7 great last-minute date ideas
Whether you’re a super-organised planner or not quite so well-prepared, there will always be moments when spontaneity is called for. Dating is no different. Whether you’re working round cancelled plans or suddenly find you’re both free to meet, a last-minute date can be really fun and a great way to spend time with someone doing something unexpected. Their unplanned nature often brings a more relaxed feel and can be a nice, low-key way to spend time getting to know someone.
Having a last-minute date rather than one you’ve intricately planned doesn’t mean it can’t be memorable, romantic or special. So whether you’re responding to a change of plan, or didn’t have a plan in the first place, here are 7 great last-minute date ideas to jump into.
Visit a museum or gallery
Having something right in front of you to talk about is a great help on a date. Walking through exhibits, pictures or artefacts can help keep conversation going with a steady flow of interesting things to look at and talk about.
Not only are museums and galleries often fascinating sites of history and culture but they are often free or at least very affordable making them a great cheap date idea, too. Many don’t require pre-booking so they are perfect as a last-minute option, especially if there’s a special event or longer opening hours in the evening.
Go outdoors and picnic
If the weather is sunny – or at least it’s not raining – heading outdoors can be a great way to keep things relaxed and enjoyable without having to plan ahead. Search online for a pleasant outdoor space nearby as your destination to chat and maybe eat some food together.
There’s no need to plan an elaborate menu. Instead, look for what’s close by. You could drop into a local shop or supermarket and pick up a little picnic. If you’re feeling more adventurous, look at what restaurants in the area might make for you to take away, or visit a street stand (which you can make a part of the date).
Grab last-minute theatre tickets
Watching a show together can be a fun experience that takes the pressure off you finding new topics of conversation throughout the date. Booking tickets last minute will depend on what’s available near you and how popular a show is but you might stumble across a hidden gem or future hit – or realise quickly why there were seats available!
Search online if you’re not sure where to start looking, or if there are theatres, arts centres or venues nearby, pop into the box office and pick up some tickets.
If there isn’t a theatre in the area, or no shows available, but you’d still like to try a live performance, search for live music, stand-up comedy or even a talk or lecture happening nearby. These are often free entry, too.
Try some action sports
Are you feeling lively and keen to burn off some energy? If you’re going on a date with someone who feels the same, seek out an active date.
Whether you’re hitting the gym together, joining a running group, going to a climbing wall, playing tennis or planning something a bit more involved like surfing, you can be spontaneous – as long as you both have the right outfits to hand!
It’s often possible to hire bikes and explore the area, or even kayaks or other water-based equipment and start an adventure together.
Whatever you choose, you can bond over your abilities, competitiveness or clumsiness – depending on how much of an expert you are! While your body is occupied with pedalling or paddling, you can chat and explore. A shared adventure can bring you closer together, too.
Get coffee and relax
Getting coffee together is the go-to first date idea but don’t rule it out. Sometimes a really simple plan is all you need to spend quality time together – and you don’t need to book. Sitting in a cafe with good coffee (or tea, hot chocolate or a fruity smoothie) and good conversation can be the perfect date.
Of all the last-minute date ideas, this one is entirely last-minute ready! No planning is needed at all – well, other than choosing a time to meet and then see where the mood takes you.
Be a tourist (for a day)
Wherever you live, there are always interesting sites and attractions that you never visit because they have become part of the backdrop to everyday life. Whether it’s a local museum, an old ruin or castle, a high point with stunning views or just a street with intriguing buildings, deciding to stop by can make for an interesting last-minute date.
Becoming a tourist for a little while not only lets you explore your local area, but you also gives you the opportunity be the tour guide for your date, especially if they live elsewhere. And don’t forget about checking out the local food and drink hotspots too!
Watch live sport
If you’re both interested in sport – or open to the idea of being in a busy, atmospheric crowd to take in a new experience – then a great last-minute date can be watching a match together.
Whether you’re going to a stadium for a big ball game or something more sedate at a local club, you can chat in between cheers – or compete over whose team is the best…
For popular sports, some towns put up big screens outdoors where you’ll be among a crowd, or you could head to a smaller venue where you can watch the game screened and have a drink.
Watching sport together is a great way to bond over a shared interest or learn about a part of your date’s life and something new you might find you enjoy. Be open minded and maybe watch something neither of you have seen before. It’s also a very easy invite: Want to watch the game with me on Saturday?