65 Unconventional First Date Ideas

Skip the old "dinner and a movie" for something original.

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If you're tired of first-date clichés like dinners out, catching a movie, and/or hitting the bar, we get it—there's a lot else out there. When you're trying to get to know someone, you sometimes just want an experience that feels natural, like taking a class together or trying a new activity. You'll both be out of your comfort zones, and you won't fall into those conversational clichés that leave you yawning into your pasta at a local date spot. Plus, you'll get to know a person even better by putting them into a situation they're maybe not so used to, like cycling or going to an arcade. Ahead, 65 ideas to get you started.

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Make Pasta

Carbs and a significant other? Sign us up. Sure, buying boxed noodles seems easier, but watching someone crank out some dough is an unspoken turn-on. (There I said it!) You can still totally do this if both (or one) parties are gluten-free with this easy recipe here.

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Stargaze Together

You + the great outdoors + the ideal social distancing meet up + your date who you pray is into this as much as you are = the perfect date. Don't forget to bring a comfy blanket, some snacks, and have a chill playlist for your evening under the stars.

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Go to IKEA

I know what you're thinking..."Why would I go to a furniture store?" But this isn't just any old furniture store. It's *insert enthusiastic jazz hands here* IKEA! No one has ever sighed before telling someone they were making their merry way to the famous Swedish furniture store. Also, it has a food court with some incredible cake, which is great after a day full of picking out your dream space.

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Go Ax Throwing

Not only is this an out-there date idea, but it's a great stress reliever too. There's just something about throwing a heavy ax at a wooden target on a date that just makes us forget about all our worries and lets us act as if we were on a one-on-one Bachelor date.

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Shop at a Thrift Store

Hit up your local Goodwill and give each other 30ish minutes or so to find the craziest outfits for each other to wear to dinner right after. Look at you being all fun and sustainable! The winner gets to choose where you'll dine later, so make sure to go all out.

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Work On a Puzzle

Call us old fashioned, but nothing is more relaxing than putting together a 500-piece puzzle together with someone. The conversation flows, and if you run out of stuff to talk about, you can just hold up a piece to ask where it's counterpart is. BOOM, instant conversation. Don't forget to check out our favorite puzzles here.

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Go Ice Skating

Bundle up, mask included, and go support your local ice skating rink. Learning or teaching (you little pro!) someone a new thing helps bring people together, so get ready to watch the sparks fly. Don't forget to grab some hot chocolate after!

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Play a Video Game

Thanks to the 21st century, you don't have to be in the same room to play each other in your favorite video games. Gaming consoles that you can take on the go, like the Nintendo Switch, can allow you to indulge in some friendly competition from wherever.

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Get to Tie-Dyeing

Seventies fashion is having a rival for a reason, so it's the perfect time for you and your date to jump in on the trend. Pick up a tie-dye kit at your local craft store, set up outside, and go all out to who can create the most colorful tee.

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Take a Cooking Class

You’ll know right away if the relationship stands a chance once you find out who’s better in the kitchen. Approaching it from the right attitude—just have fun and be willing to make a mess!—means you'll have a blast.

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Yoga in the Park

Put on your workout clothes and head to the park for some fresh air and relaxation. Partner yoga positions are always the move, and you can get to know each other in more ways than one (lol). Plus, they'll have new respect for how hard yoga is.

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Volunteer Locally

If you both have a cause you support (or, if there's a place nearby that needs your help), consider signing up to volunteer. There'll be plenty to keep you busy, you'll feel like your time went to good use, and you may even bond over the experience.

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Watch the Sun Rise

This may not be for everyone (a person who doesn't like getting up early, for example), or for every time of year, but there's something magical about trucking out together in the early morning to watch the sky change color. Bonus: Go to brunch after.

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Support the Local Arts

It's pretty much a guarantee that you'll find a local play, poetry reading, dance troupe, or other public event to attend—and it's supporting local culture, even if it doesn't end up being your cup of tea.

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Share a Meal—Literally

Obviously, this won't work if either of you is sick or squeamish, but a fondue place or traditional Japanese shabu-shabu lets you prepare your food in the same shared pot. The latter is customizable and gives you something to talk about while you watch your beef and veggies cook leisurely in a simmering pot. Alternative: Go and get big bowls of ramen and compete to see who finishes first.

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Watch an Old Movie—Outside

There are plenty of open-air venues like parks and rooftops that you can go to during the summer months; Even better, a lot of them have old, classic movies or shows (my first date with my husband was Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief at a park in Brooklyn, so I'm FULLY in on this one). The shared atmosphere and classic flick are a perfect combo.

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Host a Movie/TV Watch

Ok, I realize this sounds like a glorified version of Netflix and Chill. But hear me out! Plenty of bars, restaurants, and social groups do these (hello, Game of Thrones), and it's a great way to participate in a shared love. Or, you could host one—but that takes a lot of effort, so finding an existing one feels like an easier choice.

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Go Take a Run Around Town

If you and your new date are the athletic sort, what better way to bond than through a shared passion? For anyone hoping for a more...let's call it low-key activity, an exercise class, going to the gym, or even just walking at a decent pace can all fit the bill.

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Go on a (Mini) Vacation

For those who love to travel but don't want to (or can't) go far, take a bus or a train an hour away to see the local sights and just get away from your daily routine. Treat it like a real vacay, with fun local snacks and sightseeing. Even though it's just a skip and a jump away, it's like a whole new world.

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Speak at an Open Mic

It's one thing to attend a poetry reading or comedy show, it's quite another to get up and bare your soul to a group of strangers. Granted, this one's not for people who get stage fright. If that's the case, you can sit and cheer while your date takes the plunge.

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Go Get Sundaes

Don't just walk to get ice cream—really lean in. Compete to see which one of you can craft the most delicious/ridiculous concoction, then race to eat them before they melt. Bonus points if you can make something that your date wants more than their own.

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Make a Three-Course Meal

Cooking, while fun, isn't exactly unconventional. But it is if you up your game: Break out that new cooking tool you got over the holidays (Instant Pots ftw!!). Choose a dish you've always been too intimidated to make. Plan carefully, partner on the execution, and make like you're eating a fancy dinner in your own living room. Make sure your date likes to cook before you rope them in, though.

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Go to a Burlesque or Drag Show

Don't be intimidated! These acts are designed to be entertaining, sexy, and/or laugh out loud funny. The scene is loud and boisterous, and the food and drink scene is usually fun too. It's like the ol' dinner and a show—but make it cool.

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Head to the Spa

Get solo or couples' massages! Chill out in the jacuzzi! Hang out in the sauna! There's so much to do here, especially after a long, exhausting day. Just make sure you're both at the same level of comfort (maybe one of you prefers a non-nude spa, you know?).

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Attend an Open House

Have you ever walked by an open house of a beautiful building and think, It must be so gorgeous in there. Go see how the other half lives, ogle some stunning decor, and talk about what you like and don't like. Best case: It might be useful later on! Worst case: cool architecture, and you don't have to talk much.

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Write Up Some Goals

Resolutions don't just have to be for January 1! In the interest of making this fun (as opposed to grueling and arduous—you don't want the date to end in a fight) pick something fun. Each of you write out a big-picture goal, and then talk about your hopes for the future.

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Find a Gorgeous View

Regardless of whether your town/city has a ferris wheel, observation deck, or other sky-high view, go and find a location that helps you see your area from a new perspective. That could be traveling a few miles out or even just going to a roof deck to help you look at things in a new way together.

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Take a Meditation Class

I mean, if you're worried about what to say on your date, this is perfect, right?? Even if you've never done it before, taking beginner's meditation together will help you chill. Then you guys can go grab dinner and talk about how relaxed you both feel.

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Get Each Other a Gift

Obviously you don't know each other well yet, so go to a store that sells knickknacks and see if you can get something small and inexpensive to make the other person laugh. Or just browse the oddities together and enjoy each other's company.

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Share Your Favorite Spot

Is there a beautiful mural you love by your home? The perfect place to watch the sunset? That little hole-in-the-wall bakery with the best donuts? Take a walk and share the little details that you love about your area, and encourage the other person to do the same.

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Ride Bikes

Get some fresh air and ride some bikes together. It’s the perfect intro to part two of your date: a picnic in the park (keep reading)—where you can sit down, relax, and enjoy each other’s company. And the food will be worth it, because you exercised!

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Find a Pottery Class

Get your hands dirty and make some art together—you can get to know each other while making a new addition for your home. So, even if the date is bad, you’ll at least feel like your time wasn't wasted. And if the vase looks ridiculous but the date went well, you'll have a funny story!

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Explore a New Coffee Shop

“Grabbing coffee” doesn’t have to be a boring first date. There are plenty of cute spots with amazing vibes to kick back and learn more about each other. Think: Places with yummy pastries, or gorgeous art and high ceilings. Plus, you’ll find out what their drink order is—and that says everything you need to know about them.

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Restaurant Hop

If you’re near one of their locations, Eataly is the perfect place to explore and eat some great food. If not, try and find some local food trucks to get a taste (or two or three) of what they enjoy. Instead of settling in and only experiencing one place, hopping around can make for some fun discussion.

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Get an Aura Reading

Good vibes ONLY. You can joke with them and say you’re into horoscopes, but really you’re there to find out if you're wasting your time (#priorities). Some people may not be into this, but if you turn it into a fun hangout it’ll make the date way more memorable than dinner and a movie.

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Cheer on a Sports Team

The adrenaline rush of watching your favorite sports team with someone else who maybe, possibly shares your fanaticism can be a quick and easy way to get to know each other. Load up on snacks and enjoy the game—even if you don't like the sport, it'll be on in the background if conversation lags, or you can ask the other person to tell you what they love about their team.

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