Dating is fun...when it goes well. But a bad date can feel like such an awkward flop that you end up wondering if you should resign yourself to the single life forever. So, if you’ve scored a second date with someone you dig, set yourself up for success by planning a date that does you both right, and keeps things moving in the right direction. What should you do together, dinner and a movie? Nah. You can do better than that. Instead, try one of these creative second date ideas for a fun and memorable night with your future soulmate.
1. Go Bowling
Get your Big Lebowski on, and let the good times roll with a fun and casual activity that’s impossible not to enjoy. Add some goofy shoes, a couple beers and a side of fries into the mix for a combination that’s sure to make any pair feel footloose and extra-friendly. Bonus: If you aren’t particularly skilled at bowling, this one is also a reliable way to make your date laugh.
2. Visit a Rooftop Bar
Stunning, panoramic views and booze. Need we say more? Grab a drink with your love interest at a swanky rooftop establishment for the ultimate anti-dive bar experience (i.e., fancy cocktails and fresh air). Trust us, you’ll both be on cloud nine and ready for another round...maybe even date three?
3. Go for a Hike
Olivia Newton John was definitely onto something: Get physical on your second date with a good hike and you’ll both be singing the praises of exercise and, perhaps, one another. Bonus points if you pick a trail that ends with a scenic view—in the hiking world, they call that a climax.
4. Cook Dinner Together
An intimate meal out is great, but let’s be honest, if it’s only a second date, there’s a sizable risk that the small talk will be stilted and awkward. Spare yourself this uncomfortable situation by dining in, instead. Cooking a meal with a potential love interest is a surefire way to break the ice before dinner—you know, so you can get to know each other with conversation that actually feels natural.
5. Take a Beach Day
So you like long walks on the beach. OK, just kidding, that one is so cliche it’s an instant dating profile pass—but that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with the beach. Suit up and go for a swim with your future sweetheart, or just lay down a couple towels and get to know each other better.
6. Picnic in the Park
If the weather is good, get ye to the nearest public park for your second date—just make sure one person is responsible for bringing a gourmet spread. A blanket, a little baguette with brie, fresh fruit, fresh air—all you need for a relaxing rendez-vous that will feel just right. Bon appetit.
7. Go to a Drive-In Movie
The drive-in is a throwback viewing experience that has (thankfully) survived to see the age of social distancing. Best of all, it is infinitely more fun than Netflix and chill. Bring snacks and refreshments—non-alcoholic only, of course—and enjoy a good flick from the comfort and intimacy of your car, where chatting and PDA won’t break any rules, or disrupt anyone else’s date.
8. Play Cards
Believe it or not, you can learn a lot about someone by playing a card game with them—like where they fall on the sportsmanship spectrum, for example. Plus, a little friendly competition will bring both entertainment and excitement to the table.
9. Have a Virtual Wine Tasting Experience
Tasting: The only time you can sip from five different bottles of wine in a single night and feel good about. Try it out with your love interest for an intimate date night—you’ll benefit from the romance of learning something new together and you might discover you both have the same taste in vino, too.
10. See a Virtual Comedy Show
Banish second date butterflies with the ultimate tension-reliever: Humor. Comedy shows are a great way to share some irreverent laughs together and break the ice. Best of all, since the experience is virtual, there’s no risk that either one of you will be picked on by a ruthless comic.
11. Go on a Boat Ride
Charter a boat or take a ferry ride together for a relaxing, energizing and romantic date. For conversation and atmosphere, a private sailboat is a bonus, but even a diesel-powered commuter ferry has its charm as long as you can snag a spot by the rail for a better view. (Hint: Go for a boat with a bar on board.)
12. Bocce Bar Date
Find a bar near you with a bocce ball court and get your game face on. Bocce, also known as Italian lawn bowling, is a super fun outdoor game that goes well with a frosty brew and good company.
13. Take a Workout Class Together
If you’re both gym rats, do what you love together. Whether it’s Zoom yoga, an outdoor HIIT class or your own at-home routine, breaking a sweat together can also help break the ice.
14. Volunteer Together
If activism and showing up are important to you, give your date the chance to show you if they’re on the same page. Pack lunches for your local mutual aid group. Donate some hardcovers to a local book fair. Drop off waters for protestors. Masks on, of course.