Places Things to Do

Date Night Ideas for New Relationships

You’ve finally found someone who sparks your interest, and you’ve taken the plunge: You’ve asked for a date – and they accepted!

Now, you just have to figure out what to do for your first date. Plain old dinner seems boring, and it’s a bit cold for a picnic in the park. Coffee shops can be too intimate and intense, and bars aren’t great for really getting to know someone. You want an experience that gives you and your romantic interest a chance to connect (without a lot of pressure).

As usual, we have a few suggestions. If you’re looking for a memorable afternoon or evening with a new romantic interest, why not:

Play Some Board Games

A board game can give you and your date something to focus on, and it’s a low-key way to see how well your personalities mesh. Plus, the places that are designed for board games are usually fairly cozy and relaxed, and that’s always good on a first date. Locally, try:

  • Doughnuts & Dragons: This is a doughnut shop and taproom, with a strong focus on building a joyful community. They have all kinds of board games on hand, but you’re also welcome to bring your own.
  • Books & Brews: They have food, beer and board games, so there’s really nothing negative you can say. It’s a family-oriented kind of place, so that may take some of the pressure off your shoulders on a first date.
  • Good Games: This is the sort of store where you’re bound to stumble over something unique and unexpected. They have an amazing collection of unique toys, puzzles and games, along with familiar favorites.

Visit a Museum

If you think a museum is boring, you either haven’t been to one in a while or you’re going to the wrong museums! Indianapolis has some of the best museums in the entire nation, but we’re going to suggest just a few:

  • Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum: Are you and your date both big fans of the Indy 500? This place will give you a chance to peek at some of the most remarkable collections of racing cars and other memorabilia – which gives you plenty to talk about with your date.
  • Rhythm! Discovery Center: If you want to showcase your playful spirit, head to this spot. You can literally play around on the instruments and make beautiful music with your date!
  • Indiana Medical History Museum: Indy really does have everything, including the oldest pathology lab in the country. If you and your date are fans of the macabre and bizarre, this is definitely a place to visit.

Bowl a Few Lanes

There are bowling alleys galore – all over Indy – and you can pick any of them for a low-key kind of date. (The only pressure you may feel is to make a strike!) 

If you really want to make an impression on your date, however, you might want to check out Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling. Located right in the heart of Fountain Square, this bowling alley is furnished with authentic equipment from the 1950s and 1960s and has a cafe with a full menu – making it the perfect place to break the ice on a new romance.

Sing Some Karaoke

Does new love make you want to sing? Well, grab your date and head to a karaoke bar for a ton of fun and lots of laughs that can help you and your date get closer. 

Indy has some fantastic spots for this kind of entertainment, including:

  • The Monkey’s Tale Karaoke Bar: Everybody’s family when they come to the Monkey’s Tale, which may be why they’ve been around for 35 years. If you’ve got the pipes, they’ve got the mics. 
  • Maru: You can actually rent private karaoke rooms here by the hour, and they serve authentic Korean food and have a full bar.

Remember: Even if you can’t sing, you can still karaoke! 

Visit an Escape Room

Maybe you want to see how you and your romantic interest would relate to each other under a little pressure. Would you both be calm and cool? Would one of you be impulsive and the other calculating? Would your date take the game too seriously or not seriously enough? 

An escape room gives you both a chance to learn a lot about each other’s personality and character, and Indy has several:

  • The Escape Room Indianapolis: Billed as part scavenger hunt and part puzzle, this is a great interactive adventure that can help you and your date see how well you function as a team.
  • Twisted Room Escapes: Every room has a theme, and every theme has a mystery to be solved! If you want to go down a metaphorical rabbit hole into Wonderland or check out a mysterious cabin in the woods, put your deerstalker cap on and get to it!
  • The Key Escape Rooms: Okay, these are blatantly designed to be a little eerie, but a few shivers up the spine may make you and your date connect even faster, so why not give it a try? If you and your date both love haunted houses, this is comparable (with a twist, of course.)

A Few Tips to Make Your Date Even Better

When you want a meaningful and memorable first date, it helps to keep the other party’s interests and personality in mind. A trip to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum won’t make a good impression if your date isn’t a racing fan, and a joint cooking class won’t turn a take-out queen or king into Betty Crocker or Bobby Flay. 

If you’re not sure what your date may enjoy, throw out several options and let them pick. Just select something that will allow you to interact without the need to keep a constant conversation going. That way, you both have a chance to express yourselves and showcase your personalities without the usual anxiety and tension that surrounds a first date.