While coffee first dates are pretty common, they’re not necessarily the best option.  It puts a lot of pressure on your ability to make small talk, and doesn’t really allow for much environmental inspiration.  These alternatives on the other hand, make fun first date options that will help you to get to know your potential boyfriend or girlfriend a little better.  Get ready to step outside the coffee shop, here are 10 alternative first date ideas.

1. Bowling

Relatively inexpensive and indoors, bowling can be a fun, affordable first date that isn’t dependent on the weather.  Plus, since most people are generally pretty bad at getting their ball to knock over all of those pins, there are lots of opportunities for laughs.   Bowling

2. Museum

This first date takes a little extra planning, since you need to know which exhibitions are worth spending the most time in (read: the ones that will appeal the most to your date).  Already knowing a few of your date’s interests certainly helps.  If you can pull off this date well, added effort on your part will definitely be appreciated.Museum

3. Pool Hall

A bar that has a few pool tables has some serious first date potential.  You and your date can relax with a drink or two, and playing a game together can keep the conversation going.  There’s also the potential for physical contact if you’re lucky enough to get to “help” your date set up a few shots. Pool hall

4. Hike

Working up a sweat can be a good way to really get to know someone.  That makes a hike - or cycling, and other exercise-related activities - a nice first date option.  Enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and the excitement of a new relationship while burning a few extra calories in the process. Hike

5. Frozen Yogurt

With lots of different flavor combinations and topping options, a frozen yogurt first date can be a sweet way to get to know the inner workings of your date’s preferences - at least when it comes to dessert.  Whether or not the date goes well, a frozen yogurt date means that you’re guaranteed to enjoy an awesome treat. Frozen Yogurt

6. Zoo

Lions and tigers, and bears - oh my!  With so many animals to see - and the chance to relive a favorite childhood activity - there’s no shortage of conversation topics.  Kiss those awkward pauses goodbye as you and your date have the chance to get up close and personal with your favorite animals. Zoo

7. Cooking Class

A home cooked meal is always a good alternative to going out.  However, it can be a bit awkward to show up to a stranger’s home for a first date.  A cooking class is a nice alternative to that.  You’ll get to see how well you work together, and learn to make a new dish in the process.

Cooking Class

8. Street Festival

With live music, local vendors, and lots of different food options, a street festival offers plenty of opportunities for a fun first date.  The more unique, the better!  Have fun trying different foods, check out the various performers and bond over your newfound love (or hate) for the typical festival fare.  Deep fried pickles, anyone?Street Festival

9. Painting Class

Show off your artistic side (or lack thereof), by taking your date to a painting class.  With lots of classes to choose from - many of them including wine! - it should be easy to find one in your local neighborhood.  If the date goes well, you’ll have a memento from your first date that you can hang in your future home.  #relationshipgoals Painting Class

10. Trivia Night

Lots of local pubs host their own trivia nights.  The chance to work together with your date as part of a team - and show off your smarts in the process - is a great way to find out some of their more random interests.  Hopefully you’ll find a few things you have in common, too!

Trivia Night