First Date Ideas

Coming up with a great first date idea can be a daunting task. Sure, there’s the normal stuff like meeting at a coffee house or going out to dinner… But what if you want the date to me more memorable? The purpose of this article is to provide you with some excellent first date ideas that fall into one of three categories: Inexpensive, Expensive, and Extravagant. Use this list as inspiration to create your own perfect first date.

SEE ALSO: Study Results – The Perfect First Date

Inexpensive First Date Ideas:

Plan a first date that will be fun and memorable.

Plan a first date that will be fun and memorable.

1. Check out the beach
Take a picnic, a bottle of wine and a rug and spend the day catching the sun together. Or you could take a dip together. All that splashing is bound to be great fun. If there’s not a beach near you, then head out to a cool river spot.

2. Feed the homeless
Look for a volunteer opportunity near you that both of you can participate in for your first date. It may be feeding the homeless at a shelter or helping someone in need with their landscaping. This gives you a great opportunity to get to know each other while doing something great for the community.

3. Make the movies work
Let your date choose the film. It will show a good gesture if you don’t have the same taste in films. Select a unique theater (i.e. leather seating) to enhance the experience and arrive early to provide plenty of time to get to know each other. Normally, the movie theater isn’t a good first date option, but if you make it a more unique experience and arrive extra early, there will be plenty of time to get to know each other before the movie starts.

4. Go crazy at a theme park
Big or small, everybody loves theme parks. Triple loop roller coasters, dodgems, etc. is the ideal date for the big kid in us.

5. Explore local food truck venues
Go on an expedition to find local food trucks and sample their food. Make it enjoyable, like a scavenger hunt.

6. Go indoor ice skating – or roller blade in the park
You can lean against each other for balance and warmth.

7. Enjoy a sporting activity that you both like
If you are both big basketball fans, then take a trip to see a professional basketball game together.

8. Go fly a kite
It’s a lot more fun than you may think! Plus it takes teamwork to make it work nice.

9. Take a trip to the zoo
Everyone likes animals so a trip to the zoo makes for a perfect date.

10. Investigate a local museum or art gallery
Museums and art galleries are a great first date because they provide excellent conversation ideas. “What do you think of this piece?” “What is it?”

Go on an expedition to find local food trucks and sample their food. Click To Tweet

Expensive First Date Ideas:

1. Go to a concert
Take them to see their favorite band in concert and dance the night away.

2. Go for an expensive meal
Have her serenaded by one of the waiters with a bottle of champagne and a dozen red roses.

3. Horse around
Take a trip to the nearest place that has horseback riding (not the fair). Spend the afternoon horseback riding and stopping to take in the scenery and afternoon lunch in a local inn.

4. Enjoy candle lit dinner for two aboard a yacht
Take her out to sea. Put on the full works, captain sailing, champagne on ice and lobsters for dinner.

5. Take in a show
Get dressed up for the evening and go along to watch one of your favorite shows at a theater house. Or go to a premier of a big blockbuster movie.

6. Horse drawn carriage at night
Take a trip around the city and through the park on a horse drawn carriage. Have it take you to a swanky restaurant and wait while you dine.

7. Under the sea – Go scuba diving
There’s three worlds to explore on Earth. What’s under the surface, what’s on the surface, and what’s above the surface. Take your date on an adventure to discover what wonders the ocean holds.

8. Take to the sky – Go for a trip in a hot air balloon
The thrill and beauty of a hot air balloon ride is a very romantic and exciting date. And that’s no hot air.

9. A trip to New York for the afternoon
Fly her to New York and back in an afternoon. This is the ultimate first date destination (especially if it is her first time there).

10. On top of the world
Prepare a basket of caviar, prawn cocktail, strawberries and cream and champagne on ice and take to the skies.

Extravagant First Date Ideas:

1. Fly her to Paris and back
Take in all the sights that Paris has to offer. Finish the date with an expensive meal in one of the swanky restaurants in Paris.

2. Helicopter ride
Go for a flight over the city in a helicopter.

3. Become a Vegas Whale
Dress up to the nines and go blow a fortune in a top casino.

4. Parachute jump
Take to the sky for the high of a lifetime. This is cannot be a surprise date unless you are sure this is what they want.

5. Climb to the top of the world
Go mounting climbing on a clear summer’s day. Don’t forget the flag for when you reach the top.

6. Go swimming with dolphins
This has to be the ultimate experience of a lifetime and if you aim to impress, this is the way to do it.

7. Parasailing
Take to the sea, have lunch, then the sky’s the limit.

8. Eat in
Hire a top chef and waiting staff to prepare a meal and evening that your date won’t soon forget.

Do you have anything to add to either list? If so, please leave a comment below. It’s easy!

(Editor’s note: this article was originally published in 2008 and updated in 2015)


Joe Tracy

Joe Tracy is the publisher and founder of Online Dating Magazine, which launched in July 2003 and has been providing original dating advice, tips, articles, reviews, and videos to readers ever since.


  1. expertdating on January 28, 2010 at 9:57 am

    The choice of location where you both would be meeting up would largely depend upon whether you already know each other or are just about to start the relationship. If you are on a first date with a somewhat unfamiliar person, make it a point to choose a more public place. In this case, as you just have to learn more about your partner’s liking, disliking, behavior, and way of thinking; you need to choose a place where you both of you can discuss freely. Read more on great date ideas.

    Put on some apparel that you generally wear for any occasion, and keep yourself ‘you’. It is better not to try and be someone you are not. As this is a date for knowing each other, discuss as much as you can in the time available. You certainly would not want both of you simply sitting idle for most of the time and asking questions at periodical intervals. Participate in an activity that both of you like, such as swimming, sports, visiting an amusement and theme park or a street fair, etc.

  2. Ryan on October 15, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    This is an excellent list and we’ll put this down in our dating tips blog roundup of the week. I also recommend some ice skating come next month…it’s a great, fun and cheap date idea that always sparks the romance. Just don’t break your hip 🙂

Leave a Comment

  • Summary

    Here are 28 first date ideas that are nicely categorized as inexpensive, expensive, and extravagant. And if you can afford extravagant then your date is lucky!

[sibwp_form id=1]

Most Viewed

Malcare WordPress Security