Date ideas

From the mundane to the slightly more left field, we’ve got a date idea for you. We’ve even got some free ones.

a couple alone in the cinema

Alone in the cinema... it can't be a great film.

Go for coffee or tea

So we didn’t want to bring up the whole ‘is going for coffee a date?‘ question, but, if you’re not 100% sure about your potential partner, going for a cuppa can be the perfect testing ground. It’s chilled, there’s no pressure, and it’s an easy way to get to know someone. Just don’t drink too much caffeine. You don’t want your super-speedy monologues to be interrupted by frequent urges to pee.

The cinema

Worried what you’re going to talk about? Watch a film and you’ve got a ready-made chatting point. Make sure you go for a drink afterwards, be it a coffee or a cocktail, otherwise you’ve just gone out to sit in silence. And that’s not good for romance, even if you did spend the whole time kissing.

Moonlit stroll

Imagine it, on a crisp winter night you both wrap up warm and walk hand in hand in the moonlight, admiring the burnt-out cars, sewage, and general detritus you stroll by… or maybe not. Location, location, location is all important to keeping the romance. So is your general safety. Fear may add to the ‘my hero’ gasps, but not if you both get mugged. Pick a pretty setting, such as a beach, the riverside or parkland.

Go dancing

No, not clubbing, we’re talking real dancing. Be it ballroom or salsa, being that close to a new person will either ignite the passion or put it out. Either way the date should be fun, and it will help break the ice. Just don’t stamp on your date’s feet; stilettos leave holes and big boots break bones.

Meal at a restaurant

Traditional and fairly failsafe, the candlelit meal for two can be very romantic. Dress up for the occasion, eat, drink, talk and be merry. Be sure to avoid food that’s messy to eat (spaghetti etc); ‘bolognese chin’ is not a good look. And, if you want a kiss good night, don’t order garlic-drenched food.

Bike ride

You can get pretty much anywhere on a bike. They’re fun, and if you avoid busy roads you can have a chat at the same time. It’s a good way to suss out (a) if they’re fit, and (b) if they’re interesting. Check the weather forecast and the state of your tyres before you go.


No, we’re not joking. Look online for some one-off volunteering events. You’ll have the chance to get to know each other’s good side while meeting other interesting people and trying something new. And even if you decide you’re not as passionate about this romance as you are about litter-picking, your time won’t have been wasted.

Step up your dating game and visit a nearby museum or gallery. Keep an eye out for locations with new or exciting exhibits, so your date is more romantic and less like a school trip. If you’re really looking to impress, do a bit of research beforehand and wow your date with your ‘knowledge’. Check to see which museums have late openings with special events if you want an evening date.

Go to the zoo

To impress your animal-loving other half, take a trip to a nearby zoo, wildlife park or urban farm. If your love blossoms between gorilla kingdom and butterfly paradise then you’ve surely found a winner. For added romance, see if the zoo does late night events.

Roller-blading or Ice-skating

We’re talking roller-discos and late night ice-skating. If you want a memorable date, this is perfect. You can have a laugh, dance around together, ‘accidentally’ bump into each other, and pause to grab a drink. However, there’s a danger you might fall flat on your face and break your nose and A&E is never a good place to end a date.

Photo of a couple in a cinema by Shutterstock.

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Updated on 29-Sep-2015