The modern world of dating is a lot more complex than many think. Aside from scrolling and swiping through a myriad of potential candidates, weeding out the poor fits, and then hammering out a time for a first date, prospective love birds also need to find an activity.
The tradition of dinner and a movie is a solid choice… but is it a creative one? After all, a first date should provide people the chance to get to know someone’s interests, personality, and general disposition. The more well rounded an activity, the more hints and prompts there are to learn more about another person.
For example, thrifting might be the ideal date for people interested in fashion, environmentalism, and a drive to find hidden gems. By shopping around together, two people can learn more about the other without the awkwardness of forced conversation and the inevitable reel of questions.
Looking for a unique date idea that will have general appeal and be available in most cities? Keep reading for three suggestions and one honorable mention.
A Trip to the Aquarium
While a museum might be too boring and a trip to the zoo a bit too fragrant, an aquarium trip is a unique middle ground. There’s enough information and exhibits to keep people engaged, while many large-tank displays have a magical, romantic quality.
Aside from a romantic atmosphere, aquariums are also one of the most accessible places to explore marine life. Pop culture has brought us closer to a variety of sea creatures—from a singing crab named Sebastian to a relentless coral fish named Dory.
There are console games like BioShock that explore the depths, as well as slots that cover the largest mammal in the world, the great blue whale. While scuba diving or whale watching might be the ultimate honeymoon, the aquarium will suffice for an early date.
Take a Cooking Class
Though a bit pricier than a trip to the museum, a cooking class provides love birds the chance to show off their skills in the kitchen—or learn the basics for the first time. Regardless of how the date pans out, neither party will feel they’ve wasted their time taking a private class to learn how to cook paella or whip up a souffle.
While love birds will need to be careful not to get too distracted by each other or, alternatively, by the cooking class, most gourmet classes aren’t too difficult. In fact, as cooking classes have become a more popular recreational activity, restaurants and kitchens are starting to create date-specific classes.
This typically take the form of a group class that has separate cooking stations for couples. As a bonus, some will also offer drink pairings, goody bags to take home, or even a class that focuses on creating meals with ingredients that are aphrodisiacs, such as oyster dishes.
Go on a Ghost Tour
Whether someone believes in ghosts, there’s always something interesting to learn on a ghost tour. For the most part, ghost tours cover historical crime that’s specific to a certain area or building, along with local legends. In other words, those with no interest in the paranormal will likely find a ghost tour fascinating for other reasons.
And for those with a passing interest in the occult, true crime, or simply trying something new, a ghost tour will be a truly unforgettable first date. Keep in mind that some ghost tours will produce scary elements; be sure to verify whether a ghost tour takes a historical or purely recreational approach.
Some ghost tours are also seasonal, with many popping up around Halloween. Other times, historical ghost tours will stick to a certain neighborhood and include breaks, as well as snacks and drinks, for tourists specifically.
Honorable Mention: Spend Time at an Animal Shelter
For animal lovers, there are few activities as rewarding as playing with pets while also helping serve a larger purpose. Most animal shelters, such as the ASPCA in the US, have open hours during the day when visitors can play with pets up for adoption. Just be sure that everyone is on the same page about whether or not they’re planning to take home a new pet that day—this date is for those with plenty of self control.