First Dates: Think Outside The Box

By Kendra Clark

Planning where to take a first date can be incredibly nerve-wracking, especially if you don’t know much about the person and what they like and dislike. However, the uniqueness of the city I live in really comes in to play here because there’s so many perfect date spots dotted around Aberdeen that are hidden away. The setting of a date is important because it’s what you base your whole day around and some women want a bit more excitement than the standard meal for two as that date idea becomes rather outdated. Why not take advantage of the distinctive elements of your city and explore somewhere you’ve never been together on your first date?

First of all, where I stay in Aberdeen we have a gorgeous beach which is a perfect and simple background for dates that you can’t really go wrong with. Unless it rains of course, but even then there are a ton of cute cafés along the beach walk which you can pop into. However, if it’s a nice day, I really recommend having a small nice and easy beach picnic and seeing if you can spot any of the dolphins. This is a really safe and romantic date idea and can be as cheap as you want it to be as all you have to buy is the food. Just make sure you search up the weather beforehand especially as we’re in the awkward transition period from summer to autumn which is always having unpredictable weather changes.

I once had a first date at The Cat in The Window café and it was probably my favourite date ever, even the company wasn’t that bad! This cat cafe has sadly shut down and was the only cat cafe in Aberdeen but there are a few dog-friendly cafés which are prefect if you and your date love dogs or have any. One particular recommendation if you ever enter this neck of the woods is The Long Dog Cafe is situated on Claremont Street and has amazing reviews and photos on their website and Facebook page. This cosy environment is perfect for planning a cute autumn first date and their menu is perfect for brunch with affordable prices.

Depending on what the shared interests are between the two of you, it’s always good to plan your first date around them. For example, if you both are into volunteering and giving back to your community, why not do it together? During the Covid-19 pandemic, there are tons of people needing your help locally and you can find many volunteering opportunities at There is a variety of options to choose from including volunteering at larders, becoming a mentor for school kids to working in soup kitchens to help the homeless. This date idea is free and can be so rewarding to give back, it’ll also show your date that you’re a kind and caring person which is always a bonus.

Something you may have never done before, is to take part in a local pottery class with your date. Not only will it be fun, but you’ll also get a souvenir out of it which could very well become a sentimental thing for the two of you or something you fight over during the divorce.

Suitable more for the introverts and bookworms is a cute, relaxing date at the cosy coffee shop. For me Books and Beans . This café is located on Belmont Street and provides such a lovely atmosphere for the perfect easy first date. Their menu sticks to classic lunch meals like panini’s, cakes and sandwiches and also provides vegan meals. Books and Beans is known for their delicious coffee and their second hand artwork and books available to buy. This café is also really perfect for studying if you want to get out and about.

If you’re really stuck, Amusement Parks have something for absolutely everyone, from roller coasters and bowling to laser tag. Bowling and mini golf are always safe options as pretty much everyone enjoys these activities and if it’s not going well it’s easy to call it a day.

If you’re planning a first date, try to get to know what they like beforehand and make sure that they’ll enjoy whatever the activity is. There’s also nothing wrong with a standard dinner date if that’s what you like, this list is just ideas of more exciting dates and for people who want to try something new. Hopefully this list will help you narrow down the millions of date ideas swarming around in your head and you can find one that suits your budget and interests. It is time to end the plague of boring dates and spice things up!