Looking for some second date ideas that will knock her socks off! Well, look no further, because I have 30 ideas listed below.
The first three dates are really crucial when it comes to discerning whether or not you and a girl have the potential to enter a long-term relationship.
The second date should be active and — preferably — free. Why should these dates be active?
Active Second Dates Allow You to Break the Touch Barrier
An active second date is great because this often gives you a chance to break the touch barrier with a girl in a natural way. For example, you won’t have to worry about when and how to touch her when taking a dance class because you’ll LITERALLY be getting instruction on exactly where to put your hands on her body. And when you’re doing something like hiking, you have the opportunity to hold her hand and/or touch the small of her back when helping her up a steep hill.
Being Active Makes You Feel Good
Physical activity causes the brain to release endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that boost mood and provide a sense of wellbeing. This is great for curing second date nerves and allowing yourself to go with the flow.
Where to Find Free Dates
If you want to do something like a group exercise class or go dancing, check websites like Eventbrite that offer a long list of free events and activities near you. Local gym, as well as places like Lulu Lemon and the YMCA often host free workout-related events or special exercise classes.
Checking out local events on Facebook and visiting local tourism websites are two other ways to find some great second date ideas that are cost-free.
Note: A couple second date ideas listed below are not GUARANTEED to be free (bowling and mini-golf), but they tend to be on the lower end of the cost spectrum. If you can’t find any discounts or free passes, still keep those in mind if they seem like a perfect fit for you and the woman you’re taking out.
Second Date Idea# 1: Take a Hike
Like I said, second date ideas should be active and FREE. Enter hiking.
Taking a hike is an ultimate twofer when it comes to an active date. Why? Hiking has all the benefits of a brisk walk, plus the mood-boosting benefits that come with being out in nature.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, going for a hike can actually be better for your cardiovascular health than a regular walk around the block. This is because of the hills and uneven surfaces that you’ll likely encounter during a hike; your heart is forced to work harder.
Several studies have found a link between experiencing nature and better mood. Getting out on a scenic trail can automatically decrease stress and increase your confidence, which is exactly what you’d hope for when you’re on a second date with someone.
To be sure nothing goes awry while you and your date are enjoying your hike, come prepared by packing:
- Plenty of water and snacks
- Sunscreen and a hat
- First aid supplies
- Your cellphone and a camera, if you have one
Wear comfortable shoes and socks, as well as insect repellant.
Not sure where to hike? I suggest downloading the All Trails app. My boyfriend and I have used this for years and love it.
Second Date Idea #2: Take a Bike Ride
If you and your date both enjoy cycling, consider using your shared passion as the centerpiece of a second date. Not only is cycling a ton of fun, this low-impact exercise comes with several health benefits, including:
- Increased muscle
- Builds bone
- Burns a ton of calories
- Good for the heart, brain, and blood vessels
When it comes to cycling as a date option, keep the following in mind to ensure the ride goes smoothly.
Plan Your Route and Destination
Sure, getting lost can seem adventurous but in reality — you’re just lost.
Plan a specific scenic route for the bike ride, as well as a place to end the ride. Your final destination could include a picnic at the beach or park, a cafe, a farmer’s market, or a local fair. As long as you pick a nice route and a place you’re sure she’ll enjoy, you should be golden.
Consider Renting a Tandem Bicycle
Riding tandem is a safe, fun option for couples, particularly if the two are of different riding ability.
Of course, if that idea is a no-go, just make sure she has her own bike and find out what kind, so you can be prepared to slow down or speed up depending on her riding style. Many cities have bike rentals or bike sharing systems that make it easy and convenient to start and finish your adventure from a variety of locations.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to dress in head-to-toe spandex like you’re racing in the Tour de France, but proper attire is important when it comes to cycling. Fortunately, there are plenty of “dual-purpose” fashion options when it comes to cycling, where you get the benefits and comfort of cycling gear without trying too hard. Check out some advice and options here.
And of course, you should strongly consider wearing a helmet.
Second Date Idea #3: Frisbee
Sometimes the best 2nd date ideas are born from the simple things in life.
The great thing about tossing a frisbee around is that it’s an active option that anyone can do it. And although it may seem pretty leisurely, you still end up getting some good exercise by running back and forth.
Pick a nice area like a park or go to the beach and have a picnic or grab a smoothie afterward.
If you want to get more creative, consider something like frisbee golf. This game is a hybrid of frisbee and golf, where players throw discs at a metal target. And YES, it can still be free. Check out this blog for more information on how to spice up your date with disc golf. If you’re local to San Francisco, there’s an awesome “free” frisbee golf course right in Golden Gate Park.
Second Date Idea #4: Go Mini-Golfing
Anyone can mini-golf. This is a great way to enjoy some leisurely activity and also provides some nostalgia for you and your date. Plus, if she needs help practicing her swing, that gives you an opportunity to break the touch barrier.
This is one of a couple second date ideas on our list that offers some nostalgia. Choosing nostalgic dates is a great way to provoke conversation because it gives you both a chance to reminisce. And according to various studies, nostalgia can help decrease anxiety and improve mood.
Second Date Idea #5: Take a Dance Class
Another great way to get physically close to someone is by taking a dance class. Make sure that the class in question is a beginner class so that neither of you will feel confused or frustrated. The following types of dance classes are great for partners and there tends to be a ton of options out there for first-timers:
- Swing dancing
- Hip-hop (one of my personal faves)
Like some of the other activities listed for second date ideas, dance is one of those great exercises that doesn’t really feel like exercise since you end up having such a good time doing it. But dancing burns a ton of calories and also comes with these other health benefits:
- Improved flexibility
- Better memory
- Stress reduction
- Good for your heart
- Increased energy
Second Date Idea #6: Try Partner Yoga
Yoga has a ton of health benefits, such as reduced anxiety, increased energy, better mood, and increased flexibility.
When it comes to second date ideas that get you up close and personal, few allow you to be quite as physically intimate as partner yoga.
Partner yoga is a style of yoga that involves two people coming together to deepen the stretch or certain poses and enhance the overall experience. This is a great way to deepen intimacy in a safe environment with your date, because it involves a lot of touching, but doesn’t delve into any type of tantric stuff.
Second Date Idea #7: Take a Group Exercise Class
As I mentioned before, several gyms hold trial workout classes or host free events that include a free group exercise class. This is a great way to get the endorphins flowing with a fun, active date.
Make sure that you choose a class based on her interests.
Second Date Idea #8: Visit a Climbing Gym
When it comes to second date ideas, you want to be active but you also want to be SAFE. Nothing kills the mood like a sprained ankle or bruises.
Doing some indoor rock climbing makes for a great second date. Unlike actual rock climbing, you won’t need to worry about the dangers of the elements, scrapes, bruises, or falling.
And whether it’s indoor climbing or outdoor rock climbing, this type of activity comes with a host of benefits, such as:
- Boosts brain function
- Reduces stress
- Increases strength
- Increases endurance
Second Date Idea #9: Visit a Farmer’s Market
Enjoy conversation and a leisurely walk while visiting a farmer’s market. This is a great free second date idea where you can also enjoy munching on farm-to-table samples.
Make sure that you pay attention to the foods she’s interested in during this date. This will give you a better idea of what types of cuisines she enjoys. It’s SUPER important that you learn this during the second date so you can plan appropriately for the ever-important third date.
The third date is one where you can take her out for a nice dinner and it also tends to be the time when (if you play your cards right) she decides it’s time to seal the deal with you.
Second Date Idea #10: Take a Long Walk on the Beach
Turn this cliche into an actual date. Pretty much everyone loves the beach and the opportunity to walk along the shore is a great way to get to know your date better while burning some calories at the same time.
I remember when my boyfriend took me on a “beach date” years ago, and I’ll never forget it. It was a wonderful second date and really took our casual dating relationship into something a little more serious. It went so well, we decided to have a third date the same night (pizza and back to his place).
Date Idea #11: Play Beach Volleyball
Not only is beach volleyball fun and a GREAT way to burn calories, it can really rev up the chemistry. You both get to show some skin during this activity, and something like beach volleyball also gives you the opportunity to exchange some flirtatious banter while enjoying some friendly competition.
Make sure that you have something like a picnic or walk planned as well so that you still have plenty of time for conversation.
Second Date Idea #12: Go Bowling
Another great nostalgic date, bowling is a great way to get to know someone while also getting a little active.
This type of date is also a great way to learn more about her character and vice versa. For example, if she is able to laugh off a gutter ball or make a joke about it (HINT: This is also what YOU should do if you get a gutter ball), that’s a good sign that she’s able to go with the flow and not take herself too seriously.
Conversely, if she gets super upset (“I HATE THIS GAME!”) or is a sore winner (i.e., mocks you when you don’t do well, gets overly competitive or flaunts her high score in a way that isn’t playful) consider that a BIG red flag and make this second date your LAST date.
Finally, there’s usually other stuff to do at a bowling alley besides tossing a ball at some pins. Many places have separate rooms where you can shoot pool, play darts, or get SUPER nostalgic with some old school arcade games.
Second Date Idea #13: Visit a Local Fair
If there’s a local fair or carnival nearby, take advantage of it. You two can enjoy a romantic ride on a Ferris wheel, pet some cute animals at a petting zoo, and play games. Plus, the walking is great exercise.
Make sure you go during the daytime when things are likely less crowded.
Second Date Idea #14: Go Roller Skating
Roller skating is a fun and leisurely activity that comes with a big bonus. You have the perfect excuse to hold her hand, either periodically or for the entire time depending on your skill level.
Moreover, this somewhat nostalgic date idea allows you to be playful and is bound to get the giggles going. Even if you fall, laughing it off will showcase your confidence and willingness to take risks. Furthermore, there are plenty of opportunities to show off your chivalry by protecting your lady from falling — or even taking the fall for her!
Second Date Idea #15: Scare Up Some Fun
Scare up some fun with a fear-stimulating date. Although it may seem counterintuitive to scare your date into liking you (GULP!), hear me out.
Think about how much you’ve enjoyed the scary rides at an amusement park or watching movies that make you jump.
Fear-stimulating dates are extremely compelling and will bring you and your date closer. Think about times you went on a roller coaster or saw a scary movie that you liked. Even though those things were scary, you enjoyed them and seek that same experience again and again. Why is this?
If you remember, I mentioned how physical activities release feel-good hormones known as endorphins. During times of fear, your brain releases dopamine, which lights up our brain’s reward center and gives you a natural high.
Getting scared in a safe environment is a fun, exciting way to have a good time. It also makes you stand out from other guys because fear-stimulating dates involve at least some sort of creativity.
Here are a few free scares to get you started:
- Skydiving (or something similar that isn’t quite as terrifying)
- Go-kart racing
- Do a walking tour of a famous haunted house, hotel, bar or restaurant
Second Date Idea #16: Go to the Zoo
Cute animals make everything better. If you’ve been following my articles, you know that I mention this frequently. I do so because it is 100 — nay — 1000% true.
Finding a way to incorporate cute animals into your date is basically going to guarantee that you get a third date. Just make sure she doesn’t have certain animal allergies beforehand, or your date could end up like this.
But when it comes to getting creative and giving your date all the feels, why not hang with some adorable animals by visiting the zoo?
Pro tip: Do a little research before visiting a local zoo. For best results romance-wise, you want to make sure that there is a high percent chance that penguins will be happening and that she will see said penguins.
Penguins are always a good idea when it comes to making a woman melt — ALWAYS.
Second Date Idea #17: Visit an Aquarium
Piggybacking off of the zoo date idea, consider visiting an aquarium to get up and close with some sea-life.
Make sure you do your research and try to find a really cool exhibit to take her to. And don’t forget, cute animals are key to a good date. SCARY animals, like sharks with cold, dead eyes, may make this date a bit awkward. Check with her to see if there’s any type of sea animal she’s scared of and avoid those areas at all costs.
Second Date Idea #18: Yappy Hour
What’s better than a good craft beer? A good craft beer surrounded by adorable pups!
Several bars throughout the nation have taken to the idea of yappy hours, where you get to pair your cocktails with the company of adorable dogs.
Many yappy hours allow you to either bring your own dog and will also have dogs available for adoption. This type of date will definitely make you stand out from all the other guys that took her to a happy hour where ZERO dogs were hanging out — at least not the type you’d want to spend time with.
But why stop there? Let’s about about a nonalcoholic doggy date idea.
Second Date Idea #19: Doga
No, I didn’t spell yoga wrong, there is actually such a thing as dog yoga. There is also cat yoga if you and your date happen to be into that/are not allergic to cats/like cats, which seems to be harder to come by than dogs for some reason.
This is a super creative and compelling second date that will get you to spend time with some cute animals while also enjoying the benefits of yoga.
If you can find a way to do yoga on a date, this is great because yoga has been shown to ease anxiety and improve mood. Moreover, yoga keeps you in the present moment, which can keep you from getting too in your head on a date.
Second Date Idea #20: Visit a Cat Cafe
Once again, you need to make sure that the girl isn’t allergic before attempting this. But if she’s not allergic to cats and likes cats, finding a cat cafe would make a great and adorable date.
If you live in the Los Angeles area or Washington DC, Crumbs & Whiskers is a great option.
Second Date Idea #21: Volunteer Together
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, animal shelter, or find a cause that means something to you and your date. You can find local volunteering opportunities on websites like VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist.org, and HandsOn Network.
This is also a great way to show her your sensitive side and your compassion. And when you choose a cause that means something to you, it definitely makes for a great segway into a conversation about morals and values on the third date (when it’s time to get under the sheets).
Second Date Idea #22: Take a Brewery Tour
If she’s not a beer person, look up wine or whiskey tastings — all have equally cool elements and are all cheap date ideas assuming you don’t take home cases of beer or wine.
Brewery tours are a fun and free way to have a drink, and also learn a bit of history. Because breweries offer you tastes of very specific types of craft beer, you’ll also be able to learn more about her tastes, and that can offer you some guidance when planning for a night out or the ever important third date.
Second Date Idea #23: Go Geocaching
In case you’re unfamiliar, geocaching is a modern-day treasure hunt. By downloading the Geocache app and using your phone’s GPS, you will be led to exciting destinations in your neighborhood in order to find hidden trinkets. Visit Geocaching.com to learn more.
Second Date Idea #24: Do Karaoke
Many bars host free karaoke nights and you can also do karaoke at home.
Singing at karaoke is a great way to let loose and not take yourself too seriously. By showing a girl that you’re up for the challenge (and even risking some embarrassment) exudes confidence, which is extremely attractive.
Second Date Idea #25: Visit a Playground
This is by far one of the weirdest day date ideas on my list, but hear me out. Playtime doesn’t end in adulthood — or at least it shouldn’t according to research and expertise cited by NPR.
Indulge in some grown-up recess by visiting a playground where you can push her on the swingset, climb monkey bars and have a picnic lunch.
Second Date Idea #26: Check Out a Free Concert
There’s usually a ton of free local music events going on and it’s a nice way to spend time with someone outside.
Plus, with a concert, you don’t really need to worry about lulls in conversation so much — it takes the pressure off.
Second Date Idea #29: Take a Walking Tour of a New Neighborhood
There’s nothing like exploring uncharted territory when you’re on a date. Check out a hip, bustling neighborhood with tons of cool (and free) things to do.
Take note of some cool restaurants or other places in that neighborhood as you’re enjoying your walking tour. You might just end up heading back to that neighborhood for the ever-important third date.
Second Date Idea #30: Host Your Own Cooking Competition
For this date idea, proceed with caution. You don’t want to take a girl back to your place too soon. However, if you’re dating someone you already know and there has been a certain level of chemistry established already, this creative date idea could be appropriate.
Cooking together is a great way to bond and it’s also super creative. The people at Better Together have even come up with specific instructions on how to execute this date perfectly. Check it out!
One last caveat for this SECOND date: DON’T HAVE SEX. Since this date is taking place at your home, it can be tempting to let things cross into intimate territory if the chemistry between you two is off the charts. However, you really want to avoid getting physically intimate until you get to the third date, where you find get more vulnerable and decide whether or not you two are a fit morals and values-wise.
Live in a Major City? Need Specific Second Date Examples?
Looking for specific second date ideas specifically in San Francisco, New York, Austin, or Los Angeles? If so, check out these other articles:
- Over 50 San Francisco Date Ideas
- The Best Los Angeles Date Ideas
- Over 50 of the Best Date Ideas NYC Has to Offer
- List of Active Date Ideas in Austin
Second Date Ideas Tailored to You
Obviously, your decision about where to take a girl on a second date is going to depend on your specific situation and personality.
If you want some individualized strategies that can help you REALLY knock her socks off (on the second date and beyond), I’m here to help.
Head over to my calendar and book a new client 1-on-1 Skype session with me today. During our session, we’ll discuss your dating roadblocks and create an action plan to help you reach your dating goals. We’ll also determine if my 3 month coaching program would be a good fit for you!
This article was originally published in May 2018 and was updated on October 8th 2018 to include 17 additional second date ideas. It was also updated on April 18th 2019.