10 Fun First Date Ideas in London to Help Break the Ice

May 27, 2016

Don't want to come across as boring on your first date? Pick from 10 of our fun first date ideas in London and avoid those dreaded awkward silences.

Ahhh Travioor remembers its first date with the London office back in 2014 like it was yesterday. Since then we have kicked up a relationship with a Bilbao office too and still have both on the go today (shhh). Needless to say, we certainly aren’t experts in love but you don’t need to be Hitch to know that a good first impression is pretty damn important.

It’s said that men will take around 15 minutes to decide whether a second date is on the cards, where as women take up to an hour. For many people the initial meet can be a nerve-wrecking thought. Some consider dinner to be a terrifying proposition, with most opting to go for drinks to settle the nerves. But if there’s one thing we all know, no-one likes boring.

Picking the right venue sets the scene for that all important first impression. The experts tell us there is a direct link between excitement/danger and attraction, so luckily for those looking for an activity in London, we’ve put together some of our favourite fun first date ideas which are sure to reduce the chances of those dreaded awkward silences. Then when you’re all loved up and deciding on your first holiday, you can make a date with Travioor to help get you on your way.

LONDON ZOO

A lion at London Zoo relaxing on a large rock.

Perfect for: Animal sightseeing in the sun
Location: Regents Park
Nearest Tube: Camden Town

If your date is one of those Snapchatters who’s constantly posting pictures of their dog, the chances are they’re an ‘animal person’. London Zoo is home to over 700 species and a great option on a summer’s day. You can wander the zoo with plenty of time to get to know each other and there shouldn’t be any worries of awkward silences. You could even treat them to one of the many zoo experiences or for a little more romance, a sunset safari which will run every Friday between June 3rd and July 15th. Of course there’s always the worry they actually hate the zoo because they are completely against locking up animals, which unfortunately for you, would mean no monkey business this time.

SEALIFE LONDON AQUARIUM

A couple on a date cuddling and looking at the fish in an aquarium.

Perfect for: A sea life stroll
Location: Waterloo
Nearest Tube: Waterloo

If you plan on heading for the zoo but the weather lets you down, London Aquarium is an alternative option. Walking around looking like a wet dog isn’t the ideal first date. London Aquarium is a safer bet and boasts around 15 themed zones home to over 500 species. Plus, it’s in an enviable location in the heart of the action right beside the Thames and close to some of London’s iconic landmarks. Plenty of get out of (animal) jail cards to play if the aquarium doesn’t go to plan.

SWINGERS

A couple on a date playing crazy golf.

Perfect for: Fun games and casual drinks
Location: The City
Nearest Tube: Aldgate/Bank

Tell your date you’re going to Swingers and the least you’ll get in return is a funny look. Yet this newly opened establishment is a far cry from your usual seedy bar. In fact it’s an amazing crazy golf venue featuring two nine hole (indoor) courses, five cocktail bars, three street food vendors and a two story clubhouse with a gin terrace, all combining to give you one of the best first date venues in London. Fun, friendly competition, a few drinks, good music and a casual bite to eat if you get hungry; what more could you want?

COOKERY CLASS

A couple on a date at a cookery class preparing food.

Perfect for: Intimate foodie fun
Location: The City
Nearest Tube: Aldgate/Bank

Everyone loves a good cook and if you think you’re a whizz in the kitchen, this is a great opportunity to show off your Jamie Oliver skills. L'atelier des Chefs is the UK’s most popular cookery school with various locations to accommodate the thousands who tackle anything from 30 minute sushi making classes to four-hour long Michelin-level cuisine. Although we’d recommend the shorter lessons to avoid the possibility of boredom creeping in. If it turns out you’re both terrible at cooking, at least you’ll know what the future holds if things work out - lots of takeaways and beans on toast dinners.

VIEW FROM THE SHARD

View across the Thames at nightfall showing The Shard and Tower bridge lit up.

Perfect for: Skyline views and romance
Location: Southwark
Nearest Tube: London Bridge

Apparently it's easier to tell if love is in the air when you're up this high. Western Europe’s tallest building offers you the chance to experience the View From The Shard, offering the best panoramas in London. It’s a sight that certainly has the wow factor so make sure you actually take the time to snap a few pictures and enjoy the breath-taking scenery. Obviously your date comes first though so it's probably best to ask if they like heights; cloud nine is only (a slightly terrifying) 800ft up.

BOUNCE

A blue table tennis table with two table tennis bats and a ball on top.

Perfect for: Fun games and casual drinks
Location: Shoreditch
Nearest Tube: Old Street

In the words of Paddy McGuinness on that shallow Saturday night dating show (you know the one), let the Ping see the Pong (sorry). With another location also near Chancery Lane station, Bounce is the ultimate social table tennis venue. It’s become a hugely popular dating and post-work hotspot so make sure you book a table well in advance. Plus there’s also a lively bar scene and plenty of snacks you can order too. Make sure you get a couple of drinks in early so if you lose, you can blame it on the beers.

THE THEATRE

A couple cuddling in the theatre whilst on a date.

Perfect for: Theatre lovers and performers
Location: The West End
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly Circus/Leicester Square

Going to the theatre is considered one of the top date nights in London. Although getting to know each other is a little difficult considering you spend the majority of the time staring at the stage. However, get a pre-dinner and theatre package and it could be a hit. There are so many great musicals and shows in London’s West End to choose from and you'll find a number of ticket providers like London Theatre Direct offering discounts. Plus the West End is a great area of the city to enjoy a few drinks. If all goes well, the only drama you should experience is on the stage.

ALL STAR LANES

A man and woman laughing on their first date at bowling.

Perfect for: Friendly competition and casual drinks
Location: Bloomsbury
Nearest Tube: Holborn

Another first date idea which involves putting balls to good use… except these are a little bigger. The popular bowling venue All Star Lanes pops up in other locations throughout London including Brick Lane and Bayswater and features a vibrant bar scene and an accompanying restaurant. Bowling might not be to everyone’s taste but it’s always a fun activity involving some friendly competition. Plus you’ll know your date is a catch if they look good in those super-sexy bowling shoes we all love.

LONDON DUNGEON

A sacry man in costume holding a candle in front of his face at London Dungeon.

Perfect for: Frightening fun and cheap thrills
Location: Waterloo
Nearest Tube: Waterloo

If they aren’t laughing in the London Dungeon, they’ll probably be crying. And who will be there with a shoulder to cry on? This is one of London’s most popular attractions featuring theatrical actors, special effects, stages, scenes and rides. It’s a unique, fun and frightening experience complete with 18 interactive shows which educate you on the city’s sinister past. If your date doesn’t enjoy it, just leave them with Jack the Ripper and co. They aren’t the one.

BOATING AT HYDE PARK

A couple float on a boat on their first date at Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park.

Perfect for: Romance on a budget in the sun
Location: Hyde Park
Nearest Tube: Hyde Park

You don’t need to spend big to go on a date. Hyde Park is one of London’s most beautiful spots and is a fantastic location for a romantic date on a warm summer’s day. You can get a small rowing boat or a pedalo on the Serpentine Lake and perhaps even sneak on a bottle of bubbly. You’ll have plenty of time to chat and get to know each other. Yet, if you aren’t confident you’ll get on from the get-go, remember... you'll be in the middle of a lake so there's no quick escape route (unless you want to swim your way out of trouble).

Been on any other fun first dates in London? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Ben Leach Ben's longest trip involved 15 months of backpacking around Australia and Southeast Asia, and now he shares his experiences with Travioor from London. Luckily, after spending so long staring at cheesy sunsets, drinking too much Goon and eating his weight in Pad Thai, he can still manage to put a few words together.