Dates for OUTDOORS



Coffee, Lotto, a Walk & a Convo

WHAT

Coffee, Lotto ticket, and a place to walk

Coffee can always be subbed for something else, but it's not the greatest idea to try and get tipsy and then go walk a bunch (granted, this is good practice for getting pulled over I guess?)

WHEN

Anytime's good for Coffee!.. and walks... except night.. or heavy rain..

You should probably pick this one strategically, unless you work like graveyard shift or are some kind of insomniac.
Regardless, you can probably figure out a good When based on your caffeine tolerance.

WHERE

Coffee shops are everywhere, throw a damn dart

Pick whichever place you think is good, but the idea is that it should be near a good place to take a walk.
The aim is to not have to hop in the car and drive to a place to then go walk.

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Trail Mix & an Urban Hike

WHAT

"Hikes need trail mix..."

Everybody loves a hike. Well, some people like them. However, there's not always a great place to GO for a hike; maybe you live in the city?
Not to fear! You can even kick it up a notch by adding in a DIY-trailmix portion to the date!

Hit the best bulk-food section of your local grocery store and create a trailmix concoction you and your date can munch on while you wander.

WHEN

Day, Night, Sun, Rain, Snow... eh, mostly just Sun..

Any time is fine, as long as you are ok with the elements. Sunny afternoons work great, but sometimes a stroll around sunset or an early morning excursion will better fit the bill. An umbrella and boots may be necessary if you live in the Pacific Northwest (but if you're really from here, you don't use an umbrella). Consider you'll be outside, it could be slippy (this is apparently a Pittsburgh) so make sure your footwear is appropriate. If it's after sunset, consider bringing a flash light (and then you can tell ghost stories or something later when you find a park bench).

WHERE

A city stroll or high-rise hopping

Pick a walk around your city--
Include stair-cases, hills, even buildings with elevators! You can use something like MapMyRun to create a route and utilize your phone's GPS to keep on track.
Something fun

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Tinder, Tequila, & Too Much Fun

WHAT

Fun and making-Fun of stuff!

Post up at a bar or some other agreed upon spot, pop open your Tinder app, and start co-swiping with your date.

WHEN

The earlier, the better...

Honestly, the earlier you choose to do this will probably be proportional to the success/fun level.
Later times are usually busy. Busy means loud. Loud sucks for trying to crack jokes and make fun of weirdos on dating apps. If possible, pick a time either early in the evening if it's a weekend, or choose an off-night like a Tuesday or Wednesday.

WHERE

Anywhere's fine, as long as they've got WiFi

Truthfully, you could probably just use your mobile data if the wifi sucks...
But aside from that, any bar/pub/brewery will do! Just replace 'Tequila' with drink-of-your-choice.
Extra points if you keep the alliteration.

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Garage Sale Grifting Gold

WHAT

Get the best deal for an item

The idea is pretty simple. You are trying to get the best deal for an item of your choosing. Whether it's a graphic tee or an old action figure, whoever can haggle for the biggest discount is the winner.
Take it a step further and whoever can find the best value, meaning what do you think the owner paid vs. what price did you pay at the garage sale for it?
Final game variation, whoever can get the MOST items for their money is the winner.

WHEN

Garage Sale Season is upon us..

Usually, garage sales are linked to "nice weather". No one wants to be walking around in the rain from house to house in your ritsy neighborhood, trying to find bargains.
Most often, you can find listings for garage sales in the newspaper, Craigslist, or on Facebook. I remember when I was a child, we would have a neighborhood garage sale. All the houses around the neighborhood would collectively put up signs around the area and, on the agreed upon weekend, would open their garage doors to any roving weirdos who wanted to see their old stuff.
tl;dr check the newspaper, craigslist, or facebook.

WHERE

To The... GARAGE!

Often times, homeowners will group together and host a neightborhood garage sale. You can pretty much bank on parking your car somewhere in the neighborhood and then walking from garage to garage as you play your games.

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Walking Rescue Dogs to the Rescue!

WHAT

Walking + Dogs = Good Times

Some of the Conversation Games you can play include things like:

  • Which dog at this dog park is good enough for [your dog]?
    Which of these muts would you let get fresh with your wo/man's best friend?
  • If your dog were a person, what kind of perosn would they be?
    Are they an asshole cheery morning person who's blood seems to be made of coffee? Basically the guy at the office who's always way too happy and excited about stuff? Maybe they're a crotchety old man who sits on his porch and yells at the kids to get off his lawn? What human traits do you think this dog embodies most? (from the single walk you've apparently taken them on haha)
  • Is this dog a player or virgin?
    Horn dog Harry or Virtuous Vivian? Want to test if your analysis is correct? Take them off leash and see what happens! (totally kidding--DO NOT do that)
  • This dogs previous life/job?
    What did this dog do before it found itself here? Was it working in fixed underground dog racing contests and Fido didn't throw the race like he was supposed to? Did this dog escape from a puppy mill and is looking for a new home?
Whatever you can come up with, just make it fun and entertaining!

WHEN

There's a time and a place... on their website

You can usually find programs through your local humane society or non-profit animal rescues where they'll allow you to sign up and walk the dogs or play with the animals. These are usually free and run on a schedule (can't just show up for some doggo-time on a whim).

WHERE

Ask around..

The Humane Society is the best place to start. Another simple option is to ask a few local vets if they know of any dog walking programs. If anyone is clued into the pup-scene, you'd assume it'd be the local vet/animal hospital. Just walk right in, politely introduce yourself to the receptionist, and ask if there are any local dog walking programs for the humane society or rescues. Anyone who works with animals obviously loves animals and will be happy to help.

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Backpack, Boardgame, & a Bottle/Beer

WHAT

Backpack, a Board (or card) game, and something inebriating

Other than those things listed above, a simple place to eat/play is really all that you'll need...
..and a blanket or something to sit on to make it pic-nic'y

WHEN

Pretty much whenever? (weather permitting I guess)

I almost made this mistake once and had to rush to make it with my date before they closed. So, lesson learned is check the store hours during the planning phase of this outing. 9pm was when the Dollar Stores closed for me, but Dollar Tree or Dollar Emporium or Dollar-Whatever you have in your area probably has different hours.

WHERE

Is it flat? Good enough...

Ideally, a picnic is outside, but it doesn't really matter. You could even post up in your living room on the floor if it's raining or you're just lazy as hell and trying to score.

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Talk About Tongue Twisters

WHAT

Nothing like a Tongue Twister to get your mouth moving

Tongue Twisters are always a fun little challenge that bring back childhood memories. For that reason, they're a good choice as an ice-breaker/conversation piece.
Everyone knows at least one or two tongue twisters, but here are a few the two of you can play with:

  • Peter Piper
    Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers;
    A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
    If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

  • How Much Wood..
    How much wood would a woodchuck chuck,
    If a woodchuck could chuck wood?

  • Betty Botter
    Betty Botter bought some butter;
    "But," said she, "this butter's bitter!
    If I put it in my batter
    It will make my batter bitter.
    But a bit o' better butter
    Will but make my batter better."
    Then she bought a bit o’ butter
    Better than the bitter butter,
    Made her bitter batter better.
    So 'twas better Betty Botter
    Bought a bit o’ better butter.

  • Two Tooters
    A tutor who tooted the flute
    Tried to teach two young tooters to toot.
    Said the two to the tutor,
    "Is it harder to toot, or
    To tutor two tooters to toot?"

  • She Sells Sea Shells
    She sells seashells on the sea shore.
    The shells she sells are seashells, I'm sure.
    And if she sells seashells on the sea shore,
    Then I'm sure she sells seashore shells.

  • Pad Kid
    Pad kid poured curd pulled cod

  • Rubber Baby Buggy
    Rubber baby buggy bumpers

  • Glum Groom
    The glum groom grew glummer

WHEN

Whenever Is Fine

Since this is just a little conversation game, you can play whenever you want. It doesn't matter the time (as long as it's not "quiet hours" or something weird). Lull in the conversation? Ask about Tongue Twisters!

WHERE

The world is your clam.. cause its easier to spell

There 'where' isn't very particular. As long as you two can hear each other speak, I'd say you're fine. This is good as a "filler" or "thing to do while..". Try these on a walk or drive to your next destination. Times where you want to fill the gaps are the places you can toss in the tongue twisters.

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Gone Fishin'

WHAT

Fishing, chilling, and chatting

Did you know fishing is a sport? That's right. Even with the motor of the boat and all those fancy gadgets doing most of the heavy lifting... fishing is played on ESPN and there are tournaments for 6-figure prizes!

Fishing is also a good place to just chill and chat. You can do it from a boat or the shore, with minimal preparation and very inexpensive equipment. Find a body of water, find a date, find some fish!

WHEN

Morning or Afternoon probably... when are the fish feeding?

Whether you want to consult Google or the Farmers' Almanac... or just take a stab in the dark, you should probably find out some simple specifics like "when do fish like to feed?what's the best bait to use and where to get it?" and "is there a time when we're NOT allowed to fish?"

That's a good place to start on when to go.

WHERE

River, Lake, Pond, etc.

If you've been in your city for more than a few months, you should be aware of at least 1 place where there's water. Assuming you've been driving around with your eyes closed and ears shut... you can consult Google to figure out what a good spot to try is. There will be at least a few blogs related to fishing in your area and they'll have some suggestions. You may have to do a little bit of digging to find some good info, but it'll be worth it. A little bit of work now will lead to a fishing spot you can use all the time.

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Make-Shift Ice Cream Shop

WHAT

An Old-Fashioned Date With A Frugal Flair

Because lines at ice cream specialty shops tend to be long, sometimes you just want to get your treat and get on with the date. Patience is a virtue, but standing in line with someone you might have just met for the first time can be a bit of pressure. So, make it easier on both of you and skip the line entirely. Find a nearby grocery store (or even a 7-11 in a pinch) and head over toward the freezer section. There you'll find a variety of (probably overpriced) ice cream to choose from. If you're trying to keep it cheap, you can grab a single half gallon (oddly enough, generally cheaper than the specialty pints) of one flavor... or neopalitan if you're trying to be extra special. BUT WAIT! you're not done yet. Don't make the mistake of walking out of the store without AT LEAST some plastic flat ware or spoons for eating said ice cream. You could even go a step further and grab some Chinet bowls

WHEN

Ye Olde Ice Creame Shoppe... has short hours!

One of the bvest things about grabbing your ice cream from the grocery store is that most of them are either A.) open late, or B.) potentially open 24 hours.
For this reason, you can pretty much do this date whenever you can make it to the grocery store (or again, a 7-11 in a pinch... they have a small assortment of ice cream and it will due if you are just trying to fulfull your legal obligation to the date you outlined for your potential-partner.)
Play it safe and just check the hours of operation, but like I said, you're probably going to be fine at virutally any time.

WHERE

Does this town even have an ice cream shop?

What about a 'Shoppe'?
Even in a one-horse-town, there's probably a grocery store that has ice cream for sale. If listening to John Mellencamp has taught me anything, small towns ALL have a "Tasty Freeze" where Jack & Dianne will be sucking on chilli dogs.
Ultimately, you can probably leave it up to Google to figure out4 where the nearest grocery sotre or establishment that serves/sells ice cream is.

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Bar Hopping Scavenger Hunt

WHAT

Photo-Scavenger Hunt where the first to send the pic gets a point

The rukes are pretty straightforward and simple:
Find each item on the list, take a picture of it, and text it to your potential-partner before they text you.

This game requires you to have exchanged phone numbers (scoooooore!).

    Items To Find & PicMsg:
  • #7 Billiard ball
  • Half-empty beer glass
  • Parking meter
  • Toothpick or Mint
  • Graffiti on a bathroom wall/stall
  • Napkin with a name or number
  • Picture with a Bartender
  • Event flyer / promo poster
  • Dog
  • Numbered Street Sign
  • Tree
  • Batahroom mirror selfie
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • The word "Pub"
  • The word "Tavern"

Each item is worth one point. Have the least trustworthy person keep score.

WHEN

You don't have to go home... but you can't photograph here

As long as you start prior to last call (and you're a total night owl I guess), you can make this work just about anywhere. Obviously the easiest time to do this would be some sort of business hours that facilitate photo taking.
Example: If you're a shy person to begin with, you might not feel totally comfortable snapping random pictures. You might be the type of person who is constantly thinking, "...are people lookoing at me? Do they think what I'm doing is weird? Oh shit.. do they think I'm like a spy or something?"
So, if you're one of those people who (like me) is constantly "in their head" about stuff, you may want to choose hours/days that are traditionally not as packed. However, if you're a fan of people-watching, you may want to hit the peak hours where you have prime viewing.

WHERE

The Bar, Bitch!

The name sort of implies the location of the outing... so, if you didn't pick that up by now, well.. this one probably isn't for you (and this whole series of cheap dates probably isn't for you either come to think of it... no refunds, though.)

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Stripper Name Or Regular Noun

WHAT

Is it a Noun or a Stripper?

The game isn't very hard (pun intended). The idea is simple--come up with a name that could either represent an everyday noun or a stage name for a stripper.
Once you have come up with a name, then decide on what song this exotic dancer likes to perform to as well as the signature move that they do to earn all the $$$ from their sleazey patrons.

WHEN

A Game That Requires Little Warming Up

Whenever the mood strikes, you can pull this little conversation game out of your back pocket and have a laugh. Since we aren't reliant on business hours to facilitate the timing of this date, you can pretty much just drop this into conversation whenever and let the good times roll!

WHERE

Anywhere. Any time. Any (well, almost) Noun...

Since this is a game based on imagination and conversation, it's something you can do virtually anywhere--even online, over a Zoom call if necessary. Granted, a great place for name inspiration would be a strip club... however, that kind of negates the idea of these dates being cheap.
Generally, strip clubs don't appreciate folks who are just here to browse.

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Schizophrenic or Bluetooth Headset?

WHAT

Are they talking to themselves or someone on the phone?

This shouldn't be that tough... right?
If you see a bluetooth headset, you can pretty much make that call. However, it's not always that easy and they may just be a crazy person WEARING a bluetooth headset. For that reason, you and your date should try to determine A.) Who they're talking to -- it could be a business call or a direct line to Jesus. B.) Why they're talking to them -- closing that Ferchetti deal or channeling a long dead relative? That's up to the two of you.

WHEN

Arm-Chair Psychologist with FREE Diagnosises!

People watching games are good for virtually any time, any place. They're a great option to kill time or help break the ice.
Waiting for a table at a restaurant? Play some people watching games! Stuck in line for a show? Play some people watching games! There is really no "bad time" to play some people watching games. The stakes are low and you can quit/start/pick back up any time.

WHERE

Here, There, Everywhere...

Since crazy can strike at anywhere and at any moment, this is one of those people watching games that you can play... anywhere! Granted, it's better to play this game out in public (where you'll actually see people) than alone in your house or apartment. But, that's your choice. You make the game as "easy" or as "hard" as you want. For me, I generally have a few of the people watching games in my head for different types of places. When all else fails, just go for a walk downtown (on a sunny day) and you'll see a whole heck of a lot of people that you can creepily stare at and assign some made up motives and character traits to!

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Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Them A Match!

WHAT

A Match Made In He....LL.

You're creating the backstory. Make it an entertaining one. Did one of them just get back from living overseas, helping children in an under-priveledged country? Is one of the people a professional gold-digger and is waiting for the other to write them into the will??
There are no wrong answers--just have fun!

WHEN

You never know when you'll meet 'the one'

They say you find love when you stop looking for it... but I think it's better to take your chances and just keep looking.
So like looking for love, you can (and should?) probably play this game all the time. Failing that, it's good to play any/some of the time. That's one of the great things about people watching games; you can pretty much start, stop, and pick them back up whenever you feel like.

WHERE

Somewhere public... probably?

People watching games require people... to watch. There's generally not a whole lot of strangers available to creep on in the privacy of your home, so it's best to get out if you plan to play this one. A park, a bar, a festival, or even just a walk downtown. Any place where there's going to be a lot of interesting people to obvserve is a good choice.

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Rooftop With A (rear) View (mirror)

WHAT

Makeshift Rooftop Bar In A Local Parking Garage

Instead of trying to get a spot at a swanky rooftop bar and wind up spending a fortune just to get a little tipsy, steak out a high rise parking structure with a decent view of your city. Pack a couple drinks and a delicious snack, park your car at the top, and enjoy!

WHEN

Sunset Or Just A Sunday

Short of the parking structure closing and you being unable to enter/leave, twighlight or sunset tends to be the best time for this in my opinion. Granted, if the parking garage you frequent doesn't have a western-facing side (and you are a loyalist to saaid structure), then you'll just have to maybe settle for a view of the lights.

WHERE

....At A Parking Garage... duh.

Every downtown tends to have a public parking structure. Some are free, some cost a few dollars an hour, but either way the cost is incredibly low and should be affordable by any cheap-dater.
I suggest getting on Google Street View and scoping out the surroundings of the structure. This way, you can figure out if a Sunset beverage & bite to eat is possible, or if you'll have a downtown-view drink and scope some city lights.

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