Good 2nd Date Ideas (Along With a Couple Horrible to Avoid)

Congratulations—you’ve made it past your first date! Before we actually start talking about second dates, let’s back up a little & talk about first dates first. To be blunt, first dates definitely are “first”... if by “first” you mean putting yourself first! The initial outing is actually less about getting to know your date & more about making sure you look your best. From picking out the perfect outfit to going somewhere you know makes a good impression, first dates are usually pretty superficial. Of course, they do play an important role because if someone doesn’t put any effort into impressing you, then chances are they aren’t worth your time. Now that we’ve gone over the first dates let’s take a look at what’s a good second date!

Second Date Ideas for Guys

Chances are, you’ve probably already looked up 2nd date ideas for men online. You’ve probably seen a few good ideas, a fair few “maybes’,” & a lot of “hell no’s.” If you’re unsure about which category your outing idea actually falls into, here’s a quick list to reference.

Good ideas:

  • Involve taking your partner to somewhere you personally enjoy, even if it didn’t make the cut for the first outing

  • Always provide lots of time to talk

  • Are easily enjoyable for both parties

“Maybe” ideas:

  • Balance the opportunity for conversation with the activity at hand

  • Are enjoyable for your date

Bad ideas:

  • Involve going somewhere that you have no information about, or you’ve only heard bad things about

  • Provide little opportunity for meaningful conversation

  • Are enjoyable for you, but unfortunately not for your date

Take a look at the lists above, & see where your outing idea actually falls. If it obviously falls into the “No” category, definitely don’t do it. There’s always plenty of time to take chances later on down the road, but a second date usually isn’t the time for that. You’re trying to get to know your date on a personal level (to find out if you’re actually truly compatible).

Cute Second Date Ideas

While it’s certainly important to make the second outing special, you definitely don’t want to overdo it either. If you take your date to a luxurious restaurant where the drinks are $20+ a piece, chances are she’ll be overwhelmed by the atmosphere (& therefore less focused on you). Definitely not good. Rather than going for something impressive, shoot for “cute” instead. Not sure what makes a date cute? No worries—here’s a few ideas!

  • Take a walk. Simple but effective, taking a walk together easily provides lots of time for meaningful conversation, & you don’t really need to put anything together. Just show up! If you want to add to the cuteness factor, surprise her with a picnic along the way!

  • Cook together. It doesn’t really matter if you’re actually a good cook or not, just that you two have fun. If you’re willing to take a chance, try cooking for each other! Worst comes to worst, you can always just order take-out after.

  • Go camping. You’ll definitely have plenty of places to choose from, & often campgrounds offer bike trails, hiking trails, & beaches for you to visit!

  • Play mini-golf. Fun & light-hearted, going mini-golfing allows you to carry a meaningful conversation over some casual competition. Consider taking her out for ice cream afterwards!

  • Go to the drive-in. Everyone knows about “Netflix & Chill”, but you’re certainly better than that. Stay classy, & take your girl to the drive-instead.

As you can see, there are many options for going out on your second outing, but it’s important making sure your second date isn’t your “second first date. “If your first outing was about highlighting your strengths, then the second should be about sharing some weaknesses.

Second Date at Home

Many people like to go out for their second outing, but (as seen above) you can also stay in for your second date. At-home dates always make for the best midweek date ideas because they usually require minimal setup & can be easily arranged in minutes. Of course, you should definitely make sure your house is clean (or at least presentable), but that’s about it. Convenience is an obvious advantage of at-home dates, but the main disadvantage of these dates is that you’re at home—you’ve definitely got to be creative if you want a truly memorable outing! Always keep these three points in mind when you’re planning an at-home date.

  • It has to be special. Definitely try to pick out something that you need two people to do, & make the best of your time together!

  • It actually needs to be fun. No-one wants to just “hang out” for a second date. Skip just lounging around on the couch, & actually set up an activity for you two to do. Since you’re at home, you know the place best, which is always great because if you get bored of one thing, you can easily find something else to do!

  • Be romantic! No, we’re not talking about going head over heels & flowering your entire apartment with roses, but you should definitely at least put in a little effort. Something simple like dimming the lights & choosing the right music can easily make all the difference, so always remember to set the right ambience for your stay-at-home date.

Second Date Activities

One more traditional but still valuable idea is a second date dinner. This (of course) assumes you a.) actually know a good restaurant, or b.) can cook. Honestly, if you went out to dinner for the first outing then we would probably recommend switching it up, but going to a different restaurant can certainly still work out in your favor! If you’re always doing something similar to your first date, we have some second date suggestions for you.

First, don’t do the exact same thing twice. If you went to a Mexican restaurant the first time, switch it up & go Italian on this outing. Second, always step up your game! Bringing a small gift to your date will definitely set you up for success. Lastly, come up with talking points ahead of time. No-one likes awkward silence!

Of course, there are many other second date ideas. Evening dates are great because they give you a lot of time to do multiple activities, so you’ll have more than enough time for both food & a movie if you choose. Remember, you definitely want this outing to be memorable so doing multiple things is a great way to accomplish this.

But what are good second date ideas if you’re going out in the middle of the day? We’re glad you asked! A second date picnic is one solid option, but you have many other choices as well. Farmer’s markets, bowling, & taking classes together are all great, original outing ideas that are sure to easily separate you from the other men in her past. Don’t always think of it as a competition against them though; think of it as a competition against yourself. You certainly did good last time, but now you have to do even better! This is why coming up with romantic second date ideas are so important. If you’re honestly interested in your date, then it actually pays to be your best self (or better self) each & every outing.

Seasons change, and most of the date ideas (at least the outdoors ones) have been perfect for summer & spring, but might actually pose a challenge come winter. If you’re currently surrounded by snow, don’t worry—we’ve still got second date ideas! Winter is a beautiful time, so although it definitely limits some of your options, it also opens up a bunch of new ones! Here are some of the best 2nd date ideas winter has to offer.

  • Go snowshoeing! Think of it as a normal walk, just with extra-heavy shoes & the perfect beauty of nature surrounding you. Snowshoeing together is a great way to easily have some deep conversation while enjoying the great outdoors.

  • Snap some photos together. Winter photography is always loads of fun, so get outside & snap some couples photos!

  • Try ice skating. If you’ve got a good sense of humor (& actually don’t mind falling on your butt a few times), try taking your partner ice skating. You can easily go to a rink, or find a local lake big enough to skate on. If you choose the lake, definitely make sure the ice is thick enough beforehand!

  • Build a snowman! Relapse to childhood for the perfect day, & build a snowman (or snow family) with your partner. This is a great chance for you to be creative & talk to each other while working towards a mutual, low-stress goal.

  • Head to the mountains. Depending on where you’re located, snowboarding or skiing might be a great outing option. Don’t worry if you’ve never been before. Most mountains offer trails for all skill levels, & you can always take lessons (or give them) if you’re a complete beginner.

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