Unusual first date ideas
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Unusual first date ideas

25 August 2012 | 8:00 am

First dates can be boring and awkward – but they don’t have to be. Here are a few ideas to give them an extra dose of interesting.

Most people go for the safe option on first dates: coffee and a movie is standard fare. But even if you can barely endure one another’s presence and use your Fake Call Me app to make a quick escape, why not make it memorable? Whether it’s an excruciating experience or the beginning of love’s greatest epic, here are some ways to make the first date more fun and memorable.

Art-start my heart

Get arty. You don’t have to be creatively inclined and neither does your date. In fact, the more artistically stunted you both are, the funnier this will be. Have a Play-Doh picnic or pack crayons and do some date doodling. Nurture your inner Playschool presenter. Giggle like pre-schoolers. What’s he doing – fashioning a clay Ferrari? What’s she scribbling – an intriguing montage of stilettos and machine guns? Guess what, the fascination factor of your conversation just multiplied tenfold.

The date outdoors

Move on from the clichéd walk on the beach at sunset to something unexpected. If you enjoy the supernatural, check out a local cemetery or ghost tour. Go at night if you can, when ghouls are at their most mischievous – nothing like being spooked to encourage spontaneous affection.

Alternatively, play pseudo tourists by arming yourselves with cameras and taking shots of your local area. This is worth it for the laughs and stimulating conversation, especially if most of your photos are utterly ridiculous.

Undercover date

No, this isn’t where you leap straight into bed or pretend to be spies. These indoor options work for sub-zero temperatures, when dark clouds loom or if you loathe fresh air and greenery. Meet at a karaoke bar and bring on the badness – once you’ve seen each other at what is potentially your worst, everything else comes easy, and shared social embarrassment breaks down barriers faster than you can say Rick Astley.

If you enjoy cooking, or if you suck at it immensely, sign up for a cooking class together. Choose one that’s casual and has the potential for you to work in pairs. Others in the class can act as buffers if the conversation isn’t flowing. Bonus points if you team up to attempt a croquembouche.

Utter nutter

The nuttier the date, the more memorable it will be. Get your freak on by sitting somewhere private and comfy and blindfolding each other. No, this is not a prelude to rampant sexytimes (though it can be) – you’re just going to chat for an hour, blind. This will really enhance your listening skills.

Or you could pre-plan to take part in a flash mob. For extra fun, arrange this with a blind date so that neither of you is sure which culture-jamming hipster you are about to hook up with. Ultimately, you’ll be the pair at the end who appears to be looking for each other, and if you get cold feet or realise they are the polar opposite of everything you find attractive, you can slink off unnoticed.

See? First dates don’t have to be pedestrian. Take a risk and rise above the tried and true. It’s like conducting your own personal auditions for interesting people, and it sure makes for a good tale to tell the grandkids.

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