40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix

40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix
Connie Ma via Flickr

Courting Disaster is Jackalope Ranch's weekly column of dating horror stories, observations, how-tos, and more by Katie Johnson. Names of ex-boyfriends, past hookups, and bad blind dates have been changed to protect the guilty.

Dating doesn't have to be confined to expensive menus and awkward conversation. After all, first dates aren't necessarily about being formal. They're about making (and getting) a good first impression. From the indoors to the outdoors, uptown to downtown, here are 40 ways to make your move.

See also: Should I Try Online Dating? A Guide for the Curious

1. Catch an indie flick at Filmbar.

2. Go for some vintage bowling at Let it Roll Bowl.

3. Explore galleries, shops, and street performers along Roosevelt Row and Grand Avenue on First Friday.

4. Take a swing at swing dancing lessons. Every Tuesday night from 7 to 8 p.m., The Duce offers swing dancing lessons for $8 at the door.

5. Spend an evening at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Admission's free Thursday nights.


40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix
Andrew Pielage

6. Go for a hike up Camelback Mountain or Piestewa Peak.

7. Catch a stand-up show at any one of the comedy clubs in the Valley: Stand Up Live, Tempe Improv, Scottsdale Comedy Spot, or House of Comedy at High Street.

8. Hit up the arcade at Gypsy Bar or The King.

9. Explore the thrift and vintage shops along the Melrose Curve.

10. Spend a morning showing how flexible you can get with the free Community Yoga Project at Civic Space Park, happening every Saturday from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

11. Visit the Desert Botanical Garden at the time that best suits your schedule and mood: perhaps a romantic stroll at sunset or an intimate flashlight tour after dark.

12. Try to get lucky, so to speak, at Talking Stick Resort. It may not be the same as a getaway to Las Vegas, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper.

13. Spend an evening at Phoenix Art Museum. It's free on Wednesday nights.

14. Before you start climbing all over each other, spend an afternoon scaling the indoor rock walls of AZ on the Rocks.

15. Enjoy some top-notch lip syncing and comedy at a Phoenix drag show.


40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix
Katie Johnson

16. Show off your pool playing skills at your favorite dive bar.

17. Head to The Clarendon Hotel for Flamenco Por La Vida, happening every Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. Afterward, enjoy the skyline view of central Phoenix from the hotel's Sky Deck.

18. Dine, shop, and stroll through the galleries at Old Town Scottsdale's Thursday art walk.

19. Go check out the skyline view at the entrance of South Mountain in your car.

20. Make the evening more colorful at Westworld Paintball Adventures.

21. Test your knowledge of all things pop culture by teaming up battling it out at a pub trivia night.

22. Lay on your car at Sky Harbor Circle and watch the planes land right over you.

23. Get tickets to whatever sport is in season and get to know each other, including what teams you each root for. You can also save yourself the cost of stadium seating by watching the game at one of our favorite sports bars.

24. Take a bike tour of the city. You can even map it out ahead of time with this free cycling app.

25. Break away from the mainstream sports action by checking out a roller derby bout featuring teams like the Bad News Beaters and the Tent City Terrors. Schedules and tickets can be found at


40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix
Josh Chesler

26. Show off your ice skating skills -- or just find an excuse to hold hands -- at the Ice Den.

27. Ditch the silver screen for some real stage acting by catching a production at any one of the numerous Valley theaters, including Herberger, Gammage, or Theater Works.

28. Ride the light rail and make your own adventure, whether it's bar-hopping, people-watching, or exploring a part of town you haven't seen before.

29. Rent paddle boats and have a picnic at Encanto Park.

30. Make each other swoon or laugh with an evening of karaoke at Monkey Pants Bar or George & Dragon Pub.

31. Spend the day at the Phoenix Zoo.

32. Take a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West.

33. Tee off your first date at TopGolf. Think miniature golf for grownups.

34. Throw on your cowboy boots and learn to line dance with free Thursday night lessons at Cash Inn Country.

35. Spend the day getting to be more than just pals at the Japanese Friendship Garden.


40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix
Katie Johnson

36. Spend time getting to know each other lounging by one of Valley's best pools.

37. Share some laughs with improv performances at The Torch Theatre.

38. Embrace your geeky side at the Arizona Science Center.

39. Let out your wild side with live bull riding at Buffalo Chip Saloon.

40. Break out your inner rock star at the Musical Instrument Museum.

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Use Current Location

Related Locations


815 N. 2nd St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004


Let It Roll Bowl

8925 N. 12th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85020


Roosevelt Row

Roosevelt St. from 7th St. to 7th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

The Duce

525 S. Central
Phoenix, AZ 85004


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

7374 E. Second St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251


Camelback Mountain/Echo Canyon Recreation Area
Piestewa Peak Park

2701 E. Squaw Peak Dr.
Phoenix, AZ 85016


Stand Up Live

50 W. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003


Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

930 E. University Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85281


Gypsy Bar

50 W. Jefferson St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003


Seventh Avenue Melrose District

Seventh Ave. between Indian School and Camelback
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Downtown Civic Space Park

424 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004

Desert Botanical Garden

1201 N. Galvin Parkway
Phoenix, AZ 85008


Talking Stick Resort

9800 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85256


Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85004


AZ on the Rocks

16447 N. 91st St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260


The Clarendon Hotel - Phoenix's Urban Retreat

401 W. Clarendon Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85013


South Mountain Park and Preserve
Westworld Paintball Adventures

4240 W. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85019


Ice Den

9375 E. Bell
Scottsdale, AZ 85260


Herberger Theater Center

222 E. Monroe St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004


Gammage Auditorium

1200 S. Forest Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85287


Theater Works

8355 W. Peoria Ave.
Peoria, AZ 85345


Encanto Park

2605 N. 15th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85007


Monkey Pants Bar & Grill

3223 S. Mill Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85282


George & Dragon Pub

4240 N. Central Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85012


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