Date Ideas: Meet-the-Family Dates

Sometimes we tend to get more stressed about meeting the family than we are about the initial date. Usually, there’s no reason to be afraid. Still, it helps to have a plan, so you don’t have to meet under less-than-ideal circumstances, such as bumping into them when you’re at the grocery store with a grocery cart of potato chips and ketchup, and wearing sweats because you haven’t done laundry. Try one of these:

Take a Niece or Nephew Somewhere Fun

If you or your date has a niece or nephew, take them to the Children’s Museum, a park, or McDonalds (make sure to do one of the ones with the play area). Spend a few minutes afterward telling the parents about the cute things their kid did.

Visit Grandparents

Visit your or your date’s grandparents. While visiting, ask how they met and invite them to tell you about when they got married. If they know how their parents met and married, talk about that, too.

Attend a Family Reunion Together

Family reunions are a great opportunity to meet the extended family, and get to know them a little.

Double with a Sibling

If you or your date have a sibling, either married or not, double-date with them. Sometimes siblings can bring out personality traits that don’t show up in non-family settings.

Family Home Evening

Invite your date over for family home evening. Invitve them to participate in a simple, non-stressful way, such as sharing a favorite scripture, choosing a favorite hymn, or giving the prayer.

Invite Your Date to a Family Holiday Party

If your family has a holiday that they celebrate together, or an annual party surrounding a certain event, invite your date to come.

Invite Your Date to Sunday Dinner

Or any day of the week your family tends to all be together.

Religious Event

Go to a church event or fireside with your date’s family, or invite your date to come to one with your family.

Bring Your Date to a Birthday Party

If someone in your family is having a birthday party, bring your date—unless of course your date is sugar intolerant. Having to turn down cake and ice-cream can be a little awkward at a birthday party.

Lazy Saturday Hang-Out

Plan a simple all-day date at your house when everyone in your family’s at home, so your date comes and spends an unstructured Saturday at your house. Play a sport in the backyard, watch a show with the family. Do what the family does—but with your date there. Chances are, your date will add some spice to the whole day, with ideas or approaches that the rest of the family will find unique and refreshing. Or do the same at your date’s house.

Date Ideas: Just-for-Fun Dates

After doing a bunch of useful dates that really help you develop your relationship (or for a great first date), you may want to do a fun date that has no point except, well, to have fun! Here are some random ideas.

Bake Cookies Together

Baking cookies is always fun, and it’s even more fun to do with a date!

Donut Date

If it’s wintertime, find a frozen parking lot and do donuts. When your done, go get real donuts and hot chocolate.

Nerf Gun War

Get a couple Nerf guns and a few dozen packs of Nerf bullets, and have a war! If you don’t have Nerf guns, do squirt guns. Make up rules, with rewards for the winner.

Fake an Awesome Date

Get fake photo evidence of a fabulous date you had in Hawaii, China, Yugoslavia, or some other place you can’t go to.

Play Video Games

Find a fun, clean video game to play, and have a video game tournament.

Fly a Kite

Always a favorite.

Leave Funny Notes in Library Books

Get some sticky notes and go to a library. Write funny notes related (or unrelated) to the topic of the book.

Card House Marble War

Build card houses on two sides of a room—his and her side, and then from your sides, take turns rolling marbles across the room to “bomb” their city.

Pillow Fight

Gather all the pillows and cushions you can find and have a good old fashioned pillow fight!

Shaving Cream Art

Cover a plate or cookie sheet with shaving cream and flatten the top enough to put drops of food color on top. Take a brush or toothpick and make a cool design in the cream. Then take a piece of cardstock or posterboard and lay it on top, pressing it lightly down. Remove the paper and scrape off the shaving cream, leaving your design on the paper.

Date Ideas: Diversity (Cultural) Dates

Sometimes we get so caught up in our own culture that we never notice the rich depth and beauty available through other cultures, and never in the history of the world have we had more access to information, art, music, food, and traditions of foreign countries. Exploring those things can make for an awesome date.

Globespin Dinner

Spin a globe so your finger lands on a random country, then go to a restaurant that serves the kind of food eaten in that country. If you can’t find one, get online and learn what kind of food they eat, and make it together.

Visit Different Cultural Shops

In most big cities, there are dozens of Mexican markets, African markets, China markets, Korean markets, Indian markets and dozens of other countries markets. There are also different countries represented in specialty shops, with art, clothing, and traditional items. Visit a number of these, and if you find something cool and inexpensive, buy it for your date as a souvenir of the experience.

Study a Culture

Go to the library and research a specific culture, and then visit a museum, shop, or restaurant where you can experience a taste of that culture.

Visit a Foreigner

If you know someone from another culture, ask them if you and your date (you may want to say friend, so they don’t feel like they have to provide dinner or something) can come and interview them about their home country, culture, and family history. See what you can learn about their traditions. Most people think their lives are boring because they consider themselves “normal,” but most people have vastly different ideas about what normal looks like.

Take a Foreigner on a Date

If you someone who was born in another country, ask them on a date and ask their suggestion on a restaurant that best represents the food of their country.

Have a Cultural Dance

Get a group date together and learn a dance from another country. If you have the resources, get some clothing from that culture that would traditionally be worn for that dance. If none of you know any dances, find a Youtube video that can teach you.

Find a Lesser Known Cultural Festival

Most people have heard of the Scottish or Irish festivals, but there are dozens of lesser-known cultural festivals. Get online and find a festival in your area representing a country whose festival you’ve never visited, and take a date to it. You may even want to get an idea from your date of which festival he/she might like to go to.

Learn to Play a Cultural Instrument Together

One of the nice things about musical instruments from other countries is that they are usually considerably less expensive than western culture instruments (like band and orchestra instruments). Get an instrument or two (or more) that are from another country and learn to play them with your date.

Learn Simple Foreign Language

Pick a language both you and your date would like someday to learn. Get online or go to a bookstore or library and learn a bunch of phrases and words from that language. Use the words and phrases throughout the date as much as possible. If you continue to date this person, add a phrase or two each date.

Learn to Do Some Cultural Art Together

Pick a culture together whose art you both enjoy, then get the supplies and try to emulate that art. You can find pictures, how-tos, and ideas online or at a library. Create (as best you can) either sculptures, paintings, or drawings that look like they’re from that country.

Date Ideas for Breaking the Ice


Jenni and I are writing a book together about dating, and one of the chapters discusses various types of dating ideas.  I thought it might be fun to share some of those categories of date ideas on this blog, such as creative date ideas, funny date ideas, educational date ideas, etc.  This is the section (so far) about date ideas to help break the ice.  Sometimes the hardest part of going out with someone is just penetrating the shell of awkwardness that is inherent in first (and sometimes second) dates. Here are some ideas that might help both of you feel more relaxed and have a great time.

  1. Do a group date. They’re not just for teenagers, and it’s easier to keep conversation alive in a group. If you really want to help your date feel comfortable, plan a double date and have a friend of yours ask out your date’s friend, and then go do something as a group. With their friend there, your date will be more likely to act natural and have fun. If you don’t want to line people up, just plan a group date of three or four couples. If you get enough good people together for a fun activity, everyone is likely to have a great time.

  2. Go to a mall, museum, zoo, or gallery. If you walk around a mall or gallery together, there is a lot to see, and a lot to spark conversation. Zoos and Museums have a lot to see, hear, and explore. Anywhere where there are many kinds of displays of different kinds will provide dozens of avenues for conversation. If conversation starts, don’t rush through it to get to the next display, but use the opportunity to learn about your date and to help them get comfortable talking with you. The conversations that you have will do more for nurturing a potential relationship than anything else.

  3. Do something athletic such as a sport together. Even something as simple as Frisbee can be a lot of fun on a date. If you are both decent at a certain sport, play it together. Sometimes doing something physically active can help both of you get your mind off the fact that you are on a date. When your body or mind is active and focused, your emotions are generally positive, and your experience together will likely be uplifting and fun.

  4. Anything you can do that will get both of you laughing; a funny movie, a clean comedy show – whatever it may be.  Humor breaks ice faster than almost anything.

Do you know of other date ideas that might help a dating couple get past that initial awkwardness?