By Jess Novak
Double dates are a great way to take the conversational pressure off new couples—and give people in established relationships a chance to make new friends. With four people present, there’s rarely a lull in the conversation, and you can enjoy activities that are simply more fun as a group rather than a pair. Check out these double date ideas for creative ways to make some memories and start bonding with your (potential!) future vacation partners.
Enjoy a game of pickleball
A combination of tennis, ping-pong, and badminton, pickleball is a fun game that’s surprisingly easy to learn. It’s a great activity for beginners, and ideal for four players divided into teams of two. Opt to be on the same side as your date to see how well you can work together, or let your competitive side take over and play opposite each other.
Take a cooking class
Learning a new recipe is a date night activity that’s also just a solid skill-building opportunity, which makes it a win all around. Cooking classes are often offered at local culinary schools, cookware stores, restaurants, and food halls. Spend the night learning to make anything from Chinese dim sum to handmade Italian pasta. This is a fun group activity that can also lead to future double dates: your crew can invite each other over for chill, low-cost evenings at home where one couple can try out their new culinary skills for the other (then reverse the hospitality).
Go on a tapas crawl
Tapas crawls are a classic Spanish date activity, and you can absolutely recreate a version in America, too. Start the evening off at one restaurant where your group can split an appetizer or two (along with your beverage of choice), then slowly meander down the street until you find another spot, and repeat the process until you’re all full. With four people, you’ll each get a chance to pick a restaurant that looks most interesting to you. Bonus points if you can work in a Spanish restaurant and order traditional tapas like patatas bravas and tortilla española.
Check out a stand-up comedy show
Going to a comedy show is one of those no-lose double date ideas: even if the comics aren’t especially funny, their sets are still a great source of conversation afterward (and can provide plenty of material for inside jokes). But don’t sit in the front row unless you want to get incorporated into the comic’s crowd work—which can be hilarious, but isn’t for the faint of heart.
Try your hand at a “drink and draw” night
These drawing sessions often feature live models, are usually BYOB, and have more of a relaxed party atmosphere than a buttoned-up art class vibe. The goal isn’t to create a masterpiece, just to have fun and get out of your comfort zone together. If you’re new to your relationship, this is a great date for dispelling jitters: not only is there another couple you can chat with, but there’s a whole activity in front of you that you can get temporarily absorbed in.
Spend an afternoon at a mini-golf course
This is one of those absolutely classic double date ideas, and for good reason: it’s easy, more fun with more people, and unlike regular golf, doesn’t require any actual skill. Plus, it’s the perfect daytime date, which is way less intimidating than an evening date if you’re a new couple. And if you all click and are having a great time, you can always go for ice cream afterward.
Go gallery hopping
In many cities, art galleries coordinate to host open-door receptions one evening a month, often the first Friday. Discover one near you, and your crew can enjoy an “art walk” from one gallery opening to another, where you can discuss the paintings and sculptures—and maybe even grab a free glass of wine or a snack. This is a great option for anyone who’s feeling kind of shy or nervous about dating: the other couple can carry the conversation a bit for you, and if things go well and you warm up, you and your date can always split off from the pack to get a little one-on-one time in, too.
Host a game night
A night in doesn’t have to be boring. Even if you’re not super into board games, there are plenty of social games that can help couples get to know each other better and don’t require learning a lot of rules—not to mention DIY games you can play for free at home, like charades or celebrity.
Take a ghost tour
There’s a lot you might not know about your own neighborhood—especially when it comes to its haunted past. Ghost tours are historical walking tours, but instead of political events and figures, they focus exclusively on the spookiest side of your area’s history, featuring the most famous murders and alleged hauntings. This easy group activity is a perfect double date idea around Halloween, but these tours are usually available throughout the warm weather months too.
Sing your hearts out at a karaoke night
You don’t have to be able to sing like a nightingale to enjoy a karaoke night. Although it’s a great way to surprise and impress your date if you do happen to have an amazing set of pipes, this is a fun group activity where you can cheer each other on and belt your favorites—yes, even if you have a squawk like a seagull.