If you've been on any first dates in Toronto, odds are you probably went out and got coffee or drinks or something basic like that. You're probably getting tired of doing the same thing and asking/answering the same questions with different people you're probably never going to encounter ever again. If you really want to wow your first date (and possibly get a second date), here are some unconventional and unique places you can take them. Happy first-dating!
1. Play some board games at Snakes and Lattes
What better way to break the ice with someone you've never met than beat them in an intense game of Scrabble? There's a ginormous selection of board games and it's no wonder it's the biggest board game cafe in the city. It's bound to be fun unless your date is a sore loser (hopefully they aren't). P.S. the Nutella lattes are amazeballs.
2. Be creative at Paint Cabin
Sip on beer/coffee, eat delicious pastries, and paint some nice art. You're likely to be more focused on painting than your date, but at least you'll know what their painting skills are like by the end of it (because that matters in a relationship, duh). It's a super fun activity even if you suck at painting.
3. Get handsy with wax carving
Not really feeling painting and want to do something art-related and more hands-on? Try wax carving faces instead! It's a ton of fun and you'll learn a lot about your date when you're stuck in a room with them for two hours.
4. Get in touch with your artsy side at the Art Gallery of Ontario
Get to know your date while looking at all kinds of art at the AGO. If your date's not really feeling the oil paintings, you can take them to go see the more postmodern stuff on the upper floors. If they're not feeling any kind of art, take them to the Krispy Kreme across the street instead. Entrance is free for the public on Wednesday evenings.
5. Wander through history at the Royal Ontario Museum
Wait, but I don't know anything about my date or what he/she likes or if he/she is even into museums. That's the whole point of going on a first date! Delve back in time with your date and get a little taste of history. Entrance is free for post-secondary students on Tuesdays. If you can't get enough of history, check out the Gardiner Museum across the street which is also free for post-secondary students on Tuesdays.
6. Play with kitties at TOT Cat Cafe
What's better than an evening of PLAYING WITH LITTLE BABY KITTIES? Your date will love you for it and you'll most definitely get a second date. Entrance into the kitty room comes with any drink purchase (we recommend the black cat mocha). Now all we need is a pup cafe to put on this list...
7. Look at fishies at Ripley's Aquarium
Take your date for a day (or evening) of jellyfish gazing. Despite all the screaming kids and high schoolers you'll encounter, it's a pretty romantic place for a first date. It's a little expensive for a first date but you can even go after 7 P.M. when tickets are cheaper.
8. Cheer on a Toronto sports team
Get into the spirit of your own city and check out a sports game! Tickets are pretty expensive for pretty much any sports game but Jays and Raptors 905 tickets are pretty cheap and fun to watch. It shouldn't be too awkward unless your date spends the entire game taking selfies and staring at their phone screen.
9. Get into the holiday spirit at the Toronto Christmas Market
What cuter a place for first dates than a place meant for couples? Taste some holiday snacks, ride the ferris wheel, and maybe share a kiss under a mistletoe (if kissing on first dates is aight with you). Plus, if it doesn't work out with one date, you have an entire month (it only opens for a month) to take all your other first dates here...
Photo cred – Jessica Lam
10. Jam out at a Toronto music festival
There are probably 100 good reasons why you shouldn't go with someone to any concert (especially a music festival) for a first date, but YOLO, right? Even if it's super awkward and you never see each other again after, at least you can both enjoy the great music and keep that in your memories. I went to Riot Fest (a two-day festival) with my dude for our first date and it was actually really fun.
11. Explore the Toronto Islands
Take a ferry out to the Islands and spend the day out there with your date. You can sit and stare at the gorgeous skyline while talking about life, or hit up one of the beaches or the maze. It's a really simple idea but it's also a really cool one.
12. Get in the carnival mood at the Canadian National Exhibition
If you're reading this in the summertime, the CNE is a great place to take your first date. Try some funky food inventions, play some carnival games, and ride some sketchy rides all while getting to know your date. Just try not to spend too much money while trying to impress your date with your questionable carnival game skills.