5 Best First Date Ideas

first datesLast Friday Mr Zloty Baby and I went to see a comedy show by Robby Collins (anyone in SA reading it? Really recommended!). During the warm-up act a comedian spotted a couple in the first row (rookie mistake!). He quickly figured out that they were on their first date and that they met on Tinder. Of course, he kept making jokes about them. The lady was quite chilled but they guy seemed stiff, perhaps because he was the one who shared some details you should NEVER share on your first date when it’s time to put your best foot forward.
When the actual comedian came on the stage (he was absent during the warm up act) guess who he chose to drill again? The woman was rolling her eyes at her date’s answers towards the end of it. A comedy show, Dear Rinsers, is definitely not the best place to go on your first date. But where should you go? Here are some suggestions:

1. A Bar

Yes, a bar. A bar can be problematic, if you’re dating while sober but most people drink alcohol. A bar is a perfect place to meet because you can scan your date for many things: how much they drink, what they say after a drink or two (some people will only tell you what they really think then) and how they treat staff. If someone doesn’t drink, you also learn that immediately and you can decide whether it’s something you’re okay with.
A bar also allows you to have a long conversation without being bothered too often by a waiter. You don’t have to worry what food item to choose so that you don’t kill the mood stuffing your face with it.
Last but not least, paying becomes less of a problem – I never liked anyone paying for my dinner unless we were already in a relationship and it was a treat but a drink seemed fine. When you do halfsies a drink or two won’t break a bank for anyone either.

2. A Hike or a Walk

It may be because I’m based in Cape Town but a hike or a walk seems like a perfect first date as long as you keep your safety in mind. I’m definitely not telling you to go walking to some dark forest with a stranger. A walk on a promenade, in a park or on a busy hiking trail during the day is just perfect in terms of safety and in terms of an opportunity to talk.
It’s also a good test of how much of a couch potato/fitness enthusiast your date is. From my experience with dating a man who shouted at me in front of my mother that I LIED to him telling him that we’re going for a walk, while it was a hike (it was like 30% uphill, Rinsers…), I can tell you that even if you’re not that fit and healthy it’s nice to date someone better in this department than you are. It’s good to have a partner who encourages you to be better and do active things rather than someone who’ll lure you into watching series all day and eat speckled eggs and sandwiches with potato crisps as filling (true story!).

3. A Food Market

A market is a nice place to go to because you can see how your date reacts to things. Yes, you can really tell from a visit to the market whether someone is a total hater. For instance, if you’re walking around for an hour already and the other person keeps turning their nose at everything, you may be dealing with Mr or Mrs Fussy Pants. Another thing that is easy to suss out is what someone thinks about vegetarianism/veganism – oh yeah, some people will rage about the fact that such options are even available. Are you dating as a vegan btw?
Just like with a bar you can see how they behave when alcohol is involved. The only problem with a food market is that… eating food is involved. If you don’t find eating with strangers you’re trying to impress awkward, it’s not a big issue, though!

4. A Bike Ride

Another more adventurous somewhat active bar alternative (I won’t lie, a bar is a definite winner) is a bike ride. Just like a walk or a hike it allows you to have a conversation and at the same time check someone’s fitness level.
It’s also quite a nice thing to do in general, so the big plus of this date idea is that at least you’ll have something out of the date, if the romantic aspect of it turns out to be a bitter disappointment. Roller skating is something you could do too.

5. An Amusement Park

This is my American movie date idea that I, unfortunately, never had an opportunity to have in real life. Actually, it’s a perfect date idea for people who have not seen Us.
You can have a stroll and talk, eat some first date friendly food such as candy floss and popcorn to prevent you from starving and have some actual fun. You can also look at how your date reacts to failure and how adventurous they are.

Here you go, Rinsers! First date ideas for you, if you’re on a lookout but tired of going to the same place over and over again. Or concerned that the waiters resognize you and you’re just waiting for them to start saying to you “No luck, again, huh?”. I’ve been there!
For the record, cinema isn’t the best first date place unless you’re just looking to make out or for a free movie ticket. For some ideas about what movie not to choose for date 5 or 6, read my list of the worst movie choices here.

What was your best first date ever? What’s the craziest one you’ve ever had? Tell me, please!





  1. A bar is definitely a safe bet for a good first date. It’s probably been the starting point for most of my Tinder dates – both good and bad.

    To be honest, if its not someone I’ve already been introduced to or met organically…I’m not going hiking, I think I did climb Lion’s Head once with a guy (I already been on a few dates with) but it allowed me to see him in a different light. Firstly, his activewear looked worse than something my grandfather would wear. As you know activewear is a very important part of my life. Then he was super unfit and huffing and puffing the whole time and crying about his sore stomach. I told him that I climbed this mountain in half the time with my 60 something father..Then he has the audacity to try ‘help’ me on the chains by touching my ass. When we eventually got to the top someone asked if they could take a couple photo for us and I just started laughing.

    One of the best first dates was at a bar and now I think back, it was a good date even though he wasn’t drinking (which in most instances would make a date a write off). We also ended up playing pool, which I warned him I had no experience in. It was either that or ping pong (neither of which I had a hope in hell of being half decent at). It was a disaster and I was playing pool in heels which made things even funnier. Anyway, we had a good LOL and he felt bad for not listening to me when I said I would be bad. It was a good ice-breaker in any case and it would have probably been a memorable date even if we hadn’t had chemistry because its a nice activity where you don’t have to talk too much. Sigh. That dude was good at date choices. He was also the one that took me to a library. And that’s the date that will never be surpassed! Tfu Tfu. Although, on balance (and after watching that netflix series YOU) I might reconsider my views on libraries and bookshops as romantic places for dates.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did go on one hike as a second date. Had I been sober and had a car when single, I’d be hiking more on first dates. I don’t think much can happen on a busy trail, if you get there with your own car.

      Pool is a cool idea! So is mini-golf or bowling, actually, perhaps I should add it to the list. A library date sounds like a dream to me, similarly like browsing in a second hand book shop.


      • I never even considered a library to be a potential date venue …. but it was great. You can also see if they a) can read and b) the type of books they are into. So, you know to run for the hills if they are illiterate or if they start reading the bible or some other horrific book.

        Before you start dreaming of library/bookshop dates watch YOU on Netflix. After wittering on about how dreamy my library date was a friend bought me back down to earth by introducing me to that series.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Not watching it. Let me dream! Whatever happens in YOU I doubt this would happen to me with Mr Zloty Baby seeing that we’re way past our first date?


  2. Great ideas! As you know I’m always looking for date ideas that don’t CENTER on alcohol. Sure there may be some at some of those places, but it’s not the reason you go. Someone elsewhere mentioned antique shops which could be interesting if you know the other person is into it.

    And that comedy show story made me cringe. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you find it useful. I know you’re into fitness too so the “fit” dates are a good test and no booze is involved 🙂 Similar with the food market, booze could be involved but doesn’t have to. An antique shop sounds like an amazing idea. Now that I think about it, there are other related cool ideas: browsing together in a second hand bookstore or a vintage clothes store could be cool too, if a person is into it.

      😀 It was painful to watch. The guy went SO red and the date was rolling her eyes and getting fidgety. I’d surprised if they even ended up getting a drink/dinner afterwards.


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