Over 50? Great Date Ideas

Not into the bar scene? Try these alternatives—from cooking classes to al fresco concerts—for your next rendezvous.

By Evan Marc Katz

f you’ve been around for 50+ years, you probably have a pretty healthy sense of what you want out of life, love, and everything in between… and if you’re single, you probably
Renting a convertible can get you both giddy.
have some strong opinions on what you want to do on a date. The fact is, a noisy bar may not be your (or your special someone’s) speed at this point in your life, so we came up with some alternatives that may be more up your alley. Enjoy!

The open road
Consider it a mini road trip: Renting a convertible for the day or taking your own set of wheels to a new destination is relaxing—but it can also bring back a sense of open-road adventure that will get you both giddy. Whether you’re cruising through a local nature preserve or setting out to a new restaurant that just opened two towns over, you’ll have plenty talk about, whether that’s the scenery or reflecting on road trips of yesteryear. Didn’t someone once say it’s all about the journey, not the destination?

Lectures and educational events
In the past, maybe you’ve steered clear of mixing romance with events that might feel like you’re back in, well, school. These days, however, you know better: Nothing stokes the flames of desire like two people heavily engaged in an exchange of ideas. Open a newspaper and scour the listings; you’ll be amazed at what you and your date could learn about: A retired CIA member’s views on Middle East policy. A local film critic hosting a Hitchcock retrospective. All of which can provide fresh fodder for scintillating conversation (and hey, if it gets a little boring, consider passing your amour a silly note saying “Zzzz” or “Maybe we should play hooky and get out of here!”).

It’s high time you’ve bought a new stereo speaker system. Or you’re throwing together a baby shower for your daughter. Or maybe you’ve just had the same five shirts since before your divorce. Who better to bring along for a second opinion than a date who may also be way overdue for a shopping spree? Walk, make small talk, comment on potential purchases… in short, shopping together lets you cross one more thing off your to-do list and learn about each other at the same time.

Community service
At this point in your life, you’re probably well beyond a me-me-me mindset. In short, you’re ready to give back—so why not do so on a date? Whether you’re helping recent immigrants learn to read or helping raise funds for a community reeling from a natural disaster, you and your special someone
And that can only bode well for your future together.
will feel good about yourselves and each other by extension. And that can only bode well for your future together.

Cooking classes
Sure, you may have a few tried-and-true recipes up your sleeve. But when’s the last time you tried branching out and taking a crack at a new cuisine or cooking technique? And, of course, learning alongside a new love interest how to flambé or what goes into Szechuan sauces will be especially memorable. Not only will it get you two working as a team, it’ll be a heck of a lot more interesting than heading out to a restaurant, which you’ve done ten zillion times. Check your local Yellow Pages for a local cooking academy or class.

It’s not the most high-impact pastime, which is exactly the point: Whether you’re renting a rowboat and stringing worms or hiring a captain to bring you out for a chance at a marlin, fishing is a perfect setting to get better acquainted. There’s sunshine, lunch, activity, conversation—also, any awkward silences won’t seem so awkward during a long day on the water.

If you’ve even shaken your head in dismay at a mosh pit or teenagers gyrating to the latest hip-hop hit, you’ve probably thought, Eh, they don’t make dance music like they used to. That’s OK, since with a little research, you can easily find tunes that better suit your tastes. Your local paper should be filled with chances for salsa, swing, and ballroom dancing lessons, as well as clubs where you can boogie down to some classic Donna Summer. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie to the steps, this kind of date will almost definitely be a step in the right direction for you and your date.

Online dating coach Evan Marc Katz is the founder of profile writing service and the author of the new book Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad. Reach him directly at
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