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Non-Cliché Second Date Ideas That Are Better Than Dinner and a Movie

"What are you in the mood for tonight?" "Uh..."

friends with arms in the air at festival concert
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Now that you've gotten the awkward first date small talk out of the way, there's room to get creative on the second one. Yes, you could play it safe and opt for a traditional dinner, but it pays to think outside the box. A new shared experience can help you get to know your date in ways you wouldn't be able to, say, chatting over a three-course meal. Unfortunately, coming up with creative date ideas is not as easy as it seems like it should be on paper. Sure, it's easy to say you don't want to just do dinner and a movie, but when it actually comes to planning something more out of the box, you're definitely not alone if you completely freeze up.

Luckily, you don't have to live in a real-life romantic comedy to plan something special in the date department. All it really takes is a little extra effort, some soul searching about what you truly love to do (and what you think your date will truly love to do, based on what you learned about them on the first date/on their Tinder profile/from the extensive Google stalking you know you did ahead of actually meeting them in person). And, if you're still stuck, there are always lists of ideas on the internet to turn to—which you clearly have. And that's 100% okay. Ahead, we've compile 50-plus second date ideas that won't feel weird or boring.

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Go to an Amusement Park

If there's an amusement park near you, hit it up. Thrill rides are a fantastic excuse to get cozy.

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Volunteer Together

Take a page from the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle love handbook and bond by giving back to a cause you both care about.

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Visit a Jazz Club

Get a little dressed up and use it as an excuse to feel fancy.

pottery class
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Take a Pottery Class

Channel your inner Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze for a sexy pottery-making date.

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Go to a Dog Park

Even if neither of you have a dog.

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Try Archery

You'll be like real-life Cupids.

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Climb a Rock Wall

The couple that gets sweaty together stays together.

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Do an Escape Room

You'll be forced to work together and learn a lot about how your date thinks in the process.

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Go to a Carnival

Next time the carnival comes through your area (or a state fair or local festival of some kind—any event with a temporary ferris wheel and funnel cake, really), use it as a date night.

hands of female artist holding messy dirty palette with different paints and paintbrush in art studio lifestyle and hobby concept
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Do a Boozy Paint Night

There are about a thousand companies that specialize in hosting these events and you'll bond over your artistic talents (or lack thereof).

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Watch the Sunset

Free and romantic.

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Go Skydiving

If you and your date are the adventure types, you could go extreme for the second date.

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Do a Color Run

Only the most fun, most whimsical of all 5Ks.

two sports cars racing along the winding curves of the great ocean road in victoria, australia this car is designed and modelled by myself very high resolution 3d render composite all markings are ficticious
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Test Drive an Amazing Car

Visit a local car lot and test drive a car you could never really afford.

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Visit a Botanical Garden

When it comes to beautiful places to walk and talk for hours, botanical gardens pretty much top the list.

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Go Salsa Dancing

Even if you're not naturally gifted on the dance floor, you'll be able to find the fun learning together.

close up of happy couple skating on ice rink
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Go Ice Skating

Hand-holding is 100 percent guaranteed. Need we say more?

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Do Karaoke

A person's go-to karaoke song says a lot about them. Are you more of a ABBA "Dancing Queen" or Gloria Gaynor "I Will Survive?"

Candlelight
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Head to a Happy Hour

Instead of waiting until 8 p.m. (because we both know how excited you are to go on this date), head to a fun happy hour where you both can enjoy cheap drinks and watch the sunset.

Ice cream
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Make It Dessert-Only

Find an over-the-top dessert place you've been dying to try.

Portland Oregon Retains Its 'Weird' Title
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Visit Your Favorite Bookstore

Much like their favorite karaoke song, the type of books they're interested in determine who they are as a person. Don't like Didion? Thank u, next.

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Go to a Hockey Game...

If it's already cold outside, you might as well get tickets to watch your hockey team play. A little competition never hurt anybody, and you can get cheap seats in the 400s section.

FIND TICKETS

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...Or a Baseball Game

On the other hand, once spring rolls around there's nothing better than watching some baseball with a hotdog and soda in hand. Ticket prices will be pretty cheap earlier in the season, which starts in March.

FIND TICKETS

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Go to an Outdoor Concert

If they enjoy your favorite music, they'll pass the test—and can now go on a third date with you.

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Go Kayaking

Though this could get incredibly awkward (falling into the water, unnecessary feet-touching, etc.), kayaking is the perfect opportunity to test out his or her teamwork skills. If you end up on the complete opposite side of your destination, you know what to do.

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Hit up a Rooftop Bar

If you live in a city where you're lucky enough to experience the incredible views, why not do it with someone new? Find a rooftop bar that fits the vibe (whether that's cozy intimate or more of a crowded scene) and soak it in together. Who says you have to stay at just one bar, either?

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Play an Outdoor Sport

Toss around a Frisbee in the park or hit up the basketball court for some one-on-one. Teamwork and the natural endorphins are guaranteed to pull you closer.

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Take a Drive

If you really vibed on the first date and want to have some alone time beyond your neighborhood or city, plan a scenic drive somewhere with #views. Spread out a picnic or pack some snacks for the ride.

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Grab Brunch

If you want a less stuffy environment than a dinner setting, where there's mimosas aplenty and no pressure to stick around for the rest of the day, try going for a day date to brunch on the weekend. For fellow angsty people, you can at least get the date out of the way and then go about your day instead of sweating it until evening.

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Hit the Beach

Plan a beach date with a group of friends or just the two of you. Pack some snacks and sunscreen at high noon, or head out to the sands for a sunset stroll.

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