“What are you in the mood for tonight?” “Uh…”
Now that you’ve gotten the awkward first date small talk out of the way, there’s room to get creative on the second one. Yes, you could play it safe and opt for a traditional dinner, but it pays to think outside the box. A new shared experience can help you get to know your date in ways you wouldn’t be able to, say, chatting over a three-course meal. Unfortunately, coming up with creative date ideas is not as easy as it seems like it should be on paper. Sure, it’s easy to say you don’t want to just do dinner and a movie, but when it actually comes to planning something more out of the box, you’re definitely not alone if you completely freeze up.
Luckily, you don’t have to live in a real-life romantic comedy to plan something special in the date department. All it really takes is a little extra effort, some soul searching about what you truly love to do (and what you think your date will truly love to do, based on what you learned about them on the first date/on their Tinder profile/from the extensive Google stalking you know you did ahead of actually meeting them in person). And, if you’re still stuck, there are always lists of ideas on the internet to turn to—which you clearly have. And that’s 100% okay. Ahead, we’ve compile 50-plus second date ideas that won’t feel weird or boring.
Charity Burggraaf Go to an Amusement Park
If there’s an amusement park near you, hit it up. Thrill rides are a fantastic excuse to get cozy.
Hill Street Studios Volunteer Together
Take a page from the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle love handbook and bond by giving back to a cause you both care about.
EllenMoran Visit a Jazz Club
Get a little dressed up and use it as an excuse to feel fancy.
Hill Street Studios Take a Pottery Class
Channel your inner Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze for a sexy pottery-making date.
nycshooter Go to a Dog Park
Even if neither of you have a dog.
myshkovsky Try Archery
You’ll be like real-life Cupids.
busypix Climb a Rock Wall
The couple that gets sweaty together stays together.
VectorFun Do an Escape Room
You’ll be forced to work together and learn a lot about how your date thinks in the process.
Shimona Carvalho Go to a Carnival
Next time the carnival comes through your area (or a state fair or local festival of some kind—any event with a temporary ferris wheel and funnel cake, really), use it as a date night.
MarijaRadovic Do a Boozy Paint Night
There are about a thousand companies that specialize in hosting these events and you’ll bond over your artistic talents (or lack thereof).
Wildroze Watch the Sunset
Free and romantic.
Martin Wheeler Go Skydiving
If you and your date are the adventure types, you could go extreme for the second date.
hariwibowo Do a Color Run
Only the most fun, most whimsical of all 5Ks.
mevans Test Drive an Amazing Car
Visit a local car lot and test drive a car you could never really afford.
Madison E Rush Visit a Botanical Garden
When it comes to beautiful places to walk and talk for hours, botanical gardens pretty much top the list.
Tetra Images Go Salsa Dancing
Even if you’re not naturally gifted on the dance floor, you’ll be able to find the fun learning together.
dolgachov Go Ice Skating
Hand-holding is 100 percent guaranteed. Need we say more?
iNut.Photo Do Karaoke
A person’s go-to karaoke song says a lot about them. Are you more of a ABBA “Dancing Queen” or Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive?”
Aanarav Sareen Head to a Happy Hour
Instead of waiting until 8 p.m. (because we both know how excited you are to go on this date), head to a fun happy hour where you both can enjoy cheap drinks and watch the sunset.
Barcin Make It Dessert-Only
Find an over-the-top dessert place you’ve been dying to try.
George Rose Visit Your Favorite Bookstore
Much like their favorite karaoke song, the type of books they’re interested in determine who they are as a person. Don’t like Didion? Thank u, next.
razihusin Go to a Hockey Game…
If it’s already cold outside, you might as well get tickets to watch your hockey team play. A little competition never hurt anybody, and you can get cheap seats in the 400s section.
Grant Faint …Or a Baseball Game
On the other hand, once spring rolls around there’s nothing better than watching some baseball with a hotdog and soda in hand. Ticket prices will be pretty cheap earlier in the season, which starts in March.
Marina Botelho / EyeEm Go to an Outdoor Concert
If they enjoy your favorite music, they’ll pass the test—and can now go on a third date with you.
Though this could get incredibly awkward (falling into the water, unnecessary feet-touching, etc.), kayaking is the perfect opportunity to test out his or her teamwork skills. If you end up on the complete opposite side of your destination, you know what to do.
Hit up a Rooftop Bar
If you live in a city where you’re lucky enough to experience the incredible views, why not do it with someone new? Find a rooftop bar that fits the vibe (whether that’s cozy intimate or more of a crowded scene) and soak it in together. Who says you have to stay at just one bar, either?
Play an Outdoor Sport
Toss around a Frisbee in the park or hit up the basketball court for some one-on-one. Teamwork and the natural endorphins are guaranteed to pull you closer.
Take a Drive
If you really vibed on the first date and want to have some alone time beyond your neighborhood or city, plan a scenic drive somewhere with #views. Spread out a picnic or pack some snacks for the ride.
If you want a less stuffy environment than a dinner setting, where there’s mimosas aplenty and no pressure to stick around for the rest of the day, try going for a day date to brunch on the weekend. For fellow angsty people, you can at least get the date out of the way and then go about your day instead of sweating it until evening.
Hit the Beach
Plan a beach date with a group of friends or just the two of you. Pack some snacks and sunscreen at high noon, or head out to the sands for a sunset stroll.
Next Date Ideas for Springtime Weather