First Date Ideas

28 May 2024

First dates are always a little dicey. After meeting for coffee, which some consider a β€œpre-date,” you need to decide on what to do that won’t make the situation more awkward that necessary. Part of your choices depend on what you found out in the initial meet or through online conversations. Of course, it is best to choose something that you both have in common.

Have two or three suggestions in mind. If your new friend seems disinclined or outright negative, you will have some options to fall back on. When you have come to a conclusion, be sure to confirm, so that you both know what kind of clothes and footwear will be appropriate for the occasion.

Active Choices

If you are both fairly active, choose something to give an opportunity to move around but still offer a chance to talk.

  • Walking – The difficulty here would be choosing a trail from the wide variety in the Finger Lakes area. Think about Burnt Hill, Interlaken, Interloken, Finger Lakes Gorge, or Ravine Loop.
  • Pickleball – If you are relatively athletic, it is likely that you have taken the pickleball plunge. If your companion has not, think about a lesson for you both. Ellis Field Tennis Courts offer free play on Monday nights. Pickleball Courts at Auburn YMCA are available Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, at a small fee. There are other local courts and you can decide based on your locations.
  • Miniature Golf – Putt Putt is a fun experience that allows for conversation between the holes. Not just for kids, these are creative arenas that will give you some giggles and ease any anxiety. It also accommodates any level of skill or coordination.
  • Kayaking and Canoeing – Finger Lakes is the perfect venue to take to the water. Too many options to choose from.

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  • Classes – There are a number of facilities and studios that offer classes that will unleash your inner Picasso. Even if you are not much better than drawing stick people, you can enjoy creating pieces with your new acquaintance. It will allow quiet time as well as chatting that is not just staring at each other. Some options are The Artist’s Lounge for painting pottery; Gourdlandia for painting, yes, gourds; Wine and Design, and others.
  • Karaoke – Off key or not, try K-House Karaoke Lounge, Elephant Lounge, or check out options at local bars.
  • Comedy Club – Hesselson’s Comedy Club offers a whole season of laughs ahead. Check it out at


  • Museum – Even if you have been recently, seeing the same artwork or exhibits through someone else’s eyes can give you a different perspective: Glenn H. Curtiss, Granger Homestead, Museum of the Earth, The Rockwell, just to start.
  • Winery – Here is where the Finger Lakes area excels. Three Brothers, Keuka Spring, Fox Run. Many offer tasting events. Go as a couple or double with mutual friends. Just keep the drinking to a minimum for safety. Besides, you don’t want your date to see you sloshed the first time you go out together.
  • Dinner – Prepare a meal together. Try breakfast for dinner. Then work on a jigsaw puzzle or play pictionary or a video game.

The idea behind a first date is to get to know the other person. Don’t just talk about yourself but ask open-ended questions. At the same time, truly listen. If you are thinking about what you are going to say next or how you would answer that same question, how will you get to understand who the other person is? Find areas that you have in common. Find shared experiences. Just don’t make it feel like a police interrogation.

Remember this is just a first date. You are not committing your life to this person. In fact, you might find that instead of a romantic connection, you just make a good friend. That is perfectly acceptable. Neither of you should feel pressure.

Have as much fun as possible.

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