When it comes to first dates, meeting someone for happy hour or dinner always seems to be the automatic go-to. But what if you want something different, and dare we say even a bit more exciting even if it is a little quirky? We suggest giving bowling a try. You may associate 10-pound marbleized balls and two-toned lace-ups with your teen years, but bowling on a date will totally change your mind about the super fun sport—whether you're a pro or can barely lift the ball. Let us count the ways that bowling is a good first date idea. Some may even consider it the best first date idea.
There's Built-In Conversation
First dates can be stressful. Just think of the stream of nervous thoughts running through your head, including, "Will I like this person?" and "What will we even talk about?" But when you're both participating in a fun dynamic like bowling, the activity itself is the topic of conversation. And that can be a great catalyst to get to know your date in a different way than you would over drinks.
When you're on a bowling date, the first few minutes of conversation probably won't include, "So what do you do?" As with any social engagement, there will be lulls in the conversation and during those slower moments is when you'd engage in your more typical conversation-starters, like discussing where you're from and your favorite books, movies, and bands.
Light Competition Can Be Fun
Another shameless plug for bowling is that a little bit of competition can help get the flirtatious vibes going, and you may learn that there is a hint of chemistry between you two. Not only can some light competition let the sparks fly, but it also might encourage the discussion of your next date together, if all goes well. For example, you could make a bet that whoever wins the first round of bowling has to buy a round of drinks on the second date.
Bowling Alleys Are Low-Pressure
Choosing the perfect outfit for a first date can add a lot of pressure to an already nerve-wracking experience, but bowling can minimize that initial stress because you can't really dress up at a bowling alley, right? Throw on your favorite t-shirt and your comfiest jeans, and you're out the door. An additional perk of choosing bowling as your go-to first date is that it helps you get to know your date in a laid back atmosphere—not to mention the equalizing attire that is bowling shoes.
Neither of You Is a Pro
Bowling is one of those activities at which you don't have to be a pro to enjoy it. The date can still be fun even if one (or both) of you throws only gutter balls. You can both have a laugh at the end of the date because you're in a chill space, low-stakes environment. Plus, being someone who can roll with the punches and have a good time when you're on the losing end is an attractive quality.
If you're having a good time, turn your bowling date into a dinner date. Most bowling alleys today will serve top-notch bar food and craft cocktails right to your lane.
Venues Are Way Cooler Than You Remember
The whole bowling experience has gotten a huge makeover since most of us have picked up a ball. Some have even expanded into full-fledged entertainment venues, combining full-service restaurant vibes with retro arcade games.
You might be familiar with hip national bowling chains like Lucky Strike, Splitsville, Punch Bowl Social, and Bowlero. These venues sport disco-like lighting, a Top 40s playlist, and huge TV screens streaming the latest sports game (though that may or may not be a good thing).