A third date is considered the “make or break” point by dating experts (yes, they exist). It is more relaxed than a first date but more intense in its importance.
For many people, the third date decides whether this thing is a casual fling or a serious affair that they can see blossoming into a relationship.
Usually, a third date is seen as a platform for more in-depth exploration on both sides.
Conversations that go beyond likes and dislikes, maybe looking at each other’s future place and, most importantly, testing out your chemistry.
Here are 18 amazing ideas that can give you the best chance at making your third date a success from the get-go.
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1. Plan a picnic
Who doesn’t love a good old picnic? A rustic basket full of delicious food and a scenic view are great elements to a perfect third date.
The goal for this picnic, however, is to become the only view that matters for the other person.
A romantic picnic allows you to share a meal outdoors while also having privacy. It’s a win in our book!
Going on a fun little picnic allows you to really be focused on each other. Third dates are all about communication and having more in-depth conversations to figure the other person out.
A picnic date by the lakeside or on a scenic hill can provide the perfect backdrop for some intimate moments in your blossoming romance.
If it goes south, you’ll still have pretty pictures, right?
2. Go hiking
Following the idea of a picnic, going all-in with a hiking plan is a choice move. A hiking trip can be just the right amount of adventure for a third date.
With the adrenaline increased and the challenge of a climb, you can really get to know a person without any barriers in between.
Keep the conversation going while you conquer a mountain, sharing the rush of the moment.
Hiking also comes with the element of surprise and the anticipation of seeing a person in action. Neither of you needs to be professional climbers to have fun hiking.
Struggling together and keeping it fun makes the idea even sweeter.
3. Play video games
Maybe it’s a rainy day, or you’re both just not sold on the idea of going out.
Two dates down, you must have an idea of where your potential partner stands when it comes to gaming, and if they’re down, it can be a definite win!
By playing together or even taking turns, you can learn a lot about a person by observing their game mode.
Make it competitive or go in together on a story adventure; the choices are endless.
While we can’t make blanket assumptions, it sure is a good way to judge someone, especially if you are looking for something serious.
4. Try out an escape room
The excitement of a date mixed in with experiencing something fun and challenging can be the perfect cocktail for a successful time.
Escape rooms are a great way to see how the both of you gel together while providing intrigue and entertainment.
Are you good at communication, cheering each other on, and navigating through an obstacle together?
Actions speak louder than words, and when you live through something as a unit, it can give you a solid idea of what the future can hold for the two of you.
5. Do a scavenger hunt together
Just like the idea of escape rooms, if your date is down to take it up a notch, a scavenger hunt can be a great exercise.
You can test your communication abilities and share the excitement of solving mysteries together.
Many areas have special scavenger hunt programs that cater to couples, and while you two are just getting to know each other, this is a great test of your chemistry.
Hopefully, if the date goes well, not only will you have a great time, but you’ll have a stronger connection.
6. Take a painting class
Learning a new skill together is a fantastic idea for a third date.
You’ve gotten to know each other well over the two previous dates, and now it’s time to expand your horizons.
A painting class date can use some of that nervous energy and the drive to hone your skills to impress each other.
It’s not about being Picasso but more about sharing the moment. This can be a fun exercise where you can enjoy possibly discovering a new talent or just poking fun at each other for all the right reasons.
Art can be the best glue or a great divider. You might even face criticism together that may just test your couple’s potential in a not so high-stake way.
7. Visit a museum
A museum is the best place for simply presenting you with conversation starters. You can get lost in history or maybe wrack your brains together to try and understand cryptic contemporary art.
Again, a subtle and chilled out place, a museum lets you have some of the most intriguing conversations.
You can learn about each other more in-depth because the venue encourages that rich energy, making it perfect for a third date.
Don’t be obnoxious about it, but museums are also a great place for making fun of things together. Like kids in an adult place, you can create a world of your own.
8. Go to a karaoke bar
The first two dates can be nice but are often a little uptight because of nerves.
Of course, you want to impress each other, put your best foot forward, and charm the person with every good trick in your arsenal.
It might be the best time to bring out the big guns and go all-in with your singing if that has worked so far.
And don’t worry, karaoke is never about being the best singer but about confidence and dedication.
Pull that off, and you’re going to have the time of your life while also moving into more comfortable territories with that person who is quickly becoming the twinkle in your eye.
Just refrain from belting out the love of my life stuff – it’s only the third date, after all.
9. Cook together
So, your first two dates have gone great, and you can’t wait for the third one.
At the same time, you can’t help but think it might be going too fast or whether you’re mistaking the energy for something much more.
You can dial it back and plan a low-key dinner date that involves the two of you cooking together. Make no mistakes; there’s nothing mellow about it.
Sharing the intimate space of a kitchen can spice things up in the best way possible.
You can learn a lot by watching someone cook, especially if it’s the two of you trying to coordinate the perfect meal.
It can also give you a glimpse into the possible future if all goes well.
10. Enjoy a comedy show
A big part of liking someone depends on whether your humor matches theirs.
A comedy show can be the perfect third date for you to not only have some laughs but get in touch with each other’s funny side.
Comedy shows have a great upbeat and inviting atmosphere that is perfect for helping people relax and have fun.
Away from the seriousness and worries, the two of you can share laughter while picking up on what makes the other person tickle.
11. A drive-in movie night
One critique of movie dates is the lack of communication that the situation imposes on you. While it can be adorable and intimate, some people just want to talk!
That is where a drive-in movie is a Godsend.
You can choose a classic that you’ve already seen or settle on something you both were looking forward to.
Being in the comfort of your own little space, without anyone telling you to shush, you can talk your heart out about the movie and yourselves.
A movie also lets you have silent moments to yourself to think and process the date you’re on.
There is no urgency to fill in the silence; thanks to the movie, you can relax and just be in the moment.
12. Go to an arcade
There might be more than a thousand cheesy love songs featuring a young couple in an arcade, but that shouldn’t stop you from sharing some joyous moments with the person who has made it to the third date!
Arcades are a fantastic mix of magic and fun.
You can feel the romance encapsulating you in that Ferris wheel or race each other on that water gun to see who wins the giant teddy bear first.
An ideal third-date venue is a public place that gives you enough space to create your own bubble.
Surrounded by lights and laughter, you can just be yourself while getting to know the other.
13. Visit a botanical garden
Romance and flowers are inseparable concepts.
Nothing is sweeter than taking a stroll in a flower field or sitting by some giant sunflowers, just taking in nature, and soaking in each other’s company.
While still being perfectly romantic, a botanical garden also allows you to create your little fantasy world.
You can play the “my-ideal-future” game just to gauge each other’s ambitions and dreams.
Sometimes people get too shy or intimidated talking about the future or what their plans are just on the third date.
However, it’s an important topic that will only solidify your bond and give you just enough information to know if this thing is casual or serious.
14. Survive a scary house
Trust us, from sweet flowers to horror; this idea is backed up by science.
Surviving some horror together, holding on to each other, and making it through brings two people together on a chemical level.
Taking on the thrill of a scary house, moving through the dark, and understanding what makes the other person scream are all good things when it comes to dating.
You’ve had a fancy dinner or maybe a movie, now it’s time to face your fears together.
Scary houses also provide for some of the best memories.
The shrieks, followed by laughter or maybe some whispered words of comfort, are sure to bring you closer while exposing each other’s more vulnerable sides.
15. Go bowling
Bowling is a classic place for a third date.
Strike up a conversation around casual hobbies or your day-to-day to know if your lifestyles are compatible enough for this to become a long-term thing.
Loosen up and share stories to make each other laugh.
Anything goes as long as you’re having a good time and the conversation flows. Don’t forget to bring your A-game for some fun and healthy competition.
16. Play board games
Get in touch with your fun, or maybe even ruthless, side and make plans for an exciting board game night for your third date.
A perfect battleground for poking harmless fun with a side of easy conversation, board games will rarely let you down.
Light some candles and make it cozy and inviting to have the best relaxed time.
Sure, board games are notorious for getting heated, but that energy might be just what you need to bring your date to a successful close.
17. Go scuba diving
This one is definitely for adventure lovers and people that like to go beyond the mainstream.
Just bringing up the idea of a scuba diving date can open a conversation with the person you’re hoping to know better.
You might think that this is odd – isn’t a third date supposed to be all about communication?
While you won’t be able to say much while scuba diving, the mesmerizing experience can prove to be an absolute winner when it comes to connecting.
And if you aren’t certified, you can opt for snorkeling instead.
18. Take a moonlit walk
The very word “date” can confine us to thinking about stereotypical scenarios that include some fancy place where you sit down and have dinner.
Think awkward blind dates and mismatched pairs that give the crowds second-hand anxiety.
While a fancy dinner date is certainly not harmful, for two people who are interested in each other any place can become romantic.
There’s nothing more magical than taking a quiet walk with the person who gives you those butterflies.
The idea of falling in love comes with excitement and nervousness. Am I choosing the right person?
A cool, calm night with its muted background and romantic atmosphere can set the stage for you and the lucky man to forget the world for a moment and zero in on this new connection.