Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we know what that means… romance, gifts of love and epic date nights!
If you’re looking for some inspiration to impress that special person in your life, or even get to know them that little bit more, without blowing the budget, we have some great ideas, just for you
Because let’s be honest – dinner and movie nights might be classic but you’re in risky territory with it becoming a little too ‘routine’, especially when you’re out to get to know someone better.
So we’ve put together our list of creative dating ideas that will not only deliver a wow factor but are also designed to help you break through the ordinary to really get to know someone. Maybe you’ve only been on a few dates or perhaps you’ve been with someone for years and just want to shake things up. Either way, this list will get your creative dating juices flowing for the big “V Day” reveal…
Create a new experience for both of you
Routine leads to boredom. There is no avoiding it.
So one of the best ways to make a date more memorable is to do something neither of you have ever done before. Learning something together is a unique way to bond and the atmosphere is instantly more relaxed. You can laugh at your own mistakes and compete to see who can get the hang of it first.
There are plenty of free or cheap unique activities in most cities that are catered to beginners. Anything from life drawings, modern dance classes, Tai Chi in the park, indoor rock-climbing, ice-skating and DIY workshops – the more out-there the idea, the better.
As long as you’re both open to giving it a crack, you can let your guard down and have some fun. And if it turns out that pottery making wasn’t for you, it’s ok, because neither of you were particularly invested in the idea in the first place.
Below is a list of classes and workshops available across your capital city:
The low-key “hang-out” date
When you get down to the basics, the real reason you go on a date with someone is to spend more time with them, right? The activity you actually do on your date is really just an excuse to make that ‘time together’ happen.
So, when you’re setting up a date don’t put as much emphasis on the ‘what’ of the date. Head to a playground with a swing-set, buy an ice-cream and take a walk along the beach, or find a park with a lake to feed the ducks or skip some stones.
The informal setting will relieve the pressure to ‘make small talk’ and your conversation will be allowed to develop naturally and organically. There is also something particularly romantic and sweet about spending time enjoying the simple things.
Trivia night at a bar
Meeting up with someone at a bar is a pretty common go-to for a date when you don’t know what else to do.
But you know what? It just isn’t that memorable or romantic. Great for a first or second date maybe, but after a while you really should be upping the stakes if you want to move past small talk.
Why not add a little bit of competition to the mix to create a more exciting night! Hit up your local trivia night and you’ll soon find all the social awkwardness drift away. You’ll be too busy racking your brain to remember the year ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ was released.
You may also find that people drop their guard a little more when their competitive streak kicks in and their true personalities shine through a little stronger (for better or worse), but let’s be honest, the quicker we get to the bottom of this sort of stuff, the better, when it comes to the dating game.
If you really want your date to be unique and memorable, the world of geocaching gets our thumbs up!
Like a treasure hunt for grown ups, you hunt down a ‘geocache’ (usually a waterproof container full of various types of ‘swag’) based on a series of clues and GPS coordinates.
You’ll want to wait until you get past the initial stages of a relationship (you probably don’t want to be dragging someone into the woods on a first date!) but when it comes to sense of adventure it is a pretty hard idea to beat.
Sure, maybe it’s a little dorky. But if you’re worried about being a bit of a dork around the person you’re dating – this will get you loosened up in no time!
You can find everything you need to know about geocaching at their official website.
If the most important part of a date to you is getting to know someone, suggest the idea of volunteering with them for a night.
With the right mindset, giving your time to a good cause is an amazing way to spend quality time with someone and you’ll get the chance to see a more kind and gentle side of their personality, even if you have been dating for years.
Finding opportunities to volunteer at the drop of a hat isn’t always simple, but the concept of micro-volunteering is a relatively new idea that lets you help out by doing small, short-term tasks.
Consider any of the following:
- Take dogs at an animal shelter for a walk or a give them a bath
- Work at a soup kitchen for the night
- Spend time with someone in an aged-care facility
It might not be the right idea for everyone, but even if it doesn’t work out at least at the end of the day you’ll have done something to make the world a better place.
Be tourists in your own town
We’re usually so busy in our everyday lives that we don’t really explore the town we live in.
Once you look at your city through the eyes of a tourist, you’ll be amazed at how many hidden wonders your hometown has to offer. Find out whether your city does free walking tours or visit a landmark that you’ve never been to but always thought you’d end up visiting ‘one day’.
Walking around your own city and seeing it with new eyes is a great way to appreciate the things we can often take for granted. Not a bad reflection to have with someone you’re on a date with, huh?
- Free walking tours around Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart)
- Free guided tours in Perth
Try something different
When trying to keep your dating expenses low, sometimes simple really is best.
But simple doesn’t have to mean boring.
Telling someone that you want to meet up with them for a coffee or a sausage roll isn’t going to fill them with anticipation of what’s to come. But what if you tell them you’re going to try Melbourne’s only smurf latte with blue algae (which is actually a thing) or other superfood latte, or the 2017 winner of the best sausage roll in Sydney?
Sounds a little more enticing, huh?
To make the date even more intriguing, meet up at a common location and make the trip together. Extra points if it’s at the end of a train line, in some suburb or town you’ve never been before (although make sure you’re date knows what they’re in for before you start taking them too far off the beaten track).
Go out on a limb (and actually let them know a little about you)
The weird culture humans have built around dating means that we often try to impress our dates by doing things we wouldn’t generally do ourselves.
I mean, does taking someone to a fancy restaurant you would never usually go to tell them much about who you really are?
So, if you’re brave enough, why not deliberately turn that idea on its head?
Agree to meet up at a second hand bookshop before you go out for coffee. The mission is to find a book to buy for your date (and they do the same for you), based on what you already know about each other. When you get to the cafe, spend a little time flicking through the book, and explain to each other why you picked the one you did for them.
Not a bookworm? Substitute a book for music, or anything really. The point is, that you’re getting to know each other on a more personal level.
This is a great idea for early on in a relationship, once you’re past the 4th or 5th date and you know at least a little bit about them. It might seem a little out there but it’s better than going to multiple movies together before realising you’re not really that compatible.
What is your go-to awesome date idea when you want to get to know someone a little better on a budget? Let us know in the comments below?
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