Date ideas?
July 31, 2012 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Have any pleasant date activity ideas for a small-town midweek?
posted by jsturgill to Human Relations (19 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Water gun fight.
Cook a meal together.
Go for a walk/hike.
Watch the Olympics.
Blanket fort.
posted by phunniemee at 2:28 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Learn to play backgammon together! It's more fun and less cerebral than chess, ideal for sitting at a table somewhere over coffee or beer.

Charles Darwin used to play backgammon every day with his wife.
posted by Tom-B at 2:30 PM on July 31, 2012

Backgammon is a great idea. My ex and I used to play either backgammon or scrabble every night over dinner. It's a nice little tradition.
posted by phunniemee at 2:35 PM on July 31, 2012 [4 favorites]

Bike ride to a park/lake/river/pond/garden!
Go fishing.
Video arcade for pinball tournament?
Visit a playground and push each other on the swings
Bingo parlor?
posted by jillithd at 2:42 PM on July 31, 2012

Board games are fun, and light hearted. We have the Homer Simpson version of Operation and it's a hoot.

Backgammon is great too!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:43 PM on July 31, 2012

Drinks at an outside cafe, walk around town or a lake, ice cream. Substitute browsing an antique or book store for the walk?
posted by mrs. taters at 2:44 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Wait, sorry, just looked at your location--are you saying Fresno is small-town? (If so, you're using a pretty loose definition of "small-town".) Anyway, if you are, in fact, in Fresno, folks may have some great Fresno-specific ideas.
posted by phunniemee at 2:46 PM on July 31, 2012

Sparklers and 40s on the back porch on a warm evening. Serious.
posted by mochapickle at 2:46 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Be careful with the picnic and bike ride type ideas - not all outfits really work for those activities, and if it's really hot I don't want to risk sweating in front of my date (and where do I put my handbag while we ride, etc etc). All those things are fine for later dates, not fine for like date one or date two.

(Ha, mochapickle's sparklers and 40s date may end up in my plans for the weekend!)
posted by mrs. taters at 2:48 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sparklers are a great idea, mochapickle.

Kite flying is a good date activity. Low stress, easy to do, gets you away from the crowds, plenty of time to talk.

Shooting BB guns at gallons can be fun. Plus, if you the date goes bad you can just shoot each other.
posted by Pecinpah at 2:49 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by knile at 2:56 PM on July 31, 2012

Baseball game, if your town's got a team?
posted by Lucinda at 3:00 PM on July 31, 2012

'Gallons' is what autocorrect thinks I meant by typing 'balloons'.
posted by Pecinpah at 3:08 PM on July 31, 2012

Response by poster: Phunniemee: Fresno specific is fine (and useful!), but I worded the question as I did in an effort to get suggestions that made minimal assumptions about available events, infrastructure, etc. Beer and sparklers = awesome anywhere.
posted by jsturgill at 3:19 PM on July 31, 2012

Board games can be fun. My old neighborhood had a bar with a bookcase of easy board games, like Connect 4. If there isn't such a bar in your neighborhood, maybe you could bring a game to a cafe or bar with a nice ambiance.

Other thoughts: mini-golf/pool/ping pong, browsing through a bookstore, walking through an interesting (and safe) part of town one or both of you doesn't know well. Walks are often more fun if there's a treat/goal at the end, like a great ice cream shop. Maybe a live performance (music, theater in the park), but build in time when you can talk after the performance. Roller skating (/learning to roller skate), a pretty hike, paddle boating/canoeing/kayaking.

Criteria to aim for:
1. It is easy to talk and get to know each other.
2. There may be food or drinks involved.
3. Ideally, there will be something new to experience. Either you can learn/adventure together, or one of you can introduce the other to something they know and love. Learning something new together can build trust and a sense of shared experience. One of you teaching the other one something lets that person show what they're passionate about and be in their element, which is a great way to get to know them on a date.
4. Don't design the date in such a way that it has to last a really long time. If it keeps going organically, great, but there should be a graceful way to wrap it up after about 2 hours (maybe less for a first date).
posted by pompelmo at 3:33 PM on July 31, 2012

- geocaching
- making ice cream together
- book store browsing and/or thrifting
- bocce (and beer) or other outdoor lawn sports
- birdwatching
- scavenger hunt
- leaf rubbing
- matinee (esp if weather is terrible)
- small town baseball is THE BEST
posted by jessamyn at 3:45 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

We went blueberry picking tonight, had a blast.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 5:45 PM on July 31, 2012

Warning: pretty much all of my dating experience is with people I'm for-real seeing already, so I might not know what a date is.

I'm happy to suggest playing games, as others have. There's the more active variety like shooting hoops (games like H.O.R.S.E. are fun even if you're terrible) or playing tennis (or some ball-whacking/ball-fetching game, if you're me), and the lovely board variety which can be enjoyed anywhere.

Special note on games, though. Board games in particular. Dunno about you or your date, but I can sometimes get cranky playing games (i.e. when I'm losing or think I could be). This is why I've found occasionally playing games with other people, with my date/partner as my teammate, very enjoyable. One date we've enjoyed was finding a board game night at a local gaming store and playing board games with strangers. Not sure if people would count this as a real date, but I find it exciting and refreshing seeing my date having fun and interacting with other people, while still knowing we're each other's main squeeze.

Other stuff: jogging/strolling through a scenic area, volunteering, attending/performing at an open mic, going to a local pub trivia night.

One last thing: This might be another indication that I don't know what a date is, but to me, a date means that me and my honey are allowed to do fun/indulgent stuff on a whim. This usually means stopping for a treat (e.g. Slurpee, beer, ice cream). If you like your whims semi-planned, arrange your dates in treat-adjacent locations.
posted by Slater Sheldahl at 8:10 PM on July 31, 2012

Frisbee! My boyfriend play this for 20 or 30 minutes a day and it's really fun. Make sure to encourage one another when you make great throws/catches.

Making easy food is always fun. Make mojitos with fresh mint and strawberries. Drink them outside. Make a fun, easy bean salad or something together.
posted by k8lin at 8:15 PM on July 31, 2012

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