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5 Great Date Ideas For Teens
by Cami Koralewski

The teenage dating years have the potential to create some of the greatest memories of an adolescent’s life. However, a lot of teens seem to get caught up in one of two dating ruts. The first rut is thinking that you have to spend a lot of money to have a good time. This is not true, is not possible for many teenagers, and often creates a less relaxed setting for all parties involved.

Other teenagers fall into the second rut, which comes from a complete lack of creativity: the effortless dinner and a movie. In a world where individuality is such a big deal among teenagers, why would any teen want a normal, every-day date? Dinner and a movie can get really old after a while and besides, isn’t the purpose of dating to have fun or at least to get to know each other? Often having fun and getting to know someone is a lot easier when you are laughing, interacting, and relaxed.

Below are a few ideas for great teen dates that are low pressure, encourage interaction, and have the potential for a great time:

El Cheapo

Pick out clothes for each other from the local thrift store. Give your date a limited amount of money to spend on your outfit. Your selection could be based on a theme like “the 80’s,” “retro,” or “the rich and famous.” Take pictures wearing your costumes in a photo booth, with a Polaroid, or any kind of camera.Wear your new clothes out to dinner.
Use boxes from your garage or a dumpster. Take the boxes and design cars to “drive-through” a fast-food restaurant. You could also take your dinner and cars to the “drive-in” theater.

Wild West

Send out a “warrant” for your date’s arrest, listing the time and date they will be “arrested.” List yourself as the “sheriff.” You could also list reasons for your date’s arrest (they are too hot to handle, etc).
Before picking up your date, dress in western clothing, remembering to bring some for your date (you may want to include a fake gun). When your date opens the door, handcuff him/her to yourself and march them at “gunpoint” to the car. You could also blindfold your date.
For dinner, you may want to look for a restaurant that will fit your theme. For example, a jail-house transformed into a restaurant. You could also decorate part of your house to look like a jail. Eating sloppy Joe’s for dinner while handcuffed is not only challenging, but provides a lot of laughs! Eating blindfold is even better!
Afterwards, try bowling handcuffed. It’s not easy, but its fun!

Wet n’ Wild

If you are anywhere near a body of water, renting canoes can be a lot of fun. You may want to try racing against other couples, doing obstacle courses, or even synchronized boating. If you are the musical type, you could serenade you date with a guitar or just your voice.

Bring a picnic lunch and search together for a spot to eat. After lunch find some place to jump in and take a swim! Don’t forget the towels!

Service with a Smile

For the teen who is on a tight budget, volunteering at local homeless shelters, libraries, boys and girls club, nursing homes, the YMCA, handicap service providers, food banks, or a soup kitchen can be a lot of fun and very rewarding.

For example, at a nursing home, there are several services that you can provide and you don’t usually have to call ahead. Here are some things you could do:
-Sing old fashioned songs and/or play an instrument in one of the main rooms
-Bring crafts to make with the patients and use them for decorations in their rooms.
-If its fall, bring a pumpkin and carve it for (and with!) one of the residence.
-Often nurses need help when games are being played and also with combing patients
hair, doing make-up, painting nails, etc.
-Some residents just like having someone to talk to. Bring a list of questions to ask about their teenage years of see if they have photos they would like to tell you about.

If you go to a soup kitchen, it is important to make an appointment before hand. You will need to sign up for a time and must commit to bring a certain number of people. Usually, your group will be serving the food to those in need. Free dinner is usually provided after you are finished.

The following internet sites may help you find some opportunities to serve in your area:


World’s Funniest Home Video

In preparation for this date, be sure to have a video camera, several slips of paper with different things seen on TV, and a funny word or phrase. For example:
Commercial: “Hot Lips”
News: “TV Dinner”
Infomercial: “corpse”
NOVA: Great Stunts of our Time: “hammock”

You could also have a bag of random objects (a telephone, an apron, a plunger, lipstick, a flag, a wig, etc).

After closing their eyes, each couple draws a slip of paper from a hat and then takes an object from the bag. For the activity, they must create the type of TV. program listed on the paper, use the phrase or word in their program at least three times, and use the object in their program. Set a time limit for how long each program must be and let each couple prepare themselves. Record and watch your home video with popcorn and drinks.

About the Author
Writer and author for Adventure Racing Central.