Remember that the focus of a first date should always be to have a great time and help your date have a great time. It’s kind of the ice-breaker date. Neither of you really have any idea what the other is like on a date, and with blind dates, you know nothing about the other person other than what you’ve been told. Don’t worry about whether your date is worth going with again. That’s what the next day is for, and your date knows it, so your best chance is to leave a positive impression by helping him/her have fun today.
Go to an Amusement Park (Think Lagoon, Trafalga, Six Flags)
Amusement parks are great for blind dates because nearly everyone enjoys them, and you don’t have to know each other very well to have a great time. Surrounded by such fun, you’re more likely to talk and get to know each other between rides and while waiting in line.
Malls are packed with all different kinds of stores. You can learn a lot about your date by seeing which stores she prefers. Some will focus on clothing stores, others on the toy stores and specialty stores. Still others will take the most interest in the bookstores. The trick is to give your date as much of the choice as possible about which stores to visit, and then focus your conversations around their choices. If they really love the RadioShack, and seem interested in the music keyboards, ask them about their musical background. If they are focused on the winter sports clothing, ask them if they have interests in winter sports.
Go to a Movie in a Theater
Be a little careful about this one. Some guys think movies are supposed to be a snuggle-fest. Good grief, it’s a blind date: you just met. Don’t snuggle. It’s much more likely to scare off your date. Also, don’t watch a movie in your apartment. Go to a theater. Share a bowl of popcorn, and let your date pick the movie. If the movie doesn’t meet your standards, either gently tell them so or suggest another movie you would be willing to see that’s in the same genre. Sometimes when you don’t know each other well enough to know if you have anything in common, a movie can be a good conversation-piece.
Go to the County/State Fair
The fair is packed with all kinds of displays covering most subjects of interest. They also have concerts, shows, and shops that will provide all kinds of subject material for conversation.
Go to a Cultural Festival (Think Scottish fest, Scandanavian fest, you get the idea)
Cultural festivals have similar benefits to the fair, but with a cultural twist. Don’t miss the chance to find out about your date’s cultural background, even if it’s local. Family history is actually a really fun topic on a date.
Board/Card Games at a Park
I emphasize this should be in a very public place. Blind dates should always, always, be in a public place, especially if it’s a single date. That’s just a common-sense fundamental precaution that most everyone will appreciate. If it’s too cold to do a park, play a card game in a restaurant. If you get something to eat, and it’s not overcrowded, the restaurant won’t mind at all.
Go to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet
This is almost always a safe dinner plan, because you can each eat whatever you want. If you think there’s a chance you’ll go out again, make a mental note of what they eat, and especially what they liked, so you can take them to a restaurant another day that serves what they are eating.
Go to an Ice-Cream Parlor
Other than those who are either lactose intolerant or on a strict diet, everyone loves ice cream, and a parlor is a fun place to have a short, pressure-free conversation.
Group Date with the Person Who Set You Up
I recommend this no matter what you do on the date. If your mutual friend can be there on the date, there will be plenty to talk about. Your friend knows all the reasons they thought you might get along with this person. If you can get them to double or group date with you, there will be more to talk about, and much of the pressure will be lifted from you and your date.
Two Dollar Gift
Give your date two dollars, and have two dollars for yourself. Have a quick twenty minute discussion about the kinds of stuff you and your date like, and then split up at a mall or Wal-mart and buy each other a $2.00 gift. This is a quick and fun way to get to know each other and you both walk away with a fun item you’ll enjoy. You may be surprised all you can learn about someone in twenty minutes when you know you’re going to be “shopping” for them.