate Dates

  • Play "never have I ever." It can be hard to keep up a conversation on a first video date. Up the ante with the classic game.

  • Walk down memory lane. Open up that camera roll, scroll back and back and back, and share stories of the person you were before you met. It's bound to bring you closer.

  • Try a new-to-you cuisine. This one works especially well if you're far apart: Order a type of food you've never had before and give it a shot together.

  • Share childhood favorites. Yes, we said dinner and a movie was off the table. But we'll break our own rule for queuing up a flick that really captures your childhood. Popcorn is mandatory.

  • Eat breakfast for dinner. How do you like your eggs? There's a lot to be said for someone who has definitive opinions on over easy vs. scrambled.

  • Hold a chocolate tasting. Grab a few bars of different flavors or varieties and test out whether chocolate really is an aphrodisiac.

  • Play a video game. If you're not usually a gamer, even better. Video games are so much more fun when you're both equally great or terrible at them.

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