You’ve both swiped right. You’ve just had an extensive conversation about your shared obscure interests. You’ve gotta meet this person, but dinner and drinks just won’t cut it.
There are plenty of great Tinder date ideas that go a step beyond shouting at each other in a crowded bar. You could go to a museum, or take a walk around the park. But for the truly special, you have to try a little harder.
Here are our top 9 nerdy date ideas for you and that Mr. or Ms. Right-swipe.
1) Museums/zoos/aquariums/planetarium adults-only events
Sure, museums are great. But sometimes they can be not so romantic with screaming children smearing snot all over the window of your favorite diorama at the Museum of Natural History. But a lot of museums have special events for the strictly 21+ set. Check your favorite museum’s website for ideas.
2) Participate in a BioBlitz
BioBlitzes are events where citizen scientists can meet up and look around for animals, plants, and fungi. You can upload them via the iNaturalist app to help researchers monitor changes in the ecosystem in response to things like climate change. This is a great date for people who loved to dig around in the dirt for bugs as kids… or as adults.
3) Escape room
The only thing that could beat playing the Crimson Room alone in your apartment is visiting a real escape room with another living, breathing human. This is a great date for people who like puzzles and games, and who aren’t afraid of getting locked in a room with a stranger. Plus, the growth in escape room popularity means there’s probably one near you.
4) Board game night
Game nights are lower-stakes than an escape room visit. Lots of gaming and hobby shops host board game nights, so just check your local gaming shop’s website.
5) Art walk
Many cities have weekly or monthly art walks where vendors will gather on a street with a bevy of local art. These little street fairs are as great for the art as they are for the people-watching, and art walks are a great way to introduce someone to a new city as well as yourself.
6) Trivia night
A good relationship takes teamwork, so why get straight to the point and see if you can at least survive a trivia night together. It’s a great way to get a couple drinks, but also keep the conversation moving. If you’re usually stumped for conversation topics, the questions will likely spark some ideas. Bonus points if you can come up with a killer team name.
7) Rocky Horror Picture Show
It’s probably best to save this for someone that you’re very confident will be into it. Those new to the Rocky Horror experience are in for some surprises. But, if your date can survive getting a V drawn on his or her forehead in red lipstick, they’re a keeper. Most major cities (and even some small towns) have regular screenings of this midnight movie classic.
Another great way to turn a walk in the park into a special adventure, geocaches are like treasure hunts with smartphones. Download a geocaching app and open it up with your new bae. You can select a geocache and the app will tell you how to find it—it’s usually a small capsule, like an old film canister (if you even remember those) filled with little trinkets. Be sure to come up with a good team name, because there will probably be a little piece of paper where you can write your name, proving you’ve been there.
9) Vintage/specialty bookstore
This one pretty much speaks for itself. It may be a little hipster-y, but hanging out in a bookstore is always a great time. You can have a contest to who can find the most bizarre, esoteric, obscure, or niche book possible.
Now get out there and have fun, you crazy kids.
Illustration by Max Fleishman