By Kasey Hamilton


It’s that awkward, official first date — a chunk of time spent as a couple determining if there’s enough chemistry between two people to warrant another rendezvous. The most common event couples often choose to spend this memorable time is over a meal, but sometimes that just turns into an obvious “interview.” For a more innovative activity, try the following options … and even if your date turns out to be a bore, you’ll at least have a great time!


Paramount Drive In Movie Theater

A drive in theater provides a fun, unique first date that will not break the bank. Daters go back in time for a fun trip while enjoying the privacy of being in their car. Traditional indoor movies can be tough for a first date because they do not give daters the chance to get to know each other. Drive-in movies, on the other hand, provide entertainment and a private space for you to be able to talk to your date without being shushed by other moviegoers.


Eclipse Chocolate Build-A-Bar

Chocolate and dates seem to go hand in hand, so why not give your date the ultimate chocolate experience by allowing them to create their own customized chocolate bar. This gives the chance for daters to learn more about each other’s culinary likes and dislikes as well as helping fuel conversation. You can each select from more than 30 handcrafted ingredients to put into the handmade chocolate bar. In order to build a bar you must buy a $25 ticket. The ticket includes your two large chocolate bars and a glass of wine. What could be more romantic than making chocolate and drinking wine with your new love interest?


Blipsy Barcade

Blipsy Barcade brings new excitement to simply meeting a date for a drink. You can get drinks from the reasonably priced bar and then go enjoy the vast array of retro video games. The games are only a quarter per play and can spark some friendly competition between you and your date. From the outside, Blipsy Barcade looks rather nondescript but inside it’s a retro party every night. With drinks flowing and a DJ there to play your favorite hits, Blipsy Barcade is sure to bring new life to the classic “grabbing a drink” first date.


The Santa Monica Pier

You and your date will have the chance to be kids again at the Santa Monica Pier. From taking a romantic spin on the Ferris wheel to playing games together, this pier has is all. There are also plenty of other fun rides the two of you can try, as well as carnival games all around the pier. You can step up and try to win a prize for your date. There are restaurants on the pier as well as stands with classic carnival food, including cotton candy and funnel cake. Going on the Ferris wheel at sunset would be the perfect place to sneak in a first kiss while taking in the stunning ocean view. The Santa Monica Pier is the place to come for you and your date to feel young again.


The Painted Cabernet

The Painted Cabernet offers a fun and light atmosphere where daters can enjoy a few glasses of wine while creating their own masterpieces. You can impress your date with your artistic ability or lack there of, and have a great time doing it. It is the perfect ice-breaker for new couples to talk and get to know each other. Most of the wine offered at the Painted Cabernet is from well renowned Santa Barbara wineries. Guests have an option of taking a class together where they can improve their art skills, or just come in for open studio and have fun painting whatever their heart desires.