50 Unusual First Date Ideas You Should Definitely Try

Most of the time, a relationship begins with a first date. This first meeting is critical because it might show what’s to come in your relationship. On a first date, you’ll learn if you and your date click and share common interests or if you're better off as friends.

So, if you just recently scored a date and you're clueless about 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 50 different date ideas which are categorised 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.

6. Candlelit Dinner at Home

What could be more romantic than a dinner by candlelight right in your own home? You can cook a meal together, which is a fun way to bond and learn about each other's likes and kitchen skills, or order from a favorite restaurant to bring the fine dining experience to your doorstep. Set the table with some nice dishes, light a few candles, and play soft background music to create a cozy and romantic atmosphere.

7. Virtual Escape Room

If you both love a good challenge, a virtual escape room is a fantastic way to spend your date. You'll work together to solve puzzles and find clues, all through your computer screens. It's a great way to see how well you work together under pressure and have some laughs. Plus, you can choose from a variety of themes to find one that really sparks your interest.

8. Stargazing in a Convertible Car

Drive out to a peaceful spot, recline the seats in a convertible car, and gaze up at the stars. It’s a simple yet incredibly romantic way to spend time together. Watching the vast sky full of stars gives you plenty to talk about, or you can enjoy the silence and the beauty of the night sky together. Make sure to bring along some blankets and your favourite snacks for added comfort.

9. Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

Imagine floating up in the air as the sun rises, colouring the sky with shades of orange and pink. A hot air balloon ride gives you stunning views and quiet moments above the ground. It's a thrilling and beautiful start to the day and definitely, a date you'll talk about for years to come.

10. Private Boat Ride

Renting a small boat or taking a ferry ride at sunset is an incredibly peaceful way to enjoy each other's company. With water all around, the two of you can feel like you’re in your little world. Pack some light snacks and maybe a blanket to cuddle under as you watch the sunset paint the sky from the best seats in town—on the water.

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.

6. Ziplining in a nearby park

Imagine soaring like a bird, feeling the breeze as you zip over trees and streams. This date idea is perfect for those who love a bit of excitement and want to enjoy beautiful views thrillingly. Many local parks offer ziplining courses that cater to all levels of experience, so you don't need to be a pro to have fun. It's a great way to share laughs and a sense of adventure with your date.

7. Surfing lessons at the beach

There's something incredibly fun about trying to stand up on a surfboard and ride the waves. Taking surfing lessons together on a beach date is a fantastic way to enjoy the sun and sea while learning something new. Whether you manage to stay up or end up splashing into the water, you'll create plenty of fun memories together.

8. Indoor skydiving

Experience the rush of skydiving in a safe and controlled environment. Indoor skydiving facilities use powerful wind tunnels that let you float and fly without jumping from a plane. It's an exhilarating date that will get your heart racing in a good way. Plus, it's a great option regardless of the weather outside.

9. Nighttime kayaking under city lights

Kayaking at night offers a new perspective on a city. Paddle along quiet waterways and enjoy the glowing lights reflecting off the water. This peaceful experience can be very romantic, giving you and your date a chance to chat and enjoy the calm waters together, all while seeing familiar sights from a new angle.

10. Bungee jumping is for couples who want to push their limits. Jumping from a high platform with nothing but a bungee cord attached is definitely a way to make a memorable date. It's a thrilling activity that bonds people through shared adrenaline and excitement. You'll be talking about this experience for years to come!

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.

6. DIY Pottery or Painting Night

Turn your living room into a mini art studio for the evening! Grab some clay for pottery or paints and canvases, and let your creativity flow. It’s a relaxing way to spend time together and learn more about each other's artistic side. Plus, you’ll have a handmade memento to remember your date by.

7. Themed Dress-Up Karaoke Night

Pick a fun theme—maybe the '80s, superheroes, or pop stars—and dress up as your favourite characters. Then, sing your hearts out together! It's a playful and light-hearted way to break the ice and enjoy some good laughs over your favourite tunes.

8. Puppy Play Date

If you both love animals, spending time at a local animal shelter or a pet café can be a heartwarming experience. Playing with puppies is fun and a great way to see each other’s caring side. Plus, it’s a sweet and simple date that’s hard to forget!

9. Indoor Picnic with a Fort

If it looks like rain, no problem—create an indoor picnic right in your living room. Build a cosy fort with blankets and pillows, add snacks and a game or two, and enjoy a special hideaway from the outside world. It’s perfect for sharing stories and laughs in a snug setting.

10. Board Game Café

Find a local café where you can try out various board games. Whether you're into strategy games, adventures, or classic games like chess, it's fun to challenge each other and enjoy playful competition. It’s a great choice for a casual, laid-back date, especially on a rainy day.

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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 favourite 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.

6. Opera or symphony night

Get all dressed up and spend an evening immersed in the beautiful sounds of a live opera or symphony. This is a chance to experience some of the most powerful and moving music ever written and performed by talented musicians. It's a great opportunity to share something special with your date and enjoy an evening of cultural sophistication.

7. Gourmet food tasting event

Check out a local food festival or gourmet food tasting. These events are perfect for trying a variety of dishes and flavors that you might not usually pick from a menu. It’s a fun and interactive way to eat and talk, and you can learn about each other's tastes and preferences as you sample different foods.

8. Private art viewing

Some art galleries offer private viewings where you can explore art collections without the crowds. This can be a personal and intimate experience, allowing you and your date to discuss your thoughts and feelings about the art in a quiet setting. It’s a unique date idea that can help deepen your connection.

9. Wine and painting class: Join a wine and painting class to relax, have fun, and get creative. Even if you're not an artist, this activity is about enjoying the process and spending quality time together. Plus, you get to bring home your artwork as a memento of your date.

10. Fine dining in a revolving restaurant: Enjoy a meal in a revolving restaurant that offers panoramic city views. This setting combines delicious food with breathtaking views that change as you dine. It's a wonderful way to make the evening memorable and show your date a great time.

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!

6. Seasonal Fruit Picking

Head to a local farm and pick seasonal fruits like fall apples or summer berries. This fun activity not only lets you enjoy the outdoors but also gives you the chance to work together. Afterwards, you can take your fresh haul home and make homemade jam. It’s a sweet way to create something together and enjoy the fruits of your labour!

7. Volunteer Together

Spend a meaningful day helping at a community event or a local shelter. Whether you're handing out meals, organizing books, or walking dogs, volunteering can strengthen your bond and give you a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it's a chance to see each other's compassionate side.

8. Free Community Concert

Find a local band or orchestra playing at a park and plan a relaxed evening of music under the stars. Bring a blanket and some snacks, and enjoy the live music together. It’s a great way to experience culture without spending a dime, and the relaxed setting makes it easy to chat and connect.

9. Historical Walking Tour of Your City

Take a walking tour and discover your city's hidden gems and stories. It's a low-key way to exercise while learning about the interesting places you might usually pass by without noticing. Plus, sharing what you know about different spots can add a personal touch to the date.

10. Home Movie Night with a Projector

Transform your living room into a mini cinema for the night. Set up a projector, spread out some comfy blankets and pillows, and make a big bowl of popcorn. Pick a couple of movies you both love or have wanted to see. It's the perfect setup for a cosy night in, where you can laugh, cry, or get thrilled together right from your couch.

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.au Author Chris Pleines
Chris Pleines
Founder of Datingscout and Author of the book "Online Dating for Dummies"
Chris founded Datingscout 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.