10 Second Date Ideas for When You Need to Step It Up

A man used one of these second date ideas and is presenting his date with some cotton candy as she laughs and smiles.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully accomplished a fantastic first date. Since dating is really hard (and often a little nerve-wracking) it’s something that should be celebrated. There’s no better feeling than meeting someone and thinking they might have potential to be a long-term partner. But here’s the real question—where will you go for the second date?

During your first date, you probably had a chance to ask your date a few vital questions about themselves, likely surrounding their career, hobbies, and family. The second date is more about sharing an experience with someone. It’s important to keep things fresh, especially in the beginning—and especially if you really like this person.

Here are a few fun ideas for a second date if you’re trying to figure out how to impress the person you’re with and keep things moving forward.

Go to an aquarium.
Aquariums always have a bunch of interesting fish to discover—and while they’re geared towards a wide audience, they’re a place where you can get in touch with your inner child. It’s always nice to see majestic jellyfish and scary sharks, but some aquariums have interactive experiences that’ll amp up the date even more. As a bonus, there’s something oddly romantic about that pale blue light flashing off the aquarium walls and it’s a great place for a first kiss if you haven’t had one yet.

See a fortune teller.
Just don’t ask that fortune teller whether or not your relationship will continue forward, since that might be a little awkward and too soon. Remember—this is only date two. Whether or not he or she will believe what the fortune teller will say, it’s still a fun and thought-provoking activity that the two of you can share, and something different to do. You may even uncover a little bit of insight as to who your date really is by how they respond to their reading.

Make a meal together.
There’s a good chance your first date was at a restaurant, where a professional cooked for you. Make food a big part of your second date as well, but this time, make it together. Even if it’s a meal from Blue Apron, it’ll be a bonding experience. If you don’t know how to cook, it could even be a little educational. Everyone’s gotta start somewhere, right? Since food bonds people, making food together is bound to be a lasting memory. As a bonus, you’ll probably strike up a lot of conversations about favorite meals and least favorite foods, so you can plan even more targeted dates in the future.

Go to a karaoke night.
Can’t sing? Neither can most of the people who try karaoke. But it’s so popular because it’s a lot of fun — and it’s also a way to let loose. Your partner might not be super comfortable with the idea since it’s often scary to get in front of strangers and belt out a tune. Even if they’re not ready to take the stage themselves (or, sing a duet with you) it’s still a lot of fun to watch others partake. You’ll probably get a good idea of the kind of music your date likes, too.

Paint pottery together.
Fancy yourself a creative? Well, maybe this is the perfect second date for you. There are plenty of places around that’ll let you paint pottery—just check online. It’s a relaxing activity, and you’ll get an instant souvenir out of it. It’ll also give you a lot of time to chat with your date and be a little silly or cheesy while you work on your creations togethr. If you’re still a little nervous striking up a conversation, keeping your hands busy with painting might very well help ease any topic transitions.

Take a class together.
What’s better than learning something new? From cooking to CPR, you can use your second date to learn a new vital skill. It’s always a little more fun to take classes with a partner, so finding a one-off weekend class might be a lot of fun. All you need to do is a quick Google search. Try to think about your first date, and if your partner mentioned any sort of specific interest.

Check out a movie. Okay, so a movie isn’t a totally genius idea — but it’s still a classic, romantic date idea. And it’s much better to check out a movie on the second date rather than the first. Since you need to be silent in the theater, it’s not a very good “getting to know you” activity. But if there’s nothing you want to see in theaters, maybe you can add your own spin by creating a movie festival at home. Ask your date to bring their ultimate favorite movie—and keep it a surprise—and play it right before playing yours.

Go for a hike.
If it’s nice out, take advantage of the great outdoors. Being outside and getting some exercise will put you in a great mood. It’s also a great way to explore your town if you’re currently unfamiliar with walking trails. If the two of you are more adventurous and plan to hike in a heavily wooded area, just make sure you take all of the proper precautions ahead of time. Getting lost in the wilderness might make for a funny story later, but it may very well kill the romance.

Use the seasons to your advantage.
Speaking of going outside, think about what activities will be seasonally appropriate. Is it snowing out? Build a snowman together, and give him a funny personality. Is it fall? Try going to a pumpkin patch, or maybe to an apple orchard. If it’s the summer, check to see if you have a community pool nearby or visit a lake.

Just remember to have fun and let your personality shine through.

Karen Belz

Freelance Writer

Karen Belz has written for sites like Bustle, PreviouslyTV, Heavy, and HelloGiggles. She’s also the founder of Best Recap Ever, a site that’s focused on television news and reviews. She’s a fan of sketch comedy shows and most movies that involve Muppets, and has been addicted to Sugar Free Red Bull since 2005.

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