There’s almost nothing organic about a first date dinner together.
Which is probably why it often feels more reminiscent of a job interview than a good old-fashioned courtship (that’s still a word, right?)
Not that we have to tell you that.
Sure, you return home with all the basics answered, but often you end up with very little you can use to gauge whether the two of you have any real chemistry.
That’s why the best dates are often those that facilitate interaction as they subsequently bring out people’s true character and raw personality.
With that said, ditch the awkward across-the-table approach and hit up one of these 11 interactive dates in Toronto.
1. Tap into Your Inner Picasso at Paint Lounge
Get creative at Paint Lounge as you and your date create you best work of art on side-by-side canvasses and sip smoothies or caffeine (head’s up, there’s no liquor license). As an added bonus (?), your canvass will serve as a memento of the date – meaning, it could go directly into the trash or straight on your wall. The possibilities are endless.
2. Bowl Your Heart Out at The Ballroom Bowl
For a bowling game that cuts no corners – complete with the best “bowling alley” food you’ll find – hit The Ballroom Bowl. If things go well, you can stick around for live music and cocktails.
3. Walk Down Memory Lane at the Sunday Antique Market
For a Sunday date that goes beyond the typical brunch option, hit the Sunday Antique Market across from the St. Lawrence Market. You and your date will bond over nostalgic memories when you stumble upon things you haven’t seen since you were kids.
4. Make Sausage Magic at The Healthy Butcher
What breaks the ice better than a cooking class complete with one of the most phallic foods known to man? Though you may know The Healthy Butcher as your go-to for dinner party meat, you may not know about their popular sausage-making class run by owner Mario Fiorucci.
5. Get Out Your Aggression and Throw Axes at BATL
Swap darts at a pub for axe throwing at BATL to add a competitive tone to your date. Not only will you see how they react under pressure, but also how well they’re able to hit the “target.”
6. Lace Up Your Skates at Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink
Really, is there anything more romantic than an ice skating date, even if one of you ends up falling flat on your face? That’s why you should hit Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink before the ice melts. A far cry from your local community centre rink, this is one of the city’s most scenic. The best part? The skating’s free.
7. Bust Out the GT Snow Racer and Hit a Toboggan Hill
Really, what’s better for a little wholesome fun than an afternoon spent on some of Toronto’s finest toboggan slopes, especially when you have to hold onto the other person for dear life? We’ve already scoped it out and have got you covered in the hill department with the city’s best toboggan spots.
8. Abandon Your Musical Inhibitions at Karaoke at The Gladstone
So, karaoke may be a tad awkward for a first date (unless you’re both musicians – then it’ll just be competitive), but few things break the ice better than a good, old-fashioned karaoke session after a drink or meal at the Gladstone Hotel.
9. Practice for the Real Thing at Boulderz Climbing Rock Climbing
Rock climbing can reveal a lot about someone (aside from how cute they look in their workout gear): how he or she handles a challenge, their ability to focus, and their athleticism. Plus, the adrenaline rush can only do good things for you.
10. Get a Blast of Culture at the AGO
This winter, the AGO is more exciting than ever this winter with the graffiti art-filled Jean-Michel Basquiat: Now’s the Time (February 7-May 10). With all the stimulation, you’ll never run out of things to talk about .
11. Ping-Pong at Spin
There’s no falling out of the moment during a ping-pong match. Not only will your date remain focused, it will offer a glimpse into their competitive, carefree side. Once it’s over, you can cool down with a cocktail there or at one of King West’s numerous hot spots.
Cover image from: Paint Lounge Toronto