When it comes to dating, your teen may not be choosing you as their go-to for advice, but have no doubt, it’ll be a mix of excitement and nerves! Sorting out the perfect date venue might just “make-or-break” the date, so here’s a list you might like to surreptitiously send their way.
Pack a teen-inspired snack-picnic and head to an adventurous location … somewhere you can sit and admire the view while you eat, go for a walk, buy an ice-cream, collect shells and talk, ride your bikes or take the dog. Ideally, choose a place that gives you options so there’s no chance of boredom or awkward silences. If you’re looking for good snack ideas, then consider dips and crackers, little homemade cookies, chocolate, and sushi.
There is a special sort of magic about a waterfall, so “do” go chasing waterfalls. New Zealand is a native wonderland with waterfalls sprinkled throughout, so check out your local council or DOC website, or if you’re Auckland-based, try these.
There’s always a cool vibe around music events, so even if it’s not a gig, there are plenty of music-related things going on in New Zealand, from free concerts to music festivals, open mic nights and live music in cafes. These are all pretty relaxed and cheap (we’re talking broke teens here), which makes for an easy night out with atmosphere.
Send your parents out on a shopping trip for the day or banish them to the other room so you and your friends can watch movies or bust out the monopoly on a group date. This date won’t cost you anything, and lets you have fun and learn more about your date without the pressure of being alone with them. Just remember to leave the Xbox games alone because Xbox and romance do not go together!
Excuse the pun but if you are trying to break the ice a little, then an Ice Skating rink is the perfect excuse to hold hands and help each other balance. It’s full of opportunities to make a complete goof of yourself and take hilarious snaps of each other. I think we can all relate to this one.
New Zealand is getting some seriously great market options these days. The Night Asian markets are a foodies’ paradise, or there are markets dedicated to French food, baking, craft, Pacifica, organic foods, plants and chocolate! Your local events page will have all the deets, so find out what your date is interested in, and take a stroll.
The beach is a perfect place to chill out, relax and enjoy the sunshine! If you are nervous about being alone with your date, this is also a great group date idea as it gives you all the perfect opportunity to sit, talk and maybe test the waters, both meanings intended, without all the pressure of a one-on-one date. If you and your date like swimming, surfing or beach sports, this could also be the perfect opportunity to get some exercise in and show off those skills!
Rock climbing, laser tag, bowling, arcades and mini golf are perfect options for those individuals who can’t sit still. These type of dates create an exciting, fun-filled atmosphere, and the healthy competition between individuals can help relieve nervousness. These options are also perfect for group dates, double dates or even a birthday party (where you might invite someone you would be keen to go on a date with).
Roll up to your date’s house in style, or meet your date at one of New Zealand’s top bike trails. This date idea costs nothing, and the fresh air and exercise will loosen you up and improve your mood for the rest of the date! For inspiration about the best bike tracks in New Zealand, check out the articles below:
Friend’s birthday coming up, need something for a hobby, or just wanting some new clothes? No worries, make a date out of it! This sort of date can be less awkward as it has a purpose, and if you spontaneously throw in a nice lunch, a wander around, or a movie, it suddenly turns into something less forced and more unexpected. And if that chemistry just isn’t there, then at least you spent your time doing something you needed to do, right?
Want to pop some tags but only got $20 in your pocket? Forget The Warehouse, New Zealand has some amazing thrift shops. Hunting for clothes with someone you like gives you the perfect opportunity to get to know them, and their personal style, as well as working on your own. It can also be fun to try on outrageous outfits and show each other for a bit of a laugh. Afterwards you can feel satisfied with your purchases and can spend your remaining money on a nice lunch or afternoon tea together. Queen Street Recycle Boutique in Auckland, St Vincent de Paul Op Shop in Wellington, the Salvation Army Family Store in Christchurch and Orphans Aid Op shop in Dunedin are some great ones.
Written by Lauren Middleton