It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting someone for the first time or have been married for years, we should all go on more dates! Dating allows us to spend precious time with our better half and get to know someone - or another side of them. And while a cosy night on the sofa is perfectly fine some evenings, sometimes we have to get out and try new things.
On dates, we want to show us from our best side: spontaneous, fun to be with and creative!
But what are some active date ideas?
In an abundant city like London, picking the right activity for your date can be daunting. We have compiled our 22 favourite things to do on a date in London, some unusual and quirky, others just romantic classics. Impress your date with your dance moves at the roller disco or escape to fantastic worlds with a VR experience, it's time to sort the next date night.
So whether it’s Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, there is a perfect date activity out there for you.
Best Date Activities in London for Autumn and Winter
When summer is over, we want to get cosy and preferably not leave our house at all. But it's important to stay active and do things to avoid the winter blues, and dating is no exception. There are plenty of things to do on a date in autumn and winter, you can even stay indoors if you don't want to face the cold. Have a blast at a trampoline park or show your sporty side at an indoor climbing station.
1. Archery | Archway, London
Feel like your relationship could use a boost? Then it’s time to pick up a new hobby. Together, learn the art of archery with a beginner taster session. In small groups, you will be taught how to draw a bow and aim for the bull’s eye. Learning and growing will bring you closer together and spend some quality time.
2. Escape Room | Aldgate, London
Want to test how well your date works under pressure? An exciting date alternative to the good old pub is Escape Rooms. Locked in a room filled with danger, mystery and puzzles, you have one hour to make it out alive. Only a dream team can beat the clock and this hair-raising trend is the perfect way to find out if you harmonise. Most Escape Rooms are for 6 players or more, so why not double date with your two favourite couples?
AIM Escape Rooms are conveniently located in Aldgate East. The high-tech rooms have names such as Patient Zero, Spy Heroes, Psychopaths Den and Hangover Déja Brew. Due to it’s raunchy nature, Hangover Déja Brew comes out as our top pick for escape rooms.
3. Virtual Reality Experience | Haggerston, London
Think 4D cinema, but cooler! In a virtual playground, you’ll find yourselves wandering through Otherworld: a fascinating island full of pristine nature awaiting to be explored. Climb the caves, feel the thud under your feet and the wind in your hair as you roam the four seasonal rooms. This immersive experience is built for everyone, it will keep you on your feet and give you lots to talk about over a drink afterwards. No gaming experience required!
4. Roller Disco | Tottenham, London
While the days you picked up girls in a sweaty night club might lay behind you, dancing is inarguably one of the best date activities. Turn back time and put on your skates as you twirl and twist your partner in the nostalgic roller disco. Your moves can be as romantic or silly as you want them to be, so you can set the tone for the date. Added bonus: when making a pit stop at the bar or diner on-site you can keep on your skates!
5. Indoor climbing | Vauxhall and Harrow, London
Looking for an after-work activity that’s not the pub down your street? Combining fun and exercise, indoor climbing is the perfect sport to unwind after work and power yourself out. Take your date to your nearest climbing station and share exhilarating moments as you reach new highs and step out of your comfort zone. Idea: the person who gets to the top last has to pay for the first round.
6. Go Karting | Barking, London
Feel a need for speed? An afternoon at the go-karting track might be just what you’re looking for. It’s a fun, fast-paced idea your date will probably not expect. Long eye contact or your speedy kart - what will get your heart racing more? This is the ultimate activity for thrill-seekers and those looking to get an adrenaline rush!
7. Bowling | Holborn, London
The shoes might be out of style & old fashioned, but bowling is an evergreen activity choice for a reason: the brightly-lit bowling lanes, the cheering crowd and the good vibes make this the perfect place to have some fun together. It doesn't matter if your technique is right or who makes more strikes, this one is all about having a laugh and a great time.
8. Ice Skating | Bayswater, London
Planning a date around Christmas time? There is hardly a more romantic date activity than ice skating. The seasonal rinks are set in scenic locations, such as Somerset House and Natural History Museum, alternatively you can opt for an all-year round ice rink in London. Fly across the ice and be the stars in your very own Holiday on ice special. Afterwards, you can warm up with a hot drink or get straight under the sheets.
9. Cooking Class | Oxford Circus, London
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, as the old saying goes. And that applies to women, too! Spoiling your partner with a home cooked meal is a nice surprise and, luckily, you don’t have to be a master chef. There are lots of cooking classes in London available for all tastes and abilities, from a fancy three-course menu to a DIY Sushi night. Together with your partner, you will learn how to prepare, season and serve your food and be optimally prepared to host your next dinner party.
10. Curling | Bayswater, London
When hearing ice rink, few people think of curling. Its popular cousin ice skating usually steals the show and lets us forget how much fun this quirky activity is. It's the perfect group date activity and suited for everyone that looks to impress their date by picking something a bit different. The game itself is fun and leaves no time for boredom or awkward silences, most rinks also have a bar on- site to boost your performance.
11. Trampolining | Stratford, London
Another great active date activity is trampolining. It gives you that valuable time together to form a bond but should help you avoid any awkward moments of silence. This trampoline park in North East London has some exciting challenges such as the Battle Beam, Dodgeball & the King of the Castle (check) giving you plenty to compete on.
Best Date Activities in London for Spring and Summer
Whether you can just see the first flowers bloom or enjoy summer to the fullest, this is the time to be outdoors and soak up the sunshine. If you are looking for date activities in spring and summer that are unique and fun, look no further. From romantic boat tours to an scenic kayak tour at sunrise, treat your date to a special experience he or she won't forget anytime soon.
12. Boat on the Thames | Hampton Riviera, London
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a while as you float on the Thames in a private boat. Hire a boat, pack some strawberries and champagne and spend an unforgettable day on the water. The boats on offer are self drive, giving you and your date freedom to explore some of the best places along the Thames. These boats can be taken between Teddington and Staines passing landmarks such as Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle along the way.
13. Mini Golf in the park | Battersea, Wandsworth & Acton Park, London
A classic date for those looking for a laid back daytime activity. Set in some of London’s greenest parks, Putt in the Park also allows you to catch some fresh air. Working your way through the charming golf course and its challenging holes, you can show off your skills and get to know your date in a casual atmosphere. Wait for the next sunny weekend and book a slot.
14. Sunrise Canoe Trip | Richmond, London
Is your date into water sports? Then this romantic sunrise canoe trip might be the right choice. To be fair, the departure time of 5:30 doesn’t sound very appealing, but watching the sun rise over the river and its tiny islands is an amazing experience. The 2.5 hour paddle tour boasts scenic views and guarantees you to kick off the day right.
Not an early bird? This canoe trip can also be done later in the day. Check out times and prices here.
15. Speed Boat on the Thames | Waterloo, London
One of you is new to the city or just feels like being a tourist for once? Hop on a speed boat on the Thames and buckle up for an exhilarating speed boating tour along London’s most iconic sights. Pressed back in your seat with water splashing around you, there’s hardly a more adrenaline-boosting way to do your sight-seeing. This is the perfect date idea for active thrill-seekers.
16. Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) | Richmond, London
This is for the laid-back seeking an active, chill date, preferably after work. Use the long sunny hours of summer to take that special someone for a SUP session in Richmond. Watch the sunset as you paddle next to each on the calm waters and enjoy the scenic views. You will float across a few charming pubs giving you inspiration for that post-exercise drink. And who knows? Maybe you just found your new summer hobby?
17. Swimming | London
Ready to inspect each other’s beach bodies? Why not go for a fun afternoon dip at your local pool or lido? Swimming is a great thing to do on a date because it gives you lots of opportunities to get close with your partner while keeping it fun and light hearted. For the thrill-seekers, opt for a water park including slides and co. Those looking for a more sophisticated, relaxing afternoon, treat your partner to a wellness pool that also has a spa and sauna.
18. Food market | Boxpark, Camden and London Bridge, London
Dating a fellow foodie? Chances are he or she might appreciate a spontaneous stroll through the market much more than a candlelight dinner in a fancy restaurant. London is the hot spot for pop-up food festivals selling new, exotic dishes but also has a ton of established markets, like Borough Market. Eat your way through the stalls as you share your finds and rate them.
19. Pub crawl | Soho, Camden, Shoreditch
What’s better than a pub? Five pubs! Make your favourite evening activity into a fun walking tour with your date. You can do bar-hopping in your area to pop in your favourite places or explore a completely new area in London with your date! Great areas are Shoreditch, Soho, and Camden. There are also pre-made tours across London available, such as the Circle Line pub crawl taking you to 27 bars at each stop of the circle line.
20. Helicopter Ride | London
If you’re looking for a date for a special occasion like a wedding anniversary or an unforgettable thing to do on a trip to London, a helicopter ride is for you. Admire London’s incredible buildings and monuments from above and watch the River Thames wind its way through the city. From sleek Canary Wharf to the green, lush acres of Hyde Park, a helicopter tour over London allows you to discover the beauty of the city and collect precious memories.
21. Cycle Tour | London
Whether you cycle to work every morning or barely remember the last time you took your dusty bike out from the basement, cycling is a great way to break a sweat and get to places quickly. Take your date for a day out in London, cycling along Regent’s Canal, to Richmond Park or wherever your heart desires. You decide the pace and can make as many stops as you want. Bring your own bike or hire one for little money.
22. Art classes | London
Connect with your partner on a spiritual level as you unleash your creative side and learn the art of painting. The masterpeace classes are set in a calm, welcoming atmosphere and offer a range of courses, from sketching to painting. Whether this is the start of a shared hobby or an unusual date idea, masterpeace classes will have you going through life more mindfully and inspired.
London Date Queries
Where should I go on a first date in London?
On a first date you want to find out how the other one ticks and if there is a spark. Since you’re never met this person before, you might worry there will be awkward silences and no real connection. That’s why an active date is the best choice to keep it casual and the conversation flowing. Day time activities like mini golf, cycling, speed boating and kayaking allow you to get to know each other in a playful way. If you’re looking for things to do in London after dark, why not dance it out in the roller disco or dive into otherworldly spheres in a VR centre. Luckily, all these activities are compatible with drinks or some yummy food.
What are good date night ideas?
Looking for fun date night ideas in the capital? As the sun sets, what is there to do in London after dark? There is nothing wrong with playing it safe with a lovely dinner in your favourite restaurant or some cocktails in a bar. London has more pubs than you will ever be able to visit and don’t forget about the array of pop-ups selling trendy food and exotic drinks. Many bars now come with a fun twist where you play games such as mini golf, beer pong or darts whilst enjoying a drink or two.
Those looking for something active can explore the city lights by night with a cycle or walking tour or challenge their date with a round of laser tag or a game in a VR playground in London. Fighting evil villains with a gun and your partner in crime by your side will get your blood pumping for sure.
Where can you double date?
Your mates decided to join you on your date? No need to panic, if you pick the right activity it won’t be awkward but tons of fun! Try to keep everyone engaged and give them the chance to mingle and get to know everyone in the group. Battles like paintball, VR games and tag archery are perfect to feel some competitive spirit whilst getting an adrenaline rush and working together as a team. There are both indoor and outdoor venues in and around London in case you experience poor weather conditions.
Another fun group date activity is Escape Rooms. This thrilling race against time requires you to work together as a unit. You’ll find yourselves locked up in a room full of dangerous creatures and mysteries. Only if you can solve all the puzzles before the time is up, you can make it out alive. Choose from a large range of scenarios, play a secret agent, run from a mad psychopath or star in your own version of “Hangover” as you recollect what happened last night. Check out our London Escape Rooms here.
What are cheap date ideas in London?
Dating is fun but, when done frequently, can get quite expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of things to do on a date in London for little or no money. Have a romantic walk through the park or visit one of the free museums or art galleries are great activities to bond and chat. Finding the best happy hour in town can also be fun and save you lots of pounds whilst exploring new bars and pubs. Hopeless romantics can take their date to a viewing platform or hill to watch the sunset. If you want more cheap date ideas, check out our blog for date activities starting at less than £10.
What can couples do in London?
Whether you’ve lived in the city for a long time or are just here to visit, there are many things to do in London as a couple. From trying exotic dishes in a restaurant and visiting London’s charming vintage or food markets to picking up a new hobby like crafting, a sports or cooking. We have plenty of activities in London and beyond available, from kite surfing and foot golf to horse riding and climbing designed to bring couples closer together.
What are the most romantic spots in London?
Knowing your city and its most beautiful spots will definitely get you some brownie points from your date. London is known for its skyline and scenic views, so any high building will double as a viewing platform and setting for a romantic date. Visit one of London’s iconic buildings like the Shard or Sky Garden or climb up Primrose Hill. Secret tip: only few people know about Westminster Cathedral near Victoria station that boasts a 360 view over London.
Guide written by: Linda Harpe - Bookado Marketing Coordinator & Edited by: Adam Stone- Bookado Activity Coordinator