11 Unusual Ideas for a First Date

If you’re hoping to wow your new interest with an exciting first date, you may want to ditch your movie plans and do away with the fancy dinner. The traditional first date blueprint often consists of a meal or a show, and while this plan may be familiar territory, it’s also dull and overdone.

Why not try something new together? A change of scenery will help ease your nerves. You may even find a new hobby that you and your interest can revisit over and over.

A first date is your opportunity to test out the waters with someone new. You’re just getting to know each other, so you’ll want a venue that sparks conversation. Perhaps you have a mutual hobby that you can explore together.

If not, try an activity that peaks your interest, or gets your adrenaline flowing. Trying something new and exciting is a great way to break the ice. Whether your date is a success or a dud, you’re sure to come out of the experience with great memories!

A word to the wise: Many of these venues are new to the market and still developing a following. Check them out on Groupon to score some great deals!

1. Brew Bike

brew bike

The Bierbike, as it’s sometimes called, originated in Europe and immigrated to the states in the last 10 years or so. It’s a fun new twist on bar hopping, where the bar follows along with you!

Besides being a fun and environmentally friendly way to tour a city, it’s also a great way to burn calories while you chat over a pint. These pedal pubs are popping up in cities across the nation, and you can often find discounted fare through Groupon.

What You Need to Know: Search “Beer Bike, Cycle Pub, Pedal Pub, or BierBike” to find a brew bike near you. Expect to pay about $70 for two seats, or $250-$400 to rent the whole bike. Make sure to read the fine print. Some bikes provide drinks for purchase and some are BYOB.

2. Urban Scavenger Hunt

urban scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts may inspire memories of childhood birthday parties or elementary school activities, but they’re not just for kids! A scavenger hunt can be a great way to discover new and exciting locations in your city.

It may also give you a chance to bond with your date by challenging you to explore together and work toward a common goal. Don’t forget to dress for the weather and wear sturdy walking shoes!

What You Need to Know: Search “Urban Scavenger Hunt” to discover experiences near you. You will be given a map and an item list or you will be guided through your quest via smartphone. Expect to spend $40-50 per couple, or snag a discount via Groupon.

3. Paddle Boarding

paddle boarding

If you live near the water, paddle boarding is the way to go. It’s a peaceful sport that combines physical activity with quiet contemplation. There will be plenty of time for conversation as you paddle along the shoreline, and you’re sure to capture some beautiful views.

If your date has expressed interest in yoga, you may want to try a paddleboard yoga class. These classes actually take place in the water, where you pose on your paddleboard instead of on a yoga mat. Unless you’re an expert yogi, plan to get wet!

What You Need to Know: Search “Paddleboarding, Stand up Paddleboarding, or Paddleboard Yoga” to find an experience in your area. Plan to pack towels and sunscreen and don’t forget to wear clothing that dries quickly. Expect to pay $60-$135, or cut your costs in half by purchasing your tickets through Groupon.

4. Board Game Lounge

board game lounge

Of course, water sports aren’t for everyone. If you’re looking for something a bit more laid back, consider meeting your date at a game lounge. These cafes are popping up across the nation, and offer an opportunity to sit back with a cup of coffee and face off against your date over a favorite board game.

Our culture is so “plugged in” that board games have fallen by the wayside. Take an opportunity to revisit them and you may enjoy a sense of nostalgia that sparks a connection between you and your date. As an added bonus, board games are a great way to get to know someone. Is she competitive? Is he a team player or a sore loser? Finding out is half the fun!

What You Need to Know: Search “Board Game Lounge or Board Game Cafe” to find a business near you. Most places charge hourly admission and offer food and drinks for sale. Expect to pay about $15 per couple plus the cost of refreshments. Don’t forget to search for discounts!

5. Whirlyball

Ready to kick things up a notch? If games are your thing, but you’re looking for something with a faster pace, try Whirlyball! It’s a new sport hitting the nation, and let’s be real…it looks crazy fun!

Two teams of five players face off in a game that is a vague take on basketball with the addition of–drumroll please–bumper cars! That’s right, you and your date will wheel around the court in tiny, super-powered bumper cars. Talk about a thrill!

What You Need to Know: Search “Whirlyball” to find a court near you. You will need to gather a team of 10-15 friends, so this works best as a group date. There’s no experience necessary: the referee will explain all of the rules before the game.

Expect to spend about $200 for a one-hour game (or as little as $55 via Groupon). The cost may include food and drinks. Check out your local venue to be sure.

6. U-Pick farms


I was born and raised in the Midwest, so U-Pick farms have captured my heart and will always be my  favorite dating venue. There’s nothing more romantic than meandering through the rows of an orchard, or comparing battle wounds after picking raspberries.

You may have visited the pumpkin patch or gone apple picking in the fall, but did you know that many farms are open year round? Depending on the season, you may have the opportunity to pick everything from strawberries to asparagus to chrysanthemums.

Some farms charge admission, but many simply charge for the produce you pick. Oftentimes it’s quite affordable, seeing as you are providing the labor for the harvest.

What You Need to Know: Visit PickYourOwn.org to find a farm near you. Dress casual and expect to get a bit dirty. What you spend is completely up to you. Keep in mind that many U-Pick farms have an accompanying market where you can purchase products from the farm, such as jams and honey, as well as ice cream and snacks.

7. Paramotoring


Are you and your new interest adrenaline junkies? If so, paramotoring might be a great first date for you. Take to the skies and enjoy a tour of your town via a motorized paraglider. Tandem tours are available in 20 or 40 minute increments. Enjoy a soaring view of your city and then share about your experience after you touchdown. Thrills get your blood pumping and allow you to bond with your partner in a unique way.

What You Need to Know: Search “Paramotoring or Motorized Paragliding” to find a tour near you. This is a pricier experience at about $100 per person with a Groupon discount, so be sure to discuss the cost with your date. This is a great opportunity if you’ve both been looking for a new thrill. Be sure to connect afterwards for dinner or drinks.

8. Mixology Class


If you enjoy going out for drinks, but want more than the typical bar experience, then why not try a mixology class? You and your date will make and sample a variety of drinks. You may even learn a few pouring tricks from bartending pros! Enjoy learning how to make your favorite drinks at home. You will bond with your date while you share your likes and dislikes. You may even discover some new favorites.

What You Need to Know: Check out MixologyClassesUs.com to find a couple’s class in NYC, Boston, Dallas, Las Vegas or Miami. If you’re looking elsewhere, try searching “Couples Mixology Class”. Expect to spend $150-200 per couple (less if you can find a discount near you). Don’t forget to make arrangements for a designated driver!

9. Color Run

color run

If the thought of sitting through a three hour movie makes you fidget, consider trying a fun run! The opportunities are endless and physical activity is a great way to bond with someone new.

You can try a color run, where the runners are blasted with colored chalk powder. If that’s not your style, consider a zombie run, where actors in realistic zombie make-up will chase you through the course. You can also try a Tough Mudder, an inflatable 5-k, or a nighttime Glo run.

What You Need to Know: Visit Active.com to find a race near you. Registration fees vary from Free-$50 per person and often include a SWAG bag with coupons and goodies. Part of your fee may even benefit a local charity.

10. Skyrobics


Are you and your date fitness junkies? If so, consider trying out a trendy new fitness class together. Skyrobics is one example. It combines a traditional aerobics class with the use of trampolines, and often takes place within a trampoline park.

Other examples include Parkour, POUND drumming classes, Forza sword fighting, SURFset and Star Wars fitness. Get your blood pumping and break a sweat with your date. It’s a great way to stay in shape, and it will help ease those first date jitters.

What You Need to Know: Search “Trendy Fitness Classes” to find a gym near you. Make sure the class offers drop-ins. Wear comfortable clothing and plan to refuel after your class with lunch or a smoothie. Expect to spend $10-30 per couple for a single drop-in class.

11. High Ropes Course

high ropes course

High ropes courses require you to rely on your partner to navigate a series of obstacles high above the forest floor. Not only do these courses allow you to get out and experience nature, they are also a great way to get to know someone knew.

There’s nothing quite like trusting another person to get you through a tough spot. A ropes course is sure to get your heart pounding…and you’ll have an excuse for those sweaty palms.

What You Need to Know: Search “High Ropes, Low Ropes, or Obstacle Course” to find an experience near you. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and closed-toe shoes. Expect to pay $40-80 per couple.

Sources: NYTimes.com, UrbanAdventureQuest.com, ExperienceSUP.com, TheAtlantic.comWhirlyballMichigan.com, ExperiencePPG.com,  Collective-Evolution.com, InTheTreetops.com


11 Unique Ideas for First Dates