I’m sure the first date I ever went on probably consisted of dinner and a movie. You know why I don’t remember? Because it probably consisted of dinner and a movie.
A friend of mine recently asked me for first-date ideas which quickly led to a debate over whether or not taking a girl out to dinner was acceptable. Let me make this clear: Dinner. Dates. Are. Not. Bad.
I love dinner; it’s easily one of my three favorite meals. If it were socially acceptable, I would have “Professional Food Consumer” somewhere on my resume.
Here’s the thing: the amount of dinner dates any girl has been or will go on in her lifetime is immeasurable. And, outside of the unavoidable bad dates, we tend to enjoy and appreciate each one. But if you really want to impress, I suggest you cancel that dinner reservation. It’s that little extra effort that lets us know we’re worth more than the first idea to pop into your head.
If you’re not in high school, it’s time to grow up and start dating like an adult.
Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of ten fun date ideas to help you stand out:
1. Picnic (With A View)
This is somehow one of the most cliche and yet still underused date ideas in the history of date ideas. Please, for the love of Whatever-You-Pray-To, grab a blanket, throw some sandwiches into a basket, and take her some place with a good view. Bonus points to Gryffindor if you make the food yourself.
2. Farmers Market
Grab some reusable bags or a basket and hit the local farmers market. Spend time at each booth, perusing and taste-testing all that every stop has to offer. It’s an easy way to find out what catches her eye.
3. Sporting Event
This idea’s good if she like sports. I personally love sporting events. There’s something about ballpark treats and cheering on my favorite teams that instantly puts me in a great mood. Plus, there’s always room for a little playful competition.
4. Amusement Park or Carnival
Never pass up on carnival games and funnel cake.
5. Interactive Dining
The one exception I’ll make to food dates is when the dining experience is interactive; the point is to foster communication. If you’re going to go out to a restaurant, make sure it’s a type of food you both have never tried before that way you’re creating a new experience together. She’ll always remember the first time she tried XYZ. Other options include trivia nights or beer/wine tastings.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t have to be a whole overnight camping trip. But...find a nice spot, make a fire, stargaze, and roast marshmallows. Who doesn’t love s’mores?
No, I’m not talking about taking her to a club. Take her out dancing. Real dancing. Millennials don’t know how to dance anymore, and so I think we tend to avoid it at all costs. Well, stop avoiding it. One of the best times I ever had was at a Spanish tapas bar in Downtown San Diego.
8. Aquarium or Zoo
Brighten up an ordinary stroll by adding animals!
9. Orchard Fruit-Picking
My personal favorite is apple-picking, but there are many different types of fruit orchards. Then come home and use your fresh fruit to make something delicious.
10. Cook Together
Plan a meal. Get the ingredients. Have different recipes available (meat, fish, pasta, vegetables), so that you can be ready to make anything she/he is feeling.
If you're really struggling, remember my motto: when in doubt, Groupon it out!