First Dates can have you feeling all of the emotions. You’re excited, anxious, nervous, happy, and scared all at the same time…the unknown can be torturous, but the excitement that this might be your person makes you happy to go.
But then all the questions start coming. “I need first date ideas! Where should we go? What should we do? What are we going to talk about? Oh no, what if he doesn’t like me? What if I embarrass myself?!”
We’ve all been there and have felt all the feelings. First dates can actually be really fun, and they can be as casual or as adventurous as you feel comfortable. We have some of the Best First Date Ideas that are Fun, Creative, Cute, and Casual for you to choose which is best for you!
My favorite First Date Ideas are to do something exciting, different, and fun. First dates are all about getting to know the person you are going out with, but also seeing how the two of you connect. And you can also tell a lot about a person depending on the date you choose.
Depending on if you already know this person or not, can help determine what you should do on a first date.
Tinder Date Vs. Acquaintance Date
Let’s just define a “Tinder Date” as a date with someone you met on a dating app, online, or anywhere else where you have not met this person in real life before. If you’ve briefly met someone randomly on the street, but don’t know anything about them…I’d put them in this category too.
An “Acquaintance Date” is a date with someone who you already know a little in real life. You pretty much know they aren’t a serial killer, and know you two are both interested in getting to know each other.
Depending on if you are going on a first date with a “tinder date” or a first date on an “acquaintance date can help you determine which of these first date ideas would be good for you.
You’re not going to want to do anything without a good escape plan if you’ve never met in real life.
What Makes the Best First Date?
The best first dates are going to be dates that you actually enjoy. These are going to be dates that you not only enjoy the person you are with, but the activity.
Don’t get me wrong, you can have the best date with someone just sitting on the porch if they’re the right person for you. But trying to find the Best First Date Ideas, we recommend something that is unique and memorable. Find the most exciting first date ideas on our list below and come up with a few options.
We’ve put together an awesome list of everything from cheap first date ideas to creative first date ideas and low key first date ideas to awesome first date ideas. Check them out and pick your favorites…
You can even use these for your second date ideas and third and fourth…you get the picture!
Tips for Choosing a Perfect First Date Idea
Figure Out What They Like
A perfect first date is going to be different for everyone. Depending on what you like and don’t like can make any date perfect or terrible. Try to get some info out of them and see what they like to eat, favorite dessert, favorite band, game, etc. Paying attention to these details and incorporating them into your first date together will help make it a memorable first date.
Stick to Public Place If You’ve Never Met
If it’s a Tinder Date, you’ll probably want to meet for a quicker date to see if you are even compatible in real life. You might want to keep it more low key and casual rather than jump into something that might take a while. Stick to a public place, and have a good exit strategy if its not going well.
Have a Plan B
All good plans can have bumps in the road. You decide to take them out to play in the grass and they are allergic, or your date idea is outside and its going to be raining that day. Just have another idea of something else you can do in your back pocket and be ready for anything.
Short Date or Long Date
This is going to depend on how well you know the person. If you don’t know them that well and you aren’t sure if you can spend the entire day together, then opt for one of the shorter dates on the list. If you know them pretty well and are excited to spend all day together, find an active date that you can enjoy longer than a meal. Better yet, turn a couple of these first date ideas into one long date to enjoy the whole day with them.
Low Key and Casual First Date Ideas
Don’t want any pressure of getting dressed up, having to act all formal, or going out to do something that’s hard to bail on? Try one of the low key first date ideas that will allow you a good exit strategy, keep you in public, and even allow for a longer date if you so desire.
Go Out For Drinks
One of the most classic first date ideas is to go out for drinks together. This is a popular option because it becomes a very casual and low-key date that can last as long as you want…or don’t want. Grabbing a drink together takes the pressure off of having to entertain each other for the entire night at dinner or a longer date night.
Start off with one drink, and see how you do. If you’re not feeling it, or find any red flags, you can make up an excuse to bail after that one drink.
This date is also very popular because you are in a public setting which is a smart idea going on a date with someone you have never met before.
Did you decide to meet up during the day? Try a smoothie date! It’s still just as relaxed and low-key as going out for drinks, but you get to grab a smoothie to enjoy. Order your smoothies and sit outside to talk and get to know each other. Or grab your smoothies and go take a walk together.
This could even be a great add-on to an active first date you had and end it at the smoothie place where the two of you can talk and bond about your previous date activities.
Another one of the great casual first date ideas would be to play the bar or restaurant games. Turn your drink date a little more active and go play corn hole outside. Lots of bars have pool, darts, and other fun random games that would be cool to give it a shot. This will even allow you to see a bit of a different side to that person with their competitiveness.
Start off your date at a coffee house. Find a good place that has all the options from coffees and tea to juices and hot chocolates, so that your date can find something they like. Bonus points if you already know what they like to drink, because you can cater the date to that.
Whenever a guy asked me out for a coffee date, it was a sign they didn’t know me at all, or didn’t pay attention. I actually hate coffee so this would have been a terrible date for me. Figure out what they like and plan the date around that.
Need a little more time but not sure if dinner is your answer? How about a lunch date? Lunch dates are a bit more casual, because you can go to lunch with a friend. It kind of gives you that buffer of trying to figure out if this is going to be a just friends thing, or something that may turn into more of a dinner date.
One of my first dates was a lunch date and we had tons of fun. He ended up asking me to dinner the very same night! (I wasn’t playing any of the dating games at the time, so no, I didn’t fake having plans) I went home to relax and change to a more formal type of date when we went to dinner.
Lunch dates give you that option. You can extend a lunch date to go do something else after, or say your goodbyes.
Head to a local museum and walk around all the exhibits. This give you lots of time to talk with each other, but also helps you find things to talk about as well, as you continue to navigate what to say to each other. This gives you a common bond of both having been to the museum, and will allow them to remember a more unique date than just sitting at a coffee shop.
Brunch is another low key first date idea where you have the option to extend the date or not. (Remembering the other person may have plans after the date as well.) Brunch is a fun little spin on your typically dinner date, where you can meet earlier in the day and enjoy a relaxing meal.
Sometimes they even have bottomless mimosas available, which can help everyone get comfortable and easier to plan the next thing together if there’s interest.
Another casual and super cheap date would be to stroll a bookstore. This helps give you loads of topic to talk about. In each section, you can find different books to show to each other or chat about.
Lots of book store have coffee shops as well, so maybe take a to-go cup and take a walk if that’s allowed. Or purchase your favorite book or magazine and sit down to go through together.
One of the most causal first dates you can do is to bring the other person with you on your errands. You could go grocery shopping together, head to the laundromat to do your laundry, or take your cars out for a car wash.
This lets you be totally yourself and takes off some pressure of sitting together face to face for a long meal. Its sure to be different than other dates they’ve been on, and you can really get to know a person during their day to day routine.
Cute First Date Ideas
Here are some super cute first date ideas if you’re really looking to impress and let them know you care about what they like. These ideas can all be adapted to what they like in place of these specific ideas. Figure out what type of things they are into and plan your date based on that…it’s sure to be a great first date.
Walk on the Beach
Ok, theres the old cliche that a woman’s version of an ideal date is walking along the beach. Funny dating reality shows back in the day would show the host reading that the man likes “long walks on the beach”. But there’s truth to the cliche…and it’s a cliche because it’s true!
Walking along the beach can give you lots to do while on a first date. First off, it’s a perfect way to have a conversation and talk to each other while you’re walking, but it also helps break up some of that potential awkward silence that can be there.
Look for seashells and shark teeth in the sand. Try to find dolphins out in the waves or watch the surfers. It’s also a great way to people watch. Doing some of these things along with walking makes it more of an activity where you can be ok with the longer lulls in conversation. Plus, you’re doing something together.
Mini Golf is such a cute first date idea! Really, ask all your girl friends and they’ll probably say the same. Mini Golf gives you permission to let loose and be silly. It gives you a easy time to talk as you head to each hole, and you can even show off some of your skills…or lack thereof.
Most mini golf places have other games and food available, so if the date is going well, you can extend it to a longer date and check out the rest of the place.
Wine Tasting can be done at a winery or at a store. There are usually fairly cheap tasting places you can go to. It’s a bit more active than just having drinks, and gives you something to talk about with each wine.
Sometimes its nice to have a little conversation started and the natural conversations can just go from there, and wine tasting is a perfect example of a date that does this.
Another classic date is a picnic in the park, and it’s a very cute date idea. You can pack up the foods yourself, or go shopping together to pick everything out. It could be as easy pre-made sandwiches from the grocery store (or hello, Subway!) and then add all your favorite treats and snacks.
Bring a blanket and maybe even a speaker and relax at the park with some good conversation.
Bonus points if you bring a football or frisbee to toss around together.
Drink and Walk
Sure grabbing a coffee or drink is a fair idea for a first date, but take it up one notch and take that drink to-go. Head outside and take a walk together. Walking also helps with the nervousness of facing directly at each other while you’re talking and can make you feel more comfortable in the beginning.
If you know they love dancing or are into country, how about trying out square dancing? Square Dancing gives you both something to do and helps you let loose so you’re not too nervous and uptight not knowing what to say or what to do.
Taking them out for square dancing is sure to be more memorable than just sitting down to dinner.
If you want to reel them in with your soft side, try volunteering together. You can make and serve food at your local homeless shelter, or go visit the animals at the animal shelter. Invite them to beach clean up day with you and have some good conversation while walking along helping out.
If you’re looking for a good place to walk and would love some beautiful scenery, try to find a local garden you can go visit. Being outdoors with the sunshine, the smell of the flowers, and your new company is sure to be a cute date.
Skip the meal and do a pie date! Find a cute local diner and go in to order some pie, or a few different slices and do taste testings together. Even better, have it with ice cream on top.
Visit the Animals at the Shelter
Take them to go visit the animals at the animal shelter. You can go play and pet the dogs and give them some love while you’re getting to know each other. Especially if they are a huge animal lover, they will think this is just the cutest date idea ever
Best First Date Ideas
If you know your audience, you’ll have no problems coming up with the Best First Date. More than likely, you know at least a little bit about the person you are going on a date with. Try to listen to their favorite things and plan the date based on what you know about them.
The best first date is one that is unique and memorable to them and doing something they love is going to put it right at the top of their favorite dates. Take the information you know about them and suggest a date idea you know they’ll love.
If you know you both love a certain band or performer or even type of music, this would be an awesome first date idea. It doesn’t have to be a super famous performer and you don’t have to pay for both tickets either. It’s more than ok to each buy your own ticket before heading out to the concert.
A concert gives you the casual vibe of being in a public place and not having to talk the entire time because you are listening to the band. Just be sure to have some time to talk before or after since you’re suppose to be getting to know them.
Our all time favorite date idea anytime is an escape room. You can buy cheap tickets on Groupon too. Each room has a different theme and story, and you’ll have 60 minutes to work together to solve the clues and puzzles to break out. It’s a good way to get to know a lot about the other person really fast.
If I ever had to do it over, this would be my first date idea pick. You’ll know immediately if you see red flags, or you’ll get to know them a bit better without even having a conversation. You know what?! Throw this list away and just go do an Escape Room!
Kidding, there’s more!
A baseball game could actually be the best sport to take a first date to. Tickets can be fairly cheap too, and it doesn’t even have to be an MLB game. Head to your farm league games, a college game, or your closest field. You don’t even have to love baseball to have a good time at a game. There’s the crowd energy, sunshine outdoors, hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, and all the ballpark foods you’d like.
Pick your favorite team, or opposing teams and place a cute little bet on it for who buys drinks after the game.
A really fun and adrenaline pumping first date idea is a date playing laser tag. Buy a few rounds and team up to win each round together. In between rounds, grab a coke and chill at a table and get to know each other.
Playing in rounds like this can also help alleviate the stress of filling in the silences. When a conversation ends and you do that “uhhh…what do we talk about now?” moment, just say you’re ready for the next round! By the time you’re back out, you’ll have more to talk about and things should start moving along a little more naturally.
Paint & Sip
Have you seen those special events that has everyone painting the exact same painting? These are Paint & Sips. You bring some wine and a date and head to class where they will show you how to create the painting for the night.
You don’t even need to have any artistic abilities. They’ll show you what to do for each step. Then you’ll be able to take your painting home and have something to remember your first date by. Talk about ultimate first date!
For all you who love getting active and trying something new, Axe Throwing has been making it’s rounds around the state and becoming quite popular. It’s kind of like playing darts, but you’re throwing an axe at the target instead.
This would be a very unique first date idea. Afterwards, head out to get dessert or a drink so you have a bit more time to talk and get to know each other…other than their axe throwing abilities.
City Special Event
Is your city throwing a special event soon? Maybe a fair or Christmas in the Park? Fall festival or 4th of July parade? Taking your first date to a city event can be pretty fun and casual as you get to hang out with lots of other people around.
And it’s easy to have the planning all done for you and will be something different.
Go Kart Racing
While we were dating, my husband asked if I wanted to go Go-Kart Racing. I wasn’t too sure at first as I thought it would be cheesy, but it ended up being a blast. We went to the legit track and raced around in these Go-Karts.
You can probably find a good track somewhere near you and it can even be those cheesy tracks at the arcade places, those are fun too!
Fun First Date Ideas
Want to take it up a notch and find some really fun activities the two of you can enjoy together? Try some of these fun first date ideas to get the date going and the conversation poppin’!
A fun and funny first date idea would be to go to a comedy show. Comedy shows help you relax and start to be yourself when you’re all bundled up with nerves. Head to a comedy show for the evening and then get some drinks afterwards.
You’ll be able to talk about the comedians and what you thought. It will also help with conversation starters too. Plus, getting them to laugh is always a good call.
Go play top golf or head to the driving range to hit some golf balls. Top Golf even allows alcohol while you play, so you can spend some time here enjoying a drink and playing. This gives you a really fun activity but also keeps it pretty casual so you can switch off playing and talking.
Board Games at a Cafe
Playing board games is a great first date idea that allows you to have lots of fun and really get to know each other. There are several places you can go to play board games like at restaurants, cafes and bars. Grab a drink and your favorite game and enjoy a little friendly competition together.
Play at the Arcade
Along the same lines you can have an arcade date. Buy some tokens and play until you run out. Collect all your tickets and use them to buy a super cheesy prize. Arcades are fun and will allow you to be more playful and fun rather than trying to be proper at a fancy dinner or something.
Take Your Shot at the Shooting Range
We don’t recommend taking a Tinder Date here, but if you know the person, how about checking out your local shooting range? Try shooting clay pigeons and far targets and see how well you do. There’s sure to be lots of fun to be had here.
Brave it at Karaoke Night
This one will probably only be good if you both agree to it. Going to karaoke when you are too scared to do it, or don’t want to will put a damper on your date. But if you’re both outgoing and love doing karaoke, this would be a fun first date idea to try out together.
Enjoy a Basketball Game
Basketball is a sport that’s not really hard to understand. Even if you’re not a sports fan, going to a live game is a bit different. Go support your local team and enjoy the energy of the audience. Then head out to grab something to eat after and have some time to talk.
Find Some Live Music
Do you have a restaurant or bar in your town that hosts live music on a certain night of the week? That’s a perfect place for a first date. You’ll have your entertainment, something to look at, and have some time to still have to yourselves for some conversation at the same time.
Cheap First Date Ideas
We get it, it’s a first date. Why spend a lot of money on someone you aren’t so sure about. Here are some great affordable and cheap first date ideas you can try when your budget is a little low.
Stroll Around the Farmer’s Market
Walking around your local Farmer’s Market can be a very affordable first date. You don’t even have to buy anything, just enjoy looking and walking around. Or you can grab some little things to snack on and eat them while you walk and talk together.
Take Your Dogs for a Walk
If you both have a dog, take them out for a walk together. Or you can even go to a dog park. Taking your dogs will also show each other a caring and nurturing side and you have something you can relate to. They’ll help break the ice throughout the date as well.
Go on an awesome hike! This costs nothing for the most part. Our first date was a hike to the Hollywood sign. The good part about the hike was we could still talk while we hiked up there, and we got to know each other a little bit on the way.
It went really well for us (obviously, I guess), so we decided to go get dinner together after we were done…then ice cream…then a movie. See, hiking is a great idea!
Do Some Window Shopping
Walking through town and window shopping can be a fun date. It’s going on a walk, being able to talk, but still have a little activity while you’re walking around. Point out interesting things you see in the windows and talk about things you like as well.
Go to an Art Gallery
Find a free art gallery and go walk around admiring the art together. Art galleries are a great place to quietly chat to yourselves and you can pick up good conversation starters with each piece.
Flea Market Finds
Go to the Flea Market and search for some treasures. There’s always something interesting to look at around these things. Your flea market might cost a couple dollars, but you shouldn’t have to spend anything else unless you decide to grab a treat.
Creative First Date Ideas
Want to leave them talking about your creative first date for a while? Try one of these out and put in your own twist. Mix some up, add some together and create your own special first date.
Ice Cream Date
If a boy had ever asked me out specifically for an ice cream date, he would’ve started with a million brownie points…ooo brownies! If the person you are interested in has ever hinted about loving sweets or has told you their favorite ice cream or any of the sort, try an ice cream date night!
If you’re still trying to keep it casual but don’t want to be like all the other first dates, find a chill ice cream parlor and enjoy some ice cream together.
Flight Tasting at a Brewery
Mix it up, and instead of going to grab a drink, go to a local brewery and do a flight tasting. This allows you to choose a few different beers to try and you can talk about what you like and don’t like about each one. It’s a bit of a twist on going out for drinks, and different is good
Take a Cooking Class
Another creative idea is to find a cool cooking class that’s going on. You’ll get to cook together and learn some new techniques or recipes. It’s definitely a different date that they probably haven’t done on a first date before, so creative brownie points to you!
Have a Dessert Date
Find out their favorite dessert and make that the focus of the date. Order a couple different desserts to share as you talk about all your other likes and dislikes.
Go Apple Picking
Or anything picking, really. Depending on the season, you can go pick fruits, pumpkins, nuts, etc. Go to your local farm and see what’s in season and go pick some. Apple picking is great in the fall and cherry picking in the summer. You can walk through the fields and pick out all the best ones as you get to learn all about each other.
Test Your Skills at Trivia Night
Be creative and instead of just going to a bar, take them to trivia night. Trivia night gives you a bit of a relief as there are lots of people around, and you don’t have to have long conversations face to face. You can sit together and chat, but then jump in and play against everyone too. If it’s going well, you can continue your night with drinks after or head home if it just didn’t click.
Eat Your Way Through a Food Truck Festival
Find a food truck festival going on. If not a festival, maybe stock your favorite food truck and go find them. Pick a main meal and a dessert and find two different trucks around the city. Or you can even just drive around and find random food trucks serving in different areas.
Try the Ikea Date
Play it 500 Days of Summer style and head to Ikea. You don’t even have to be there for any particular reason. You can “window shop”, and talk about your dream home. We even heard of someone doing a scavenger hunt in there too. Write a few things out beforehand that you have to find and gather them all together.
Groupon Surprise Date Idea
We know Groupon is a great place to get new ideas, but how about a random first date idea of letting Groupon decide what your date will be. You can type in a certain letter and choose from one of the things that pop up, or just type your city and the first thing that pops up under activities, you have to do!
Take a Pottery Class
You can take a pottery class and make your own bowls. Or go to one of those paint ceramic places together and create your own masterpiece. It’s a great hands on date that would be fun and you can have a special piece you made to remember the night.
Go on an Appetizer Date
How about going to a restaurants and only ordering appetizers? Sometimes appetizers are the best part. Pick your favorite three dishes and share them instead of a meal. It’s a different take on just going out to dinner and can help the date a bit more memorable too.
Coming from the wife of a fisherman, this would be such a fun first date idea. And who picks fishing as a first date? You can catch and release or take them home to cook up together, or save for later. They freeze really well too, so maybe your second or third date can be cooking them at one of your houses.
Around the World Dinner
This one requires your whole night, but it’s a lot of fun. If you already know you like your date, give this one a try. You pick 4 different restaurants and go to each one for a different course. One for drinks, the next for apps, then your main course, and finish it with dessert.
Take a Boxing Class
Boxing, kickboxing, or a fun fitness class would be a very creative date too. Just let them know beforehand so they can be prepared. Doing something active together is a good ice breaker and a creative date like this will be one they talk about later.
First Date Ideas At Night
Most of these ideas above can be done both day and night depending on where you live. But here are some great ideas for dates that can be great first date ideas at night.
A good night time date idea would be going cosmic bowling. Bowling alleys tend to host a cosmic night once a week or so, where they turn down the lights and everything is glow in the dark and neon. It’s a different feeling bowling in the dark than regular and would be a fun date night.
Another very popular date night is going to see a movie at the theater. This gives you a good time to be with each other for a while and enjoy something together. Don’t forget that the whole point of a first date is to be able to get to know each other and see if they are someone you want to pursue. So be sure to go out somewhere after or before to have some good time to chat with each other.
Local Football Game
Take them to a local football game at night. High school and college football games are usually on weekends, so this is the perfect time to head out. Bundle up on those colder nights and get yourselves some hot chocolate to keep you warm. Watch the game and talk in the stands.
Dave & Buster’s
Dave & Buster’s is an arcade place that becomes adults only after dark. It’s a great place to go be a kid again and play all the arcade games you want with an unlimited pass. It’s much bigger than any local arcade and you can spend hours trying all the different games. Grab dinner, a drink or dessert at their restaurants and have fun together.
First Date Ideas Winter
Dates in the winter can be so romantic. It’s cold, you get to bundle up, enjoy hot cocoa and the holiday season. There are some very sweet First Date Ideas for Winter that you can enjoy. Pretty much any date on this list that is indoors counts as a date in the winter, but here are some date ideas that you can do specifically in the winter months as well.
Find a local rink and go ice skating. Even if you’ve never been before, you can pick it up pretty quickly. Rent some skates and head out on the rink. Be sure to bundle in layers because it can get cold, but you also may be getting warmer the longer you are out there.
Some towns set up outdoor rinks in the winter which would be lots of fun too. Grab a cup of hot chocolate and take a few breaks in between.
Looking for an exciting first date idea? Go snowboarding! You can rent all the equipment at a sport shop before, or rent it at the ticket office. They even have night passes where you get to go on the mountain when it gets dark.
Same situation as the snowboarding, but go skiing. Depending on your preference, nothing beats racing down the mountains covered in snow during the winter.
Hockey Games pretty much go from Fall to Spring, but Winter is a great time to catch one. They can be very exciting as hockey players are known to get in fights too, which drives the crowds wild.
Have a snowman building contest. Bundle up and head to a local park where you can make your own snowmen. Bring some items to compete the face, arms and clothing if you desire. While you’re there, have a snowball fight and make snow angels!
Whatever you decide to do from these First Date Ideas list, just remember to be yourself, get to know each other and find out if you are compatible. You don’t want to stress too much about the actual date, but rather learn all you can about each other and see if you want to go on a second date…which these ideas will work for as well!
Be respectful, be kind, be safe, and have a great time! This may be the very last first date you ever go on! 😉
Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.