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11 Fun first date ideas

photo of Laura
by Laura
11 Fun first date ideas

Are you bored of coffee dates? Fed up of small talk over expensive cocktails? Sick of agreeing to dinner on a first date only to end up looking for an excuse to leave 10 minutes in? You need fun date ideas.

We think first dates should be fun, flexible and low-commitment. If it’s awkward or you’re nervous (both very likely scenarios in the world of first dates) it helps if there’s an activity involved to break the ice. Check out our fun date ideas if you need some inspiration and want to get your date off to a flying start.

1. Food market

Food markets are a great first date idea as an alternative to having a sit-down meal. Markets are cheaper, quicker and more casual. Once you’ve got your food, sit in the market, go to the nearest park or have a stroll, the choice is yours. Go back for dessert if the date’s going well!

2. Wine tasting

People who go wine tasting tend to fall into 2 categories: those who take it very seriously and take notes, and those who can’t keep a straight face while trying keep the wine exactly where it should be. Whichever category you fall into, wine tasting is a fun first date idea that will teach you something new and help you to get a little merry. What more could you want from a date?

3. Board game cafe

These cafes have been popping up all over the place recently, and they’re ideal for first dates. The games themselves are superb ice-breakers and should help you both to relax. Introduce your date to your favourite game, and don’t be afraid to ask the waiting staff for recommendations; many of these cafes have hundreds of games on offer so the choice can be overwhelming! Lots of pubs also have games for customers to play, so keep a look out for these too.

4. Bike ride

Dig out your rickety old bike or hire one and tootle around town to a park together. Bring a picnic and stop for a chat and a nibble. A great date idea for active types or if you want to do something a bit different on a fun first date. Just remember not to get too competitive or leave your date behind if you’ve got thighs of steel!

5. Pub quiz

If you’re a trivia king/queen, why not take your date to a pub quiz? You might not win with just two of you (unless you’re seasoned veterans) but you’ll get to know each other and any awkward silences are likely to be filled by the quizmaster. You could even suggest a double date quiz team to ease the pressure and give you more chance of bagging the big prize.

6. Vintage/Car boot sale

Car boot sales are having a revival. They’ve moved on from the good old days of used electronics and kids’ toys. These days you can find great vintage pieces and cheap antiques if you know where to look. You’re also guaranteed to find some weird and wonderful items that you won’t be able to resist buying together, but you’ll regret as soon as you’re home. Going to a car boot sale on your first date gives you a low pressure environment full of interesting oddities to get to know your date better.

7. Ping pong bar

If you want to get sweaty on your first date, suggest going to a bar where you can play ping pong. Don’t get too competitive and don’t have a tantrum if you lose. Keep it friendly and don’t try too hard. If this all sounds like a bit too much exertion, you could try a pool or darts date or instead.

8. Karaoke bar

Do you have the voice of an angel? Or do you love tunelessly belting out power ballads in public places? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, okay it with your date, head to a karaoke bar. If you’re feeling nervous, have a few drinks together to loosen your vocal chords. Then pick your go-to karaoke song and treat your date to the performance of a lifetime. Or try a duet to see how well you harmonise!

9. Escape room

Are you willing to take the risk of being locked in a small room for an hour with someone you’ve never met before? This could be the fun first date for you! Puzzles involved in escape rooms provide plenty of talking points. You’ll need to work together to make it out within the time limit, so it gives you a great insight into how well suited you might be. This isn’t an ideal first date for deep conversation as you’ll be too busy trying to escape, but you can always move on to a bar afterwards if you get on well.

10. Outdoor swimming

Feeling adventurous? If it’s warm out (or if you’re brave!) why not give outdoor swimming a try? Don’t be nervous about stripping down to your swimsuit; as soon as you’re in the water you’ll feel invigorated and once you’re out again you’ll experience an incredible adrenaline rush. What a great way to start a date! You’ll get over your nerves as soon as the cold water hits you and gives you something else to think about.

11. Animal shelter

If your dating sites profiles show that you’re both lovers of all things cute and fuzzy, try suggesting a trip to an animal shelter where you can help out by walking a dog. This is a nice wholesome first date activity and you’ll be doing a good deed while getting to know your date. If things don’t work out, at least you’ll have made a new canine friend!

Now you’ve picked your perfect first date, try out one of our most cringeworthy pick up lines (success not guaranteed), or register with Match to meet the date of your dreams.