First dates can be nerve-wracking. Choosing a location that sets the stage for a second date is a lot to guess about on behalf of someone you don’t know very well. Or at all. We’ve made it a bit easier for you with a list of 100 ideas for a first date that will save you from the mundane response of “Well, I don’t know. What do you want to do?”

Forward her the list or narrow it to your top 5 and let her name her favorite. Randomize your search by choosing a number between 1 and 100 and promising to do whatever is chosen, no matter what. Adventure. Mystery, Intrigue. It’s all there. Let’s see how well you each do with spontaneity and follow through! 

First Dates Around Other People

When planning an initial date, suggesting something remote in the middle of nowhere typically raises female eyebrows. And not in a “cute butt” kind of way. Avoid isolation and go somewhere that increases your interaction with other humans. Cool things may happen. 

  1. Play Games at a coffee shop – childhood games, puzzles and buzzers. Invite strangers to play, they will.
  2. Open Mic Night – support your local vibe, seek it out.
  3. Find a Piano Bar. – sing. Clap. Laugh.
  4. Karaoke – when all else fails, sing a duet, there’s safety in numbers. Even the number two.

Basic Date Destinations Can Work

Ideas for dates can start very basic. And that’s cool. Go places you’ve never gone, do things you’ve never done. Together. 

  1. Museums – check out the docent tours for a cool boost of well-researched. information, and more to discuss after.
  2. Theater – support a local play, senior or kid’s company of actors.
  3. Comedy club – get her to laugh at someone else’s jokes, she’ll be more likely to laugh at yours.

Window Shopping for Expensive Things

Go look at stuff. Big fancy stuff. Stuff you can’t buy. Stuff you wouldn’t if you could.

  1. Auto Show – stand around and kick some tires, talk shop.
  2. Boat Show – give her your best Tom Jones impression of “The Sloop John B” while you’re at it. Chest hair and tightie whities not included.

Immerse Yourselves In A New Experience

When planning a first time together, the idea of solid face to face time can be daunting. That’s a lot of conversational time to fill. Instead, get lost in an experience. You’ll learn loads about a person that could take months otherwise and the focus will be on the activity, instead of solely on each other. 

  1. Take a Language Class – 1 hour, 1 try,
  2. Take a Drawing Class – still life with date. Not the fruit.  
  3. Take a Writing Class – creative writing, no rules. Write about how you met. 
  4. Play Poker – can she bluff? Can you call it?
  5. Paint – get in touch with your creative side over a glass of wine or three as you paint pottery or pictures.
  6. Color – you, her, white paper and a fresh box of crayons.
  7. Attend a Sound Bath – immerse yourself in healing sound, relax.
  8. Aquarium – wander peacefully, recite lines from “Finding Nemo”.
  9. Planetarium – find a midnight show, see if they still pay Pink Floyd.

Live a Little

Extreme sports aren’t the ideal setting for a first date, but if you want to push the envelope just enough, here are some suggestions. 

  1. Helicopter Ride – very little conversation required.
  2. Skydive – can’t get much more exciting than that.
  3. Gun Range – get your discussion on the 2nd Amendment out in the open while the relationship is still fresh.
  4. Go For a Walk – get lost, bring no map (double dog dare!).
  5. Hike – bring a map, and water. We like to push the envelope, but we’re not crazy.

Zen Out

An ideal pairing to the Live a Little first date ideas, or save these for date number two. The Zen Out options are

  1. Couples massage – relax, immediately. You’re in good hands. Two of them.
  2. People Watch – Invent stories.
  3. Watch Planes Take Off – And when you’re bored, watch people watching planes take off.
  4. Go to Yoga – new? Try a Vinyasa flow for a smooth stretch.
  5. Sunrise – go on a date an hour before the sun comes up, and peace out, literally.
  6. Sunset – not an early riser? Take advantage of the best sunset vantage point near you.
  7. Draw – sidewalk chalk, crayons, whatevs.
  8. Take a Glass Blowing Class – trade whatever you make.
  9. Couples massage – relax, immediately. You’re in good hands. Two of them.
  10. People Watch – invent stories.
  11. Watch Planes Take Off – and when you’re bored, watch people watching planes take off.
  12. Draw – sidewalk chalk, crayons, whatevs.
  13. Take a Glass Blowing Class – trade whatever you make.

Pay it Forward

In your pursuit of 100 ideas for a first date, I bet she’s never had anyone suggest random acts of kindness. If she did, she probably wouldn’t be single anymore. These are the sorts of ideas she’ll call her friends to tell them about. Your second date is almost guaranteed. 

  1. Buy a Random Couple Dinner – anonymously, include a note about what you admire about them. Discretely watch their reactions. Do not blow cover.
  2. Walk Shelter Animals – gives a whole new meaning to puppy love.
  3. Feed the Homeless – couples who give together may very well stay together.
  4. Visit Senior Citizens – play a game with them, ask questions, listen.
  5. Perform Random Acts of Kindness – take turns coming up with cool ways to try.

Ballin’ on a Budget

Perhaps the Nobu tasting menu is more than you want to invest on a first date. Fair enough, there are plenty of options among the 100 that require less than 100 pennies.

  1. Go to a Bookstore – wander the stacks, show each other your favorites.
  2. Play the Alphabet Game – use street signs on a walk, drive or bike.
  3. Play Hangman – on random cocktail napkins.
  4. Arm wrestle – just for fun.
  5. Leg-wrestle – up the stakes.
  6. Thumb-wrestle – lower the stakes, yet massive bragging rights.
  7. Watch Roller Derby – cheer your favorite team. Loudly.
  8. Eat Tacos – make sure it’s Tuesday, or it doesn’t count.
  9. Go on a Photography hike – cameras ready, prepare to flash.
  10. Tell Everyone It’s Her Birthday – milk the drinks and free cake.
  11. Dollar Movie Theater – find a cheap dumb movie and sneak in candy.
  12. Picnic – pack one, make it a theme, watch the clouds float by.
  13. Fly Kites – when you’re done, give yours to random kids.
  14. Ride Bikes – when you’re done, don’t give yours to random kids – they would probably get in trouble.
  15. Play Slapjack – If things escalate, you know who to call. (hint: not us)
  16. Play Monopoly. If she has a future in railroads, it would be good to know now.

Regionally Optimal First Dates

Ideas for  dates don’t come easy. But possibilities open up if you live in regions that support the following options. 

  1. Swim – water, it does a body good.
  2. Rock Climb – indoors or out.
  3. Races – get loud and dirty.
  4. Go Sledding – hopefully on snow.
  5. Zipline – yell if you want to, loudly.
  6. Go Horseback Riding – name your horse after your favorite movie, see if he responds.
  7. Golf – mini, Regular. Or Top.

Up The Ante

Go out on a first date, but with the greater mission of going outside your comfort zone.

  1. Open Mic – each promise to read, sing or play something, or read each other’s.
  2. Play Tennis or Squash or Racquetball – pick one neither of you have played.
  3. Attend an Improv Class – because everything in life is better with improv.
  4. Cross Something Off Your Bucket List – this could be the start of a long tradition.
  5. Go Backstage – could be at a Def Leppard tribute show if the opportunity presented itself.
  6. Attend a Wrestling Match – believe the hype.
  7. Crash a Country Club – act like you’re there to tour the space if necessary.

The Foodie – Because Everyone Eats

Being a foodie has reached hipster status. Weed the wannabe’s from the real deal on The Foodie date options. 

  1. Cooking Class – learn to cook something new and exciting.
  2. Brunch – find a local jazz or gospel brunch, be leisurely, relax.
  3. Make Dinner Together – shop, prepare, conversation flows like wine. And wine.
  4. Go to a Buffet – if neither of you have manners, this is the easiest way to find out.
  5. Eat Thai – It’s important to know her heat tolerance right off the bat.
  6. Enjoy a Tasting Menu – indulge, sample, savor.
  7. Progressive Dinner Party – eat a three course meal in three restaurants.

The Drinkie – Because You’re Old Enough

Let’s make this a thing, because foodie is so 2016.

  1. Wine Tasting – at your local grocer, fine dining, and everywhere in between.
  2. Pub Crawl – best done on a night with live music.
  3. Find a Speakeasy – know the knock. She’ll be instantly impressed.
  4. Take a Brewery Tour – try an IPA.
  5. Specialty Bar – go to a bar that’s known for something. Have that.


Rather than find out on an ill-planned trip to Patagonia that she’s not the ideal travel companion, sort it out on the first date and avoid the awkward silence on the plane ride home.  

  1. Guided Tour – see your town as a tourist would, you’ll likely learn something new.
  2. Go Someplace New – together.
  3. Take a One Tank Trip – to the closest out of town place neither of you have been.
  4. Get Lost – go somewhere new with no map, no phone.
  5. Go on a Scavenger Hunt – find one or create one.
  6. Take a Bike/Segway Tour – learn as you wheel about.

Optimistically Romantic

Chivalry isn’t dead you say? Pony up, my man. The following are suitable alternatives to a tractor pull should you wish to swing down from your trusty steed and sweep her off her feet on your first date. 

  1. Poetry Reading – support local artists, some will suck, some will be amazing. Clap for all.
  2. Talk About Things That Are Important to You – ask questions, listen.
  3. Mystic – get your palm read or see a psychic. 
  4. Take a Tango Class – This answers so many questions, you’ll no longer have to ask.
  5. Make Out – kissing matters, great kissing even more so.
  6. Take a Glass Blowing Class – woo her with your knowledge of its fascinating history.
  7. Take a Nap – courtesy and generosity at it’s finest. Your knight brethren would approve.

Get Your Game On

  1. Trivia Night – test her knowledge of all things random, with or without beer.
  2. Bowling – midnight or cosmic make for an awesome night.
  3. Batting Cage – nothing like both wearing helmets to break the awkwardness ice.
  4. Find an Arcade – best twenty bucks you’ll spend.

Bonus Round

You can’t expect to end  a list with gaming options and not have a bonus round.  Level up on your 100 ideas for a first date with 5 extras. 

  1. Bingo – controlled spending, 2 free cocktails and so many chances to win, you can’t lose.
  2. Go Cart Racing – these are carts, not italian sportscars, however.
  3. Play Lazer Tag – gang up on the little kids. They need to learn how to lose anyway. This option doubles as Pay if Forward.
  4. Go to a Trampoline Park – get your jump on. Don’t gang up on the little kids here, because physics.
  5. Solve it – puzzles, crosswords. murders. 

100 ideas for a first date. Or better yet, 100 ideas for 100 dates. Plus five, because of fuzzy math. How cool would it be to actually accomplish every item on this list? And, if that’s the case, what better question to ask yourself than, “What’s stopping me?” Exactly.  Go call her. 

How many of these first dates are you gonna try? Let us know in the comments below.


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(c) Can Stock Photo / Eraxion

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