Everyone knows that first impressions matter, and when it comes to first dates, you only have once chance to put your best foot forward and shine. Besides the typical nerves that come with a first date, they can often be the hardest to plan. Should you opt for coffee, drinks or dinner? Or try to make it a bit more exciting? Luckily for those of us living in Vancouver, we’re blessed with an amazing variety of options to choose from. Here are 21 fun Vancouver first date ideas to try.
And if you’re worried about what to say on that date, I’ve got your back there too. Here are 21 First Date Conversation Starters questions and 3 things you must do on a 1st date (if you want to get asked out again).
21 Fun & Amazing Vancouver First Date Ideas
A beautiful setting makes everything more enjoyable and this date idea is the perfect combination of west coast beauty and old school romance. Hike one of the many trails in the lush rainforest that lead down the coastline to a breathtaking view. Then all that’s left to do is add a cozy blanket, wine (or your beverage of choice) and light snacks for an ultra romantic experience. Website: www.lighthousepark.ca
Part farmers market, part artisan hub. Grab a coffee and explore all that this bustling market has to offer. From the most amazing hot, fresh honey glazed doughnuts at Lee’s, to talented buskers, fabulous deli’s and adorable handmade goods. You’ll never tire or run out of things to talk about, as you roam the colourful atmosphere of the Island together. Website: www.granvilleisland.com.
With a seemingly endless supply of conversation starters, it’s easy to relax and make casual conversation as you stroll though one of the many exhibits on display. This type of outing is good for building intimacy, as it gives you a chance to get to know each other in a new way. Who you are, what moves you and how you see the world all from the perspective of art. Visit one of the many galleries or art studios in town by checking your local listings for event times. The Vancouver Art Gallery also has a by donation night after 5pm on Tuesdays and once a month an event called Fuse which could also be a fun night out for the two of you. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca
Let’s face it, its pretty hard not to have fun, or take life too seriously when you’re jumping on a trampoline. This date idea takes you out of Vancouver city proper but, it’s totally worth it if you want let your hair down and feel like a kid again. Try the Apex Adventure Plex, or The Extreme Air Park both located in Richmond.
Ideal for people watching, easy conversation and free (or nearly free) entertainment. Sometimes we tend to think of festivals as a spring or summer time activity. However, if you look hard enough you can find events going on at anytime of year. Try hitting up the Hot Chocolate Festival, Chilliwack Tulip Festival, The Winter Solstice Lantern Festival, Shipyards Night Market, Khatsahlano Days, The Vancouver Jazz Festival, Car free Days, Vancouver Folk Music Festival ….check your local listing for more ideas.
If you both like keeping fit and spending time outdoors, a hiking date is a great way to get to know each other. The Grouse Grind is one the most popular hiking trails in Vancouver as is The Chief (although a bit further out). Avoid the crowds by hiking one of the many other coastal mountain trails that surround our sparkling city. For trail info: www.vancouvertrails.com
They say that you can tell alot about a person by the flavour of ice cream they order. Like if Vanilla lovers are actually totally boring (or maybe surprisingly not?). Test that theory out at one of the many artisan ice cream or gelato places around the city. Notable favorites are Earnest Ice Cream. Rain or Shine (Tuesdays are all about the ice cream tacos) and Gelataria Dolce Amore.
Take your rendezvous to new depths, and check out the Aquarium together. Learn and connect as you get to know each other while communing with nature. After all there are plenty of fish in the sea…:)….A lovely date idea for a winter or rainy day date. Website: www.vanaqua.org
Charming and nostalgic, this activity is also a good way to get a little closer to that someone special. By way of snuggling up to get warm. Up the romance factor by packing a blanket, and a thermos of spiked hot chocolate or hot apple cider to warm you up after. Website: www.robsonsquare.com
Did you know that riding a roller coaster produces the same hormones that falling in love does?
Research has shown that riding roller coasters causes the body to release a hormone called phenyl ethyl-amine that causes euphoria and mimics the effect of falling in love. Besides, theme parks aren’t just for kids, they can actually be a lot of fun date idea no matter what age you are. Play some games, brave the rides, and treat yo’ self to some mini-doughnuts. With so many activities available you’ll never get bored or run out of things to chat about. Website:www.pne.ca/playland
Spend a few hours in the fresh air exploring the mountains together on snowshoe. If you want to make it extra special, book a Chocolate Fondue Snowshoe Tour and explore the magic of the mountains under the stars. You can find tours at Mount Seymour, Cypress and Grouse Mountain. Let the romance begin.
You don’t have to be a professional artist, (or any good at all really) enjoy yourself on a paint night date. Being creative together can lower inhibitions and build rapport. This date idea, is also great for taking the stress out of trying to impress someone one-on-one, by freeing you up to just have fun. And you never know, you might discover a new passion or a uncover a talent you never even knew you had! For Paint Night listings Click Here
Often people think of going to a movie as last resort option on a first date, but seeing one outdoors can be magical. Get there early, pack a few snacks, a couple of blankets, a nice bottle of wine (or sparkling cider) and you’re good to go. For Vancouver listings check out Fresh Air Cinema or Waterfront Cinema at Canada Place.
A fun way to switch up the typical dinner and drinks first date, is to do drinks and a comedy or improv show. It has that formal first date feel but, the laughter of the show breaks it up a bit and gives you lots to talk about after. Did you know that laughter is an aphrodisiac? Just ask science. For a fun and memorable night of improv check out the Vancouver Theatre Sports Show on Granville Island or the Comedy Mix downtown.
For sports lovers going to a game is a fun, yet often, pricey event. Seeing a Canadians game together is a good way to show your sporty side without breaking the bank on a first date. The casual atmosphere and a smaller historical stadium is also a nice bonus. Get your beer, hot dog and Batter Up!
Embrace your inner nerd and head to The Storm Crow Tavern “Vancouver’s (self-proclaimed) Original Nerd Bar”. Where you can bring your own or take one of their large selection of board games for a spin. Wether you go for the time honoured family classic or the straight up strategic option, you’re sure to both have a memorable night with this first date idea. Website: www.stormcrowtavern.com.
Get ready to transcend the typical sit down dinner date! From tacos, to crepes, to fancy grilled cheese, there are delicious options for all. Grab some food to go and walk the sea wall or explore an interesting neighborhood together. Create your own adventure with a make your own food truck crawl (pick a theme and hit up 3 different trucks) or check out Street Food City in the winter, and during the summer months the YVR Food Festival or Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival.
There are so many reasons that the farmer’s market is a great first date idea. Romantic atmosphere, lots to talk about, and as you browse together you get to know each others likes and dislikes. All from a completely new perspective that a typical coffee date would never reveal. Plus you’re supporting local, earth friendly businesses and getting your weekly shopping done to boot!
Location wise, if the dates going not so great, you can easily part ways. And if it’s going well? You can sit down for a coffee, ice cream or light snack. You’ll find a number of farmers markets around town from spring, well into fall and even a few in the winter. Listings here: www.eatlocal.org
Obviously, nothing says romance like funny shoes!..But seriously though, being silly together doing something old school like bowling, is actually a wonderful icebreaker on a first date. It’s also a nice combination of friendly competition meets flirty camaraderie as you cheer each other on. Try Commodore Bowling & Billiards or Grandview Lanes.
You can find trivia nights at local pubs all over Vancouver and the lower mainland. A nice change from just cocktails and conversation. Playing together as a team, helps to create connection. While giving you greater insight into someones interests and sense of humour. Many nights are themed you can find topics from Harry Potter to How I Met Your Mother to the more typical historical based knowledge. You can find trivia listings here at event bright or check out this master list here at the Vancouver Pub Quiz Blog.
What’s more romantic that a picnic at the beach? We have so many beautiful beaches and spanish banks is a hands down favorite for beauty and location. Playing a game like Bocce Ball or bringing a frisbee can help take the edge off those first date nerves. End the day with a picnic and cozy conversation as the sun goes down.
Well there you have it! 21 fun and enchanting Vancouver first date ideas. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or adventurous at heart, I know you’ll find the perfect date activity and maybe even go on a second date, or a third date.
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I hope you loved these 21 fun first date ideas in Vancouver. If you’re struggling with dating and would love some help from Deanna Cobden a Vancouver based Dating Coach and Online Dating Consultant, please connect with me for a complimentary chat at [email protected]