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30 Fun First Date Ideas That Will Thrill You And Your Partner

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30 Fun First Date Ideas That Will Thrill You And Your Partner

Planning a great first date can be rough. McDonald’s and the movies are fine for 16 year olds, but as a more mature and sophisticated person, you can and should do better. Fear not, nascent lover! Here are 30 great first date ideas that are sure to get you to the second date with style!

1) A night at the theater

Theater Lights

    Culture is all but dead in modern society. Why not set yourself apart by getting tickets to a showing of one of Shakespeare’s plays, a stand-up comedy revue, or even a presentation of the opera? (We recommend avoiding Don Giovanni as a first date for a number of reasons.) Not only will your date appreciate the extra thought, but it’ll make you look more sophisticated, too!

    2 Do something sporty!

    With the average job becoming more sedentary than ever before, people like to get out and move around in their free time. Taking your date for a little physical exercise is a good way for both of you to compete in a friendly fashion and loosen up in a very casual environment. Batting cages, bowling alleys, roller-skating rinks and even miniature golf courses are all good venues for getting to know someone better without expectations. As a bonus, you can see if your date is a sore loser…or winner!

    3) Go fishing

    man-fishing

      For the outdoorsy type, there are few better ways to enjoy someone’s company and alleviate pressure than by wetting a line. Even if you don’t catch anything, or just choose to catch and release, fishing is an excellent relaxation activity that allows for conversation and closeness in the great outdoors. If you do catch something, you can do your own fish fry to top off the day!

      4) Attend a museum

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        Museums are great first-date venues because they are public places chock-full of knowledge and fascinating artifacts. Ask your date what kind of art or ancient societies interest them and plan your day accordingly. For someone who always wanted to be a paleontologist, someplace like the Field Museum in Chicago would be ideal, while the artistic sort would likely enjoy the Guggenheim. Your date is sure to appreciate the extra effort you put into sharing their interests!

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        5) Be a kid again at the arcade

        Taking your date to the arcade is a fun way to show you still have a sense of humor and know how to have good, old-fashioned childlike fun. Playing skee-ball, collecting tickets, and buying frivolous prizes with them is a fairly inexpensive and exciting way to have a good time without any pressure. If you’re really good at the games, you may be able to win that oversized, plush, purple dragon for your date, ensuring she’ll think of you for years to come!

        6) Take a spin on go-karts

        There are few things better than getting behind the wheel of a go-kart and trying to make the best time on the track. When you have a date, you can add fun and excitement to the race by making a friendly wager. Maybe the loser buys ice cream or the winner gets to decide what kind of pizza you’re having afterward. This is another good first date idea that mingles competition and fun.

        7) Create a picnic

        picnic

          This may sound a little corny, but stay with me. Building a picnic lunch with your best gourmet tricks (if you don’t have any, check out this link for some recipes that will help) and her favorite wine shows you have confidence in yourself and your culinary abilities, but also took the time to think about what she would enjoy. Picking out the perfect spot, whether it’s by a duck pond, on top of a cliff, or out in the woods is a good way to get away from it all, enjoy a relaxing time, and get to know each other better.

          8) Off to the races!

          Horse racing is an exciting pastime and a fun first-date idea. Whether you’re a hard-core trackhound or a casual observer, putting down bets and then watching to see if your horses will take the day can be a great way to get to know your date better. Just be careful, because there’s a good chance she might be better at picking the ponies than you are!

          9) Do a little stargazing

          file0001286388267

            The nice thing about the stars is, they’re free for anyone to look at. Why not go out away from the light pollution and noise of the city and amaze her with your knowledge of astronomy? (And, if you happen to know a little something about astrology, that’s even better!) Stargazing is a romantic and fun way to spend time together, especially if you tell her that shooting star doesn’t hold a candle to her!

            10) Try volunteering

            The idea of a first date is to show the size of your heart. Why not spend your first date doing volunteer work? Whether you’re reading to young children or serving up food at a soup kitchen, or even helping with the animals at a shelter, you’re sure to impress her with your civic-mindedness and caring for others. However, if you’re going to do this, make sure it’s a cause you really believe in.There are few things less impressive to a person than the feeling their date is just putting on a show.

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            11) Listen to live music

            What’s more enjoyable than listening to a live band? You don’t need to spend $300 on concert seats, though. Why not check out the local blues joint or the country band playing at your favorite watering hole? If the band’s really good, you might just get a dance or two out of it. The live music will also give you some insights into their musical tastes, which is an important baseline for deciding how compatible you’ll be in other ways!

            12) Brave the haunted house

            Everyone likes a good scare once in a while, and being scared automatically gets you closer emotionally and physically. Because of this, a haunted house can be a fun first date idea. Just be careful to leave the scaring to the professionals! Your job is to be just as scared as your date is, and to let her hold on to you when she needs to. This is a good way to show your bravery and tenderness.

            13) Cook a dinner

            Anybody can pick up a phone and make a dinner reservation. It takes real skill to cook well. Why not cook your date’s favorite meal, or a reasonable facsimile of it? With all the food websites and cooking shows around, it’s easy to find good recipes that even a guy who burns water can make. Your date will enjoy the effort, especially if you kick it up a notch by choosing the perfect complementary wine to accompany the meal.

            14) Attend a wine tasting

            Cheers to That! 7 Unexpected Benefits of Red Wine

              Wine tasting is almost a lost art in our culture, as are most social graces. To impress your date with your old-school sensibilities, why not do something really different and attend a wine tasting together? There’s a good chance you’ll learn a thing or two, and you’ll both have a lot of fun!

              15) Go to open-mic poetry

              Many people fear public speaking more than they do dying. However, open-mic poetry is a good way to show your more scholarly and sensitive side. Write your own pieces and present them, or find some poems you enjoy that tell your date how you feel. You never know–your date may even have a own poem about you!

              16) Go see a parade

              Okay, parades aren’t exactly the most common things in the world, but if there’s going to be one in your town, why not attend? Everyone enjoys a parade, and your date will like the fact you thought outside the box.

              17) Take a stroll in the park

              A walk in the park is a good first date idea because it’s simple and relaxing. What could be better than appreciating the beauty of nature and your date, at the same time? Plus, a walk in the park can be combined with a number of the other first date ideas on this list for a great beginning, or end, to your date!

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              18) Go antiquing

              If your date thinks that older is sometimes better, a visit to the local antiques shop can be a fun and refreshing icebreaker. Keep your eyes peeled for something reasonably priced but memorable to give to your date as a memento of your special day together.

              19) Take an art class together

              7 Steps To Becoming A Full-time Artist

                If you and your date enjoy drawing, painting, or any other kind of artistic endeavor, why not take a class together? There are few better gifts you can give than that of knowledge, and an art class may just spark inspiration for one or both you. It may even spark something even deeper.

                20) Go on a hike

                Much like walking in the park, a hike can be combined with other ideas, such as fishing, picnicking, or stargazing, to create a one-of-a-kind first date experience. Especially if you know a great hiking trail or an awesome overlook, this can be a good way to spend some one on one time without the hustle and bustle of the city getting in the way.

                21) Build a teddy bear

                Places like Build-a-Bear Workshop are good first date venues because they allow you to indulge a sense of whimsy and show off your inner child a little. Maybe your date likes Star Wars or Harry Potter. This is a fun way to enjoy the other person’s company and create something that’s as unique as your date, and that she can enjoy long after the date’s over.

                22) Attend a lecture

                Many colleges and universities offer lectures that are open to the public on a wide range of topics. Maybe you and your date are both advocates for gender equality, or you both enjoy speculating about the nuances and theoretically underpinnings of faster-than-light travel. An academic lecture is an intellectual first date. It’s excellent for stimulating conversation and interest, both in the topic and each other.

                23) Sightseeing

                Playing tourist is a fun way to get to know each other and look at your town through new eyes.

                24) Go to the carnival

                What’s more awesome than attending an old-school carnival? Play for prizes, hit the rides, go through the House of Mirrors, and see who can eat the most funnel-cake!

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                25) Go paddle-boating

                For a more relaxing date, rent a tandem paddle boat at your nearest lake and spend a lazy afternoon exploring! (Pro tip: This goes great with snack foods like cupcakes!)

                26) Take a drive

                cute-couple-in-car-512x384-2426

                  Finding something new is always a good way to spend time together. Taking a drive in a direction neither of you usually goes can give you new sights to see and new places to stop and see what’s going on. You might even find the perfect restaurant to cap off the day.

                  27) Take a swim

                  Find the nearest swimming pool, lake, or river and jump in. If you really want to get creative, pick up a new bathing suit that tells your date how you feel about them!

                  28) Go skiing

                  For the outdoor enthusiast, nothing says wintertime fun like whizzing down a mountain on a blanket of fresh powder. Just make sure the run you choose matches both of your skill levels!

                  29) Go running

                  For a healthy and fun first date, take a jog or a run together. Try new paths, look for wildlife, and stop for an ice cream or a coffee afterward!

                  30) Watch the sun rise

                  While some people may not consider this a good first-date idea, you’ll get bonus points for creativity and thinking outside the box. Even better, you can surprise your date with breakfast and early-morning conversation!

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                  cookeville-sunrise

                     

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                    J.S. Wayne

                    J.S. Wayne is a passionate writer who shares lifestyle inspirations and tips on Lifehack.

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                    Last Updated on July 20, 2021

                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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                    How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

                    You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

                    Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

                    Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

                    Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

                    1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

                    According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

                    “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

                    Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

                    Warming up

                    If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

                    If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

                    Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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                    1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
                    2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
                    3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

                    Stay hydrated

                    Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

                    To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

                    Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

                    Meditate

                    Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

                    Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

                    Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

                    Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

                    2. Focus on your goal

                    One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

                    Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

                    Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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                    Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

                    If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

                    3. Convert negativity to positivity

                    There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

                    ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

                    It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

                    Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

                    Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

                    Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

                    4. Understand your content

                    Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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                    However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

                    “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

                    Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

                    Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

                    One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

                    5. Practice makes perfect

                    Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

                    In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

                    Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

                    6. Be authentic

                    There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

                    Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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                    Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

                    To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

                    With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

                    Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

                    7. Post speech evaluation

                    Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

                    Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

                    We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

                    You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

                    Improve your next speech

                    As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

                    Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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                    • How did I do?
                    • Are there any areas for improvement?
                    • Did I sound or look stressed?
                    • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
                    • Was I saying “um” too often?
                    • How was the flow of the speech?

                    Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

                    If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

                    Reference

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