date ideas that don't require coffeeHow many times have you met a first date for coffee? You sit across from one another getting all caffeinated, and then what? It can be awkward just sitting and talking to a stranger over a cuppa joe. And what about those embarrassing steamed milk mustaches from your lattes? While coffee dates are popular for a first meeting, there are much better options. I was rattling off a bunch of creative first date ideas to a client and promised her I’d write up my top five. Here they are…

Top 5 Unique First Date Ideas

1. Museums. I love museums as a first date, and not just because I’m an artist (that was my first career before becoming a dating coach). Museums help you get to know someone’s cultural background. They give you insight into how that person sees and experiences the world. Depending on what type of museum you go to, you can either get to know their relationship to history, art, science,  and even their family history. I once had a first date at a museum with a Curious George exhibit. I got to see his playful side and learned about who he was as a child. This is invaluable information, and much more than you’ll get over a Pumpkin Spice Latte!

2. Nature. I enjoy hiking or having a picnic on a first date. If you live in the New York area, I have a few favorites to recommend. If not, Google local parks and hikes in your area.     

a. Walkway Over the Hudson. This footpath over the Hudson River near Newburgh, NY, affords gorgeous views of the river. “The park provides access to the Hudson River’s breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The bridge deck stands 212 feet above the river’s surface and is 6,678 feet (1.28 miles) long, making it the longest, elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.”  

b. Piermont-Nyack Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. This is one of my favorite hiking paths. Park at the old Piermont, NY train station, and walk an hour to Nyack, NY. The view along the way is spectacular. The Hudson River is on your right, and lovely estates surround you on both sides. The cities of Piermont and Nyack are worth exploring on either end of your trip. The cafes in both towns are quaint, artsy, and fun!

c. Scenic Hudson Park at Irvington. Only 12 miles from New York City, this park overlooks the Hudson River and has a picnic area as well as a hiking path. You can walk right up to the river, with the Tappan Zee Bridge in the distance. It’s especially beautiful this time of year with the changing leaves of Autumn. 

d. Castle Craig at Hubbard Park. This park, about two hours outside of New York City, is worth the trip. At the top of the trail sits the ruins of an old castle. You can climb up to take in the breathtaking views of the Long Island Sound as well as the skyline of Hartford, CT. You can picnic near the playground at the base, or hike beautiful trails.

3. A Toy Store. Maybe it’s just me, but I love to be playful, and what better way to bring out someone’s playful side than a fun toy store? You can find out a lot about a person when you connect back to their inner child. If there’s an old-fashioned toy store near you, go there. You’ll find some of the toys and games you grew up with, like Slinky and Twister. Ask him what his favorite toy was growing up. You’ll learn a lot about him.

4. Any Fun Activity. I once went go-carting on a first date. Other fun first date activities are bowling, billiards, and arcades. It’s campy, and you can find out if he’s super competitive and how much he cares about winning or losing. That’s information that will come in handy if you end up in a relationship. 

5. Walking/bus Tour. It’s fun to take an historical walking tour on a first date. In Manhattan, there are also exciting bus tours, such as the Big Apple Bus tour around Manhattan on a double-decker bus. There’s even a tour called the Fun Bus, where you get a flash-mob simulated tour of Manhattan! The bus stops on various city corners where you can experience a staged flash mob performing just for you. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

So next time he asks what you want to do on a first date, suggest one of these innovative ideas for a first date that will knock his socks off and help you truly connect. Do you have any fun first date ideas to share? 


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