Good first date ideas can be hard to come by. Great first date ideas are even harder. Generally speaking, you’re going in blind with little to no knowledge of the other person with a view to convincing them that you’re the best bloke ever. Shoot too low and you won’t make a lasting impression. Aim too high and you could find yourself stuck on a lengthy jaunt with somebody you don’t like (and who probably isn’t that crash-hot on you either). In between both of these extremes lives a happy medium that will, with a little creativity, ensure a top first date for the two of you, that should get you across the line and into a second and third date with ease (assuming your chat is also up to scratch).
With the following suggestions, you’ll be able to find the inspiration you need to make sure you don’t end up tipping jars in another boring cocktail joint on a Tuesday in the hopes that she’ll find you interesting.
This article is part of our Under the Covers Series
Do an Escape Room
This first date idea is a sound option, but has the risk of going sour if either of you take it too seriously. It’s one of the most fun times you can have locked in a room together and still wearing clothes – do a little research and find one that’s got a good reputation for being fun and reasonably challenging. Keep it short and sweet with a 60 minute challenge for 2 and put your collective minds to the test and see if you can make it out in time. An escape room first date is a great way to see what kind of a team you’d make and if you book it in the late afternoon / early evening, it has the potential to turn into dinner and then the rest.
Visit a Bookshop
This might sound a little lame, but in practice is actually a cracker. If you already know a little about each other (maybe you have mutual friends) then set a $20 budget and buy a book for each other. It’s a fun, quick way to find out a lot about the other person, and if it doesn’t work out you still get a sweet new book out of it. Hollywood legend John Waters famously said: “We need to make books cool again. If you go home with somebody and they don’t have books, don’t f*ck them.” Make him proud.
This is definitely not a cheap first date – but it’s a bloody good one. Pretty much any race track has services that, for a hefty fee, will put you behind the wheel of a real race car and, after a long safety briefing and a couple of practice runs, will let you tear around a track at full-pelt for several laps. Make it a competition by seeing who can score the quickest lap time and pull your perfect first date across the finish line with ease.
Challenge Her in Mini Golf
It sounds cheesy, but putt-putt is literally never a bad time for any concerned parties. Drink a few bevs and loosen up over 18 holes of classic first date banter. It also involves just the right amount of competitiveness, which can be a fun way to show your sporting prowess and dominance on the astroturf without looking like a complete wanker. The folks at Holey Moley have two venues already up and running, with more in the pipeline – their bars are well stocked and their balls are ripe for the smacking. Get amongst it.
Make Your Own Gin
This one is rather specific as it involves a willing distillery, but it’s a great first date if you both love booze and want to do something more interesting that just drinking it in the same bar. Craft spirits are the new black, and plenty of these small distilleries (including our friends at Archie Rose) offer tours that, at the end, let you blend together some pre-distilled flavours to create your own custom gin. Get this boozy first date right and you’ll be serving your own bespoke gin at the wedding.
Ready. Steady. Cook.
Bold because it involves a kitchen, meaning one of you will have to go to the other’s house, which may actually make this a better second or third date idea. Either way, it’s super fun and if you’re a dab hand in la cucina then it’s also an awesome opportunity to show off your chops (literally). How to play? One of you picks 5 random ingredients from the supermarket and the other one turns them into three dishes, which you can cook together. Make sure there’s plenty of wine on-hand (and a good pizza delivery shop on speed-dial, just in case). You get a yummy meal and the opportunity for some great banter in the meantime.
Look, we’re not telling you to get arrested on your first date, but a little “urban exploring” can make for a great story to tell the grandkids one day. If you’re both feeling a little risqué, consider getting off the beaten track and finding a creepy abandoned building. “Urbex” is a little-known subculture that’s grown in popularity thanks to Instagrammers wanting to get shots of places that others didn’t know existed. A quick search on Google is the best way to find the top urbex sites near you – most are harmless, open warehouses filled with graffiti that don’t require any effort on your part. Don’t go breaking any entry points, make sure you wear good shoes and take a torch with spare batteries if you’re really going for it. Oh, and remember the ultimate urbex rule: when it rains, no drains.
Have a Flutter
A first date is a bit of a gamble in and of itself, so this suggestion makes total sense. The casino is definitely not the venue for a first date, but assuming she’s not a member of PETA, a day or night at the races can be a supremely fun time. An easy way to set the tone is to put a small bet on every runner in the first race so you’ve got at least one winning ticket. You’ll probably lose money overall, but it’ll make you look good, which is the goal here. Horses, greyhounds or harness racing are all viable options, and you’ll find a way to have fun even if it’s not spring carnival.
And there it is. If you can’t find some quality inspiration above to get the romantic sparks flying on your first cute little outing then it’s probably not going to be love and marriage this time around. Throwing inhibition to the wind and being more creative on your first date can pay off tenfold in the long term, so don’t be afraid to put your thinking cap on and come up with something fresh and exciting that isn’t just another round of cocktails. Good Luck!
This article is part of our Under the Covers Series