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40 First Date Ideas in Metro Phoenix

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Dating doesn't have to mean 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.

1. Catch an indie flick at FilmBar.

2. Go for some bowling at Lucky Strike.

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 free swing lessons during the South Central Swing Nite for $8 at the door.

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

6. Spend an evening at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Admission's free on Thursdays and on the second Saturday of every month.

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

8. Play up your competitive side at Phoenix's old-school arcades

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

10. Experience an oasis in the desert at the OdySea Aquarium.             

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 walking through 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.

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

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

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. Test your knowledge of all things pop culture by teaming up battling it out at one of Phoenix's top trivia nights

21. Head to The Clarendon and take in the view of central Phoenix from the hotel's Sky Deck.

22. Lay on your car at Sky Harbor Circle and watch the planes cruise 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. Or 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.

26. Show off your ice skating skills — or just find an excuse to hold hands — at the Ice Den or 10 other ice and roller skating rinks in town.

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

28. Ride the light rail and make your own adventure, whether it's barhopping, people-watching, or checking out the Roosevelt Row's plethora of street art .

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

32. Spend the day at the Phoenix Zoo.

33. Tee off your first date at TopGolf. Think miniature golf for grown-ups.

34. Throw on your cowboy boots and learn to line dance with free Tuesday night lessons at The Cash Nightclub & Lounge. 

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

36. Take it easy getting to know each other by lounging by one of Valley's best pools.

37. Share some laughs with improv performances at The Torch Theatre or National Comedy 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. Feel like you've traveled the world after a trip to the Musical Instrument Museum.

Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in August 2014. Katie Johnson, Lauren Cusimano, and Megan Marples contributed to this article.

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