Alternative date ideas to drinks in a bar

Alternative and fun first date ideas

Coming up with a fun first date can be tricky. Often, we fall back on what we know and just head for the bar – but you’re better than that! Change things up and discover our top ten alternative ideas that’ll help you find that spark and ensure you avoid a first date fiasco.

Fun first dates in the great outdoors

Looking for something a little out of the ordinary? These fun and unusual first date ideas are bound to get you both chatting and out of your comfort zone a little – not to mention, if the date goes really well, you’ll have an adorable first date story to tell the grandkids one day. 

1. Take a hike 

If you’re drained of city life, leave the bustle and structure behind and make the immeasurably beautiful British countryside your first date backdrop, instead.

You and your date will be blown away by insta-worthy views for miles. Tackle that hill you’ve always awed at, and revel in each other’s accomplishment as you gaze down from the top of the world or wander through the valley with the dog.

The scenery speaks for itself, but, hey, if it doesn’t work out, at least you’ve got a thousand photo ops along the way!

2. Spend your date immersed in wildlife

Enjoy the awe inspiring majesty of the animal kingdom and spend your first date exploring wildlife and habitats at the zoo. 

Wander down wide, winding pathways, and chat about the wonders of nature as you meander and discover your favourite creatures up close. Whether it’s apes, lions, or lizards that excite you, this experiential first date is the ideal setting for a casual afternoon with intrigue and conversation starters found at every turn.

Enjoy a socially distanced bike ride

Image source: Pinterest

3. Go for a city bike ride

For fun vibes all round, hire a bike each and take a ride around your favourite city. Explore the hidden corners of the place you call home or make a day of it and pack a cute picnic for the park. The bikes you can borrow are pretty basic so you don’t need to be an expert – just push the pedals and go!

You’ll find a lot of UK cities offer bike share schemes, and some cities even have nippy electric scooters to borrow, too. 

4. Watch the sun set

It’s a bit of a wildcard and might sound like something out of an American high school film, but finding a quiet spot to watch the sun set can be a super romantic way to impress your date. 

However, go in with plenty of conversation to fall back on because the chat doesn’t exactly write itself, unlike many of our other recommendations. To get around this, consider making this a night-time addition to a more traditional dinner with drinks to cement the evening as one they won’t forget. 

Alternatively, if you’re both morning people head out early to watch the sun rise! It’s just as beautiful and you can grab breakfast together before work… what could be a more perfect first date idea?!

Fun and games 

Kick things up a notch with these fun first date ideas that will get you laughing like you’ve known each other for months – as long as the chemistry’s right, that is. Hey, we’ll give you the date ideas – everything else is up to you!

5. Inject a little friendly competition  

Add a competitive edge to your first date dynamic with a trip to the bowling alley or a game of mini golf. Both present a casual environment, giving you the chance to get to know each other in an informal setting without the intensity of dinner date conversation. 

While the chance to show off might be too tempting to turn down, though, make sure you don’t embarrass yourself to the point where you cost yourself a second date…

Enter the new normal of dating with a trip to the arcade

Image source: Pinterest

6. Take a trip to the arcade

Hog the air hockey table or fritter away your change on the 2p machine with a trip to the arcade, and spend your first date enjoying hours of casual fun (not that kind!). 

Unlike mini golf or bowling, spend as much time or money as you can afford flitting between different attractions and make this playful first date idea entirely your own. If you’re lucky, they might even have a couple of outdoor rides so you can show off on the bumpers!

PSA: this is more of a daytime date, so if you’re more alcoholically inclined, perhaps consider a sports bar with shuffleboard, table tennis, and pool for similar antics.

7. Head to a game or a gig

Shared passions are exciting and form the basis of many strong relationships, so discover something that thrills you both from the off. Find something you both love and quickly forget those first date nerves!

From bopping away to a band you both adore to cheering on your local team, there’s bound to be something that appeals to the two of you. So, lace up your dancing shoes or throw on your favourite football shirt, and head out to a gig or a game for a night of thrills, spills, and who knows what else…

8. Try out some new beers

Put a twist on tradition, and impress your date with a different kind of trip to the bar. There are over 1,800 breweries dotted all over the country, so, rather than sitting at the back of a bar ordering your usual, mix it up and sample some local flavours together.

One of our favourite first date ideas, with everything from fruity tangs to mellow hops, enjoy a chat over a drink or six and order a collection of ales, lagers, or porters to taste between you. Whether they tickle your taste buds or not, you’ll definitely have a conversation starter.

Ice skating is a great alternative first date

Image source: Pinterest

9. Skate your way into their heart

Expect tumbles, laughs, and plenty of layers – of course, we can only be talking about ice skating. Chances are you’ll both be hopeless, so don’t worry about feeling foolish as you fall for what feels like the hundredth time! Wrap up warm and lace up your skates for a fabulous first date spent (let’s be honest) mostly on your backside!

10. Enjoy a gin together

If it’s a practical date you’re after, find a gin making experience close by. From combining flavours and mixing aromas to understanding the art of distillery, this unique first date idea adds a personal touch to your drinks cabinet, giving you something to take home that represents the best of you both.

It’s worth noting that this is by no means a cheap date, but if it’s something that appeals to you both, then it can be well worth the expense – and that next gin and tonic you share will be extra special.

First dates can be a tricky business, and it’s sometimes hard to decide what to do. Impress your date with creativity by choosing something different, though, and you’ll both have more fun for it. If you’re hoping to score a second date, you might want to check out our guide on first date dos and don’ts for tips on making a great first impression.

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