Bars, coffee, or dinner can be perfectly alright if you’re just getting to know someone, but if you’re looking to really make an impression more active dates are the way to go. Active dates are a good way to share an experience with your date and ease the pressure of the need for constant conversation and eye contact that comes with table-side dates. (Not to mention, we all get nervous on dates from time to time, and moving your muscles is a good way to loosen up your nerves.)
Here’s a list of eight fun date ideas to help you and your date get active, break a sweat, and make some memories:
Mini golf has been around since the early 20th century, and has been one of the best date ideas ever since. Taking your date out on the green and putting golf balls through oversized windmills is always a guaranteed good night. Expect to wrap up at 20 over par, but that’s part of the fun. Mini golf is great, because it’s easy to play, mobile, and, above all, it’s just plain fun.
Most courses will net you an hour or two of game time for anywhere from $10 to $20 per person. Nowadays, many mini golf courses have begun to serve drinks due to increased popularity amongst daters. Don’t worry: no golf cart required.
This one is for the sporty singles. If you grew up playing baseball or softball, then you already know the joy connecting a full force swing at a high speed pitch. If you didn’t, let me tell you—it feels fantastic. But don’t take my word for it. Grab a date and get out to the cages.
Batting cages are a cheap way to use those muscles you forgot you had and a great way to turn date night into game night. Make bets with your date on who can hit more, help your date work on their follow through, or share a milkshake and a laugh, because neither of you can hit a single one.
A Nature Hike
Hikes are good for the athletic folks and nature lovers. If you and your date check one or both of these boxes, then a hiking date is in your future. It’s called the great outdoors, because it’s, well, great. Incidentally, the outdoors are also great for dating. Whether it’s a desert, mountain, or just the woods by your home, hikes are a great way to share the beauty of the natural world with someone. A good vista point always wins romantic bonus points. Just make sure you and your date are on the same page about the hike in terms of length and intensity and remember to come prepared with water and snacks as needed.
An Escape Room
Escape rooms, also known as escape games, have become increasingly popular in recent years and are perfect for dates. Escape rooms are set in a number of fictional locations and the object is to do as the name implies—escape. Players use clues and hints to solve riddles and problems within the escape rooms to advance the plot and escape.
This type of problem solving game is great for team building and bringing daters together. An escape room can give you insight into how your date thinks and approaches problems, which could also be a valuable indicator of compatibility. Keep in mind, escape rooms can be pretty pricey (some run well over $100), so I’d recommend holding off on this one until you’ve been dating for a little while.
Go-karting is for all the daredevils out there. Ever feel the need to spice up your date with a little bit of adrenaline? If so, go-karting is the date idea for you. Like escape rooms, this activity can be a bit expensive, but is well worth the price. While whizzing around tight turns in a miniature open-air car may not be the most romantic event in its own right, it’s certainly a memorable experience and you’ll no doubt earn points for creativity.
If you and your date are music fans, seeing live music can be a great way to bond and hang out. There’s nothing quite like seeing a musician perform live whether its your local rockabilly bar band or Kanye West touring his latest album. Concerts are a good way for you and your date to enjoy entertainment without sitting tight-lipped in a dark movie theater. Live music is also an easy point of conversation that can give you insight into your date’s personal tastes.
Dance classes are good, because in most cases you’ll get to learn a skill together. Partner dancing is one of the few activities that can be physically intimate without being sexual. Besides, knowing how to move your body to a beat is always attractive. And if you can’t manage coordination, tangling up your bodies and losing balance is always worth at least a few good laughs.
Local Art Museums or a Gallery
This is probably best for daters who want to do something more active than a cup of coffee, but aren’t quite ready for couple’s jogging. Suggesting an art museum or gallery implies an air of sophistication and can be a fun way to spend an evening. Also, due to the size of most museums and galleries, couples are afforded physical space, which can be a good way to quiet the pressure for small talk. If you got an A in your college art history course, this is your time to strut your stuff.
No matter what your inclination, the perfect active date is out there for you. These are just some fun date ideas to get you started. Remember, dates are about getting to know someone and building memories above all else. Doing novel activities that get your blood pumping and allow you to see each other in a less formal setting is one of the best ways to get to know someone. So get a little creative and on your next date get active.