Start any new relationship off strong with these 11 second date ideas that will surely impress!
Dating can be incredibly challenging, especially given today’s fast-moving and highly digital world. So, congratulations on putting yourself out there and landing a second date with someone you like! Now that you’ve jumped the hurdle of the first date, it’s time to plan what to do on the second date so that you’ll be sure to land a third date and more beyond that. But don’t worry, coming up with second date ideas doesn’t have to be incredibly challenging. Make sure you pick an activity that you think you’ll both enjoy.
Whereas first dates can be daunting and anxiety-inducing (leading to awkward moments and tense emotions), second dates are usually more laid-back. If you’ve both agreed to see each other again, it means that you’re both interested in getting to know the other person better. If you’re unsure if the first date went well, the second date is your opportunity to prove yourself. You can also learn more about how to be charming on a first date, with tips that can be applied to a second date and beyond.
Is the Second Date As Important as the First?
If you thought that the first date was important, you’re right. The first date with someone, whether with someone you’ve known as a friend or someone you just met online, is all about first impressions and forming an emotional bond that’ll bring the two of you closer together. If you put some pressure on the first date, the chances are that you felt some anxiety or even stress around it. Don’t worry; the other person probably felt the same way! It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous in the early stages of romance; after all, it’s part of the chemistry that you share with someone.
Because the first date is the first, it carries a lot of weight. However, don’t underestimate the importance of the second date! The second date is not only your opportunity to impress your potential partner, but it’s also a good time for you to gauge your compatibility as a couple. Let’s face it; you’re dating because you want a companion who understands and supports you—entirely valid reasons given the importance of relationships to our health and happiness. Now that you’re on to the second date, an emotional bond is beginning to form between the two of you, but it’s still in a very fragile state. Even if the first date went well, you still want to have a date night (or afternoon, or morning) to remember. Keep in mind that there’s a surprising amount of science behind what makes a date successful, like appearance, smell, touch, and (potentially) that end-of-date kiss.
We know that it can be daunting to choose what to do on the second outing together, so that’s why we’ve created this list of fun second date ideas that won’t just ensure a good time but will be sure to get both of you to open up so you can grow that emotional connection.
How Long Do I Need To Wait Between Dates?
If you’re excited about someone you had a great first date with, it might be tempting to go out again the very next day. This feeling is understandable, but it’s essential to realize some pros and cons to waiting between dates. Now, this doesn’t mean waiting for ages! Waiting too long could result in a loss of interest.
Ultimately, it depends. Figuring out how long you should wait between dates is up to you (both of you), but there are a few things to consider. First, be honest with yourself about your ideal dating timeline. Then ask yourself what your availability is. Do you want to commit to a date on an evening before a big presentation at work? Make sure to communicate with your partner when figuring out when to go on a second date. Don’t be offended if they don’t want to go out again right away—they might have a hectic schedule! Instead, be patient. A little time between seeing each other can strengthen your connection (ever heard of the saying, “distance makes the heart grow fonder”?). Whether the second date happens a few days after the first, a week, or even two weeks later, it doesn’t matter as long as it feels good to see each other when it does happen. Plus, this time gives you time to choose from your favorite second date ideas to pick an activity that will be sure to impress.
11 Amazing Second Date Ideas
Now that you’ve nailed down a time and day for the second date, it’s time to pick an activity! You want to do something that’ll help you both get to know each other better. Instead of going out to dinner at a nice restaurant, maybe pick something that takes you outside or brings out the creative side in you! To help you out, we’ve compiled our top eleven second date ideas in this article.
1. Go Outside
Popular culture and the media might suggest that the best dates take place at fancy restaurants, but actually, dates can be anywhere, any time of day. You don’t have to shell out a lot of money every time, which hopefully takes away some of the stress that you might be feeling. Regardless of your motive, going outside is one of the easiest but most rewarding second date ideas. Doing something active together is one of the best ways to know someone and their interests and passions.
You don’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast, either. You can do something as simple as hiking in the mountains or a bike ride around town or on a local bike path if that’s an option. For those who are more adventurous, maybe consider an outing like rock climbing, surfing, or kayaking—whatever is available to you!
Being physically active with someone, even if just on a walk, has a lot of benefits that go beyond the excitement of the second date. Working out releases endorphins, which link to happiness. Chances are, if you’re happy on a date, you’ll probably feel pretty good about the other person! Plus, romantic partners who work out together are more likely to stay together.
2. An Oldie but Goodie: Go to the Movies
Going out to the movies is one of our top second date ideas that are still different from the typical meal out (but traditional in its sense). If a fantastic film is showing, why not suggest seeing it? Although it doesn’t leave much room for conversation for an approximate two-hour window, it’ll make for a great topic of discussion once the movie lets out.
Plus, movies make for one of the best opportunities to gain some physical intimacy with each other without needing to be awkward about it. You can make casual physical contact, like brushing your leg against theirs or making the “movie theater move” and putting your arm around their shoulders. Do what feels good, and relish those butterflies in your stomach! Don’t forget to make eye contact every once in a while; not only does this affirm that you’re aware of each other, but it strengthens that emotional bond that’s forming.
Find out if any drive-in movie theaters are near you to spice it up. These make for a super romantic second date (don’t forget to bring a blanket and snacks).
3. Play a Game Together
If you’re looking for second date ideas different from the norm, you could consider having a game night together. You don’t need a big group of people to enjoy games, whether cards, board games, or video games. Playing together is important in a relationship for lasting happiness together. Studies show that more playful people tend to feel closer!
You don’t have to be a gamer to play games, either (though it’s okay if you are). If you’re not sure where to start, make sure to check out these dating-themed games or couples’ games that will be sure to get you both laughing in no time. In particular, games like these help you get to know each other better. If you opt for a more traditional game, you can still find opportunities to ask questions, initiate lots of eye contact, brush up against the other person, etc. As with any second date, it’s a chance to become closer with the other person at whatever pace feels comfortable.
4. Cook a Meal Together
Food brings people together. That’s why many first dates revolve around it; whether it’s going to a restaurant or getting gelato together, people bond over food. Even in non-romantic settings, food plays an essential role in understanding each other and different cultures. The bottom line is that food is powerful, so why not use it to your advantage on the second date?
Instead of eating out, it can be enjoyable and exciting to cook a meal together. For a fun and unique start, you can meet up at the farmer’s market to pick out fresh ingredients together. Not only does this show the other person that you value their opinion, but it gives both of you a chance to start to divulge your preferences when it comes to food. Or, if you have food allergies, this can be a great chance to address them!
You don’t have to choose a complicated recipe to make together, but you should involve the other person in the process. Just the act of simultaneously chopping vegetables or boiling water (whatever the tasks may be) can help make it feel like you’re a team, which is essential to any great relationship.
5. Go to Karaoke Night
Are you up for a night of fun and laughter, guaranteed? Then maybe going out to a karaoke bar is the right second date idea for you. Regardless of your singing chops, you’ll be sure to have lots of fun together, and as we know, that’s bound to get the two of you feeling connected.
Some karaoke bars will have individual booths so you can be private and intimate without worrying about what everyone else thinks of you. Regular bars sometimes hold karaoke nights, which can be equally fun, if not more fun, with the crowd’s excitement. It may not be for you if you have a big fear of public performance, so keep that in mind. At the same time, karaoke night at the local bar can give you that push you need to get out there and impress your date! Hot tip: try to pick songs you’re already familiar with, so you can be confident!
6. Explore Around Town
For casual fun on a second date, you can suggest a walkabout town. Wandering the streets together gives you a chance to get to know each other better without having to sit still. Make sure to poke your heads into local shops and have fun looking around without necessarily having to buy anything. For the book lover in you, try to find the local book shops (second-hand ones, especially!). Looking at different books together can be an entertaining way to gauge your potential new partner’s interests and lifestyle. Books can even be a tool for reminiscing, another getting-to-know-you technique.
Depending on how long the date is or the time of day, you can make stops for food, drinks, or ice cream. If there’s a park, why not sit down for a moment? If there’s good scenery, snap a nice selfie together! It is one of the most flexible second date ideas, so it’s great if you want to make decisions on the fly to fit your needs and wants.
7. Visit a Museum or Art Gallery
Another activity on our list of second date ideas is visiting a museum or art gallery. This type of activity involves moving around, so it’s great if you want to avoid having to sit around for long periods. Many museums offer inexpensive or even free admissions, and if there’s more than one around (for example, if you’re in the city), you could even visit multiple! Museums and galleries are beautiful spaces to get a conversation going if you’re unsure of what to talk about on your second date. You can compare opinions about art or exchange knowledge and ideas about culture, history, and more.
Another fun idea for museum and gallery dates is that you can explore each other’s culture and history by seeking exhibitions tied to your cultural backgrounds!
8. Explore Your Creativity!
Do you consider yourself a creative person? Do you wish you were more creative sometimes? What better way to get out some of your creative energy by literally creating something alongside the person you like? Many studios offer classes or workshops, or some will even provide you the space and materials for a nominal fee to create paintings, pottery, or arts and crafts. While making your beautiful and fun new creations, you’ll be sure to have a lot of fun with the other person.
As you’re working, you can also talk about whatever you’d like, or enjoy the silence of each other’s company—whatever you prefer.
9. Enjoy Live Music Together
As with food, music has been an important cultural link bringing people together for as long as we can remember. For a fun and outgoing second date idea, you can go to a live music show together! Whether that’s a full-on concert, festival, or just a band playing at the local bar, the live music will get you moving and grooving and having tons of fun. Plus, what better way to bond than over a mutual appreciation of music? Likewise, if music is significant to you, it’s a good time for you to share that about yourself.
10. Go on a Brewery Tour
If beer is your thing, consider doing a brewery tour for your second date together. You can hop to a few breweries or stay at one and explore the locally brewed beers on tap. Breweries can be an enjoyable place to hang out, especially on the weekend, when lots of people want to go out and have a fun time with each other.
A brewery tour is an excellent option if you want to get to know the other person more and have a face-to-face conversation while sipping beer and maybe snacking on some food. Make sure to be responsible and Uber home safely after drinking.
11. Volunteer Together
The final suggestion on this list of second date ideas is volunteering together, which will strengthen that connection the two of you are forming. Although volunteering may not seem like an obvious second date idea, it’s an excellent opportunity to see each other in a different setting around other people. Studies have shown that volunteering makes us better and happier people.
You can find opportunities online or on local advertising boards. You can also reach out to many local nonprofit organizations; they’re usually more than happy to take on more volunteers!