20 Casual First Date Ideas

First dates. They're hard to plan because you barely know the person you're going on that first date with. Luckily, there are a few tried and true ways to get to know that new person in your life

Do you go for something simple and casual like coffee? Or do you go all out and do some rock climbing? Here are a few first-date ideas that will help you impress your date and start things off right with that new love interest of yours. 

Attend a poetry night or book reading

Like reading books? Not really into getting drunk at the club or bar and forced to dance on the dancefloor? Maybe attending a poetry or book reading is for you. It's also a great way to find someone who is husband or wifey material and someone you can be around when you're doing regular things and not partying. 

Skate, ride bikes, or bowling

These are kinda old-school, but they're still around for a reason. It's fun. It's chill. You can hold hands while skating. You can joke around while you're riding. It's a great way to break the ice. 

Go on a walk, hike, or rock climbing

It's easier to be with someone and not have to say much when you're actually doing something. After having dinner, lunch, or coffee with that somebody, take a walk. Continue the conversation. If you're 20+ years old, this is almost guaranteed to work. If you're into the outdoors, pack a lunch, some water bottles and hike to your picnic spot. Make sure to hike in a public area with lots of other people around, otherwise, your date might feel a bit uncomfortable being around someone he/she barely knows.

Visit a museum

Museums are great. Tight on money? There are plenty of free museums around. This is a great way to learn something about your date and learn something in general. You'll be able to talk casually and get a better understanding of the other person's interests. When you're done, stop by the museum cafe to continue the conversation and have a snack.

Visit someplace new around your area together

This is much easier if you both live in a major city. If so, pick a place that none of you have ever been to and meet up there. While you're there, explore the area, find a place to eat, and then end the night with a few drinks/coffee. 


What a great way to surround yourself with like-minded people for a common cause! If you and your partner share the same values, this is the thing to do. It's a great way to see if your partner is able to manage being around people he/she doesn't know. Are they able to have a conversation with strangers? If so, they'll do just great around your extended family. 

Attend an art, photography, dance, or cooking class

Again, another activity that allows the both of you a chance to have a conversation while being productive. 

Eat brunch

I don't know about you, but I love hanging out during the day. If you have a good restaurant in your area that serves brunch... book it! It's more casual when compared to dinner dates and you're usually allowed to be a little louder if you need to talk openly. It's also a great place and time to not feel pressured into going back to your home afterward... if you know what I mean. 

Go to a comedy club

Wanna get those super awkward topics out of the way while laughing about them? Let a stand-up comedian help you out with that! It's standard to buy a drink before the fun begins so make sure to bring some cash for tips. 

Go to the zoo or animal shelter

Does your date love animals? Like cute things? Make a visit to your local animal shelter or zoo! Pay close attention to how your date interacts with the animals, you can usually see how nice a person is by how they are around other living creatures. 

See a game or sporting event

Maybe the both of you aren't into chill places and are looking for something more, LOUD. If so, head over to a baseball, basketball, hockey, football game and enjoy your love for sports! There's no space to feel awkward when you're both paying attention to the score. Before you pick this activity, you'll want to confirm that your date is into sports or else this wouldn't work, at all. 

Go to a jazz or orchestra hall

Most cities have a jazz or orchestra hall. Get a nice button up or dress and go out there and enjoy yourself with some jazz or orchestra music. Think of it as a bar that's more upscale or chill. Be ready to have chats in between songs and load up on more booze if necessary. 

Find a drive-in movie theater

Regular theaters are really not that great if you're trying to get to know someone. For one, you aren't allowed to talk while the movie is playing. But guess what? Drive-in theaters offer a little more privacy and you're able to talk in the car without bothering the people around you. 

Go wine or beer tasting

If you don't have a vineyard in your area, find a local wine shop or bar. Alcohol tasting is fun when you're around your favorite people. Alcohol is a social lube, and there will be plenty of it. 

Stop by a farmers market, street festival, or outdoor market/swap meet

You know why outdoor events are great for first dates? It's a very public area with lots of people nearby so your date has little reason to feel uncomfortable. There are plenty of things to see and talk about. Again, there are usually places to sit and enjoy a coffee with your date. Buy some groceries, things, movies, etc. and go back to your place (after the second date) to enjoy them. 

Game night, arcades, or karaoke

Did you know that many local bars have game nights? Brush up on random useless knowledge about pop culture or history and show your competitive spirit! It's a great way to impress to your date with your personality and brains. Want to really break the ice? Take your date to a karaoke bar and really put yourself out there, while showing them that you're a fun date. 

Visit an escape room

This could be awkward, but no more awkward than two people in a broken elevator who are trapped and have no choice but to talk to each other. You'll also create a memory worth talking about for years to come. If you both make it out of that room, you'll realize that both of you are a great team and can accomplish many other things together.

Bonfire at the beach or lake

Almost every romantic movie has a scene at a lake or beach. Why? Because it's romantic and the mood is set as soon as you get near one. 

Watch the sunset

This one is pretty much self-explanatory. It's romantic. It's a great place to talk about stuff. 

Coffee at a bookstore

Talk about casual. Who doesn't like coffee? Visit a local bookstore with a cafe and you're good to go. You're shopping while getting to know your partner's interests. Win/win.

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