That first impression together can be priceless, and that's why it can be so nerve-wracking if you're struggling to come up with some first date ideas that will make sure she remembers this date forever.
It's hard to imagine how to get a girlfriend without some great first date ideas that come off perfectly and make her want to stick around to get closer.
The good news for you is that you don't have to stress out looking for good date activities on your own anymore. We've assembled some dynamite first date tips that present you with plenty of ways to impress the girl you like, making your date fun, memorable, and perfectly romantic.
Searching for some great first date activities? Start with the best ones first. We've assembled some of the most fun and unexpected first date ideas here that can catch her by pleasant surprise and make the date really stand out.
1. Go to a flea market.
Try on used clothes, buy matching swords, or do any number of creative, surprising things here.
2. Go to an arcade
If she's got a gamer side, there's nothing that'll win her heart faster than an evening in the arcade.
3. Play mini golf.
It's fun, silly, and a great way to enjoy a nice long chat together.
4. Attend a comedy open-mic.
If she's laughing and having a good time, she'll want another date. This is a great way to make sure that happens.
5. Watch a movie matinee.
Don't do dinner and a movie, see a movie early and leave the evening free to discuss and hang out.
6. Have a three-course dinner… at different places.
Pack three dinner dates into one.
7. Take a cooking class
Learn to make a great dish and then make date number two trying to cook it again together.
8. Go to a poetry reading
Show off your classy side and discuss your favorite poems all night.
9. Get Fancy Pizza
Get a popular favorite but in a classier way.
10. Explore Your Town
Go to the rich part of town.
10 First Date Ideas You Can Also Use on a Second Date
Sometimes, first date activities have a short shelf life. If you don't try it on the first date, it just won't work for date number 2, stressing you out all over again.
After all, you want to top the first date with the second, and now you're out of ideas.
Not so with this list, here, you get some good first date activities that make for great second date ideas as well.
11. Go to a used bookstore or library.
Enjoy the charms of old books and discuss the stories that mean the most to you.
12. Browse through a record store.
Like a used bookstore, it's charmingly old-fashioned. Buy a record and listen to it together.
Show her you care, and build a bond helping others.
14. Get an Aura Reading
Whether you believe or not, it's great fun and great for conversation.
15. Go to a Brewery
Getting a drink in a more interesting way is one of the best first date activities and second, third, fourth date ideas as well.
16. Visit an Art Gallery
Get a little out of your comfort zone and see what art really speaks to each of you.
17. Sample some Fro-Yo or Ice cream
Every date is better with ice cream.
18. Go Horseback riding
Let her feel like she's in a Victorian romance novel for an afternoon.
19. Plant a garden together.
Get your hands a little dirty and take time to smell the roses.
20. Trampoline parks
It's a chance to feel like your little kids again, together.
11 First Date Night Ideas
Dates are often a nocturnal thing, so when you're looking for first date activities, you're most likely really looking for date night ideas.
Check out some of these great after-dark activities that bring you close to the girl you want to be closest to.
21. Go to a Jazz club
Artistic, a little quaint, and a great place to lean in close for those nighttime conversations.
22. Head to the Drive-in
About as classic first date as possible.
23. Hit the club
Dance the night away together.
24. Whiskey Tasting
Find a new whiskey you both like, then buy a bottle and take it home together.
25. Head to the Opera
Show her some high culture and enjoy dressing up to the 90s.
26. Dark Dining
Adventurous, intimate, and a chance to eat in a whole new way.
Just you, your girl, and the nighttime sky.
28. Stroll through a college campus.
Colleges can be particularly beautiful and romantic at night when it's just the two of you.
29. Go to a Fancy Bar and Dress Up
Like the opera, a chance to play classy for a night.
30. Go to a Midnight Showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
One of those activities that works wonders for those with a zany, adventurous side.
31. Plan a trilogy movie marathon
Watch your favorite movies or a great trilogy neither of you have ever seen.
11 First Date Ideas You Can Use on a Double Date
Most date ideas really only work when there's the two of you. That makes it a little trickier planning that date when there's another couple tagging along.
Not to worry though, these double date ideas make for fun for all four people, and allow for plenty of intimate moments with just you and your date.
32. Bring them to your favorite local spot.
The easiest date. Go to a favorite location and share it with everyone.
33. Cook for your friends.
Show off your cooking chops by making a quality meal for everyone.
34. Play shuffleboard.
Imagine you're retired couples and enjoy a great game of shuffleboard.
35. Visit a Haunted Site
Full of chills and scares that will keep your date giggled and holding you tight.
36. Have a campfire
An intimate way to share stories, play music, and be social while also being close with your date.
37. Go Ziplining
Exhilarating, great for groups, and also romantic and daring with your date.
38. Go on a hot air balloon ride
A completely unexpected way to see the world in a new way.
39. Go Hiking
Go a little off-trail and see what you discover together.
40. Go boating
Double dates aren't limited to just what the land has to offer.
41. Race Go-Karts
Silly, immature, and a great evening for everyone.
42. Visit a chocolate/candy factory
A particularly sweet double date idea.
13 Cheap First Date Ideas
Some date ideas have to be disqualified right away just because they're out of your budget. That doesn't mean if your currently short of funds, you have to be short of fun.
There are plenty of great cheap date ideas that allow you to have a great time without making you late paying rent.
43. Dine out with a discount
Find a quality restaurant offering a big discount and indulge on a budget.
44. Fun, free events
Head out to a park with free fireworks or a free outdoor art exhibit.
45. Take a walk
Some of the best first dates revolve around this, the simplest of things you can do.
46. Stage a photo shoot
Try your hands at being real photographers.
47. Go Thrifting
Make your empty wallet the fun at the center of the date.
48. Go to Chuck-E-Cheese
Pizza, an arcade, and a present for her at the end of the night, what's not to like?
49. Go apple picking.
Get outdoors, enjoy the conversation, and get some nice apples at the end of it.
50. Fly a kite.
Simple, sweet, and a great chance to talk and enjoy the weather.
51. Go bird-watching.
You'll find seeing that rare bird can be as exciting as anything a bigger budget could have afforded.
52. Go to your local animal shelter and play with the animals
Fun for you, and a wonderful moment for those animals as well.
53. Go spelunking
Go on an adventure and enjoy the dark, cozy quarters with someone you like getting close with.
54. Attend a lecture
Find a topic you're both interested in and then discuss what you learned all night.
55. Go running
A great date for the health nuts with slim wallets.
10 At Home First Date Ideas
You don't have to go anywhere to generate some first date activities that really work for your date. Sometimes, the best way to enjoy each other's company is just to stay home together.
These at home date ideas allow you to stay in and still have an incredible time.
56. Work on a puzzle
Pick out a puzzle you both really like and spend the whole evening putting it together.
57. Binge watch seasons of shows
Is there some great show you've both been eager to watch? Marathon it together.
58. Cook a meal or bake together
Make making dinner the whole point of the date.
59. Play Twister.
One of those first date perfectly designed to literally get you closer.
60. Bring Over Some of Your Old Records
Cuddle close and introduce each other to your musical tastes.
61. Eat Take-Out By Candlelight
Make dinner at home as romantic as a fancy restaurant.
62. Listen to a Spooky Old-time Radio Show
A little more creative, old-fashioned, and charming than just watching TV.
63. Read to each other.
Read some of your favorite poems, or narrate your favorite comic. It can be silly, relaxing, and terribly romantic.
64. Have fun with homemade fondue.
Fun to make and tasty to eat.
65. Brew your own beer.
Don't just bring the drinks, make the drinks.
10 First Date Ideas in Winter
Winter can seem a tough season to kindle a romance. A lot of your go-to first date ideas simple won't work. You're not impressing anyone with a walk in the park in subzero weather. However, there are actually tons of great winter date ideas that offer just the right amount of coziness, romance, flirtatiousness, and fun.
66. Draw flip books
Make her laugh with just a small stack of paper.
67. Rent a luxury car and cruise around all-day
Roll the windows up and enjoy the world from the comfort of an expensive car.
68. Go on a Costco date
Or just go to Costco. Either way, walking around and eating free samples is a cheap date that can turn hilarious when one of you tries something you don't like.
69. Make pottery together
This is a win-win! You'll make a piece of pottery you can use and a memory of your first date!
70. Do your Christmas shopping together
It's never too early to get your Christmas shopping finished.
71. Tap to your inner artist and try painting with watercolor
Have fun painting and laughing at how bad you both are.
72. Go to scenic locations and take pictures
Winter can be the most beautiful season. Pick a relatively comfortable day to explore it.
73. Watch fish in an aquarium
Nothing makes you forget the cold like watching tropical fish swim around.
74. Have an indoor picnic
This can be incredibly romantic, as you settle in to watch the snow falling outside.
75. Open a Guinness Book and find a record to attempt to break
Pick one you can do in your living room and make a night of it.
9 Free First Date Ideas
Hey, even us poor folk need dates, right? Luckily, we've got tons of free date ideas here that are just as fun as the dates your flush friends have been going on. Pick one of these and enjoy a great date even when your budget is $0.
76. Netflix and chill
With Netflix, you can have that dinner and a movie experience at home for the price of whatever is in your fridge.
77. Take compatibility tests online
Snuggle up and see how much the internet thinks you belong together.
78. Browse old photographs
Learn all about each other from your goofy old photos. Bonus points if you use old photo albums!
79. Play frisbee
Get out and enjoy the weather with the little plastic disc sitting in your garage.
80. Have an intimate dance night
Put on your most romantic tracks on your phone and dance the night away.
81. Visit a nearby playground
You'll be surprised how fun the playground still is.
82. Build sandcastles
Another classic kid activity that really holds up as an adult.
83. Visit farmer's market and sample products
It's a cozy little activity that also fills your belly while you wander together.
84. Watch documentaries
Learn about the world together for free!
8 Fun First Date Ideas
You might think the most important word your date could use to describe your first date would be "romantic," but usually, it's actually "fun." If she had fun, she'll want to see you again. So, keep her entertained by using one of these fun date ideas. She'll be ready for date number two before you even finish the first date!
85. See what you can find in an antique store
Find the most interesting—or most ridiculous—items in the store together.
86. Ride a Ferris wheel
There's a reason this has been a go-to first date option for more than a century.
87. Feed ducks or birds
It's a great opportunity to sit close, have a great conversation, and get to know each other.
88. Learn to roller skate
You can feel a little goofy together as you slip and fall all over one another.
89. See a psychic
Find out if you're in each other's future from a professional.
90. Try an exotic cuisine
It's a small adventure shared over dinner.
91. Try yoga together
Everyone's doing it, find out if you both have been missing out.
92. Visit a place you both have never been to
Whether it's a museum or another town, you'll discover something new together.
4 Romantic First Date Ideas
If you make your first date extra romantic, you can show your crush that you really care about them. Make it happen with these romantic date ideas.
93. See the fireworks
Make your nighttime dates a little more exciting with the added spectacle of fireworks. It's the perfect time to go in for a kiss!
94. Go to a comedy club
You know what they say - the couple that laughs together, stays together. Make sure you hear your crush giggling and laughing on that first date.
95. Introducing her to something that you’re really passionate about.
One of the best first dates is one where you both share your true passions. This is a great way to put all your cards on the table.
96. Have a hobby swap.
Make your first date as romantic as possible with a cute hobby swap. Learn to appreciate each other with this awesome first date idea.
4 First Date Ideas You Can Use For 3rd Date
When it comes to first date ideas, versatility is always a plus. 3rd date ideas can also be used on the first date - or whatever's convenient for you!
97. Watch a ballet performance.
There's nothing like watching ballet to remind of just how beautiful love and romance can be. Make her heart flutter with this date idea.
98. Stargaze at the planetarium.
The stars have been romantic ever since humans first gazed upon them. Rediscover the magic of the night sky with this date idea.
99. Go bowling.
Bowling might not be the craziest date idea, but sometimes there's no need to reinvent the wheel. Just let loose and have fun!
100. Find a carnival.
If there's a carnival in town, why not take your date? This is a super fun date idea, and it lets you two act like little kids together.
How to Use These First Date Ideas
Now you've got all the ideas you need, how do you use them?
Thankfully, all the good date ideas above are easy to implement. Just follow these steps, and you'll be winning her over with that perfect first date in no time.
1. Ask the Girl Out
There's no point planning every detail of the perfect first date out if you don't have a date set already.
Don't waste time on the first date until after you've made sure she's interested and gone through the difficult asking out stage.
2. Consider What You Know about Her
Once you've asked her out and she's said "yes," take a moment to think about what you know about her.
You can either choose a date idea that reflects what you know she likes or a date idea that reflects what you think she might enjoy if she tried it.
Either way, take some time to think about what you know about her preferences and use them to narrow down your ideas.
3. Do a Little Investigation
You want to take her to a jazz bar, great. Which jazz bar? How far away is it? What kind of jazz do they play? Can you afford the drinks?
Do the homework and make sure you choose the right park, restaurant, arcade, or any other location or event to make sure it's right for you and your date.
If you don't have the details right, even the best ideas can fall apart, so put the effort in here.
4. Choose Your Date Idea But Leave Room for Some Flexibility
Once you know the details fit the date, make your date choice. However, when you make that choice, resist the urge to plan every detail out.
If you want to stay at home and do a puzzle, don't choose the puzzle without her. If you want to go to a fancy restaurant, make sure to let her make the meal choices.
When you plan too many details, it'll be hard to make sure they all come together and even harder to make sure she's enjoying the date. Get the general idea right, and then let the date take it's own course.
5. Keep a Back Up Date Idea On Hand
You're absolutely sure she'll love a walk in the park, but she's yawning ten minutes into your stroll: what do you do?
Always have a Plan B just for this purpose. It's a first date, so you don't know each other well enough to be sure the date choice is right.
So, have a back up, different idea. Ideally, one that is near the same location. She's not in the mood to stay in? Make sure you know where that jazz bar is or the best club in the area. She's not hungry? Head over to that record store until she works up an appetite.
With a backup plan ready, you can make sure there's always a way to keep her entertained.
6. Once you Decide, Get Pumped
You should always bring your best self to a date, so it's important to actually be excited about it. That excitement will give you the confidence to ask her out...
And she'll notice your enthusiasm once the big day comes.
7. Relax and Enjoy Your Date
Once you're actually on the date, try to avoid stressing whether things are going right or not. You've planned a solid date, you've got a backup plan if she's bored, so don't stress, just enjoy your time with your date.
The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed she'll be, and the more you'll both enjoy the experience, regardless of the details.
Things To Do Before You Kiss on the First Date: 11 Steps
Unless you're both giving off obvious sexual tension, your safest bet is to wait until the end of the date to kiss her.
Because if you read the signs incorrectly and move in for a kiss, the date is officially over once your kiss is rejected. And that's awkward.
So follow these steps to ensure you have a successful and memorable kiss on the first date.
1. As the night progresses, keep an eye out for signs she wants you to kiss her.
2. Lick the back of your hand (in private!) If it stinks, your breath stinks. I always carry gum while on a date. Pop a piece in before you make your move.
3. At the end of a date, keep the conversation moving and mainly focus on how much fun you had with her and how great you think she is (once you're ready to make your move, stop talking and go to step 4)
4. People who can't maintain eye contact are viewed as distrustful. Keep those eyes locked!
5. Slowly move a little closer to her.
6. Smile often. You're more handsome that way.
7. If she catches you and wants you to kiss her, she'll get quiet all of a sudden.
8. If you think you're reading the signs correctly, don't ask, just slowly move in. But asking in a sweet way works too.
9. This needs to happen throughout the date to build sexual tension. It lets her know you're into her. But as you move in for a kiss, move your hand to her cheek or the lower portion of her back.
10. Move in and let those lips lock! Don't forget to come up for air!
11. If she rejects your kiss... It happens and it sucks. You did your best and it's going to hurt for a bit but the most important thing you can do for yourself is learn from this date by figuring out where you went wrong (maybe you didn't do anything wrong and she just wasn't that into you. That's okay too.) and maybe your next date will be more successful.
Downloadable and Printable List of First Date Ideas
Here is a downloadable and printable list of First Date Ideas (right click the image and select Save Image As...):
Frequently Asked Questions
Insecure about what to do on your date or dating in general? As your dating coach, I've answered some frequently asked questions that will put your mind at ease.
How do I know if she enjoyed the date?
Look closely at her while your date is ongoing. Is she talking to you while making eye contact? Does she make a lot of physical contact, like trying to touch your arm or kiss you? Finally, is she being herself without seeming reserved at all? If the answer to these is all yes, then congrats, she enjoyed your date. If she instead barely gives you eye contact and fiddles with her phone and talks to you with reservation... she probably didn't.
How can I be confident around my date?
Before I answer this question, you should know I've written many articles about dating on Mantelligence, so try reading some of them through, like this article on first date tips for men. But to give a short answer, if you want to be confident around your date, you should try to relax and enjoy yourself first. There's nothing more confidence-boosting than just being yourself and having fun with her. She likely will have fun too.
What should I do before asking a girl out?
It's only polite to ask her if she's got some free time and doesn't have anything planned. You should also free up your schedule before you ask her out. Otherwise, it will only be an annoyance if your schedules conflict.
Is it appropriate to ask a girl out through text?
The best way to approach a girl differs depending on the girl, but there's nothing inherently wrong about asking her out through text. It gives her some time to think about it, and should she accept, it allows you to coordinate the details with her within the privacy of text. However, I advise you not to do this for every date - muster up some courage and ask her out in person.
More Tips On How To Get The Girl
Feel like you need more tips to reinforce your new date ideas? We've got you covered on every aspect of dating and getting the girl. Try some of these:
- Remove your nerves about that kiss on the first date.
- Find out how to ask a girl out so you can use all these date ideas.
- Make life easier by figuring out how to ask a girl out over text and avoid those face-to-face nerves.
- Learn how to flirt with a girl to show her just how interested you are.
The best first date ideas are the ones that impress your date and give you the opportunity to get closer. At heart, all first date tips are aiming at this goal. All date ideas really come down to the best ways to bridge the difficult of how to get a girlfriend from that awkward prospective first date.
With that in mind, the above date ideas are all designed to provide the ideal date experience for different types of daters and dating preferences.
The good date ideas that work for you are those that keep your interest while also keeping her interested and eager to get closer. Those same ideas may not work for another couple.
All of the above ideas are great, but what you need to do is to choose the great first date idea that is right for you.
Use the steps above and pick a date idea that really speaks to you. That way, you can just enjoy your time with your date and enjoy getting closer. Then, get ready for date number 2.