27 July 2017

Winter first date ideas

| Heather Lansdowne
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couple holding a sparklerFirst dates can be a tough minefield to navigate. Whether you met online, on Tinder or you’ve been set up by a friend, it’s best to be prepared. The key here is to be casual, but also strategic. You don’t want to make the mistake of planning a three-hour date that you can’t escape from if you realise your date is a dud in the first 20 minutes.

The classic example here is the dinner and a movie date. Seems like a decent enough choice, but you’re actually locking yourself in for a night of pressure to uphold conversation for several hours during dinner, and then sit next to this person you barely know for 2.5 hours at the movies.

A better idea is to keep your date short and sweet in the beginning, but to have a plan if you want to prolong the date if it’s going well. This has the dual benefit of giving you an out early on if it’s not working out, and making you look super spontaneous and fun if you decide to suggest an activity for the second half of the date.

Here are some examples of ideas for flexible first dates in Canberra:

Lake walks

Walking is a great way to take the pressure of your conversation skills and lessen the risk of awkward silences. Since you aren’t facing each other, you can comment on things around you as you walk and you don’t have to hold eye contact the whole time. If you walk the 5km loop of Lake Burly Griffin you’ll be done in under an hour. Then, If you’re hitting it off, you can suggest grabbing a hot chocolate in the city to warm up and keep the sparks flying.

Kingston Foreshore

The Kingston Foreshore is great for dates because it provides a nice view and plenty of venues to hop in and out of as you talk. Start with a drink at the adorable Betti Bravo’s. Then, if you want to keep things going, suggest grabbing dinner at Walt & Burly (where you can warm up next to the cosy fire) or share chocolate fondue at Max Brenner (sharing food is trés romantic because it shows you don’t even care about your date’s cooties).

Drinks at Reload

Reload is one of my favourite bars, because the combination of alcohol and video games provides an instant conversation starter and ice-breaker (remember their geeky speed dating?). It’s the perfect choice of a quirky take on a normal date activity, and provides a good opportunity to have some playful, competitive banter with your date. You will also discover if they’re a psycho and can’t stand being beaten at Mario Kart. If you’re enjoying yourself (and they pass the Mario Kart test), suggest trying out the ice skating rink in Phillip. Ice skating is the ultimate cute date activity and allows you to show your crush how goofy and adorable you are, and even gives you a pretty solid excuse to hold their hand for support (awwwwww).

Coffee at an art gallery

Looking for something a little more sophisticated and cultured? Suggest meeting up for coffee at the National Gallery or Portrait Gallery, and you can then spend as little or as much time exploring the exhibitions as you like. This is a great way to tell how open minded and creative your date is. Hint: if they look at every painting and say “I could have done that”, they may not be a good match for your artistic soul.

What do you think of our fun date ideas? Do you have any tips for surviving a first date?

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