Here’s hoping you will never need 50 first date ideas. The “meet-cute” Adam Sandler-Drew Barrymore movie notwithstanding, even one first date can be nerve-wracking. But if you’re in the dating pool, you’ll want to know some cool places designed for fun dates in Atlanta. When it’s the first date, you’ll want somewhere that’s not too loud, so you can chat, and that’s close by in case you both want to drive yourself.
Fit on a first date?
Old Fourth Ward Park on May 2, 2022
On the topic of first dates, eHarmony UK ought to know something, right? It recommended checking out a workout class together. “Whether it’s Zumba (1) or box fit (2), taking a joint workout class will certainly get your date’s heart racing. Plus, the dose of endorphins exercise provides will make sure that your first date ends on a high. "
For fun dates in Atlanta that involve a shared workout, you could also try Atlanta Parkour (3) (2335 Adams Drive NW, Atlanta), the fitness facility with aerial silks and a parkour obstacle course, put on bounce boots at Bounce Fitness Kangoo Club (4) (2335 Adams Drive NW, Atlanta). Or, go for disc golf (5), golf-golf (6), playing tennis (7) or rollerblading (8).
Or try another one of the eHarmony’s go-tos: rock climbing (9). “This active date is sure to get your blood pumping, even if you don’t reach the top!” it said mischievously.
Food makes a friendly first-date option.
People walk around the Brookhaven Farmers Market on Saturday, July 24, 2021, during the Christmas in July celebration. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
“I usually suggest a cooking class (10) because it’s hands on,” clinical sexologist Sunny Rodgers told BestLife. “It’s a safe place and offers a shared experience that allows for lots of topics to discuss. It’s also usually a short time period, so the dater can decide if they wish to extend the date or make plans for a second date.”
Wine tastings at a shop like the General Store at Serenbe (11) (10642 Serenbe Lane, Palmetto) or Perrine’s Wine Shop (12) (1168 Howell Mill Road NW, Atlanta) are options for the wine lover’s first date.
Rodgers also vouches for an easy afternoon or morning at the farmer’s market (13) for first daters. “It’s a public place so it’s relatively safe,” she told BestLife. “You can discuss flowers, fruit, and jam preferences as you wander and shop together. If the date is going well, I suggest buying coffee, fruit, or ice cream and sitting someplace to eat or drink together. If things are going extremely well, I suggest purchasing a few key ingredients and setting a second date where you’ll cook or prepare the purchased ingredients to enjoy together.”
If all that food prep isn’t your thing, try an excursion to Rocket Fizz (14) soda pop and candy shop in Newnan (344 B Newnan Crossing Bypass) or Marietta (128 South Park Square) for candies galore and hundreds of microbrewery soda options.
Tried and true: Coffee or dinner
Daniel Brown speaks to customer Angell Foster after preparing her a matcha at Gilly Brew Bar in Stone Mountain on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021. (Christine Tannous / firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zoosk conducted a survey and the findings relate to fun dates in Atlanta. As it reported in The Datemix blog, “Across all age-groups, the two most popular date ideas were coffee or dinner, so don’t be afraid to go for that dinner date! Especially if you’re dating someone in their 20s or 30s, since younger women mention dinner most often when describing their ideal date.”
In Atlanta, you can enjoy a cozy, traditional meal at a place like Baraonda (15)(6075 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs) or tap the New Southern vibe at Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails (16) (800 Mayfield Road, Milton. 770-817-0161), the “our farm to your fork” place.
As for the coffee, that opens up a whole first date world of its own. You can go with a diner vibe, literally the Waffle House (17) if you don’t have a favorite local spot in mind, or enjoy any of the multiple Dancing Goat Coffee Bars (18) in the Atlanta metro region.
Coffee is ideal for fun dates in Atlanta with “people you’ve never seen in the flesh, nor probably talked to on the phone — those you met through an online dating service,” according to Art of Manliness. “Accordion-like in nature, you can cut things short after a 20-minute chat if the person’s looks or personality don’t match what you expected from their profile, or, if things go well, you can extend the date, and ask them if they’d like to accompany you on a second activity.” For second-activity fodder, a few good options include brewery tours (19), street festivals (20), or the old standby, a movie matinee (21).
Active but not-real-personal first dates
Hiking is a favorite activity at Sweetwater Creek State Park.
Courtesy of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
If you’re not quite ready to gaze adoringly into the other person’s eyes, try the less “in your face” options like mini golf (22), archery lessons (23), or try the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel (24) (168 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta), which offers the best skyline view of Atlanta, as per AJC readers.
There’s a reason ice skating (25) or roller skating (26) was the go-to date in high school, and still offers an easy first date choice for older adults, dating expert Stef Safran told BestLife. “Try out doing an activity that keeps the focus on balancing yourself from falling — literally.”
There’s also kayaking (27), paddle boating (28), or taking a beginner-friendly hike around Atlanta. The Kennesaw Mountain Environmental Trail (29) at the National Battlefield Park (900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw) or the West Palisades Trail (30) at Akers Mill Drive along the Chattahoochee River are both reasonable walks with great scenery. This type of stroll/hiking enhances fun dates in Atlanta because you can chat, but not so much you overshare. Plus, the walking should help you work up an appetite if you want to continue the date with a delicious sandwich at Victory Sandwich Bar (31) or Lazaro’s Cuban Cuisine (32). Or you can get some wholesome complex carbohydrates with a first-date beer somewhere like Twain’s Brewpub and Billiards (33) (211 East Trinity Place, Decatur).
Not as usual, not this time.
Facts about Chateau Elan Winery & Resort
“Don’t just do something you do on a normal basis anyway (e.g., go to a bar),” advised the manly insiders at A of M. “A novel activity sets the butterflies aflutter.” Depending on your social habits, unusual fun dates in Atlanta could be anything from amateur shows like the Songwriter’s Open Mic Monday night (34) at Eddie’s Attic (515 N McDonough St., Decatur) to bowling at the 1950s-era reboot Comet Pub and Lanes (35) (2619 N Decatur Road, Decatur. 470-225-1931), to finally showing up for trivia night (36).
Or, if you rarely go elegant, you could head to the foothills of the North Georgia mountains to indulge in the Dahlonega Wine Trail (37) or try a wine tour at the oh-so-luxurious Chateau Elan Winery & Resort (38) (100 Rue Charlemagne Drive, Braselton).
If you don’t drink wine but love the area, consider the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site (39), quiet, sweet and ideal for history buffs.
A few pricier things also fall into the “out of the ordinary” fun dates in Atlanta category. You may want to try one of Atlanta’s many amusement parks (40), for example, or a horror house (41), corn maze (42), get fried pies and ice cream at Jaemor Farms’ Alto Market (43) or apple-picking (44).
Or you could take A of M’s recommendation and try a tea house date, less casual than coffee, and potentially a longer date. “The imbibing of hot beverages ... believe it or not, has actually been shown to induce warm inter-personal feelings,” they said.
In Atlanta, that approach could lead you to Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party (45) (1645 McLendon Ave. NE, Atlanta), Mary Mac’s Tea Room (46) (224 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta), or Just Add Honey Tea Company (47) (684 John Wesley Dobbs Avenue, Unit E, Atlanta).
Or you can try an escape room, “a surefire way to get to know your date quickly,” dating coach and matchmaker Bilotta told BestLife. “You’ll have to use teamwork, and the task at hand will keep the two of you talking without awkward lulls.” Some of the Atlanta options are in the metro area, too, like Rush Escape Room (49) (1000 Hurricane Shoals Rd. NE, Suite 800B, Lawrenceville) or Project Escape Atlanta (50)(1395 South Marietta Pkwy. SE, Building 200, Suite 230, Marietta).
With any luck, you’ll be trying to escape only the room. But if the first date doesn’t go well, most escape rooms take an hour or so max. And you can always take comfort in knowing you have 49 other options if this doesn’t work out.