Dating

17 first date ideas for teens that won't break the bank

Do you need some first-date ideas, that are ideal for teenagers? Here are 17 amazing first-date ideas that won't break the bank!

Dating Expert David Hall October 11, 2022 • 12 minutes read
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Dating is exciting, fun, and sometimes even a bit scary. Especially when you’re a teen, dating is a relatively unclaimed territory for you. There are so many things to consider when planning a first date with someone new.

You want to make sure you choose the right location, activity, and conversation starters. And of course, you want to be sure you don’t spend too much money! Most teens aren’t millionaires, right?

So, here are 17 great first-date ideas for teens that won’t break the bank:

1. Have a picnic in the park

When it comes to dating, a picnic is a classic for a reason. It’s romantic, it’s cheap, and it can be easily tailored to your interests. Pick a location that has special meaning to you, like where you first met, or if you want to keep things simple, just choose your favorite local park.

To up the ante, pack a basket with some of your favorite snacks and drinks, and don’t forget a blanket to spread out on. You can even bring along a Frisbee or ball to play catch with if you’re feeling energetic.

A picnic in the park is definitely a great idea. The way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, right?

Don’t forget to wear something that suits the occasion. Here are 8 tips on what to wear on a first date everyone should know!

2. Have a day at the beach (or lake)

If you live near a body of water, take advantage of it! Much like a picnic, a beach day is romantic, cheap, and can be tailored to your interests. Whether you go to the beach or the lake, spending a day in the sun is a great way to relax and get to know each other better.

You can pack a lunch to save money or stop at a nearby restaurant for a bite. And don’t forget the sunscreen! No one wants to get sunburned on their first date.

A day at the beach is the perfect opportunity to show off your playful side. So, go ahead and build a sandcastle, have a water balloon fight, or just lay back and enjoy the view.

You don’t know how long your date should last? Find out now how long a first date should last!

3. Have a game night

Everyone loves a good game night! And it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know each other in a fun and relaxed setting. You can play classic games like Monopoly or Scrabble or try something new like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens!

Alternatively, you can also play video games like Mario Kart or Mario Party if that’s more your thing. Just make sure you choose a game that you’re both interested in, and that won’t take too long to learn.

Game nights are great because they’re relatively cheap and low-key, but they can still be a lot of fun. And, if things start to get awkward, you can always use the game as an icebreaker.

This idea is especially well suited for introverts. If you’re an introvert and this is your first date, you might really benefit from these 10 amazing tips on how to act on a first date!

If you’re looking for a more cultural first date, why not visit a museum or art gallery? Museums and galleries are great first-date locations. Visiting one is a great way to learn more about each other’s interests and get a taste of some high-brow culture.

Most museums and galleries offer student discounts, so be sure to take advantage of that if you can. And, if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even make your own art gallery by visiting a local flea market or thrift store!

Museums and art galleries are perfect for those who want to avoid the typical first-date small talk. With so much to see and discuss, you’re sure to have a great time!

5. What about a movie night?

Movies are always a popular date choice, and for a good reason. They’re relatively cheap, they’re easy to find, and they give you something to talk about afterward. You can watch a movie at the cinema or at home.

But, when choosing a movie for your first date, it’s important to select one that won’t be too long or too intense. Also, pick a movie both of you are interested in. You don’t want your date to fall asleep, and you definitely don’t want to end up in a heated argument about the film!

A movie night is a great way to unwind and relax with your date. And, if you choose the right movie, it can be a great conversation starter.

Don’t forget to be a little bit flirty as well. These 17 flirty first-date questions will help you!

6. Take a cooking class

If you’re looking for a first date that’s both fun and educational, why not try a cooking class? It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about each other’s interests and get to know each other in a relaxed manner. The only downside is that cooking classes can be expensive (at least for a student) depending on where you go.

But if you’re willing to splurge, a cooking class is definitely a great first-date idea. Just make sure you choose something that you’re both interested in, and that won’t be too challenging. After all, the point of the date is to have fun!

Cooking classes are great because they’re usually hands-on. So, if you’re the type of person who likes to get up and move around, this is definitely the date for you!

7. Do a hike or nature walk

For those who love the great outdoors, a hike or nature walk is the perfect first date. Not only is it a great way to get some exercise, but it’s also a great opportunity to explore and learn about your local area.

And, if you live in a particularly scenic location, a hike or nature walk can be a great way to show off your hometown pride. Just make sure you choose a route that’s not too challenging and that both of you are comfortable with.

Hikes and nature walks are great first-date ideas because they’re relatively cheap and easy to do. Plus, they give you the perfect opportunity to talk and get to know each other.

Don’t forget to bring some snacks and something to drink. You could even combine it with a picnic!

8. Visit an arcade

For a fun and unique first date, why not visit an arcade? It’s the perfect opportunity to relive your childhood (or show off your gaming skills). And, if you’re feeling competitive, you can even turn it into a friendly competition!

Most arcades also have prize counters, so you can use your winnings to buy your date a little something special. Just be sure to keep an eye on your spending. You don’t want to end up blowing all your money on games!

Arcades are great first-date locations because they’re usually pretty cheap, and they offer a lot of different activities. Plus, they’re a great way to break the ice and get to know each other.

9. Go bowling or mini-golfing

Bowling and mini-golf are two classic first-date activities. They’re both relatively cheap, they’re easy to find, and they offer a lot of opportunities for conversation (and friendly competition).

Just be sure to pick a location that’s not too crowded. You don’t want your date to feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. And, if you’re going mini-golfing, be sure to choose a course that’s not too challenging. No one wants to spend their first date feeling frustrated!

Bowling and mini-golf are great because they’re active but not too strenuous. So, if you’re the type of person who likes to be up and moving, these are definitely the activities for you.

10. Go biking together

For a first date that’s active and outdoorsy, why not go biking together? It’s a great way to get some exercise and explore your local area. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to spend some time together in nature.

Just be sure to choose a route that’s not too challenging and that both of you are comfortable with. You don’t want your date to end up feeling exhausted!

Biking is great because it’s active but not too strenuous. So, if you’re the type of person who likes to be up and moving, this is definitely the date for you. Plus, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and spend some time together.

11. Visit a mall

Malls are great first-date locations because they offer a lot of different activities. You can browse the shops, grab a bite to eat, or even catch a movie. Plus, malls are usually pretty easy to find and relatively cheap.

Just be sure to pick a mall that’s not too crowded. You don’t want your date to feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. And, if you’re going to see a movie, be sure to choose one that’s not too long. No one wants to spend their entire first date in a dark theater!

Malls are great first-date locations because they offer a lot of different activities. Plus, they’re usually pretty easy to find and relatively cheap. So, if you’re looking for a date that’s low-key and versatile, this is definitely the way to go.

12. Attend a concert or show

If you and your date are music lovers, attending a concert or show is the perfect first-date idea. It’s a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of music. Plus, it’s a great way to experience your favorite artists in person.

Just be sure to pick a concert or show that’s not too long. You don’t want your date to get bored or tired. And, if you’re going to see a movie, be sure to choose one that’s not too long. No one wants to spend their entire first date in a dark theater!

Concerts and shows are great first-date ideas because they offer a unique and memorable experience. Plus, they’re a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of music. So, if you’re looking for a date that’s fun and different, this is definitely the way to go.

13. Visit haunted places

In almost every town or city, there are certain places that are known to be haunted. Visiting these places can be a great first-date activity. It’s a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of spooky stories. Plus, it’s a great way to experience your local area in a different way.

Just be sure to pick a place that’s not too crowded and legal to enter. You don’t want your date to feel overwhelmed or uncomfortable. Haunted places are great first-date ideas because they offer a unique and memorable experience. You’ll be thrilled and clinging to each other out of fear.

And afterward, you can bond over your shared love of spooky stories. So, if you’re looking for a date that’s fun and different, this is definitely the way to go.

14. Take an art class together

If you and your date are creative types, taking an art class together is the perfect first-date activity. It’s a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of art. Plus, it’s a great way to experience your creativity in a different way.

Just be sure to pick a class that’s not too long or expensive. Alternatively, you can even do it at home or in the park and just draw each other or the scenery. Have fun and don’t take it too seriously, though!

15. Go on a photo tour

Almost everybody owns a smartphone with a decent camera these days. So, why not put that camera to use and go on a photo tour together? It’s a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of photography. Plus, it’s a great way to experience your local area in a different way.

You could even model for each other and post some of these shots on social media. Just a word of advice: You can, of course, take photos of you together – they’re a nice memento, after all – but don’t post them. If it doesn’t work out, you don’t want those photos haunting you forever.

16. Hit up a flea market or garage sale

If you and your date are the thrifty types, hitting up a flea market or garage sale is the perfect first-date activity. It’s a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of finding hidden treasures.

Just be sure to agree on a budget before you go. You don’t want your date to feel like they have to spend more money than they’re comfortable with. Flea markets and garage sales are great first-date ideas because they offer a lot of opportunities for conversation.

You can bond over the items you’re looking at and try to haggle for a better price. So, if you’re looking for a date that’s fun and different, this is definitely the way to go.

17. Try out a new sport together

If you and your date are very active, trying out a new sport together is the perfect first-date activity. It’s a great opportunity to bond over your shared love of being active.

Just be sure to pick a sport that’s not too strenuous or dangerous. You don’t want your date to feel like they’re in over their head. Trying out a new sport is a great way to get active together and bond over your shared love of being physically active.

So, if you’re looking for a date that’s fun and different, this is definitely the way to go.

I hope you enjoyed these first-date ideas. Remember, the important thing is to have fun and enjoy each other’s company. With any luck, these ideas will help you do just that. And don’t forget to send a unique text after your first date!


How to win at early stages dating: The ultimate list of books

If you're looking for books about the early stages of dating, you've come to the right place. We've put together a list of some of our favorite books about dating, all of which are perfect for early stages in a relationship.

  1. Dating Sucks, but You Don't: The Modern Guy's Guide to Total Confidence, Romantic Connection, and Finding the Perfect Partner
  2. Seven Secrets of Modern Dating: The He Said, She Said Guide for Getting from Single to Spouse
  3. First Date Mastery: The Complete First Date Psychology Guide For Men
  4. Just Send the Text: An Expert's Guide to Letting Go of the Stress and Anxiety of Modern Dating
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Dating Expert

David Hall

David Hall is a self-taught dating expert who works as a freelance writer to help people improve their love lives. He has always been interested in dating, physical attraction, and …

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