Some of life's greatest joys are the things we least expect. You can go to dinner and a movie any time, and there's always going to be some trendy new bar you just have check out, but a truly memorable date can be a challenge to plan.
It's tough to make anything memorable in a lasting way. Think about it--what did you do for your last three birthdays? Can you even remember? I bet you'd be more likely to recall if you had taken a boat tour down the Skagit River looking for Bald Eagles or if you'd shot your first bullseye in an archery lesson. Dates are a way to spend quality time with someone you care about and want to know on a deeper level, and sharing unique experiences is a great way to do that.
Whether you want to learn a new sport, take a day tour somewhere off the wall, or even play bingo at a casino, we've put together some ideas for next time you want to skip the trendy restaurant and go for something a little stranger.
Where: Clearwater Casino
We would say this isn't your grandma's Bingo, but this might actually be your grandma's Bingo. Barstool Bingo goes down every Friday night at 7 pm at Clearwater Casino just off the bridge from Bainbridge Island. It's free to play, and there's a complimentary shuttle from the ferry straight to the casino. So, this one's pretty easy and low-cost.
Clearwater is surprisingly beautiful and is Washington's only waterfront casino.
While you're there, be sure to hit up the Longhouse Buffet to round out the full casino experience. If you're going to go for it, why not go all the way? This would also make for a fun group date if you have friends who are down to play along.
Where: 22313 70th Ave W, Suite U1A in Mountlake Terrace
As the world seems to be igniting in flames all around us, it's a good idea to pick up skills that could be useful in an apocolypse. Archery would be a reasonable place to start. Next Step Archery in Mountlake Terrace has been teaching this ancient skill for over 25 years, and they offer one-hour introductory lessons.
Learn this possibly lifesaving skill together so that in the case of the apocalypse you'll both survive and be able to repopulate the human race.
Where: 1440 N 128th St
A lifetime of cleaning floors in your apartment has prepared you for this moment. You've seen it done at The Olympics, you've seen it on Youtube, and now it's your chance to try this bizarre pastime for yourself. See if your Swiffer skills translate once you get in the rink.
This is a chance not just to learn something new, but also to go outside your comfort zone with your date and probably have a laugh at the absurdity of this strange sport.
Where: 2111 7th Ave
The Spheres of Amazon HQ look like alien spacecrafts that landed in downtown Seattle. Shaped like their namesake, they are three circular glass buildings that have a greenhouse-like appearance to them. This is by design, as the Spheres are home to an incredible amount of flora, including rare plants such as the Corpse Flower. The Spheres were created to be the Amazon HQ offices, and while general access is exclusively for employees, the buildings are open to the public on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month. Reservations must be made 30 days in advance, so plan accordingly.
Understory is a unique visitor center at the street level of The Spheres. It's free and open to the public as a self-guided educational tour to learn about Amazon and the horticulture inside The Spheres. There isn't a ton of content there, but it makes for a fascinating, fairly quick stop that you could do during an afternoon or even as an impromptu detour en route to dinner plans.
Where: 900 Poplar Place
Rock climbing can sound like a terrifying idea for a date (or any occasion), but indoor bouldering with safety gear is an exciting way to face your fears and challenge your body.
The Seattle Bouldering Project is one of the premier bouldering gyms in Seattle. Its stylish interior and upbeat music make it ideal for a funky date idea. Whether you're a complete beginner and want to take classes or you're a pro and just need a place to practice, this is an unexpectedly enjoyable spot to bring a date.
Where: 300 Washington Beach Ave
The USS Turner Joy in at the Bremerton Shipyard is best known for her role in the Vietnam War, in the Gulf of Tonkin incident. She is easily the most famous ship in Washington, and public tours offer an intriguing way to learn about Washington's military history and segue into present-day activity in Bremerton.
The Seattle ferry goes straight to Bremerton and offers a convenient transport for this historic tour. After seeing the ship, grab a bite to eat at The Boat Shed before riding the ferry back to Seattle. Time it right, and you can hit happy hour at the restaurant and watch the sunset over Puget Sound on the boat back to the city.
Where: 425 15th Ave E
Ada’s on 15th isn’t your typical bookstore, and this won't be your typical date. The food in their cafe rivals any eatery in Seattle. They make their own croissants and their own butter--yeah, they're that good. They even have a four dollar happy hour with beer and wine.
Ada's is also home to The Lab, one of the most beautiful event spaces in the city.
Come in for happy hour, grab a seat on one of their cushy chairs, and snuggle up with a book and your date. Check out their calendar for upcoming events in their Lab.
Where: Boat leaves at Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport
This 3-hour boat tour takes you down Skagit River--one of Washington's most treasured natural rivers. While it's known for salmon activity and wildlife preservation efforts, it's also a prime location for spotting Bald Eagles in their natural habitat--and, possibly also a prime location for a fun date that's way more than you'd think!
Photographers and nature lovers alike are drawn to this tour for the rare opportunity to see the eagles and have an immersive #PNWwonderland experience on the river.
Where: Various in Seattle
Let's be honest--working out together can be boring. However, if you're able to get a good workout in and share some serious laughs together, this is a fun way to burn some time and some calories.
A new trend has hit the group fitness scene in Seattle, and it involves listening to a lot of Drake. Trap yoga is a vinyasa class with a soundtrack made exclusively of trap hip-hop. While trap yoga does involve some twerking and not all guys might be down to try it, for open-minded couples this can be an adventurous way to enjoy an evening out and possibly even heat things up for a post-date cool-down at home.
Where: 1101 Alaskan Way Pier 55, Suite 201
Argosy Cruises offers a wide variety of boat excursions around the Puget Sound, but the harbor tour is one of their most popular classics. This one-hour narrated tour takes guests around Elliot Bay and delves into the fascinating history of Seattle's natural and man-made wonders.
On the water, you'll see breathtaking views of the mountains as well as a full view of the city skyline. Many of the cruises take place during sunset, and watching the sun go down from the bay is one of the best ways to take in the scope of Seattle's beauty.
Where: 1300 1st Ave
Seattle Art Museum is one of the best places to visit in Seattle, period. Any occasion to have a date there would be unique and eyeopening, and their exhibits always give way for interesting conversation.
Their calendar of events is packed with options ranging from exotic Asian art to Indian film screenings and contemporary art. The museum is very community-oriented and participates in Free First Thursdays, where many local museums give free entrance on the first Thursday of every month.
Nearby Pioneer Square also hosts an art walk on first Thursdays, where they serve free beer and wine at some exhibits.
Where: 113 Dexter Ave N
Bring a date to lend a hand at one of the most respected and hardest working shelters in the city. Mary's Place is a family and women's shelter that gives refuge and support to local people who are in transition and need assistance getting back on their feet. They are a donation center as well as a temporary home, housing hundreds of people at a time.
Helping other people alongside a date can be a meaningful and fun experience not just for the people receiving the help, but for you as well. Giving back to the community can give perspective on life that's hard to find anywhere else. It helps you appreciate what you have, including your sexy date who's awesome enough to volunteer with you!
Visit a cemetery
Where: Various locations
It might sound eery, but visiting a cemetery can be a fascinating day date. Reading the gravestones and any historical information available at the site can help connect you to the city you're in by learning about the past of its people. Seattle has some extraordinary graves to visit.
Pay your respects to Chief Seattle at Suquamish Memorial Cemetery or to Bruce and Brandon Lee at Lakeview Cemetery in Seattle. If you want to learn more about the people whose graves you're visiting, you can even watch a documentary about them when you get home. Oh, the joys of adult dating! Kick things off at a cemetery, and when things really start to heat up, pop on a documentary until you both fall asleep.