Bowling for fun and other date ideas

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Try activities like bowling for fun first dates
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Consider skating, laser tag or bowling for fun first dates

The first date! Whether you're 16 or 36, the first date means pressure, especially if you're the one planning it! You want it to be fun. You want something more than just sitting at a table and talking. But budgets are tight, so that fabulous flight to the Bahamas is out. (Was it ever really in, except on TV?)

Don't panic! Consider things like blading, hiking or bowling for fun and cheap activities for that all-important first date. Here are some ideas, along with ways to make them a little more special. It is, after all, a first date!


OK, so the last time you went bowling was someone' 10th birthday party and all you remember is who threw the ball into the next lane. Well, times have changed. Most bowling alleys now have big screen TV's playing the latest videos, awesome sound, and great lighting effects, especially later in the evening. Make it a challenge if both of you are fairly good, Šthe winner buys the soda. Or if you're both beginners, bowling for fun and ignoring the score is another option.

Be sure to reserve a lane, as bowling leagues often take up many of the spaces.

Ready to add a special touch? Get matching bowling shirts as a special souvenir of your evening. Hey, if it's good enough for Charlie Sheen!

Laser tag

This is a great first date activity if you're going out with a group of people. Make teams (you and your date on the same team, of course) and spend a couple of hours living out your Star Wars or Ender's Game fantasies.  Make sure you dress to run, roll and play hard, this is not a date for skirts or dress shoes.

Check out times when your group can have the arena free from small children. Laser tag is popular for birthday parties these days, and you don't want to have to watch out for a gaggle of 6 year olds as you play.

And for the special touch? Team hats or t-shirts. You can get them printed with just about anything you choose, and there are often no minimums. Just get everyone in on the plan before you order so you don't get stuck with a half a dozen extras.


If the weather is hot, consider a day at the park with super-soaker water squirters. There's something about running around like little kids that takes away the stress of that first date.

Make sure there's a water source at the park, and warn your date to dress to get wet. Bring big beach towels to dry off after the fun, or go from the chase to the pool or beach to finish off the date.

Let your date keep his or her super-soaker as a sign of more fun dates to come and the perfect special touch.


Whether it's ice skating, roller skating or blading, skating is great choice for an active first date.

Outdoor ice skating in winter is a classic romantic date. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate and a warm blanket for rest breaks on the benches. After skating is over, head to a nearby diner for an inexpensive but warming bowl of hot soup, or head home for a pot of rich cheese or chocolate fondue. It's easy to make (practice ahead of time!) and fondue pots are easy to find and affordable. In fact, buying one will cost far less than just one fondue meal at a restaurant -- and think of all the future dates when you can share a romantic dinner or dessert again.

Blading or roller skating can be an indoors or outdoors date. Dress for comfort, and bring a post-skating picnic for a chance to relax and talk after you play.

No matter what you choose....

The first date shouldn't be a serious time. You're just getting to know each other, and having something like skating or bowling for fun and instant entertainment takes the pressure off. Just relax, play and enjoy one another's company.

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