Dating game got you feeling, and looking, a little sluggish? Instead of heading out for another heavy meal and some drinks or “netflix & chill” (yeah I’m talking to you men on tinder.) Why not try something a little healthier on your next date? Doing an activity on a date not only eases pressure, it lets someone see a cool, fun side of you that may not come across in a stuffy restaurant or bar.
Plus, if you’ve been together for a while, trying something new could reignite those flames. According to numerous scientific studies, new experiences can flood the brain with dopamine and norepinephrine, the same chemicals that are released when you first fall in love.
Here are 20 healthy date ideas from the super active to the not-so-active that will help you stay in shape. And ladies, suggest some of these ideas! Not only will he appreciate your willingness to share the planning, but your waistline will also thank you.
- Hiking: Of course this is 1st on the list as it’s my favorite go to date idea. It can be as strenuous as you choose and you get to wear workout clothes that show off your assets. There’s no way around it. Ladies love to wear yoga pants and men love to see you in them, so it’s a win win. The best part: you can take a bunch of deep breaths of fresh air to keep your cool if you get the butterflies. Go HERE to see stunning hikes around Oregon and Washington I’ve been on with details on where to find them and what to expect. I got you covered on this one.
- Amusement park: First dates can be a little awkward but you can be sure that the roller coaster’s first big drop will help you drop….. your guard and get your adrenaline pumping. See what I did there? This one may be hard in Oregon but Mt. hood recreation park http://www.skibowl.com/summer/ has over 20 attractions! Oaks Park isn’t the most romantic spot, but it can also provide some thrills.
- Dance lessons: Dancing is intimate and sexy, so you may want to start out with a line dancing lesson and save the salsa lesson for the second date. Either way, dancing is fun, burns calories, and you can find lessons all over Oregon.
- Museum or art walk: Walking around a museum might not sound “sexy,” but if your date enjoys the arts, they just might get inspired by a romantic piece. And remember, smart is sexy, so no matter what, it’s a chance to enrich your brain. Luckily for you, Oregon is full of great museum options.
- Mini golf: Get silly on a date with mini-golf, the king of non-sports. Relax, have fun, hit a ball through a windmill and have some laughs. And if you are in the Portland area, you must check out Glowing Greens. BLACKLIGHT MINI GOLF. So cool!
- Bowling: This is where you can show off your athleticism. Or you can just roll the ball from between your legs and hope it hits a pin. And when you throw on those sexy bowling shoes, no one can take themselves too seriously, which helps you both just be yourselves. Channel your inner “dudeness” and have fun.
- Batting cages: Swing batter batter swing! You’ll need some skill to hit a homerun, but if your date is having trouble with his or her swing, you’ll get the opportunity to get close and help with their form (Pro tip: it’s all in the hips). Just remember, Heroes get remembered, but legends never die. Just follow your heart kid, you’ll never go wrong.
- Planetarium: Is there anything more relaxing and romantic than staring up at a starry night sky? And everybody knows, when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true. Even if it’s a planetarium star (OMSI has a great one that also shows laser light shows for bands like Pink Floyd and Rush). So make those wishes, lovers!
- Paintball and laser tag: Paintball can sting so if you want to be sure no one goes home with a bruise, laser tag might be the way to go. Personally, I would opt for paintball. It really gets the adrenaline going and leaves you flushed and feeling alive.
- Mug painting: You can sit across from each other, eat a big meal, drink wine and feel completely awkward when you make eye contact, or you can paint some mugs and put the awkwardness into your art. Bonus: if it goes really well, you’ll have a souvenir from your first date that you can sip from on your wedding night.
- Roller skating or ice skating: You might fall, you might be off balance, and you might look a little silly. But you know what? That’s endearing. Be willing to fall, since then your date has to help you up. How else would you get to hold hands so quickly? Roller skaters—if your date is game, dress up 70s style.
- Yoga: Yoga is a great way to relax and keep anxiety levels down. You also have to be quiet, so imagine not saying anything stupid for at least an hour on a first date. Afterwards hit a juice bar for a little conversation—and now you have something to talk about.
- Go to a park to picnic and play: Play Frisbee, play catch, play badminton, kick the soccer ball around, fly a kite, or teach your date how to throw a football. Just get out there and play! And bring some nice healthy snacks and a blanket so you can take a break, lay down, and watch the clouds go by. If you are in Portland, the Pittock Mansion is great for this because you’ll also have beautiful views of the city.
- Visit the zoo: Check out your local zoo, maybe pet some cool animals, and show them your cuddly, sweet side. The Portland Zoo is one of the coolest in the country, so check it out!
Sunset walk on the beach: The negative ions, the slow rolling waves, the warmth of the sun and the sand between your toes…it’s the perfect scenario for a first kiss. Luckily for you, Oregon has some of the most breathtaking beaches in the US.
- Build a snowman: If the weather outside is frightful, that means it’s probably perfect for snowman-building! Have fun with your snowman. Bring different options for eyes, noses, and mouths. Give Frosty an old scarf and a funny hat. And don’t forget to name your snowman. It’ll be an inside joke you two can share for years to come.
- Go for a bike ride: Either on separate bikes or, if you really want to build trust, rent a tandem bicycle and head out for a ride. Stop at a local tea or juice place to replenish and get to know each other.
- Arcade: Where else can you race cars, shoot hoops, and save the world from killer zombies? Also, there aren’t too many things that will loosen you up like a good dance off. Time to find your inner M.C. Hammer. If you’re in Portland, I suggest Ground Kontrol, a classic arcade with a full bar that stays open late.
- Watch the airplanes take off: Drive near your local airport, park, lay on the hood of your car, and watch the planes take off. Yeah, just like in Wayne’s World. It’s a great way to spark conversation about all the places you want to visit…possibly sparking the idea of a romantic getaway.
- TopGolf: Okay so maybe mini golf isn’t your style. Maybe you wanna show your date how far you can slam a golf ball. Well TopGolf in Hillsboro is a great option! I LOVE this place and I don’t even like golf. TopGolf is a mix between a hip driving range and a cool nightclub with a full bar, and they are open late.
- Indoor parachuting: Just think, afterwards your date can tell his/her friends that you made them feel like they were flying. Throw on your parachute jumpsuit to earn your wings and maybe even a second date.
- Go karts: Nothing will get those juices flowing on a first date quite like adrenaline. And if it’s adrenaline you’re after, I think racing around a course at 40 MPH with your date should do the trick. A little friendly competition never hurts your odds either. My favorite spot near Portland is Sykart Indoor Racing.
Get out there, get moving, do something different and, most of all, have fun! Get those endorphins flowing, get your adrenaline pumping and show your date that you’re into more than just another cheese plate and bottle of wine. Happy dating, and if you have a favorite date idea or spot to add to the list, please comment below!