First Date Ideas
8 Great First Dates for Seniors
So you’ve met someone new and decided to take that next big step to meeting in person. Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve been on the dating scene, or maybe you just need some fresh ideas for a great first date. See our list below of unique date ideas to make the most of your first impression.
1. Step out of your comfort zone.
Sure, you may already be feeling a bit nervous to meet up with someone new, but why not take the plunge and try something new for both of you to even the playing field? Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a certain style of dancing; there are local dance studios that offer lessons, and also music venues that provide free dance lessons before performances. Some higher-end grocery stores offer cooking lessons, and even your local hardware store may provide a fun chance to learn something new together.
2. Plan a Progressive Meal
A meal at a restaurant may not be the most original idea for a first date, but you can mix things up by spreading the experience out through the evening to different venues. If your city has multiple restaurants within walking distance, take some time to scout them out beforehand to see which provide the best options for appetizer, main meal, and dessert. On your date, take your time at each location to enjoy that course, and use the walking time between to get to know each other better. If you need to drive between locations, be sure to have the directions and parking planned out ahead of time, just to reduce stress.
3. Meet in the Middle
A great way to learn about one another is to split up the date-planning responsibilities, with each person planning half of the evening. You might end up with a slightly disjointed experience – say with one person choosing bowling and the other planning dessert at a high-end restaurant. But the surprise is half of the fun, so just be sure your partner knows how to dress accordingly and keep an open, flexible mind. In the end, you may find the two of you have even more in common than you expected.
4. Make it brunch.
Who says that your date has to happen during normal “dating” hours? Many cities have excellent venues for brunch, and you’ll find that the relaxed atmosphere makes for a great date. Some locations offer fun twists on brunch hours, like Sunday “Gospel brunches” or unlimited mimosas, so do a little research first for fun ideas. Keep in mind, some of the most popular brunch spots can be especially crowded, so you may want to make reservations if possible, arrive early, or scout out the experience a week early to know exactly what to expect.
5. Channel your inner artist.
Many cities now offer painting classes that encourage you to bring your own snacks and drinks to enjoy while you learn, step-by-step, how to paint a specific painting. These venues provide the paints, easels, brushes, and instructors; all you have to do is bring your refreshments and your date, as you join a larger class of other would-be artists to spend a few hours painting. This activity takes away some of the stress of awkward first conversations, since the class instructor interjects direction occasionally, and keeps the pace of the painting moving along. In the end, you’ll leave with two handmade paintings and, most likely, lots of laughter from a shared experience.
6. Be a good sport.
If you are particularly active, and your date is as well, you may enjoy simply getting outside and participating in a favorite hobby or sporting activity. Maybe you want to challenge each other in a friendly game of tennis, or a hike around a local nature preserve. You can keep it more low-key by simply planning a long stroll or even walking your dog to the local dog park. You may discover outdoor hobbies and interests you have in common that can lead to the perfect second or third date.
7. Support your local farmer.
You may be lucky enough to live in or a near a city that hosts weekly farmers’ markets where local producers sell unique items ranging from homemade jams and jellies, to goat cheese, to artisan soaps. These markets make an ideal relaxed environment to stroll and sample, and you may find some hidden treasures or new favorite food items. Be sure to bring cash just in case you find something that strikes your fancy, and most shoppers also bring their own reusable bags to carry any purchases. You’ll learn a lot by shopping with your date, and you may be surprised at the things you learn from what he or she likes, dislikes, or wants to sample.
8. Browse the books.
Don’t forget your local bookstore as a unique, potential first-date location, especially if it hosts author readings or other special events. Bookstores can be a great place to browse together, and provide excellent opportunities to learn more about your date’s interests, background, and favorite authors. Thanks to the casual setting, the pressure of the first date is negligible, and many stores now offer in-store coffee shops to continue your conversation after spending some time strolling the aisles.
Whatever venue you choose, remember that it’s always best to be yourself and suggest activities you will enjoy; afterall, the more honest you are about your own interests and personality, the more likely you are to find someone who is truly compatible in the long run. Think outside the box, keep an open mind, and have fun!