1. Took my first girlfriend to a roller rink. Absolute blast, lots of handholding.
2. Botanical gardens, especially if you memorize some interesting facts about some of the plants. Bonus points if you pack a picnic basket.
3. A good local breakfast spot. If they’re willing to meet you at 8 in the morning, you know they’re into you.
4. I love aquariums! They’re my favorite place. All those pretty fishies.
5. An arcade or carnival. Play some games, good people watching, eat some food, lots of opportunities for flirting and friendly competition.
6. Mini golf. It’s fun, lasts an appropriate amount of time, and no one is good at it. You can tell if your date is competitive, easy-going, and/or funny. As a bonus, you can make out inside of a hollowed out dinosaur if things go well!
7. A museum. Loads of cool shit to look at, talk about, absorb. Plus, if your date turns out to be a jerk, it won’t feel like a waste of a few hours.
8. A used bookstore. It gives you a real feel for what sorts of things they are interested in, and you can pick one book for each other to read.
9. Depending on the season, berry picking and a picnic in summer, or pumpkin patch in fall. Then make a pie together if it goes well.
10. Ted Talk events. Shit’s fun and you get to learn a lot about the other person. Plus there are tons of food and exhibitions and new tech you can try. Plenty of time to talk with each other and also you literally can’t run out of things to discuss since you’re literally at a Ted Talk with people talking about all kinds of topics. After all the speakers, there is usually an after-party at an art gallery where you can meet your favorite speakers and also drink booze. Overall, I had a girl who wasn’t super into me (I hit all 3 of her dealbreakers) tell me multiple times and to other people that it was the best date she’s ever had.
11. Trivia night! You can see if they are smart and you can use the questions as new topics to talk about. It’s really an effortless date and worked like a charm for me!
12. Picnic next to a river/brook/creek can be fun. You can throw pebbles together, rent a canoe, burn marshmallows, share stories, fly paper planes, do camping, observe fireflies, if the river water is clear you can swim, take a hike along the river, play a music instrument, and so on.
13. Escape rooms are pretty fun! Also pretty neat on first-dates if you are not very great at small-talk.
14. The library. My date and I had fun poring over the stacks before going out for dinner.
15. If you know where the food trucks are in your city, then you’ll have a great time/will need a decent amount of money beforehand….
16. Go down to the beach for ice cream. If you can’t enjoy something simple like that with them, no point wasting money on fancier dates.
17. Farmers market, best spot. You’re not stuck face to face with them, there are a ton of interesting things to talk about, and you’ll know they’re fun.
18. Cooking class. It would be fun to learn/make something together.
19. A toy store. “Help me with a birthday present for my niece” is a great excuse for a date. Playing with toys can be a lot of fun.
20. Go buy an item of clothing together. They can tell you what they think you look best in, which also shows you a lot. And it’s a bonus for the next get together.
21. Bowling is super underrated especially if both of you are bad at it.
22. Just walking around a city. Sightseeing.
23. Karaoke bar. If they’re into the same music, can make some unforgettable great memories.
24. Take a girl to get an inexpensive massage. It makes them feel relaxed and awesome with you lying next to them. Always leads to a nice kiss when the masseuses leave the room and you are there alone with her.
25. Ice skating. Especially if one of you knows how to skate. Loads of fun with hand holding and stuff. And you get to teach them a new skill!
26. Sporting event. Everyone’s happy. You can grab some beers, talk, cheer and have a great time. Can be even more fun if you’re rooting for opposite sides, because then you don’t have to feel bad when you walk out on her and her bullshit cheating ass team.
27. Small theaters. Like the ones that have a stage, but a small building. I have one in my town and it’s owned by the dance studio family next door. I know almost the entire theater, I’ve been backstage, side stage, in the audience and in the lobby. The studio put on shows (mostly comedy) and the actors are some of my dance teachers. It’s hilarious to watch my teacher wear an old lady costume (with a massive fake ass) yell at her coworkers asking where her dentures were. They’re funny as hell and an absolute delight and I’ve found hidden treasures at local small theaters.
28. At home – a movie night with dinner delivered, no dressing to impress, just relaxing and enjoying each other in a comfortable place.
29. The zoo. There’s tons of variety in scenery and always something to talk about. Plus every animal is someone’s favorite animal.
30. I love taking first dates to bumper cars. Both of you have mad fun and don’t have to talk almost literally at all. You get to go get a coffee or dinner in a great mood having essentially skipped the awkward unfamiliarity of a first date.
Also big warning signs about anger management issues and control philosophies emerge so you can dodge bullets and cars at the same time!
31. Amusement parks. It’ll be fun and they will associate you with the fun date (if you haven’t been dating for long) and unlike watching movies (which isn’t bad, it’s still fun) you can talk while you’re there and you learn about each other.
32. A hiking trail. You might get to see something cool while you’re out there, enjoy a beautiful view and really get to know each other.
33. My ex and I used to go on Walmart dates. We’d just walk around Walmart looking at shit and talking.