Wednesday, November 14, 2007

31 Fun Dating Ideas

Ever get stumped with "Honey, what do you want to do tonight?" when you're planning on a night out with your partner or a new date?

Whether you're a couple of single looking for fun dating ideas, this article may be handy for you. I've put together a list of 31 Fun Dating Ideas that will make it easier for you the next time you're stumped and trying to find something enjoyable to do. Some of these will be expensive, others will cost you hardly anything. But the main focus, from my perspective, was to make sure they sounded FUN.

Here's the initial list.

31 Fun Dating Ideas:

  1. Walk on the beach. When polled as to their favorite and most romantic first date, a vast majority of people said a walk on the beach. This is great if you live NEAR a beach. If you don't, consider a walk in the park, a walk by a stream or lake, or other romantic water setting that enables you to get exercise in nature, along with a chance to get to know each other better. Popularity: 10. Fun Factor: 8. Cost: free. The expanded version of this is to take a portable fire pit and roast marshmallows around the fire after you watch the sunset over a glass of wine. That's a little more elaborate but adds to the fun factor if you have the time.

  2. Cup 'o Joe. This may not seem like a date to some people, but sometimes, if you only have 30 - 60 minutes, a brief meeting over coffee, tea, or other beverage in a nice coffee house can be a nice setting where you can better get to know each other and determine what you have in common. For couples who've been together for a while, a cup of coffee gives you a chance to reconnect. Popularity: 9. Fun Factor: 3. Cost: less than $10

  3. Cozy up to a fire. Nothing like snuggling up in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine together. Watch the sparks and share stories from fireside sessions before. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: Free (or a bundle of wood and some matches).

  4. Comedy club. While it costs a little to go out to a comedy club, laughing together at silly or funny comedians is always a fun date. Popularity: 9. Fun Factor: 9. Cost: $30 - 50.

  5. Be a tourist in your old home town. I did this last summer on a vacation back to San Francisco. My girlfriend and I took turns taking pictures of all sorts in popular spots, like museums, restaurants, and other landmarks. The whole idea was to pretend we were a tourist and capture "moments" from our vacation on film. I've never had so much fun taking pictures, and our photos from that trip are still my favorite. This is more fun if you're in a larger city than a small town, but you can find "spots" for photos in either. Popularity: 9. Fun Factor: 9. Cost: a couple rolls of film (or free if you've gone digital)

  6. Treasure Hunt. This requires some advanced planning. But, if you have a little money, and a day of time for preparation, you can have a ton of fun taking photos of your partner as they "discover" all the clues you've left them. It can be as simple as a backyard hunt or as elaborate as cross-town clue-chasing. It's all up to you. Popularity: 9/5 (it takes work and imagination on one party to entertain the other one) Fun Factor: 9/5. Cost: Varies.

  7. Finger Painting. I know, it sounds juvenile. I got this idea when a friend of mine hosted a "bring your own spray paint" party at his art gallery. At the part, he left out his acrylic paints and a huge canvas. See this, I started to work on my own masterpiece. I noticed this was fun as a group activity, too. I hadn't painted since Junior High, so it was a blast for me! Acrylics can be expensive, so you might want to start with finger paints. And who knows? If all goes well, you may soon be getting creative with your own engagement rings and create rings as unique as your bond. Popularity: 7 (some dig, some don't). Fun Factor: 7. Cost: $25 - 30.

  8. Board Games. In the early years of dating my ex-wife, my sister and her husband used to get together with us and we'd play card games or pictionary. It's a lot more fun if your partner can draw or guess what you drew. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 6. Cost: $20 (just for the first time you buy the game). After that, it's free!

  9. Virtual Reality Exploration. Try a go at SECOND LIFE. I found two new friends the first time I signed up, and one friend led me on a journey to find a coke machine (dispensed free coke to my avatar), a hover board, roller skates, and new dance moves. It made it more fun that just wandering around looking at billboards for clothing. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 5. Cost: Free if you own a modern computer and an Internet connection.

  10. Road Trip. The weekend road trips can be very fun. I love adventuring through nearby forests, finding streams and rivers, and then getting out of the car for a hike in nature. It's enjoyable, you learn from each other while on the road, and the only cost is the gas to get there. Popularity: 9. Fun Factor: 6 - 10 depending. Cost: Usually just gas.

  11. Shopping. Some guys hate this. But women usually enjoy it. Just make sure you set-up rules. Go to two stores that he chooses (can even be Home Depot) and two stores for her (can even be Victoria's Secret). I know, I just stereotyped, but, use your own judgement for your guidelines. Help each other buy things and pick out ideas for an "ideal house" or imagine you're dressing a mutual friend. That can get crazy! The key is to make sure it is fun for both of you. Popularity: 5/10. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: Varies.

  12. Go Dancing. Okay, it's easy to say "let's go dancing" but you'd be surprised how many local dance studios offer "drop-in" dance lessons. Always start with the basics, then work your way up if you enjoy it. I find Swing and Salsa both highly enjoyable. If your toes get a little bruised, find a video store that rents classic movies and pick up Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers in the classic, "Top Hat" which has terrific dancing to make up for your sore toes. Oh - and a toe massage may be in order. Popularity: 7. Fun Factor: 8. Cost: $10 per person typically.

  13. Backyard Camping. I've never done this, but I read about it. Some kids love it. Some adults enjoy it, too. Camping in your backyard to me sounds like an experience of dog-barking, slobber, ants, and lack of a view. If your own backyard offers a better experience, you might try it. Popularity: 5. Fun Factor: 5. Cost: Free if you own a tent. BETTER: REAL Camping. It requires going to a campground, but there's something to be said to get out of the typical routine of life and spend a couple of nights around a campfire under the stars. Keep the meals simple (or better yet, pre-cooked), pick some place closer to home, and it won't be as much work. Popularity: 8. Fun Factor: 8. Cost: $20 - 50 a night, in many campgrounds.

  14. Jam session. Try learning to play an instrument together. It helps if you have a "how-to" guide and a decent instrument. This one will be more popular with musicians than non-musicians, but it's fun for a while for more people. If you already own instruments, try switching off or learning a song or two together and pretend you're starting a band. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: Varies.

  15. Imaginary People. Go someplace new together and use different names, different occupations, and make up a story for your past. This can get interesting, as you'll find out how your partner weaves you into their imaginary story! I've seen this in two movies, and in both cases, it was pretty funny. The first was in Mad About You, where Paul and Jamie were on a cruise ship together. It helps if you're at a potluck, mixer, or other place where interaction is EXPECTED of you. Only problem: Paul picked a doctor (bad idea, think about it). The same thing happened in a movie with Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck in the movie, Forces of Nature. Popularity: 9. Fun Factor: 9. Cost: Free/depends on where you go.

  16. Art Museum. This might sound boring to some people, but I've always found art museums interesting. My brother, an artist, taught me a fun game you can play when viewing art. Pick your favorite piece in a room, then explain why it is your favorite, and how it moves you. You will find yourself challenges to explain and understand your feelings, as well as motivations for choosing each piece of art. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 6. Cost: $10 or less.

  17. Come Fly With Me! There are several versions of this date. One goofy one is fly rubber band airplanes in a park. Play songs about flying, like Red Hot Chili Peppers Aeroplane, or Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" while you're driving there. Make it a fun theme! I did this in high school and it was a blast. You can step it up from there, to flying a kite, or get even more intricate and fly a remote control airplane. Or, if you're the type who enjoys heights and a bit of a dare, try sky-diving or bungee-jumping together! Popularity: Varies. Fun Factor: 8. Cost: Varies.

  18. A Trip to the Zoo. I've taken someone to the zoo on a first date and it was a blast. You can enjoy looking at the animals and have fun playing with the different experiences. A zoo is fun at all ages. So, if you've missed out on the Zoo lately, check it out. An aquarium is also cool, if you have one close by (we're lucky to have the Monterey Aquarium in California). Popularity: 8. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: $20 - 40 per person.

  19. Meet Me At The Fair. I've always felt fairs are fun. Usually, I'll go once or twice a year to hear the live bands. Sometimes, the best bands are the bands playing at the side stages for free with entrance to the fair. I've seen Hank Ketchum, War, Ozomotli, and others this way. The fair is also fun because you have: the FERRIS WHEEL! Ha! You probably thought I was going to say THE ZIPPER, huh. Well, I puked on the zipper once, so it's off the list. But the rest of the fair can be a fun change of pace date - especially if you haven't been for a while. Popularity: 9. Fun Factor: 8. Cost $7 - 35 per person.

  20. Amusement Parks/Disneyland. Amusement parks are fun. I used to have a season pass to Great America when my girlfriend was this total daredevil. She loved roller coasters. So, even though I'm scared of heights, I'd conquer my fear every week and we'd jot over there after work, hit a few roller coasters, then go out to dinner at Gordon Biersch and listen to the live jazz bands. All in all, not a bad way to spend an evening with your honey. If you're close to Disneyland, that can be even more magical and fun. Popularity: 10. Fun Factor: 9. Cost: $50+ per person. Season passes help make it a lot less if you're close by.

  21. Test Drive Cars Together. Especially, new, sexy, sports cars. There's nothing more fun than the smell of a new car, and tooling around the curves of the local mountain road in a Boxster or Thunderbird convertible. I've made this a "fun date" on two different occasions and both times it inspired us to dress up (had to look the part of a buyer, at least), and then talk the salesperson into letting us drive off the lot with their cherry sporty car! How much fun is that?! Popularity: 8: Fun Factor: 7. Cost: Free! (Just maybe a little karma cost due to the white lie you're sure to tell!)

  22. Canoeing or Kayaking. If your date loves the water, take them out on a lake or the ocean for a little kayak or canoe trip. It's a lot of fun. Who knows, if you bring your fishin' line, you might even catch a trout or bass for dinner. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 6. Cost: $35 per person (unless you own your own canoe or kayak).

  23. Cooking A Special Meal Together. This particular date is a lot more fun if you try a NEW recipe together. Both of you pick out the ingredients, go shopping, then roll up your sleeves and get in the kitchen to show off your best gourmet skills. Popularity: 7. Fun Factor: 6. Cost: Varies. Benefit: you get to eat what you cook. If you're not up for the challenge of cooking, take a cooking class together. My experience with the last cooking class was I ate incredibly good food, watched how they cook, and ate more yummy food. It was rough, but someone had to do it. Popularity: 8. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: $50 per person.

  24. Tour New Homes. I love touring model homes. Why? Because you get all kinds of DESIGN IDEAS when you go around touring model homes. You find new patterns of furniture, drapery, kitchen stylings, carpet, moldings-- you name it. It's especially fun touring multi-million dollar homes and dreaming a little. For couples, this can serve two purposes, as if you think you might want to live together, you can learn about each other's likes and dislikes in a rather harmless way. Popularity: 8. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: Free.

  25. Go to a Professional Sports Game. Now, ladies, it's only fair. I've always said, "a wise man shops, a wise woman watches sports." There's a good reason for this: you balance each other and show you care about each other's interests/teams. Men bond a lot through sports. So, the woman who goes with him to professional sports events is showing she can be real and bond with him. I don't recommend this for a blind date, though (bad experience). Popularity: 9/6. Fun Factor: 9/6. Cost: $30 - 120 per person.

  26. Pool Sharks. I love shooting billiards. A lot of women are surprisingly poor at it, until you put something worthwhile on the game as "stakes" for winning or losing. Then, suddenly, she starts to make every shot. Uh huh. I thought so. Test your own ability for being a pool shark. Pretend you're meeting for a high-stakes tournament. Winner of the best of three gets to decide where you go and what you do next... Popularity: 7. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: $20 per person.

  27. Poetry Slam. There are several varieties of poetry slams. You could find a poetry "slam" or reading in your town, or take a trip out of town for one. Perhaps you both decide to participate and write your own poem prior to going. Dare each other to get up and read their poem at the slam. Gutsy, but fun! If you don't have the gumption to do the slam, you could always go to a bookstore and seek out your favorite poetry books and poems and share with each other over a cup of coffee. Popularity: 5. Fun Factor: 6. Cost: Free.

  28. Wine tasting/Pub crawl. If you live near vineyards, like I do, going wine tasting can be a ton of fun. You learn about the wine, and experience beautiful views at the vineyards. Bring along turkey sandwiches and yummy cheese and crackers and make a picnic out of it. I recommend stopping at two or three wineries unless you have a designated driver or limo to take you home! (Be safe!) If you do not live near a winery, try a pub crawl or beer tasting at the local microbrewery. Those can also be fun. Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: $ varies.

  29. Get Vertigo. I'm watching Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo while I write this. So I just thought of this idea: Go to the TALLEST buildings in town, meet on the rooftops. It works great in a city like San Francisco, where you can share an appetizer of cheese plate at the Marriott, taxi across town, and watch the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge from the top of the Grand Hyatt while nursing a cocktail in the piano bar, then later kicking up your heels at either the Top of the Mark, or Harry Denton's Starlight room. Of course, Vertigo was set in San Francisco, so it could be a follow-up movie to watch later if you get dizzy! Popularity: 6. Fun Factor: 6. Cost: $50 or so per person.

  30. Miniature Golf or Bowling. These two sports are both fun for guys and girls. Men and women still have bowling leagues. I've always loved bowling. Miniature golf is frustrating. So, maybe try taking turns, or do both! It depends upon time, and how much fun you're having, of course. Popularity: 8. Fun Factor: 7. Cost: $10 - 20 per person.

  31. That's Amore! One of my favorite dates is to make spaghetti. This is a twist on 23, because in 23 you didn't know the recipe. In 31, you do. Of course, you have to be comfortable enough to bring your date over. So, use this with caution and common-sense, of course. While you're cooking play a little Louis Prima, Dean Martin, and classic Italian music. (I enjoy spicing it up and playing my sax, sometimes, too!) If spaghetti is too fancy, try Capellini, as Angel Hair pasta is pretty easy. My recipe calls for a few Sun Dried Tomatoes, a few rings of onion finely chopped, and two full cloves from a head of garlic cooked until medium brown in olive oil, then a 8 - 16 oz. of pre-sliced mushrooms, cook those while boiling your water for the noodles. Add sliced Roma tomatoes when the mushrooms are half done. Put the noodles in the water. Add the bread into the oven. You can either garlic/butter or oil up the bread, or dip it in olive oil with balsamic vinegar. Toss some heads of romaine with a few slices of tomato and a couple of onion rings (uncooked), mix in olive oil and balsamic in the salad to blend with the bread and the sauce mixture. Add fresh cut basil to the sauce mix while the tomatoes are still cooking. Grate the Parmesan cheese (yes, buy in solid form - it's always better than the Kraft carton type) while the sauce and noodle finish cooking. Remove the noodles al dente, strain water, then pour the sauce over the noodles. Take out the bread and serve as you like, and top both with a little cheese. Serve with a bottle of Chianti, Merlot, Pinot Noir, or Syrah, if you like to mix wine with your meals. Popularity: 8. Fun Factor: 8. Cost: $20 - 50, depending upon the cost of the wine, usually.

So, there they are. 31 fun dating ideas. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do. I can pretty much say that there isn't a dating idea here that I either haven't tried or wouldn't like to try again. But, we all have our favorites. What's the funnest date you've ever had? Care to share with us? We love to hear stories!

Have I missed your favorite date idea? Please share!

This article is written by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.

You may republish this article only AS A COMPLETE WHOLE with ENTIRE LINKS and copyright messages attached. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks so much. I was so clueless before. Guys, don't take a nice girl for granted, she's not your possession.

Seriously Fun Self-help! said...

Hmm. Someone sounds just a tad sarcastic and resentful, no?

Well, nobody is anybody's possession - that goes for both men and women.

How about contributing more fun dating ideas on future comments rather than a rant?! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know what that person's problem was. I enjoyed your list. :)

lexie said...

I have an idea... Wat about sleding... U could call it the slippery slope... I don't know it's an idea

Seriously Fun Self-help! said...

Sledding is a blast! Slippery slope, huh? LOL...

Emily said...

What about going on a picnic? ..or paddle boating, if you're near a liver or lake.

These are a couple my boyfriend and I plan on doing soon!

Seriously Fun Self-help! said...

Love paddle boating. Can't believe I missed that one! :)

Sushil said...

Nice Love Ideas and Relationship
"Love is patient, love is kind. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
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Julie Wright said...

Thanks for taking the time to discuss this. I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me. Thanks!

Kind regards,

Julie Wright
second date ideas

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