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24 terrible, no good, very bad first date ideas

I think I may have read every Fun Date Ideas for insertseasonorcityhere! article ever written at this point in my dating career. I go on a lot of dates, so, occasionally I need a little help branching out from my usual drinks-at-a-cool-bar and museum go-tos. My only problem has been that most fun date idea articles are full of shit.

If I read “go have dinner” one more time, like it’s a completely novel idea, I will find that author and make them have dinner with someone who refuses to stop talking about high school, and a waitress that avoids all eye contact.

Here’s a compilation of my favourite worst first date ideas- taken from real articles. Do any of the below at your own risk- or do all of them! It’ll be like a fun challenge destined for disaster. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  1. Visit a taxidermist. I didn’t even think it was legal to sell human remains, but on a quest to find a unique date idea in my city, I found that indeed it is. I like the idea of looking at all the human shrunken heads and stuffed alligators, but you’d have to make a delightfully weird pair to find romance over a mummified human corpse. At least ask if your partner is vegan, first.
  2. See a local improv show. This is a scam, inserted into lists by amateur comedians desperate to stop performing to an empty room. Professionals with years of experience doing improv? Might be an okay time, at best. Amateurs who either spend their time one-upping each other in sheer outrageousness in an an attempt at comedy, or who make you feel awkward just watching their obvious discomfort at not being able to finish a sentence beyond “yes, and…”? Attend at your own risk.
  3. Go to a beach. Only works if you live near a beach, it’s not ice cold, and it’s not littered with trash. Great in theory, harder to execute.
  4. See a movie. One article I read said that “research has shown that watching movies with relationship themes and talking about them can be as effective as premarital counseling”. I think I’ll take a licensed professional over a romcom if my relationship is in trouble, thanks. Also, if you’re trying to get to know someone, it’s nice to be an environment where you can talk to that person. Good in conjunction with other activities, bad on its own.
  5. Run a race. Even if you’re both really athletic, this has the potential to get unattractively sweaty.
  6. Take a zumba class together. I have yet to meet a man who is willing to go dancing with me- especially not this kind. Salsa? Sure. Hoe-down? If that’s your thing. A female-focused aerobics class from 2005, where you’re not supposed to touch? Um…
  7. Hit a nightclub. If this is your idea of a great first date, you probably met your partner at said nightclub already.
  8. Get a makeover. Go somewhere to have a professional fix all the things that are obviously wrong with you, or to an expensive spa where you barely even get to look at each other because you’re face down on a massage table. This is the date to go on if your friend set you up with someone ugly and you want to pretend you’re not on a date at all.
  9. Bowling. When was the last time you went bowling? Are you sure this is fun? You sure you want to put your feet in those unwashed, communal shoes? Maybe try an arcade bar instead, they tend to smell less weird.
  10. Do something during the day. That’s right, you can see people of the opposite sex that you’re attracted to before 6pm! Crazy, right? We’re pretending this is a real date tip because I get paid by the word!
  11. Foster a puppy. This is a commitment full of responsibility, not a fun date idea. If you think it’s a good idea to adopt a puppy on a whim, you probably don’t know enough about puppies to take care of one.
  12. Go to a dog park without a dog. Related to the point above, it can be great to go look at a dog park and enjoy looking at the cuteness- from afar. Can that be your whole date? No. Should you go up and start playing with strangers’ dogs who are there to socialize with other dogs? No. Don’t be a dick.
  13. Do an escape room. This can be a fun second date, after you’ve determined that a) your date is not an idiot, and, b) your date does not get easily frustrated by small inconveniences and/or being wrong. Otherwise, enjoy being locked in a tiny room with someone you want to stab just a little!
  14. Go to a sex museum or store. I’m not trying to judge anyone for having sex on a first date, but, be sure you want to have sex on the first date before you do this one. Be real sure.
  15. Hike up to a volcano. Great advice if you live in Hawaii or Italy. If not, tough luck.
  16. Have breakfast for dinner. This isn’t just another point to tell you to have dinner, because we’re telling you to have breakfast! Haha! We’re so fun and quirky.
  17. Go to an abandoned construction site at night, and make up fun stories about who’s going to live in the house you’re trespassing in. Yes, someone did seriously suggest this. Do not do this. We will find your body stashed in one of the walls in twenty years and say, “told you so”.
  18. Go geocaching. Nothing says fun like spending 90 minutes looking for a stupid hidden box full of thimbles deep in the woods using a that may or may not be accurate that far into the wilderness. If you want to find something lost, stay home and learn where all your missing socks go.
  19. Wake up at 4am and watch the sun rise together. Firstly, what time do you think the sun usually rises? Secondly, no. If this is the only time you two can find to get together, you’re both too busy to date.
  20. Go foraging for edible plants, and make dinner. How confident are you that your date is a mushroom expert, and that you’re definitely not eating one of the poison ones? This is only cute if one of you is professionally trained.
  21. Go to a local little league game and pick a side to cheer for. This is like visiting a dog park without a dog, but much worse. Do not go to a random little league game without knowing any of the participants. I know you don’t mean any harm, but their parents might not feel the same about strangers coming in to watch their children. Watch a game played by grownups, it’s less likely to get you arrested.
  22. Give blood. Nothing says romance like having to sit next to each other with needles sticking out of your arm for an hour! Donating blood is a good thing, but if the conversation gets boring neither of you can run away. Also, it’s not 1830- accidentally fainting isn’t cute anymore.
  23. Pick up trash along the side of a highway. Okay, maybe I’m just not as committed to the environment as I should be. I’m sure to someone this is as dreamy as it gets. But… really? At least go to a park.
  24. Choose your own adventure. The tip here is to figure out something else that’s not on the list! It never would have occurred to you to use your own judgement to think of something you enjoy, which is why we wrote it down for you. This isn’t just a desperate ploy to make an arbitrarily numbered list even longer!!

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