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Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

First Date Finder

Dinner and a movie? Zzzzzzzzzzz…. Been there, done that. A first date location is a big deal. So just in case your date himself isn’t exciting, you need to plan ahead, people! Make sure the actual date location and event is exciting! That way, in case your date turns out to be a really snoozer, at least you’ll have a little fun in the process!

Drinks, dinner and a movie are all fun, safe and basic. But this is Triumphs and Tragedies, folks. We are daring and courageous people, and I will have no safe and basic in my column. Get out, safe and basic, shoo….shoo…go away. What fun is a date if it’s not fun. Hey baby, let’s eat, then watch a movie. Yow. You have the rest of your relationship to do that. Your first date should be exciting.



There are various locations that you can choose to spruce things up a bit, and they can include a meal or drink, so that it gives you something to do other than just sit there, enjoy the scenery or event, and just stare at each other while you realize you have nothing in common. Just kidding, first dates aren’t always that bad. Just mine. Again, I’m kidding.

I have broken it down depending on your personality and preferences, so that when you decided on the first date and he you what you want to do, it’ll be all planned out for you!

The Outdoorsy Type Date Ideas

» Park
Go fly a kite, search for four-leaf clovers, go for a bike ride or throw a Frisbee. Some parks have various activities such as horseback riding and hiking trails.

» Zoo/Aquarium
Zoo’s stink, but only in the smelly way. Otherwise, go for it. Especially if you’re an animal lover and a kid at heart. And there’s a lot to do at Zoo’s besides just stare at a bunch of animals. There’s rides, food and activities. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure. An Aquarium is always a fun environment, and that dark cozy setting is perfect for a first kiss.

» Snorkeling
Probably best for two people that have had a little bit of experience, or are in a prime location to do it, but nevertheless, fun. It’s definitely a good way to bond, especially if it is a common interest.

» Meal Options
After your funfest, take in a picnic lunch or a BBQ at the park in the afternoon. It’s the perfect setting and a nice environment to get to know someone.

Artsy Date Ideas

» Museum/Art Gallery
Museums are an endless source of material. You can spend hours in museums. From the regular displays to visiting exhibits, to performances. Sculptures, gardens, walkways. Whether you like artwork, history or culture, and especially if you like discussing it with someone else—this is the place for you. An art gallery, like a museum, provides you with the opportunity to explore different paintings and discuss. And sometimes they serve free wine—drink up!

» Theatre
A play or musical can be a lot of fun, whether it’s a small, trendy, local theatre group, or a ritzy, let’s-get-all-dolled-up, Broadway production. Comedy, Drama, Musical—entertainment is always good. It doesn’t give you a whole lot of time to talk to each other, but the travel time there will give you the opportunity to talk, and afterwards, you’ll then have material—you can discuss what you just saw.

» Crafts Show/Antiquing
A Crafts show is usually outdoors, so would be great for a daytime date. You can walk around, check out some cool crafts and talk about how you wish you had that much talent to make stuff. Buy a pretty new piece of jewelry and have him help you put it on. That was sweet of him, wasn’t it? Then, maybe he’ll buy a new painting for his place…you can help him pick it out. You will be spending a lot of time there, after all. Won’t you? Antiquing can varying from a yard sale to an Estate sale to a large Antique Warehouse, so depending on how much you like him—pick accordingly. It can be minutes of fun to hours of not-so-fun. But either way, you can find lots of cool little treasures…and cobwebs.

» Meal Options
Many of these locales have little Cafés where you can sip Cappuccinos and discuss the artwork that you adored or the play that you simply loathed. After the Crafts Show or Antiquing, head down to a little Coffee Shop for soup and a sandwich. Sit outside on the sidewalk and people watch while you chat about your new amazing purchases. The quaint little setting will be the perfect end to your afternoon…and the perfect beginning to your night. What should you do next?

Cool and Calm Date Ideas

» Concert
Yes, they are loud, and noisy, but if your musical tastes mesh, then they can be a lot of fun. You can bond beforehand talking about your favorite songs, what you’re most excited to hear and your best memories of the band. Be goofy and sing along together during the show, and afterwards you can rave about how fun it was. And who knows, maybe you’ll even buy matching t-shirts? Aww, how cute!

» Country Drive
Go for a nice scenic drive, bring a basket with snacks, and a bottle of wine. The drive is the key, but the destination could be a nice overlook or the beach to watch the sunset. Then pop the cork, and hopefully…magic.

» Mini-Golfing
One of my personal favorites. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s so fun.

» Meal Options
Concert food is concession, the country drive will be up to you, but Mini-Golfing usually ensures a little Ice Cream.

Old-Fashioned Date Ideas

» Drive-In-Theatre
Yes, they do still exist. And going to one will make you wonder why they ever got rid of them in the first place. It’s a fun way to see a movie and it will make you a little nostalgic for the old-days. Plus, you’re not sharing your space with a bunch of other people in a movie theatre. It’s just you, and him, and that’s really nice. It’ll make the movie-going experience a little more special.

» Dancing
I’m not gonna lie, he might not be up for this one. But if he’s a good sport, or better yet, a good dancer, he could give it a shot. Whether it’s a couples dance class, or a local event that has dancing—some have them on beaches or at outdoor neighborhood gatherings—it’s a sweet way to spend time with someone and get to know them. Up close you can chat…or step on their toes.

» Amusement Park
Sure, they’re still common, but there is something kind of 1950’s about them. Maybe you can wear his Letterman’s Jacket?

» Meal Options
For the movie, you can do the standard Popcorn, but since you’ll be in your car, feel free to bring whatever suits your tastes. No need to worry about sneaking snacks into the theatre. I promise, I won’t tell. After a fun night of dancing, and working off all those calories, indulge a little. An old-fashioned night deserves an Old-Fashioned Dessert Shoppe. Find a good homemade bakery and get the biggest slice of pie or cake you can. And at the Amusement Park…Cotton Candy, Fried Dough, Caramel Apples…need I say more?

There are many, many other date options out there, and these are just the basics. One you know who your date is and when your date is, do a quick search of events that might be coming up in your town. Chances are, there could be something specific that is coming up that might suit the both of you. Otherwise, there are probably things that are held occasionally. More than likely, there are things in your town going on all the time, or places that you don’t even know about that are completely worthy of dates. There are little gems in every neck of the woods. They are just waiting to be found…and dated in. One day, someone is going to ask, “So where was your first date?” Won’t you want a good story to tell?

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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