33 Most Fun First Date Ideas for Budding Romance in 2024

Last Updated on Jan 10th 2024
first date ideas

Are you looking for fun first date ideas near you but everything that pops up just isn't a good fit? We’ve been there. You can only meet for coffee so many times before you’re falling asleep in your iced latté. 

What is a good idea for a first date, anyway? Where can I take someone on a first date that will get them excited for future dates? Let’s talk about it! Read on for some of our favorite first date ideas this year that are sure to be hits.

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Creative First Date Ideas

1. Get Creative at Paint and Sip

Paint and sip is a great date idea for adults. You get to relax and chat with a glass of wine while doing something fun and creative. There’s also no pressure to actually make something good. It’s all for fun!

Due to how popular this activity is, there’s sure to be paint and sip near you. You can paint and sip in Colorado Springs, paint and sip in Chicago, paint and sip in NYC and anywhere else.

paint and sip first date idea
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2. Make Something New in Pottery Classes

If the movie Ghost told us anything, it’s that pottery can be surprisingly steamy. You might not be Patrick Swayze, but you can still use a pottery class for your first date idea. 

Whether you’re looking for pottery classes in Boston, pottery classes in Houston, pottery classes in Los Angeles or elsewhere, there are sure to be pottery classes near you for your date.

3. Get Moving in Dance Classes

If you're looking for romantic things to do on a first date, why not try dance classes near you? You’ll get to get close to your date, learn something new and get your blood pumping.

You can try salsa dance classes in the Bay Area, bachata dance classes in Las Vegas or even belly dance classes in NYC. If you’d rather stay home, you can try online dance classes until you’re more comfortable with your dance moves.

4. Check Out Some Live Local Music

Support your local music scene with an artsy first date idea by checking out some local bands. You can dance the night away or just sit at the bar with a drink or two while the music plays in the background. 

Bonus: small local musicians often have super affordable shows, so this is a great weekend date idea for anyone on a budget.

5. Visit a Local Art Museum or Installation

Wondering where to go on a first date? A quiet day at an art museum or installation is a perfect romantic thing to do on a first date. Art museums are available in most cities and you can find installations or galleries in any city or town with a college art program.

Everyone knows that a trip to The Met is one of the best first date ideas in NYC, but even smaller and lesser-known museums will be a blast. Explore the best NYC art galleries, Portland art galleries, Chicago art galleries or galleries in your area.

couple viewing art gallery together
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6. Visit an Independent Movie Theater

If your date is a movie lover, why not take them out to the cinema? No, we’re not talking about seeing a high-budget movie in a standard theater. Check out your local independent movie theater and see what they’re showing for a unique twist one of the more classic date jar ideas.

Often you’ll be able to find foreign films, films by local artists and other independent films that you never would have seen otherwise. This makes for a simple last-minute date idea any day of the week.

Foodie First Date Ideas

7. Experience New Flavors in Cooking Classes

You could go out for a fancy meal, or you can try a unique date idea and make your own meal at cooking classes near you instead. Maybe you and your date will find a new favorite dish!

Make pasta in cooking classes in Portland, try your hand at French toast in cooking classes in Washington D.C. or make perfect potstickers in cooking classes in Houston.

If you’d rather cook at home with your date, online cooking classes are available as well! This is a great first date idea for introverts and homebodies.

8. Be Your Own Bartender With Mixology Classes

A first or second date idea at the local bar has become a little cliché. Instead, be your own bartender with mixology classes! With online mixology classes, you supply the ingredients and follow along to make your favorite cocktails. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to bond.

9. Get Fancy at a Wine Tasting

Maybe cocktails aren’t your thing. What’s a more romantic thing to do on a first date than a wine tasting? Virtual wine tastings are one of the best stay-home date ideas for new couples. Relax and get to know each other over wine and a charcuterie board.

wine tasting first date idea
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10. Do a Food Tour

If you and your date are both foodies, a food tour is a great idea for a first date with a girl, guy or anyone who loves to try new foods. It’s even better if you’re in a foodie city.

For example, a food tour is one of the best first date ideas in Atlanta or date ideas in Chicago where there are endless flavors to experience. If you can’t find an official food tour, construct your own!

11. Try a Unique Cuisine

Is there a cuisine you’ve never tried before? Get adventurous with this first date idea and try something new. Look for food from a culture you’ve never experienced.

You might even find your new favorite restaurant for future dates. In fact, try foods from A-Z and make it a cute alphabet date idea!

12. Do a Cooking Challenge

Do you want some healthy competition? Try this flavorful first date idea. Have a Food Network-style cooking challenge with your date. 

Each “player” gets the same ingredients and the same amount of time to make a dish. In the end, you both try them and decide whose is best. This is so much fun that you’ll both be winners!

13. Have a Picnic

Picnics are great chill date ideas for foodies. You and your date should both bring your favorite dish to share. Find a great place to put a picnic blanket, crack open a bottle of wine and take advantage of the nice weather. 

couple enjoying picnic in the park
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14. Visit the Farmers Market

Visiting the farmers market is a great low-key first date idea. It’s public and casual, but still a lot of fun. You can even agree at the beginning to both buy a fruit or vegetable that you’ve never tried before and then try them together at the end of the date.

This is one of the best spring date ideas because of all of the local produce available. 

Unique First Date Ideas

15. Have a Virtual Game Night

Are you looking for good first date ideas for introverts? Look no further. You can play games together from the comfort of your own home. This is also one of our favorite winter date ideas for when the snow is piled so high you don’t want to drive.

You can play online trivia games, virtual scavenger hunts, virtual escape rooms and more during fun virtual game nights.

16. Do a Thrift Store Challenge

This couple activity is a lot of fun, but it takes a brave pair. Have a thrift store challenge. Plan an outing to a local event, restaurant, park or another locale.

Before you go, go to the thrift store together and choose each other’s outfits. Even if you wind up in something silly, you must wear what the other person chose!

This is a good first date idea for someone you already know because you’ll know their size and style. You can do it with a stranger if you’re brave, though. 

RELATED: 59 Double Date Ideas for Guaranteed Fun

17. Go Mini Golfing

Real golf is a bit too much of a commitment for a first date, but mini golf is perfect. It’s just competitive enough to light a spark between you, but games are short and easy. Anyone can learn to play. This is a great first date idea for teens and adults alike. Mini golf has no age limit!

mini golf first date idea
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18. Visit an Arcade Bar

Arcade bars are perfect first date ideas for adults who love video games. Start by playing games together while you get to know each other. When you’re ready for a break, you can sit down and chat over a drink and some snacks. 

If the conversation hits a lull, no problem. The games are available to fill any awkward gaps in conversation. Make it a double date idea for double the fun!

19. Play Board or Card Games

Card games and board games are just as fun if video games aren’t quite your speed. Whether you’re looking for first date ideas in NYC, first date ideas in Atlanta or date ideas in any city or town, there’s sure to be a local brewery with a supply of board and card games inside.

Pick something fun and childish like Guess Who or dig deeper with a “get to know you” game like We’re Not Really Strangers. Whichever you choose, you’ll have a blast with this easy weeknight date idea.

20. Go to a Cat Café

Cats? Great. Coffee? Also great. Combine them for a date idea by going to a cat café (as long as your date isn’t allergic to cats). This is another fantastic first date idea for introverts. If you get overwhelmed, turn your attention to the kittens. 

21. Try Roller Skating

Roller skating is back in fashion. Turn it into a fun couple activity! If you’re looking for spring, summer or fall date ideas, you can roller skate outside at a local park. If the weather outside is frightful, hit up your local roller rink and make it an active indoor date idea.

two young women rollerskating in the street
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22. Go to a Drag Show

Drag shows are so mainstream now that you can find one in almost every city. Even if you’re not into drag yourself, they’re a blast, and a drag show is a perfect date idea. You and your date will have a lot of fun watching people perform! 

23. Pick Library Books for Each Other

A visit to the library is another perfect low-key first date idea. You won’t be doing much talking, but you can show each other your favorite books. You and your date should both check out a book for each other. You can learn a lot about someone from their favorite book!

24. Visit the Aquarium

Aquariums are super relaxing. Have a first date amongst the sealife at your local aquarium. Walk through the shark tunnel, spend time in the jellyfish room and maybe even hold hands by the touch tank if you’re feeling brave. This is a great indoor summer date idea when you are looking to avoid the heat.

DIY First Date Ideas

25. Build a Bouquet in Flower Arranging Classes

Sure, you could show up to your date with a bouquet, but where’s the fun in that? Why not build bouquets together in virtual flower arranging classes? You’ll have a great souvenir to take home with you and you’ll learn a new skill!

If flowers aren't your thing, explore other virtual date ideas that help you get to know each other at home.

couple arranging white flowers together
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26. Get Crafty in Woodworking Classes

Woodworking is a lost art. It’s time to bring it back! If you're wondering what to do on a first date with a guy or gal who loves working with their hands, try woodworking classes.

You won’t be making furniture right away, but you can work together to build fun things like birdhouses, signs and more. If the date goes well, you may even have a new favorite hobby to work on together. 

27. Heat It Up in Glass Blowing Classes

Have you always wanted to learn how to make magical-looking glass figurines, orbs and more? You can try it with glass blowing classes. You and your date will be making beautiful pieces of glasswork in no time.

28. Try an Old-School Skill in Sewing Classes

Sewing is such a crucial practical skill, but almost no one knows how to do it anymore. Show your date that you’re willing to learn something useful and fun by signing up for sewing classes. 

After you become a sewing master, revisit the thrift shop challenge and “thrift flip” some fun finds during your next date!

29. Have an Arts and Crafts Day

This first date idea requires a bit of prep work, but it’s a lot of fun. It’s another good first date idea for teens and adults alike. 

Gather a bunch of crafting items like felt, paint, glue, paper and anything else that you could use to make a craft. Then, make a day of it. Work together on fun and silly crafts that may or may not be total disasters. As long as you have fun, the date is a success. 

couple making arts and crafts together
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Outdoor First Date Ideas

30. Go on a Hike

Researchers at Stanford have determined that going for a hike is great for your mood. If you want a mood-boosting first date idea, take your date on a nice hike! 

Unless your date is an adept hiker, choose a hike that’s fairly simple and that has a great view. Bring snacks and water to share. This is one of the best fall first date ideas if you’re in an area that gets great autumn colors!

31. Visit a Local Botanical Garden

If hiking isn’t quite your speed, no problem. A leisurely stroll through the botanical garden is just as good. If you have a local garden, it’s likely already on a list of local first date ideas near you.

Botanical gardens are popular for a reason! Check out local flowers, see some interesting animals and insects, and enjoy the nice weather. 

RELATED: 33 Superior Second Date Ideas to Further Your Connection

32. Go Stargazing

It’s time to grab a constellation chart, pack a bag with snacks and hot cocoa and get outside. That’s right: you’re going stargazing. This is a perfect first date idea for when the weather is warm and clear. Staring up at the stars is inherently romantic. 

33. Walk Shelter Dogs Together

Are you looking for a fun first date idea for someone you already know has a love for animals? Walking shelter dogs is a great idea. You can bond over doing something generous (and it’s a lot of fun).

Shelters always need volunteers to walk and play with dogs, so you’ll be doing them a favor while you have a great first date. 

walking dogs first date idea
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So, which of these fun first date ideas are you going to try this year? Whether you’re getting outdoors and adventurous or staying cozy inside with your introverted date, you’re sure to have a blast. As long as you both have fun, it’s a good date idea.

Good luck on your first date! We hope it leads to second date ideas, third date ideas and beyond. 

For even more fun date inspiration, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!