Flea Markets and Garage Sales
Flea markets and garage sales might be unconventional first-date options, but they also can be the perfect place to get to know the other person's hobbies and personality. Look at the items that seem to interest him, and show him which ones catch your eye. Flea markets and garage sales allow you to keep things more relaxed and give you the opportunity to talk while walking around, which is less stressful than sitting face-to-face in a restaurant. When meeting your online date for the first time, you might want to try a flea market as a first option since being in a car between garage sales can be riskier, although you could each have your own mode of transportation.
After meeting someone online, you should have an idea by now if she likes outdoor activities. If she does, a first date is a chance to get some fresh air and do something different. You could meet for a walk in a park or in a botanical garden. Bring a picnic lunch if you plan to be gone for a few hours. Pick a park that is popular and where many other people pass through so that you can feel safe at all times. For winter activities, try ice skating or even sledding. Pick a hilly park and borrow sleds for the day from your friend's children. If you feel chemistry, go for a cup of hot chocolate at a nearby cafe.
For those who have artistic personalities, meeting up for the first time over a craft activity can be interesting. You'll get to show off your creative side and will have something to do to kick-start the conversation. Take a pottery class together, go to a bead store to make jewelry or participate in a painting class at your local art school. To decide which artistic activity would be best, have a look at his profile and see which crafts he already enjoys.
For the sporting types, get out of your comfort zone and go for sports that you don't normally practice but that are easy for anyone to learn and try. Go to a roller-skating rink, rent a tandem bike or go wall-climbing. This way you can enjoy yourself while getting to know your date and you get to see if she matches your level of fitness. For an activity where you won't be so out-of-breath, bowling can allow you to let your silly side out and move around while having time to chat. These activities also happen in areas where there are many people.
You don't have to travel far to feel like you're a tourist. Go sightseeing in your own city. Visit museums, go for a day at the zoo or the aquarium or take the concept a little further by taking pictures of your activities. If you met online, your date could be new in town and looking to meet new people. If you know the place better than him, take him to the main attractions of the city, and finish your tour with a drink at a small bar unknown by most tourists.
Those who share a love of music, theater and books can take their first dates to a local show. Look for your local coffee shop's open mic night to check out local poets, guitarists and writers. Share a few laughs by checking out your local comedy club's amateur night. For music shows, have a look at your local newspaper to see where the local bands are playing next. Finally, for theater fans, some local colleges and high schools give fall and spring shows freely or for a very low cost. This will give you something to talk about afterward.