several different couples on various first dates

20 Perfect First Date Ideas

This list of 20 perfect first date ideas, will get you started. Especially if you are struggling to think of something to do on that next first date.

I have been on many many first dates over the years. And some were good some were bad, some were fun, some were not, but usually, it came down to the person I was with. If the person is rad, then it doesn’t really matter what you do on your first date.

First dates come in different kinds as well. It may be a blind date, it may be a group date, it may be the first date with someone who has been a long-time friend, and you are finally asking out. Whatever the case it is helpful to plan something fun, not too expensive, and not too time intensive.

Nothing is worse than a first date that drags on and on, and the other person keeps looking at their phone/watch. Or you keep thinking to yourself that you would rather be at home watching Netflix.

With that said consider these things once again whenever you are going on a date:

  • Length of time: In my experience 1 to 2 hours is plenty for a first date.
  • Allows for conversation: No, don’t do dinner and a movie on a first date. You need to be able to talk to your date.
  • Not too expensive: It is not really a good idea to spend a ton of money on your first date. Especially if it is a blind date.

A group setting is always a safe and decent idea for first dates. It helps break the ice and you don’t feel the pressure of having to keep the conversation going. Groups allow for a natural flow of conversation all around and help make the situation more comfortable.

20 perfect first date ideas that won’t break the bank but still impress

Let’s get on to the ideas. For each of these ideas, you can click on them to take you to a whole post all about that date idea and get a whole bunch more information about it as well as my experience with that particular date idea.

A Picnic and Walk in the Park cheap date idea man and woman on park bench near pond

1. A Picnic and Walk in the Park – Up first in my list of 20 perfect first date ideas is a classic date idea. It involves having a picnic in the park and then going for a walk afterward. You could also just keep it as a walk and skip the food part or vice versa.

The picnic date allows for great conversation, good scenery and doesn’t break the bank. And there are some pretty amazing parks around. Chances are you have a few near you or at least within a 30-minute drive.

2. Bowling – Next up is an age-old classic first date idea, bowling. I have done this date many times as a first date and each time it was fun. With that said, I usually think of a few ideas to do, and then let my date choose what she wants to do. If the girl picks bowling, bonus points. I love bowling.

The games are short, there is food usually available at the bowling alley, and this works great for just a couple or in a group. Want to make it more creative or give it a twist? Click on it to read all about how I make it more fun and creative.

Corn maze date idea cornfield with dirt path

3. Corn Maze – This next first date idea involves going to a corn maze! This is a holiday-themed date and usually is only available during October. But if you happen to find a hedge maze that is open year-round then that would be great too.

I love Halloween, so this date is a perfect way to get in the spirit. You can easily make this a group date or just the two of you.

4. Disco Roller Skating – Another age-old classic first date idea, disco roller skating. Strap on those skates or rollerblades and cruise around the roller rink. If you are lucky they will drop down the disco ball, play some tunes from the ’70s, and early 80’s and you can enjoy some awesome music. Okay, I know I would feel lucky if that happened, that music rocks!

Elevator Tag Silhouettes of people running with an elevator on a first date

5. Elevator Tag – This is a fun creative first-date idea that is really quite inexpensive as well. You get to test your luck and see if you can find the other couples and pick the right floor. This is definitely meant for groups.

6. Extreme Fun Center – These places are awesome and are one of my favorite perfect first date ideas. What is awesome about them is they usually have arcades, laser tag, bowling alleys, food, etc. You can spend an hour or two playing games and having some laughs. Another idea that works well with just the two of you or as a group date.

7. Fondue Party – I love food, so a lot of my creative date ideas revolve around food. This is a perfect first date idea for someone who enjoys food. You can do either a dinner/dessert-style fondue or just one or the other. It can be a little pricey to put one of these together, but for a group date, you can share the costs so it doesn’t cost that much per couple.

8. Frisbee Golf – I always enjoy frisbee or disc golf as a first date idea. It is something new that not a ton of people have played yet. It allows you to be able to walk around a nice park and get in some good conversation. If you already own the discs it is a fairly inexpensive date as well. Even if you wind up buying discs, starter sets are pretty cheap.

9. Go Kart Racing – Time to start those engines and race around that track. This is another classic first date idea. For some reason, even as adults we still enjoy riding around in “little race cars” that don’t go nearly as fast as our regular cars. This is a fun first date activity that doesn’t take too long and allows for a bit of friendly competition. Loser buys the dessert.

10. Comedy Club – I have been to comedy clubs many times on first dates, and they are always a hit. How can you not like laughing? Generally the same price as a movie, but a better option in my opinion than going to a movie theater for a first date.

10 more first date ideas

Couple cooking food together during a perfect first date idea

11. Cook-Off – I mentioned I like food. I also enjoy cooking. Next on my list of 20 perfect first date ideas is having a cook-off with other couples. I imagine this being a good first date idea with someone who has been a friend for a while and this is your first date together. Although you certainly could do this as a blind date as well.

Visit my food blog In The Kitchen With Matt if you want some ideas of what to cook.

12. Ice Skating – Another age-old classic date from the list of 20 perfect first date ideas is ice skating. Again this type of activity allows for conversation, some laughs as you each fall (or maybe fall), and doesn’t break the budget. Depending on where you live you may be on an outdoor skating rink around the holidays or inside year-round.

Indoor climbing gym girl climbing on a rock wall for her perfect first date idea

13. Indoor Climbing Gym – I have done this activity as a first date idea a number of times. A lot of people haven’t tried it before, but are willing to try it. Every time I have done this as a date, first date, or otherwise, I always run it past the girl first. The last thing you want is to take someone to the climbing gym if they are afraid of heights.

14. Look at Christmas Lights – Up next on the list of 20 perfect first date ideas is looking at Christmas lights. This is always a great time during the holidays. It always puts a smile on my face to walk around the neighborhoods and look at all the amazing lights. Then get a cup of hot cocoa or something afterward.

Miniature golf with couple on a perfect first date

15. Miniature Golf – No list of 20 perfect first date ideas would be complete if it didn’t have miniature golf on it. Probably one of the most classic first dates ever next to dinner and a movie.

This is Another first-date idea I have done several times. There are outdoor locations as well as some indoor miniature golf locations.

16. Pedal Boat Ride – This fun activity allows you to cruise around the water in style, and get a little bit of a workout while you are at it. Pedal Boat Rides make great first-date ideas. You get to chat the whole time and get to know each other.

Play board games group date idea people playing games on wooden table.

17. Play Board Games – Playing board games is one of my favorite group date ideas or double-date ideas. If your date likes board games, then this is the perfect first date idea for them. There are so many games to choose from, and you can easily make the evening as long or short as you like.

18. Pumpkin Carving – Another holiday-themed date idea. Pumpkin carving is a perfect first date during Halloween. You could carve one pumpkin together or each carves one. This works well as a group date.

19. Topgolf – Topgolf is a driving range on steroids. It has grown in popularity over the years and more and more of them are being built nationwide and around the world. This works great as a first-date idea in a group setting. Even if your date doesn’t know how to swing a club and hit a ball, this would be a fun place to learn.

Visit Downtown cheap date idea

20. Visit Downtown – Finally the last of the 20 perfect first date ideas we have visiting downtown. There is so much to do downtown. Window shopping, breathing in the “fresh” air, looking at all the tall buildings, visiting a specific landmark, etc.

This isn’t a definitive list but it will get you started. I have more date ideas here on my blog that could also qualify for awesome perfect first date ideas, but these are the ones I chose for this list.

Enjoy those first dates!

You can buy a copy of the book 101 Creative Dates: ideas, tips, and personal experiences from the life of a hopeless romantic here or visit the shop.

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