15 Alternative Date Ideas
When choosing a date venue, should you stick to what you know and play it safe, or should you try something a little bit different?
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve already decided to do something a bit more exciting than ‘going for a coffee’, but you’re struggling to think of an alternative. Fear not, we’ve racked our brains to come up with 15 interesting, alternative date ideas which are sure to impress your date.
Alternative date idea 1: Eat dinner in the dark
Forget your local Italian. Dinner at Dans Le Noir is conducted, as its name would suggest, in the dark.
According to their website “The concept behind our menu is to re-educate our customers’ palates and minds, to make them truly experience the flavours being presented. Totally deprived of light, your eyes can’t deceive you, so therefore all preconceptions are gone.”
To find out more or make a booking at Dans Le Noir click here.
Alternative date idea 2: Take a high speed boat tour
Feel like James Bond for the day as you experience London on the fastest Speedboats on the River Thames! Starting your journey at Embankment Pier, having passed under Tower Bridge you will be turbo blasted to Canary Wharf & back for the ultimate rollercoaster on water experience. All with the James Bond theme music blasting from the onboard PA system, and at times traveling at a 45 degree angle!
Tickets cost from £34 per person and are available to book online.
Alternative date idea 3: Go to a gig
If you’re dating a music lover then a gig is the perfect chilled out date activity which will give you plenty to talk about. To find out what gigs are on in your area try a website like Songkick or Londonears.
Alternative date idea 4: Drink gin cocktails at an old-fashioned speakeasy
Back in the 1920s alcohol was prohibited in America, which gave rise to the ‘speakeasy’ – an illegal drinking establishment famed for selling gin cocktails. Of course these days there’s no need to be so secretive about an after work drink, but the speakeasy’s allure remains.
Find a speakeasy near you with Timeout’s speakeasy guide.
Alternative date idea 5: Have an adventure at the Secret Cinema
What is Secret Cinema? Well that’s sort of the point… You’re not supposed to know until you get there. However, we can reveal that interactive, live cinema experiences are the name of the game. If your date is a film lover expect them to be seriously impressed.
Find out more at the Secret Cinema website.
Alternative date idea 6: Hunt for treasure in your own city
Release your inner child and hunt for treasure in your own city with HiddenCity. They send you a trail of clues by text message, which you have to crack in order to find the treasure. And don’t worry; if you get stuck you can request a ‘hint’.
HiddenCity’s treasure hunts are available in London, York, Brighton and Manchester, and cost £16 per team.
Alternative date idea 7: Visit London Zoo after hours
Every Friday night in June and July, London Zoo will open its doors after hours for a night out with a difference.
Take a walk on the wild side with improvised comedy in the aquarium, Twisted Cabaret in the amphitheatre, strut your stuff in the Silent Disco, sample the delectable delights of the street food festival and enjoy the sultry sounds of some of London’s finest acoustic musicians in a carnival atmosphere.
Zoo Lates tickets cost £20 per person and are available to book online.
Alternative date idea 8: Awaken your senses at a theme park
If you’re looking for a date to get your pulse racing, consider a theme park for your alternative date activity. The UK is dotted with theme parks, big and small, so there’s sure to be one within easy reach of you and your date.
Find your closest theme park on Theme Park Tourist .
Alternative date idea 9: Learn to cook in your lunch hour
They say: “Cook, Eat and Run is a unique cookery class experience - learn to cook a simple yet delicious main course recipe in a relaxed and fun environment. The class last just 30 minutes and you can either have your meal packed up to take away or sit down in our relaxed dining area to enjoy your meal. Dessert of the day and wine are also available. This is THE perfect way to spend a lunchtime.”
Classes cost £15 per person and are available to book online.
Alternative date idea 10: The British Music Experience
Relive the glorious history of British popular Music at the British Music Experience. With over 3,000 images, 600 video clips, 3,000 artist videos and over 600 items of artist and music memorabilia, the British Music Experience is a must see for any music fan.
From the classic era defining sounds of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Dusty Springfield, stadium filling giants like The Who and Queen, the irresistible anarchy of bands like The Specials and the Sex Pistols, right up to recent crowd-pleasers such as Spice Girls, Oasis, Coldplay, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys and much, much, more.
Tickets cost £12 and are available to book online.
Alternative date idea 11: Get spooked on a ghost tour
They say: "All aboard the ‘orrible omnibus for a ride around the dark side of London. The Ghost Bus Tours’ classic Routemaster has been redesigned to give passengers London’s first ‘Fright Bus’ service. On-board actors and technical trickery combine to create the scariest tour in town. A creepy conductor provides the commentary for this sinister sightseeing show, revealing haunted palaces, unmarked burial grounds and the skeletons in the capital’s cupboard."
Tickets costs £20 and are available to book online. For a magical time travelling adventure, also try The London Time Tour Bus.
Alternative date idea 12: See London by road and water on a duck tour
The London Duck Tour is more than just a sightseeing tour; their amphibious vehicles drive past famous London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square before a dramatic launch into the River Thames.
The tour lasts about 75 minutes, with approximately 30 minutes on the river, with entertaining, action packed commentary by the tour guides who provide an alternative and insightful view of London's history, plus fascinating facts and figures about the vehicles themselves, which were used for the D-Day landings in 1944.
Tickets cost £21 per person and are available to buy online.
Alternative date idea 13: Take a life drawing class (but don't get the giggles)
Whether you’re arty or can barely hold a pencil the right way around, a life drawing class is a fun way to break the ice and will certainly give you something to talk about!
Life drawing classes are available all over the UK. Find your closest class here.
Alternative date idea 14: Tantalise your tastebuds at a beer or wine tasting
Show your sophisticated side with an evening wine or beer tasting. The West London Wine School has a rather unusual set up (downstairs from the Big Yellow Storage Company) but a fantastic tasting school with knowledgeable tutors.
And if you can’t tell your Bordeaux from your Pinot Noir, don’t worry. All evening tasting sessions are suitable for those with no previous experience.
Book a wine or beer tasting online from £22.50 per person.
Alternative date idea 15: Play crazy golf on the roof of Selfridges
Back in the 1930s playing crazy golf on the roof of Selfridges was par for the course (pardon the pun!) but since then the rooftop has been lacking in putting… until now! Check out Selfridges rooftop crazy golf course.
Tickets cost £6 per person and are available to book advanced tickets online.