Mutual Madness: May The Best First Date Win

Mar 9, 2023

So many people seem to think there’s a magic formula for a successful first date – say the right thing, laugh x amount of times, make sure the lighting and the vibes are just right… 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but there is no magic formula. The perfect date for one person could be another person’s worst nightmare. That’s part of the beauty of dating. Everyone is different, and you get to sift through the differences until you find the peanut butter to your jelly. BUT, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things that everybody wants on a date, like kindness, respect, and having a good time.

Even though you can’t pick something that will appease everyone you take on a date, maybe there’s an activity that guarantees your date will *most likely* have a good time.

So, what is that date? Well, we’re asking the same thing. That’s why we want YOU to decide the best activity for a first date! We’ve come up with 64 first-date ideas for you to vote on. There are four categories of dates: Food-Related Dates, Outdoorsy Dates, Indoorsy Dates, and Unique Dates. 

Throughout March, we’ll have polls on our Instagram story for you to vote on. In March Madness fashion, each poll winner will continue in their category. Once our final four winners are determined, those champions will go head to head to determine the ultimate best first date activity.

Let’s meet our competitors:

Food Related Dates

  1. Classic dinner date – It’s a tale as old as time – boy meets girl, boy asks girl out, he asks her where she wants to eat, and she has no idea what she wants. 😅 (It might be a good idea to do a little planning beforehand so that you don’t run into this kind of problem.) Still, as long as you have good food and good conversation, you can’t go wrong with a dinner for two.

Check out this deal from Pier 49 Pizza on mutualDates!

  1. All-you-can-eat buffet – If a sit-down restaurant isn’t your thing, try going somewhere that’s all-you-can-eat! Whether that’s at your favorite sushi restaurant or the nearest Chuck-O-Rama, you and your date are guaranteed to find something they’ll enjoy – because if they don’t like the first thing they order, they can get something else!
  1. Pack a picnic dinner – Forget the table and chairs and pack up your favorite blanket for a meal outside. You can make something yourself or bring pre-made meals with you. Heck, you could even bring your drive-thru Taco Bell to the park if you wanted to!
  1. Make food for each other – This doesn’t have to be fancy, but it can be if you want it to be! Share a favorite recipe or try something new together. It’s okay if it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to because this date is less about the food and more about the time spent together.
  1. Get ice cream – I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Whether you go for a soft serve cone from McDonald’s or a fancy sundae somewhere, you’re sure to melt your date’s heart with an ice cream date.

Check out this deal from Dirty Dough on mutualDates!

  1. Bake a treat together – Maybe you want something creative, but cooking isn’t really your thing. Try baking! Since baked goods take a little bit longer in the oven, you can chat and get to know each other while waiting for your sweet treat to finish baking.
  1. Compare fries at different restaurants – Go to a few restaurants and get a small fry.  Then taste them all and decide which one is best! If you’re not a french fry person, you can try this with any of your favorite sides.

Check out this deal from Chom Burger on mutualDates!

  1. Have a three-course dinner at 3 different places – If you have lots of time, try doing a three-course meal but having each of the three courses at different restaurants. Appetizers at Applebees, entrees at Texas Roadhouse, and dessert at Coldstone Creamery? Yes, please! (Keep in mind, this date can get expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can easily do appetizers at Burger King, entrees at Taco Bell, and dessert at McDonald’s!)

Check out these deals from Hungry Hawaiian, Bun Boiz, and Coldstone on mutualDates!

  1. Take a cooking class – Maybe you want to cook together but are worried about what your date might think about your lack of kitchen skills. Try taking a cooking class together! Not only will you get to spend time together, but you’ll show your date that you’re willing to try new things – an attractive quality to have!
  1. Have a cooking competition with things you already have – Feeling a little competitive? Compete against each other for the best entree or compete against another couple on a double date. No need to go all fancy or get anything special – use things you already have in your pantry!
  1. Go to breakfast – Dinner’s a classic, but sometimes it’s nice to shake things up. Try a brunch date instead! If you’re really not a morning person, you can still go for dinner but find somewhere that does all-day breakfast for the best of both worlds.

Check out this deal from Stir’s cereal bar on mutualDates!

  1. Go to a food truck roundup – The best part about a food truck roundup is that you and your date can get things from different places without going very far! You can easily get different cuisines, desserts, and even drinks while only walking a few steps between each truck!
  1. Make new soda flavors – If you’re from Utah, you’re probably familiar with the countless soda shops on just about every street corner. (If you’re not from Utah or haven’t heard of the soda shops, do a quick search on TikTok to see the sodas that went viral!) Hit up a soda shop and try one of their flavors, or BYOS and mix up your own flavors at home!
  1. Make charcuterie boards – You can use classic ingredients like meat, cheese, and crackers, or try other snacks or candy! Dress it up, take a good picture for the gram, then pick it apart as you chat and get to know each other.
  1. Go to a farmer’s market – Find some ingredients to make dinner, pick up a local treat, or browse what the community has to offer. There’s always something new and fun to find at a farmer’s market!
  2. Make food from your mission – If you haven’t served a mission, make food from any other country or culture. The land your ancestors came from, your favorite place you’ve traveled, or somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit are great places to start. Share something about yourself while also trying something new!

Outdoorsy Dates

  1. Go for a walk – A low-impact activity with the potential for high-impact conversation. Walk around a park, walk around downtown, or walk around the mall. Remember that this date is all about what you do while walking, so make sure your conversation is memorable!
  1. Go for a bike ride – Riding bikes is a great way to get active and see your town from a new perspective. Ride to a destination or ride just for the heck of it. Just make sure you take a break to get to know each other at some point too!
  1. Go stargazing – There are few things as romantic as a night sky full of stars. Find somewhere you can see the constellations, try out a telescope, or try your hand at astrophotography. Remember that on a first date, you should never go somewhere remote for safety’s sake. (Learn more about staying safe on a first date here.)
  1. Watch the sunset – If you want something romantic but don’t want to stay up late enough to see the stars, opt for watching the sunset instead. This date is perfect for a quiet, relaxing opportunity to spend time together without the pressure of coming up with an intricate plan.
  1. Go sledding (in the winter) or ice-blocking (in the summer) – This one will also depend on where you live and the time of year, but there’s nothing like the thrill of sliding down a big hillside! This is one of those “the more, the merrier” dates. Try getting a big group together. And remember to stay safe!
  1. Go skating (ice or roller) – Strap on the ole rollerblades and cruise around town, or try and find an outdoor skating rink. Don’t know how to skate? That’s okay! Learning to skate is a great excuse to hold hands. 😉

Check out this deal from Classic Skating on mutualDates!

  1. Go swimming – Depending on where you live, go to a pool, a lake, or an ocean. Whether you’re swimming laps, playing chicken, or relaxing in the sun, a day in the water is guaranteed to be a splash!
  1. Go boating – You don’t have to own a yacht to take your date out on the water. Rent kayaks, try out a canoe, or if you know someone with a boat, try going tubing! If you do something fun and exciting on your date, then your date will associate those fun, exciting feelings with you!
  1. Build a bonfire and make s’mores – Nothing says outdoors like a good old-fashioned bonfire and s’mores. Enjoy the great outdoors, get to know each other, and enjoy a sweet treat. Again, remember to not go somewhere remote alone with someone on a first date, and always follow fire safety rules and laws.
  1. Go to an outdoor concert – Although everyone’s taste in music is different, it’s gonna be pretty hard to find someone who doesn’t like music! Whether this is a large-scale concert of your favorite band or a smaller, local concert in the park, you’re sure to have a good time!
  1. Gardening – You can plant a mini vegetable garden together or make your own little succulent bowl. Whatever you plant, take time to connect with nature while also connecting with your date.
  1. Go rock climbing – If you’ve got the right gear and the know-how, try some rock climbing nearby! If you’re unsure how but want to try, check out a local rock climbing gym where they can teach you. (Technically, that wouldn’t be outdoors, but there are still “rocks,” so that counts as outdoorsy, right?)

Check out this deal from Momentum on mutualDates!

  1. Go horseback riding – Find somewhere to teach you to ride horses, or if you’re lucky enough to have your own, teach your date how to ride! Horseback riding can be fun and romantic if you stay safe and know what you are doing.
  1. Go to the zoo – This isn’t just an activity for kids! Learn about the exotic animals in the world, find your favorite animal, and participate in the fun activities the zoo offers. This is another excellent opportunity to learn about each other while doing something active together.
  1. Play frisbee golf in the park – You can find a frisbee golf course or play catch at the nearest park. The good thing about frisbee is that it only takes a little skill, so it shouldn’t be too hard to impress your date!
  1. Play pickleball – There’s a reason this game is so popular right now! Play one-on-one or find a double date to play doubles with. Playing a game and competing together is a great bonding activity!

Check out this deal from Pickleball USA on mutualDates!

Indoorsy Dates

  1. Play a board game – Play one on one or get a group date together and play in teams. Whether trying out a new board game or playing a classic, there are boundless opportunities for fun on this date.
  1. Play video games – If you’re not really a board game person, there are still plenty of video games that you can play! Just make sure the game you play allows for 2+ players because nobody wants to spend their whole date sitting and watching someone else play!
  1. See a movie – Another dating classic. Grab some snacks, hit up the movie theater, and see what new movies are coming out that you can see together.
  1. Go to a comedy show – Remember how the emotions your date feels while spending time with you are emotions they’ll associate with you? Take your date to a comedy show, and they’ll associate you with making them laugh!

Check out this deal from Improvbroadway on mutualDates!

  1. Go to a museum – There are lots of different kinds of museums, so it’s easy to find something that both of you will enjoy! Try an art museum, a history museum, or a hands-on museum for learning fun!

Check out this deal from Automotive Addiction on mutualDates!

  1. Go thrift shopping – Be fashion-forward and environmentally friendly by giving some old clothes a new home. Find something fun for yourself, or pick out outfits for each other!

Check out this deal from Sad Boi Thrift on mutualDates!

  1. Go bowling – A classic way to have a lot of fun (and potentially embarrass yourself a little bit.) Don’t worry, though; bowling is all about having a good time together, so don’t feel too bad if you get a lot of gutter balls.

Check out this deal from Provo Beach on mutualDates!

  1. Play in an arcade – A twist on playing video games; play arcade games together! If you go somewhere where you can earn tickets for winning, you can win a special prize for your date!

Check out this deal from Classic Skating on mutualDates!

  1. Visit the aquarium – It’s like the zoo without going outside! Walk around and look at all the pretty fish, learn about sea life, and if your aquarium has them, you can watch a performance!
  1. Go to the planetarium – Want to go stargazing but don’t want to wait until late at night? Go to a planetarium instead! You’ll see how the night sky looks at different times of the year and from other parts of the world without having to go far!
  1. Take an art class – Whether you want to learn how to paint, draw, or make pottery, there’s a wide variety of art classes for you to choose from. Find something you and your date can learn, and you’ll come away with a cute little reminder of your time spent together.

Check out these deals from Us and Art, Wildflower Pottery and Kreative Kiln on mutualDates!

  1. Start a puzzle together -This date has the potential to be nice and cozy without too much effort. (As long as your date enjoys puzzles and isn’t likely to get bored too quickly.) Plus, it’ll give you lots of time to talk and get to know each other.
  1. Host a trivia night – Group up for this date and invite your friends to compete in a trivia night! If you really want to impress your date, pick a topic you know a lot about! 
  1. Go swing dancing – Or any type of dancing, for that matter. Dancing is fun, romantic, and a great way to spend time together. If you don’t know how to dance, that’s okay! You can usually find an instructor who can help you learn.
  1. Go to a trampoline park – A trampoline park is a great way to do something active while staying indoors. Whether you want to show off your tumbling skills or bounce around, this date is guaranteed to be hoppin’! 

Check out this deal from Lowes Xtreme Air Sports on mutualDates!

  1. Compete in laser tag – Laser tag pros and newbies alike can have fun competing together in a round of laser tag! Work together on a team or split up and compete against each other!

Check out these deals from Laser Assault and Provo Beach on mutualDates!

Unique Dates

  1. Pick library books for each other – This is a great way to learn about each other. Find a book about a topic you want your date to learn more about, or pick something you think your date would love. Then see just how right (or maybe just how wrong) you are about each other!

Check out this deal from Pioneer Book on mutualDates!

  1. Visit a record store – Records are trendy right now, and there’s no telling what hidden treasures you’ll find at a record store. Learn about each others’ music interests by browsing new and old records!

Check out this deal from Platinum Music and Sports on mutualDates!

  1. Walk shelter dogs – Are you an animal lover? Want a chance to volunteer together? Animal shelters always need people to come and help take care of their dogs! Just make sure you call them ahead of time to schedule something.
  1. Attend a couples yoga class – You don’t have to be a “couple” to do couples yoga. This is just an opportunity for you guys to do something peaceful and active together! Want to get super unique? Try something like goat yoga for an experience like no other!
  1. Go to a pick-your-own farm (pumpkins, berries, apples, etc.) – Depending on the time of year and where you live, many farms will let you come and pick your own produce. Whether it’s pumpkins and apples in the fall or berries in the spring, your food will taste twice as good knowing you picked it yourself.
  1. Visit a theme park or local carnival – Nothing says fun like a carnival ride! Go big and go to an amusement park or keep it small and go to the local county carnival. 

Check out this deal from Evermore on mutualDates!

  1. Volunteer together – There are so many places you can go to volunteer. If you’re unsure where to go, check out the church’s JustServe app to find volunteer opportunities near you!
  1. Have a spa day – You can do this at a professional spa or by picking up face masks and cucumbers at the grocery store. Dating doesn’t have to be stressful! Sit back, relax, and chill out together.

Check out these deals from Kaibri Professional Nail Service and Fishkiss on mutualDates!

  1. Play tourist in your own town – Even if you think you’ve seen all there is to see, there’s always something new to discover in your town. Pretend you’re tourists and go to all the touristy attractions as if you’ve never been there before!
  1. Go to a drive-in movie – A twist on a classic. Go to a drive-in movie for a unique way to experience a film. Want an extra fun, memorable night? Pack up a group and put pillows in the bed of a truck for a unique outdoor movie-watching experience! 
  1. Learn about family history together – Family history may not be the first thing you think of when you think of a first date. Still, you can learn a lot of cool things about each other and yourself!
  1. Pretend to be influencers – Not all of us can live the “document-every-second-of-my-life” lifestyle, but maybe you can for one night! Pretend to be influencers and record yourselves or take pictures throughout the date. Then go back and watch your videos together. You’re sure to be in for a good laugh!
  1. Make matching tie dye – Tie dye is a great way to get creative without needing a lot of skill to create something unique. Plus, it’s an affordable date, but you’ll walk away with a sweet new t-shirt to wear.
  1. Race go-karts – Tune into your competitive side and channel your inner speed demon at a go-kart race! Check if a professional go-karting facility is nearby or visit an arcade with an outdoor race track.
  1. Work out at the gym together – A first date probably isn’t the time to put your date through a boot-camp-level workout, and you shouldn’t spend the entire time talking about how big your biceps are. (Plus, if they’re worth bragging about, they’ll probably speak for themselves. 👀) However, if you enjoy exercising, working out together can be a great way to share that part of your life with someone! Just keep it at an intensity level everyone is comfortable with.

Check out this deal from Sweat Cycle on mutualDates!

  1. Brave an escape room – If you enjoy puzzles, mysteries, and racing against the clock, you should try an escape room! You can do this one-on-one, but it’s usually more fun with a group date. Find the clues and solve the puzzles to escape the room before time runs out!

Check out this deal from The Escape Key on mutualDates!

What do you think the best first date is? Let us know your prediction in the comments below!

 Fill out your bracket, post it on your social media, and tag us so we can see if you’re right! Or, if you’re old school and would rather print it out, we’ve got a printer-friendly version for you below. Good luck!

Kaleigh Adamson
Marketing Coordinator at Mutual | + posts

Kaleigh is a Marketing Coordinator for Mutual. She has worked with couples, relationships, dating, and love in a creative role for over a decade. She's a hopeless romantic who loves that her career allows her to help people find their soulmates. She downloaded Mutual when it first launched in 2016, coincidentally the same year she met her husband! They now live happily ever after in the Midwest with their two kids and dog.


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