Unusual First Date Ideas You Should Definitely Try

First dates are the beginning of almost any relationship. Which makes them so important as they can define the kind of relationship you’re going to have with that other person. As early as the first date, you would know if you have enough connection and chemistry, or if you’re both better off as friends (or friends with benefits).

So if you just recently scored a date and you're clueless on what to do, you came to the right place! This article lists the best ideas for every feeling you want to evoke on your first date. It really doesn’t matter who asked who. Men are no longer expected to make the first move and ask the woman out. Women today are being more open and courageous to go after what they want and make things happen. 

first date ideas brunch

With that, regardless of your gender or your current status in life, we're sure you'll find the best idea for your first date in this article.

Awesome First Date Ideas for Any Occasion

How you plan your first date depends on you and your date’s interests. Of course, you wouldn’t want a boring first date—you should plan the date which both of you would enjoy. 

Likewise, you should get the most out of the date activity that you plan. You should get to know the other person on your first date to see if there’s potential for a relationship. Lastly, your date shall depend on how much you’re willing to spend.

Here are 20 different date ideas which are categorized depending on how you want your first date to be:

Slow & Romantic: Dates That Can Make Your Date Swoon

1. Have a picnic

Before you decide to have a picnic, you first need to check the weather on the day you’re planning to have your first date. If the prediction says it’s going to rain, it’s better to reschedule or prepare for another date idea. If all is clear with the weather, next is to find a beautiful, nearby park where people actually do picnics.

Go to your local grocery store or farmer’s market to buy the ingredients of the meal you are going to prepare. A picnic is a great first idea because it's not too expensive, but it isn't cheap either. The setting is perfect for a nice getting-to-know-you conversation.

first date ideas romantic

With that, don't forget to bring a nice bottle of wine (and the wine glasses) to help loosen your inhibitions. A note: you don’t need a wooden basket — you can use any bag to carry everything as long as you handle it with care!

Pro-Tip: Add something special to it. You could, for example, both agree on wearing something extra fancy or sophisticated. That will make a date extra funny when you're sitting at a park in between all those "ordinary" people. 

2. Go to a scenic point

Especially if you live in a city where scenic points are near and accessible, spending the day sightseeing is a great way to get to know someone. 

Not only will you have a lot of time to talk during the drive, but once you get there, the scenery would inevitably evoke calm and peaceful feelings that could open up your date’s heart to you. You may get to see deeper than what meets the eye.

After sightseeing, you could end the date with a nice meal nearby and have a glass of wine before the ride home.

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3. Relax on a spa

This could be an unlikely first date idea, but if you and your date are both into wellness and relaxation, then a spa trip could be a great one! 

Most spas offer packages for couples, which intends for the couple to have a fantastic time together. Usually, the couple is booked for different activities together, which allows them to relax and talk at an intimate space. 

There are only two things that can happen here: either you get closer or awkwardness would fill the air. At least, it’s clear what you should do next!

4. Visit a flea market

Local flea markets are good places to spend the first date especially during the weekend. Flea markets are often lively with people, activities, and good finds. 

To make things more fun, you can come up with a list of items to find for a scavenger hunt. Define a really tight budget, and see how each of you can get creative with it.

5. Look at the stars at a planetarium

Go to a nearby planetarium that allows visitors to stargaze freely. You don’t need to know all the constellations — just admire the stars with your date. Stargazing is equally romantic with watching the sunrise together.

Exciting & Adventurous: Dates That Pump Up The Adrenaline

1. Try the extreme rides at an amusement park

Extreme rides at a theme park is always a fun idea, especially if you or your date is scared to try them! It gives you an adrenaline rush which only sends off happy vibes. 

Conquer your fears together and prepare yourself for a fun and exciting ride. Just have the napkins ready in case one of you throws up at the end!

first date ideas stroll

2. Explore your city like a tourist

Make an itinerary for visiting some of the famous tourist spots in your city. If you’re not familiar, you could search the Internet for some of these spots. You could also rent a bike to ride around town if these spots are approximate with each other.

This first date idea is not just fun and exciting, but could also be a learning experience for both of you. You could see your city in a totally new light — possibly learning the rich history behind some of the tourist spots. 

3. Go on a hike

If you both like the outdoors, you can ask your date if he or she is game to hike somewhere nearby your location. It’s important that you and your date are not beginner hikers! 

You should be able to pick a safe point where you no longer need a guide. Go somewhere where one of you have already hiked before. Nothing is more romantic than sitting side by side, watching the sunrise together.

4. Release your inner competitiveness at an arcade

Experience the innocence of being a kid again and have a friendly competition at your local arcade. Try the different games from racing to Pac-man, all the way to scoring hoops in the basketball section. 

Keep tabs on who wins which games and tally the score at the end. To make things even more fun, state a bet or agree that the loser has to do a consequence!

5. Go on a road trip

If you and your date are both free-spirited, you can just hop in the car and go for a ride with or without a destination. Sometimes, a good old road trip with good music is the only thing you need to get to know the other person. Spontaneity can bring out the soul of a person and can make you see if you connect.

Fun & Cute: Dates That Bring Giggles Out

first date ideas bowling

1. Try scoring a strike at a bowling alley

A date to the bowling alley is very casual with a big chance of intimacy. Sign up for a one-on-one game and see who scores a strike first. 

Don’t be afraid of slight touching such as nudges and high-fives from your date. Don’t be awkward!

2. Play a round of mini golf

Yes, there are still mini golf courses somewhere in your city, and yes you could still have an enjoyable time playing them. Even when you’re inexperienced, learning the ropes of mini golf can be a pleasurable learning experience. 

Your inner competitiveness will show, and that’s fine! Don’t forget to arm yourself with pick-up lines and conversation starters just in case there’s dead air.

3. Jump on an indoor trampoline park

Trampoline parks are not just for kids. It could be fun for adults, too. Indoor trampoline parks hold a lot of fun events for adults like zero gravity dance party or an exercise class. Some also have games such as basketball and dodgeball. 

Just check out the schedule of the nearest indoor trampoline park near you and decide if you want to join an event or go there just to play.

4. Conquer the walls of rock climbing

Even if neither of you knows how to climb walls, that’s okay! That will even be more fun for both of you. You could have a friendly competition on who gets to climb the top first. 

Make things even more exciting by deciding on a prize for the winner and a consequence for the loser.

5. Meet for breakfast and dress as if you were in the 50s

If you want to stray away from the cliche, why not try and set up a breakfast date in 1951? You can ask your date to meet you at early morning, dressed in a pastel dress or a popped collar for men. 

Speak in formal languages, and if you're a woman, try to be as coy as possible. If you could, try to go to a similar themed mom and pop, where every nook is delightful to be photographed.

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Chic & Fancy: Dates That Show Off Your Culture and Money

1. Get a reservation in an expensive restaurant

Dinner date in a fancy restaurant can either be the best idea or the worst. Some people don’t like to be watched when they’re eating; it can make them self-conscious. However, if none of you mind an intimate dinner, this can be an excellent place to get to know each other.

Most fine dining restaurants have a long line of a waiting list, so it’s better to get a reservation as soon as possible if you don’t have connections.

2. Look over the city through a helicopter

Yes, you can rent a helicopter if you don’t own one! Seeing the city through a bird’s eye view would surely make your date squeal. It’s a thrilling experience, and for sure he or she would definitely have fun. Wouldn’t you want to see the awe from his or her eyes and smile from his or her lips?

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first date ideas wine tasting

3. Do some wine tasting at the nearest winery + vineyard

A drive to the closest winery and vineyard is a fantastic idea for a classic first date. You could do some wine tasting and find out (or affirm) what your favorite kind of wine is, which could be a good foundation for your next dates (you now know what to drink!). 

You could also learn more about how wines are made and what flavors exist in each type of wine. Not only will you have an enjoyable time, but you will also learn a thing or two.

4. Visit a museum or an art gallery

If you want to have an intellectual, cultural date, you could tour museums or art galleries, and feel the essence of the paintings with your date. 

Especially if you are both into art and philosophy, you could share your knowledge and opinions about specific pieces. Usually, sharing intellectual stuff would make you realize if you and your date are in the same wavelength, which is very important in a relationship.

5. Go to an art exhibit opening

Nothing is more chic and fancy than attending an art exhibit opening. At these occasions, you are dressed to impress, and there’s free-flowing wine. You get to meet with the artists and possibly bid on a piece you are really fond of. 

Going to an art exhibit opening allows you to see how your date mingles with other people, too, which is crucial if you are a socialite or just a person who likes attending these kinds of events.

Chill & Non-costly: Nice Dates That Don’t Empty the Wallets

1. Have a stroll when the sun sets

Choose a place where the breeze is cool and fresh, and the orange glow of the sunset basks in your skin. It can be by the beach, along with the coast, or the boardwalk along the pier. This wouldn’t cost a dime, but the quality time you get is undeniably precious.

2. Drink a cooler by the water

This date idea can be connected to the one above if you choose to have a sunset stroll by the beach. Before your stroll, you could first chill on a beach mat and have some drinks. 

You could also have a picnic by the lake or by the riverside. Get a picnic mat and prepare ahead by mixing some cocktails stored in a thermal jug. You could even go for a quick swim if the temperature permits!

first date ideas park

3. Tour a botanical garden

Some cities have large botanical gardens that are free to visit and spend time in. Botanical gardens usually have spaces for a picnic, an area for outdoor activities, park animals, and lots and lots of plants and flowers. After touring these gardens, you can have a picnic and even feed some of the animals.

4. Take a nature walk

There are many different kinds of a nature walk. One is a coastal walk, where you can visit different beach coasts. Another is by following a mountain trail. Usually, there is already a path to follow for these different types of walks and the level of difficulty can be searched online. Nature walks allow you to have a quiet moment with your date.

5. Go to a used bookstore

Especially if both of you love the magical feeling of getting lost in books, a date to a used bookstore would be so romantic! You could look for a book that you would buy, which you will give to each other after you leave the bookstore. 

A nice cup of coffee would be great too after a trip to the bookstore so you could discuss your favorite books!

First dates can be a bit tricky. As mentioned earlier, it can make or break if there will be a date number two. But don’t be nervous! For sure, your date is worried as well. 

You can make a first date go very smoothly. If you need some real advice, check our article on First Date Tips to make sure you get off on the right foot.

Bad First Date Ideas You Should Ditch

first date ideas cinema

If there are good first date ideas, there are also ideas that you best skip pondering on. These date ideas are counterproductive to the purpose of a first date which is to get to know the other person. Here is a short list of bad first date ideas:

1. Going to the movies

This is probably one of the most popular first date activities, as it does not require much thought and preparation. But really, how could you get to know the other person when you need to keep mouths shut for almost two hours? Unless of course, you are both movie buffs and the post-processing of the movie in some restaurant can make up for it.

2. Attending a concert

As mentioned above, the point of a first date is getting to know your date. If you’re at a concert (even if you both like the artist), it’s impossible to get to know one another, unless you are willing to scream over the loud music or the screaming fans. If you are, expect to lose your voice the following day.

3. Partying at a club

This is a terrible idea. The club is one of the places where you meet new people, not bring one you want to get to know more. Bringing your date to a club opens up the opportunities for him or her to find other date prospects. Also, if you’re alcohol tolerance is low, you wouldn’t want your date to take care of you when you get drunk. This could turn him or her off, or could possibly lead to a one night stand instead of a relationship.

4. Group activities with your friends

Never bring your date to a gathering with your friends on a first date! Your date doesn’t need to meet your friends at this point in the relationship. It would be awkward not just for your date, but for your friends, too.

5. Netflix & Chill

If you decide to have your first date at home, it could send a signal to your date that all you want is to get laid. So ditch the Netflix for the meantime, you can have that when you’ve established your intentions well enough.


Planning your first date is important. But not to the extent that all your moves are rigidly calculated. You should be open to spontaneity and improvisation when suddenly, something goes out of the way of your plan. 

Of course, you should also be confident and prepare yourself for things that you may need to have like conversation starters just in case the good old awkward silence decides to pay a visit to your date. Read up on our First Date Tips to make sure you’re prepped and ready.

If you don’t have a date yet, but you’re really excited to have one, why not try signing up for Dating Sites? Maybe your lucky date is just waiting for that one click!

DatingScout.com Author Chris Pleines
Chris Pleines
Founder of Dating Scout and Author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies"
Chris founded Dating Scout 15 years ago, and today he is one of the leading Online Dating Experts. He is the author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies" and the author of the Internet's largest online dating study analyzing 20 Million Profile Pictures with artificial intelligence. Chris Pleines holds a master degree in media science and appeared in numerous television interviews and publications to give expert advice as well as tips about online dating.