Unpopular opinion, you may say, but second date ideas call for way more intense thinking and planning than the introductory one. Guess why? After skating on thin ice with the nerve-wracking first-date jitters, second dates happen to be the real game-changers. Maybe you’ve made your impression the first time, around, but the second is often a determining point for whether there will be more dates, or it’s time to nip this in the bud.
Therefore, to keep things going smoothly, one must think of some truly unforgettable ways to turn the second meetup with a date into a big success and to judge if there is a future ahead with this person. Also, it can lay some important groundwork and reveal interesting things about the personalities of both people which is necessary to establish attraction and see if there is synergy between the two of you.
51 Impressive Second Date Ideas That Will Lead To A Third
So, you’re looking for inspiration for an epic second date, hoping it’ll eventually get you some action, or at least not cause your date to delete your number from their phone. Well, look no further. From karaoke night to flea market hauls, from hot air balloon rides to laughing your guts out at a comedy show – Bonobology has brought rollercoasters of creative date ideas for you to secure a third date in no time!
On this date, we want you both to create that most desired comfort zone to get to know each other more closely. And every recommendation we have rounded up in this article is planned in line with the same thought. Not just the offbeat date spots, if you stay with us till the end, you will see us reveal some solid second date tips on ‘how to ask for a second date’ and ‘what to talk about on a second date’ and more!
Without any further ado, let’s unravel our bag of 51 bankable 2nd date ideas that will lead to a third date.
1. A baking class
Rob and Suki had gone out on one date and he wanted to make their second one more special. He loved to cook, while he knew she loved to eat. Of all the date ideas he had in mind, he asked if she would like to attend a baking/cooking class. Suki loved the plan.
They signed up for a weekend cupcake baking class and Suki’s love for decoration shone alongside Rob’s baking skills. They had such a fun time that a third date seemed like a natural progression. Moral of the story: Be thoughtful about what to do on a second date. Also, a man who bakes is sexy!
2. Go to an open mic night
If you and your date love performance art, an open mic night will surely be a big hit. Imagine listening to poetry, enjoying some stand-up comedy, and meeting artists. This will truly make for an exceptional evening, and we’re sure your date will be impressed enough to go out with you again!
Related Reading: 12 Reasons Dating An Artist Can Be Exciting
3. Go to a book launch
Are you and your date big readers? Was your first date peppered with questions like, “But have you read that one?” If so, how about you go to a book launch for your next meet-up? This could be a nice way to introduce your favorite authors to each other. Interacting and enjoying the work of an author and listening to their readings is such a non-cliched way of spending time together unlike mindless small talks with long awkward pauses.
4. An outdoor picnic
If you’re looking at low-key arrangements for the day, plan a picnic outdoors, especially if the weather is pleasant in your city. Pack some sandwiches and a nice bottle of wine, and you can’t really go wrong. You can carry books, a box of Zenga or Scrabble, and lots of food to enjoy the outdoors and each other’s company. If you’re really into each other, some outdoor sex could also be possible! Tell us, is there a better way to spend a beautiful fall afternoon with this lovely person sitting next to you?
5. Massage at home
Instead of racking your brain over “Where should we go on a date?”, how about you keep it simple and organize a small massage session at home? It may be a little forward and suggestive to bring this up on a second date, but if you and your date already have chemistry, then it could work wonders.
Be careful not to come across as creepy when proposing such ideas especially if you two met through a dating app and barely know each other. Maybe start off by asking if they’ve had a hard week and would like to do something relaxing over the weekends. Light some candles around the house and put on soft music to set the mood, but always make sure they feel safe.
6. Go clubbing
A night out in the town is always fun after a long work week. If dancing is on your mind, clubbing is your best shot at it. A night out with him/her can truly turn the heat up on a second date. If there’s one thing that can build up burning chemistry between two ‘almost strangers’ attracted to each other, it’s dancing. Dress up, get yourselves some good cocktails, listen to that fabulous DJ, and dance the night away together.
7. Enjoy a bike ride
Gina and Gary were both morning people and enjoyed brisk walks and outdoor exercise. For their second date, Gina planned a bike ride a little outside the city. They spent a lovely morning, biking and letting the day take them where it wanted. Who would have imagined that a good morning workout could also get those endorphins surging!
8. Go to a museum
If you or your date are into art, history, or culture, then spending a Sunday at the museum should be right up your alley. Museums are great because they always bring up a lot of topics for conversation and exchange of opinions. This way, you can really enjoy some intellectually stimulating moments together. And how about catching an exciting burlesque show afterward to keep up with the tone of the evening?
Related Reading: 51 Cozy Winter Date Ideas To Try This Year
9. Shop together
Hopefully, you’re not dating someone who’s obsessed with malls, while you shudder at the thought of entering one. If on the first date, you’ve somehow managed to discuss your love for shopping and the mall, why not try that together? One of the best second date ideas is to hit the mall for some try-and-buy. And hey, maybe you can model some cute outfits for each other or ‘accidentally’ wander into the lingerie section…
10. Try horse riding
If you’re both animal lovers and enjoy the thrill of riding, a horseback riding session on the weekend could be a beautiful way to unwind, share some laughs, and have good conversations. Bonding with animals can truly bring out a different side of you and you’ll enjoy watching your date commune with their horse.
11. Mini golf
Common interests in relationships are important. It’s possible you both love fun activities, but not exactly sports. Miniature golf is a great choice in this case. Regular golfing is just as good but is longer and better suited for more ardent lovers of the sport. Even if you do not have sports as a common interest, you can have a good time mini-golfing. Hit the greens and some balls to truly bond on your second date.
12. Who can say no to arcade games?
Who says arcade games are for kids only? If you and your date are in for some light-hearted fun, one of the more exciting ideas for a second date is to hop on to an arcade and get nostalgic for some old-time fun. If you are both young at heart, this could truly be a great way to connect with your date. It’s also a casual but interesting way to spend time together before taking things forward.
13. Hot air balloon ride
Here’s your chance to tick the first item off your couple’s bucket list and to think you would do that with this amazing person you dig so deep. In this journey, you literally take the romance a notch higher, to the sky! A gorgeous sunset at the horizon, the view of the valley unveiling at a wide angle in front of your eyes, and absolute serenity – it’s bound to catch your date spellbound. Plus, you can pull off a picnic in the air if they allow you to bring some food and bubblies on board.
14. Do a marathon
Not a movie marathon (however that works too) but an actual 5k. You do not have to be fitness freaks to run for a cause. Running a solo marathon is no fun so this can just be a new activity to try together. If either of you is a professional, you can guide the other one through.
Related Reading: 40 Cute Things To Do With Your Girlfriend At Home
15. Movie night
Hitting the movies and sharing some popcorn is one of the simplest and most old-school second date ideas. Movies always leave so much room for things to talk about. You can go for a walk or eating dinner afterward to share your thoughts. Even better, how about a drive-in movie club? You turn the heat on and cozy up in your car with some tasty treats.
And if you are looking for some privacy, you can always turn to the home theater to Netflix and chill! The classic of all indoor date night ideas. What say? Besides, you’ll find out if you share the same taste in movies, or if she’s Fast and Furious and you’re Love Actually. Either way, it’ll be interesting.
16. Fine dining
If your first date was a rather casual activity, it could be nice to scale up a bit on the second one. Go on a nice dinner date to a fancy restaurant just to change things up and show your date that you can make an effort. Good food, the shimmering candle-lit ambiance, perhaps some romantic live music – it’s sure to heighten the chemistry between you two! This is also a good chance to explore some trendy dinner date outfits and finally bust out that new shirt, or those new slingback heels you just bought.
17. Indoor skydiving
Skydiving may sound a little far-fetched for a second date but certainly not for our adrenaline junkie readers! Also to include everyone in this, we have a simpler alternative – doing it indoors. For a thrilling yet safe experience, indoor skydiving is the way to go. It’s a bit out of the ordinary but one that you’ll always remember.
18. Night under the stars
A bottle of wine and comfortable sheets in a local park or by the beach at night can make a beautiful second date for anybody. You can stargaze, talk about your dreams or simply lie down and hold hands. Let them know romance is on your mind.
Related Reading: Top 10 Date Night Gift Ideas Any Couple Will Love
19. Hit the bookstore
If you both have a thing for literature, share your passion by going to a bookstore and understanding each other’s tastes. You can spend some time reading and getting each other to try out your recommendations. You could even hit the poetry section and read your favorite poems aloud to each other. If the bookstore has a cafe, continue the date over a steaming cup and let the conversation flow.
20. Watching a baseball game is a great second date idea
Let me guess, the first meeting with this person wasn’t exactly a great hit and now you are not sure how to ask for a second date? Let me hand you the cheat sheet over – buy two tickets to a baseball match and invite them over. That is of course if you are sure of their love for sports. Watching your favorite players together on a date could really amp up every sign of chemistry between two people. So, what are you waiting for? Put on your favorite jerseys and get that cheer on.
21. A long drive and the sunset
If you are up for some old-school date ideas, get in your car, pull the windows down, and hit the open road. You may get a tad more excited to turn this into a full-blown road trip and drive all the way to Chicago for a delicious lunch at a pizzeria. Some fun Neil Diamon tunes with a beautiful sunset in the backdrop and a scoop of chocolate ice cream on the way back – could this date be any better?
22. Go fishing
Just going to the lake in itself is a fun way to spend some quality time with your date in that calm, relaxed environment. To set out on a boat with your gear and trying your hands at fishing only makes it double the fun. You can find a cabin far away and rent a boat to enjoy an evening together.
Related Reading: 50 Double Date Ideas That Are Fun
23. Go to an escape room
This is more of a modern-day date idea and makes for a truly enthralling experience. You are purposefully stuck in a room with clues that you must decipher so you can get out in the stipulated time. It allows you to put on your thinking caps and get your minds to work in sync. Playing sleuth in an escape room with a date can be super fun. And hey, maybe this way you’ll find out they’re really into role-play if you know what we mean.
24. Hit the Go-Kart track
Still in two minds about what to do on a second date? Wine tasting or a fun water taxi ride? We have a better suggestion to beat all the cliched 2nd date ideas. Going Go-Kart racing is the new ‘in’ thing to do that will truly bring out your competitive streak. This is the perfect activity to pump up the excitement and bring out your intense side. But do not get too excited. Being too aggressive is one of the social habits that can make you undateable.
25. Wine tasting
No, we are not keeping it completely off our list rather the moment you talk about cute date night ideas, wine tasting always pops up in our mind. If you are both fond of drinking and are trying to develop your taste buds like a true wine connoisseur, wine tasting at a nearby vineyard is just the activity for your second date. A classy evening together that leaves you both a little tipsy is one you will not forget.
26. Take a dance class together
How about salsa? Neither of you needs to be a good dancer for this. You can step on each other’s feet and fall multiple times because that’s what makes it so fun. To get that sexual tension going and learn a thing or two, a salsa lesson is just the thing for you.
27. Take them to a party
If your friend is throwing a bash, you can invite your date as your plus one. Even if your partner is not a party person, try this out at least once. This is one of the effortless yet best second date ideas if you’re looking forward to an evening full of good food, good company, some booze, a bit of intimacy, and perhaps a good night kiss as you see each other off at the end of the night.
28. A touristy walk
It doesn’t matter if you’ve both been living in the same city for fifteen years or more. Being a tourist in your own home has its unique charm. Make a list of all the sights and destinations, and spend a full day exploring them all on a second date. Imagine the long walks around the big city, hand in hand, breathing in fresh air, sharing a pink cotton candy or ice cream off the street carts – it will be a walk to remember, forever.
Related Reading: 20 Valuable Tips For A First Date After Meeting Online
29. A rooftop lunch
Find a gorgeous rooftop bar or restaurant in your city. When you clink your glasses and enjoy some laughs overlooking the entire cityscape, you know it will be an afternoon well spent.
30. Live music makes for a great second date idea
Keep an eye out for any concerts or your favorite music festivals in and around your town. It could be a new artist or someone you’ve been a fan of for years. Tapping your feet with some new music or enjoying old tunes will always make for an electric date.
31. Go for a hike
Jeffrey and Hannah were both avid hikers; in fact, they had met on a hike. For their second date, Hannah planned a hike up the trail where they had first met. It was a beautiful morning and a perfect day date to show that she gives enough attention to know what Jeffrey likes.
If you’re both sporty and enthusiastic about fitness, a morning hike followed by a heavy breakfast can truly be the perfect start to your day. When not sure “Where should we go on a second date?”, put on those running shoes and set out on an adventure with your date. If not for the physical activity, you can always give it a shot for the scenic view of a trail!
32. Drive to the beach
If there is a beach around where you live, look no further. Pack those suntan lotions and beach balls to spend a day soaking up the sun and sand together. Nobody ever said no to enjoying a nice morning by the ocean. And if it’s a lonely beach, a short and sexy make-out session in the waves could add to your ‘adventurous things I have done’ list.
33. Playing laser tag
Laser tag can be a great bonding experience to bring out the child in you and definitely passes as an amazing idea for planning a fun date night. This way your date will know you’re not one to laze around and genuinely love to indulge in something engaging.
34. Go to a karaoke bar
Listen, if you can’t belt out some Mariah Carey or Journey in front of them, should you even be dating? You do not have to be a singer to enjoy a fabulous round of karaoke. Karaoke really brings out the uninhibited side of people. To let down your guard after taming the first date nerves, this is one of the most fun second date ideas to try together.
35. Go to a rock climbing gym
Rock climbing is an underrated recreational activity but one that really gets your heart pumping. Help each other up and share some scares on your way to the top when you go to a rock climbing gym on your date.
36. Make s’mores
Think no more for a super cozy date night for winter because we have just the thing for you! For an ultimate fall or winter experience, s’mores are the way to go. You can create a bonfire in your backyard or on a beach or simply roast them over the fireplace in your living room. Marshmallows and romance go hand in hand. Add a cherry on top with a cup of steamy hot chocolate and this date will be a hit!
Related Reading: 60 Awesome Date Ideas For Friday Night!
37. Go bowling
If you don’t have much time to plan this date and want an easier option at hand, just go bowling before drinks or after lunch. Bowling alleys are equipped with the perfect snacks and the right music, which will set the tone of your time together. Your second date would certainly invite a third one.
38. Play board games at home
Make it a zesty tournament or a friendly affair, board games at home promise a great time and can be good icebreakers. This is a great way to bond when dating a shy guy. Making amicable conversation over a few games is easier than in most other situations and can be easily done at home. A great indoor second date idea!
39. Ice skating
How about blending a lot of playfulness with romance and nailing a second date like a pro? Ice skating is your answer to all. Take your date out to the most beautiful skating trail in your town. Even some amusement parks offer skating rinks, so ‘yay’ for a romantic weekend at Disneyland!
Wake up the inner child in you with such games like ‘freeze skate’ or ‘ice skating chicken’ or a real skating race followed by a snowball fight. Top off that date with a little cuddling on the snow and sharing a hot chocolate later on. If there’s a friend who might invite you to their cabin in the countryside, you can easily transform this into a fun double date. After all, the more the merrier.
40. Attend a jazz concert for an epic second date
One of the more classy and romantic second date ideas is to revel in an evening of some smooth jazz. Jazz concerts have an electrifying energy and can be very wholesome. A few drinks against the sound of some trumpets and saxophones will let your date know you have refined taste.
41. Go to an art gallery opening
Discussing art is a subtle yet effective way of getting to know another person well. Their feelings, perspectives, and thought processes all come to light when they are viewing and analyzing art. Support an upcoming artist in the city by going to their opening on your second date.
42. Volunteer at an animal shelter
Playing with and caring for pets can make the two of you bond. This way you will also know if you are dating a sensitive man. Pick out a weekend to spend feeding animals, walking dogs, and volunteering at a shelter. It’s a great way to show your sensitive side to your date. If you are both college students, wondering “Where should we go on a date?”, give this a shot as you needn’t spend a bomb. Maybe buy some coffee or a sandwich afterward, though.
43. TV series marathon
If you’re trying to ace a virtual second date, the world of OTT platforms has your back. Find a new 6 or 8-episode-long series that you can spend the day binging at home or pick a list of movies. You can order pizza or snack away throughout. This is a sweet and romantic option if you just want to spend some time at home.
Related Reading: Best Netflix Series And Shows For Couples
44. Organize a painting night
To bring out your creative side and get your hands dirty, invest in some paints and throw it all on a blank canvas. Whether at home or against a scenic background, this second date activity is incredible to bond over your artistic talents.
45. Visit a botanical garden
If there isn’t one in your city, you can try to find one in a neighboring town. Walking amongst the trees in a lush green botanical garden on a serene afternoon is a beautiful opportunity to talk to and get to know someone. You can enjoy the space for hours and ask interesting questions to know them better.
46. Hit the casino
So, you both like living a little dangerously? You should totally take your chances on a night at the casino! Bring out your finest clothes, and try your hand and luck at some poker. It is always exciting to be on a team with your date. Pull off such a rocking date night and it will only leave your partner asking for more time to spend with you.
47. Go to garage sales and flea markets
Not all shopping has to be indoors and formal. Garage sales offer some unique things and antiques to explore. These markets are famous for finding things you didn’t know you needed. You may pick a cute thing or two for your date as you walk among the rustic collections at a flea market.
48. Attend a carnival
The local town carnival is your best bet. It is the perfect blend of culture, fun, food, and frolic. You might always run into friends or old acquaintances that you could both share a beer with. You are never too old for playing games and sharing a moment on the Ferris wheel.
49. Trivia night at a bar
You can really impress your date with this one by remembering outlandish trivia that most people do not recall. Your random pop culture and history knowledge can come in handy on a second date. So, let your trivia nerd out, and wow your date.
50. Cook dinner together
Are your cooking skills on point? Exploit this gift to your advantage and twist it into one of the great date ideas which is to cook a multiple-course dinner from scratch with your date. It’s no secret that women are attracted to men who cook. So, this experience can be a win-win for both of you to feel more connected with each other. Cooking some love together would be an ideal way to spend an evening. You can divide responsibilities, try new recipes, and then enjoy your delectable meal together.
51. Try out a pet-friendly cafe
Regardless of whether you have your own pets or not, a pet-friendly cafe can still be a great experience. Get out there and interact with the cute pooches in your town and have a little fun.
Related Reading: 10 Tips To Date When You Have Social Anxiety
How to nail a second date?
So, you have ceased a second date. Everything’s hunky dory. But not just yet. A second date is where you both slowly come out of your shell and drop a few personal questions or two – perhaps lean in for a peck on the cheek in the middle of dinner. Still, one wrong move and you are at the full risk of being ghosted.
At this point, you can’t simply abandon your dating etiquette and reach there twenty minutes late. To avoid unintentionally leaving any bad impression, you need to be on your toes and bring the A-game, just like the first one. In short, second dates are all about getting over initial awkwardness while still being on your best behavior. To ace this make-or-break situation, Bonobology is here to share some worthwhile second date tips. Are you ready?
- You don’t have to wait three days to call back your date
- Burn the Playbook and let them know how you had a wonderful time and are looking forward to your next meet-up
- It’s a nice gesture to pick up your date; maybe show up at their door with a bunch of flowers
- If you are planning something adventurous or cooking a special dish, have a prior discussion about whether your date is okay with it or if they have any food allergies
- Keep your safe second date questions list handy. The conversation could be intimate but not so much as opening up a can of childhood trauma on date night
- Exes should better be off limits at this ‘get to know each other’ phase
- Share your notes on the first date and how you both are feeling about each other
- Spill the charm and chivalrous acts but don’t overdo it. Keep it real or the dreamy bubble will burst soon
- Go for gentle, non-sexual touches as you see the opportunity, of course, if both of you are comfortable
- A kiss goodbye might add a good touch to keep the romance lingering till your next date
What to wear on a second date?
Be it a first or second or tenth date, a decent dressing sense is important to impress the other person. You can’t show up in a pair of old shorts and tattered shoes unless you are both comfortable seeing each other in very casual clothing. A second date outfit has to be styled in keeping with the activity for the day.
Obviously, you won’t wear the same clothes as a hike to a fancy dinner. Matching the tone of your date’s theme is the one thing you have to keep in mind as you explore your wardrobe for the right fit. Just don’t do that extra bit like wearing a suit to a flea market. ‘Comfortable’ and ‘presentable’ has to be your mantras for this fashion emergency.
Related Reading: What To Wear On A First Date? (For Men)
What to talk about on a second date?
You know it reminds me of a friend, Rita, who had a huge crush on a guy in her college days. She would literally ogle at him as he passes by the hallways or enters a classroom giving off the Jason Momoa vibe in his long hair and tough muscles. Then one day, they happened to share a table at lunch and he cracked a poor sexiest joke. And that was it for Rita! All the infatuation squeezed away like a pricked balloon.
Do you see where am I going with this? You have gone over the most perfect second date ideas, picked up a sexy outfit – the date is well planned. Now there is one last order of business to discuss – what to talk about on a second date? Unless you are a natural chatterer like a Magpie, trust me, you need these second date conversation topics to get through the date without any awkward silence or accidentally slipping in a sexist joke:
- Your passion, dreams, and future goals
- Childhood stories and memories of growing up at your respective birthplaces
- Your favorites – books, movies, music, artists, genres
- Guilty pleasure
- Anything silly or cute that may have happened on the first date
- Your pet peeves
- Places you have both traveled to
- Relationship deal breakers and dating rules
- What you both like about each other
Second dates are crucial but not necessarily difficult. With these second date ideas, you have a range of options to try to keep your dating spree going.
This article has been updated in Feb, 2023.
Plan this date to make your girl/guy feel extra special. So, counting them in on the planning must be a good idea to make sure you both are on the same page. For this date, we suggest, you do something completely different than the first one. Attending a baking class or dance sessions, going for a museum or bookstore visit, catching a live concert, comedy show, or some sporty activities like hiking and horseback riding are all amazing ideas for a second date.
If the first date seems to be going pretty smoothly, don’t wait up to three days to ask them for a second one. Give them a ring as you reach home or perhaps break it at the end of the date. Share honestly how you felt and your expectations for spending more time together. Don’t play overly nonchalant, rather be genuine about your intentions. Approach them leniently asking about their interest and a convenient time for a second meeting.
You can talk about your passion, a dream job, discuss favorites author or songs, share your love for traveling, ask them about their dating rules, or perhaps something a little flirty like what they find the most attractive about you or what made them say ‘yes’ to a second date.