5 Awesome First Date Ideas in Tampa

First dates are an exciting, sometimes anxiety-inducing affair. Putting yourself out there in the dating world means opening yourself up to another person and to new experiences. A good first date can set the tone for an entire relationship. What you choose to do communicates to this person that you don’t know very well what your interests are, where your values lie, and what kind of taste you have.

If it sounds like a lot of pressure, that’s because it is! Or at least it can be. To avoid stressing out over a good way to get to know someone new, keep a list of go-to first date ideas. That way you won’t wind up drawing a blank when a potential new match asks what you would like to do.

Below are 5 awesome first date ideas in Tampa. So pick which ones resonate the most with you – or maybe even try them all!

 

If you want to do something trendy…

Tampa has a lot of fantastic venues to choose from. New and inventive restaurants and bars are cropping up all the time. But if you really want to show someone a cool side of Tampa, grab a drink or dinner at The Hall on Franklin. Located in Tampa Heights on the edge of downtown Tampa, The Hall on Franklin has a super cool dining concept. There are several different food vendors located around the space. Once you get a table, you will receive menus from every vendor. You can order from any of the kitchens, mix and max your courses, and eat in whatever order you’d like to. Your waiter will place your order for you and run to pick it up from each kitchen. It also has a pretty fantastic craft bar. Once you’re done with dinner, consider taking a stroll down the Riverwalk. It is lit up at night, and it is a great place to walk along, take in the view, and discuss your other favorite spots in Tampa. This first date agenda allows you to get to know someone over some food and drinks, and then during a walk together. It truly encapsulates everything Tampa has to offer.

 

If you are a foodie…

Take your date to Berns! Not for a full steak dinner, that might be a little intense, but at the bar. For those who don’t know, Bern’s Steakhouse is a Tampa institution. This legendary steakhouse is the epitome of fine dining in the bay. The menu is extensive, and the wine cellar is truly legendary. Some claim that it is the largest private collection in North America! Dining here is an absolute must if you live in Tampa, but it is definitely too much for a first date. Instead of making a reservation and shelling out for a full dinner, ask your date to meet you at the bar. Here, you can order off of a truncated menu. The steak sandwich isn’t listed, but it is available for those who know the bar menu’s secrets. Taking someone here demonstrates that you are tapped into the food scene in Tampa, and ordering an off-menu item will definitely seem cool! The environment at the bar is louder and more casual than it is in the dining rooms, and seats turn over quickly. This is a fantastic way to introduce someone to your tastes and interests, without breaking the bank on a fancy dinner!

 

If you have a small budget…

Dating doesn’t have to be expensive. If you want to take someone somewhere special without breaking the bank, consider bringing them to happy hour! Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club offers drinks 50% off from 5 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. Ciro’s is a true speakeasy, in that you cannot get in without a password. Make sure you call ahead to get the code word and bring your date to this super cool spot located at the bottom of a condo building at Howard Ave. and Bayshore Blvd. The cool-factor here will make the date feel more expensive than it is. The happy hour menu even offers some bar snacks. So bring a date here for some craft cocktails in a secret bar, and impress the hell out of them without wasting your entire paycheck.

 

If you aren’t a big talker…

Getting to know someone often requires a lot of talking, and that isn’t easy for everyone. If you want to take someone on a date, but the prospect of small-talking and chatting for several hours fills you with dread, then take them to a movie! The Tampa Theatre, located in downtown Tampa was built in 1926, and it is a beloved community landmark. The interior is insanely lavish. The ceiling is painted to look like a starry night sky, and the walls are decorated to look like a Mediterranean courtyard, which includes columns, statues, and gargoyles. The theater regularly plays old and independent movies, for ticket prices that compete with the local AMC. This is a great way to show someone a unique and interesting place in Tampa without the pressure of conversing the entire time. If you both enjoy the film, you can walk over to Anise for a drink after, or to Dio Modern Mediterranean for a late-night bite to eat.

 

If you are into adventure…

An adventurous streak can be important to share with a new date up-front. If you like to spend your free time trying new and potentially risky things, you probably want a partner who will join you in those pursuits, and grabbing a drink or a bite for the first few dates may not communicate that effectively. Instead, bring your new date to Vertical Ventures, an indoor climbing gym! If you are both new to it, you can take an introductory class together. It is a great way to bond over a new and difficult experience. If you have both climbed before, then take advantage of Friday and Saturday night deals. Friday you get 2-for-1 admission from 8 pm to midnight, and on Saturdays, you get 2-for-1 from 6 pm to 10 pm. Vertical Ventures is an incredibly friendly and inclusive place filled with newbies and experienced climbers alike. If you are looking for something new, challenging, and exciting to try on a first date, then you can’t go wrong here.

 

So put yourself out there. Meet new people, and try some new things!

 

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