Dating can be a tough gig. Trying to come up with unique date ideas can feel like a mountainous task and the default setting of dinner and a movie is all too tempting. Eventually though, you get to a certain stage where everything feels a little ‘been there, done that’ and nothing is really lighting a fire of love inside you.
If going out for yet another drink or *gasp* going to the movies is practically unthinkable at this point, let your eyes peruse these out-of-the-box suggestions instead. Some of them will sound instantly appealing and others will make you wince a little but that’s part of the fun. Dating is all about getting outside your comfort zone and trying new things (with new people) so go out there and get it.
1. Make magic at a pottery class
Getting your hands dirty and making sweet, sweet art with clay is a phenomenal date idea. You can get to know each other while letting the creative juices flow and it’s way less awkward than sitting opposite each other at a dinner table. If the conversation runs a little dry you can focus intently on your pottery wheel or maybe chat up the teacher instead, whatever feels right in the moment.
Even if the date tanks, you’ll still have something cute to take home so it wasn’t a total waste of time. You can think of them every time you drink tea from your new mug.
2. Have a dessert-only dinner
I think we can all agree that dessert is the best part of any dinner (and if you don’t, you’re lying). Whether you’re a banana split fan or a sucker for a sticky date – there’s no shortage of sweet treats to tickle everyone’s fancy. It’s only logical then, that a banging date idea is to behave like total children and have a dessert-only dinner. Half the fun of being an adult is getting to do whatever you want, right? And I’m pretty confident having cheesecake on a dinner date counts as doing what I want.
Seeing as it’s not the done thing to rock up at a restaurant and order dessert only, you’d be better off hosting this date at home. Don’t worry though, you can still get the full restaurant experience thanks to a cheeky hookup called DoorDash. One glance at the dessert section (yes, they have that) and I’m already seeing heavy-hitters like Gelatissimo, Max Brenner, San Churro, Boss Pancake, Tella Balls Dessert Bar – you get the idea.
Fling a cute picnic rug on the floor at your place, light some candles and get stuck into that chocolate fondue for two. You know you want to.
3. Fire up at paintball
Okay yes, I’m solely including this because it looked so fun on 10 Things I Hate About You, but can you blame me? Granted, paintball probably isn’t one of the first things you’d think of for a date, with all the shooting and bruising and whatnot, but it’s actually a lot of fun. If you know your date really enjoys sport and games then they’ll have love-heart emoji eyes for you when they find out you’ve picked paintball, it’s instant brownie points for you.
And, if you fall down laughing in a bale of hay and happen to have your first kiss, well you can chalk it up to the magic of the paint.
4. Get spooked on a ghost tour
Screaming your head off might not sound like a great idea for a date, but hear me out on this one. Your heart is probably already racing on a first date due to that cute thing called nerves, so why not crank it up a thousand notches and give the old ticker a really good run?
Checking out a haunted house and hunting for ghosts is like co-starring in your own movie – you have no idea what’s going to happen next and that’s half the fun. It’s also way more exciting than sitting at the cinema nervously munching through all your popcorn before the film even starts. You’ll likely be terrified the entire time but laughing hysterically by the end. Plus, it’s a great excuse to jump into their arms like the big scaredy cat you are (and stay there long after the tour has ended).
5. Chow down over a cooking class
Maybe you’re trying to suss out their cooking skills early on (or determine if they lied in their bio), but either way a cooking class is a guaranteed good time. Spend a few hours getting down with handmade ravioli before spending the second part actually enjoying the fruits of your labour.
Picture this: you’re throwing flour around in a flirty manner, your hands touch while stirring the pasta sauce, you lock eyes and boom – eternal love. There’s definitely something cooking in this kitchen and it’s got all the right ingredients for something extra special.
6. Get a little woo-woo with a psychic reading
This probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it’ll absolutely be entertaining. If you’re hardcore into astrology and consider yourself peak Aquarius, you probably want a partner who’s somewhat on the same page, or at least the same book. This is a quick way of figuring out your compatibility, especially if you’re one to believe that everything is written in the stars.
You also have the added benefit of determining if the relationship will last quite early on (like first few dates early). You should probably take your psychic advice with a grain of salt but if they seem convinced he’s going to leave you and steal your dog, you might want to think twice before booking in that second date. As far as unique dates go, having your combined fortunes told is about as good as it gets.
7. Go retro at the arcade
Everyone (and I mean absolutely everyone) loves an arcade. No matter how old you are, a room filled with games will never be unappealing – especially if you’re on a date. The arcade is like a more accessible version of the fun fair, and it’s the perfect backdrop for a date.
You can both show off your competitive side, you can let them pick you out a tacky toy with all the tokens and it’s so loud and exciting that the time just flies by. The arcade is a great idea if you’re feeling nervous and unsure of what to talk about. You’ll be so busy running around like little kids again that you won’t need to worry about making small talk. In fact, the whole experience will bring you so close together that you’ll be ragging on each other like you’ve been dating for years by the end. Promise.
8. Hit the high note at karaoke
Karaoke is one of those activities that’s synonymous with having one too many vodka lime sodas, but it’s actually a great way to break the ice on a date. While the idea might make you want to curl up into a ball at first, you really can’t knock it until you’ve tried it. I’m telling you, karaoke possesses magical, love-inducing powers. Watching your date awkwardly sway to the beat and screech so high only the dogs can hear is kind of endearing and it’s more than likely you’ll both sound terrible together (unless you secretly sound like Mariah Carey, in which case get out).
You can battle it out or go hard on a duet, however the mood strikes you. If you’re feeling particularly chaotic, you can pick a difficult song for them to sing – a personal favourite is ‘My Heart Will Go On’ because let’s be honest, nobody sounds good trying to hit that high note.