We’ve found the most success with keeping first dates casual. Some people try to overcomplicate things, but less is more when it comes to hanging out with someone for the first time. Your goal is to get to know your date and that’s hard to do when you’re at an uptight restaurant wondering who is going to cover the bill.
To keep pressure off the date, we recommend going somewhere casual. Let’s look at the best casual date tips and then jump into 55 of our best first date spots.
Tips For Planning a Casual First Date
Here is our expert advice for planning a low-key and successful first date.
Choose Something That Doesn’t Take a Ton of Time
You’ll know pretty quickly if you’re going to hit it off with your date. If it’s not going well, you don’t want to be stuck somewhere with them for hours. So, skip a long dinner and opt for something that doesn’t put you in the position to be stuck somewhere. Save the longer activities, like a dinner date, for the second date.
Meet In a Public Place
You don’t want to make your date feel uncomfortable by taking them somewhere private. For example, suggesting a hike in a remote area wouldn’t be a great idea. Instead, choose somewhere public and comfortable like a coffee shop.
Choose an Activity
Some of the best first date ideas are those centered around an activity. You can encourage a little friendly competition by doing something like bowling or playing pool.
These activities keep the date fun and take the pressure off of keeping the conversation going 100% of the time. You can work in some small talk while you’re doing the activity and be able to focus on what you’re doing in between.
Keep it Inexpensive
We’ve included cheap first date ideas in our list because it’s not necessary to spend a bunch of money when you go out. Not only does this put more pressure on the date, but it can also be awkward when the check comes, especially if one of you is on a budget.
You also don’t know if you’re going to see this person again. If you spend a bunch of money on every first date you go on, it can get expensive!
List of Casual, Fun First Date Ideas
The ideas on this list feature fun and casual places to go on a date. They are inexpensive or even free, public, and low-pressure. These are great ideas for people from high school (besides the few 21+ ideas) through any age.
- Get a coffee
- Go to brunch
- Meet for lunch
- Thrift store shopping
- Visit an arcade
- Go for a walk at a local park
- Go to the bowling alley
- Take them on a picnic
- Play mini-golf
- Visit an art gallery
- Meet at a botanical garden
- Walk some shops at the mall
- Grab a happy hour drink
- Play some pool
- Visit a beach
- Try axe throwing
- Go to a trampoline park
- Paint night
- Visit a museum
- Go to a sporting event
- Visit a zoo
- Attend a trivia night
- Eat at a food truck
- Try an escape room
- Play board games
- Go to a wine tasting
- Visit an ice cream shop
- Take a trip to the animal shelter
- Enjoy some live music
- See a local improv or comedy show
- Go to a flea market
- Get an evening hot chocolate
- Visit an amusement park
- Go for a bike ride
- Complete a scavenger hunt
- Visit a local farmer’s market
- Browse in a record store
- Attend a poetry reading
- Go ice skating
- Take a cooking class
- Go to the driving range
- Skip the main course and go out for dessert at a restaurant
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Go to a book store or local library and compare your favorite books
- Go swimming at a public pool
- Visit a dog park with your pups
- Get pedicures together
- Play an outdoor sports game like tennis or basketball
- Take a brewery tour
- Visit a haunted house
- Attend a yoga or exercise class
- Paint pottery
- Walk through a craft fair
- Visit a flower farm
- Pick fruit at a you-pick farm
Casual First Date FAQ
What should I do on a casual first date?
A casual first date could be anything from grabbing coffee to going for a walk in the park. The key is to keep it low-key and not put any pressure on the date. Choose dates that are low-pressure and short.
What if I can’t think of anything to do for a date?
If you can’t think of anything to do, ask your friends for ideas or look up lists of fun first-date ideas online.
How do I pick a first date location?
You should pick a location where you and your date can feel relaxed, have fun, and keep it casual. Choose something free or inexpensive to keep the pressure off. Focus on activities where you can chat and get to know each other.
What should you avoid in a first date location?
You should avoid going anywhere private, expensive, and where you will be stuck for a long period. Instead, opt for a casual spot where you can have a fun and quick date where you get to know each other.
What is appropriate for a first date?
The most important thing to keep in mind for a first date is to keep it casual. You don’t want to do anything that will make either of you feel uncomfortable or put pressure on the date. Choose an activity that you can both enjoy and focus on getting to know each other. It’s not appropriate to have expectations or put pressure on your date.
A first date should be casual and low-pressure, with no expectations. You should pick a location where you can feel relaxed and have fun. It’s important to keep in mind that a first date is all about getting to know the other person, so avoid any locations or activities that will put pressure on the date. Focus on having some fun and enjoying each other’s company!
Hopefully, this list helps you pick the perfect location for your first date! We have more first date tips and advice here that will help you score a second date.