Would you go to a sleepaway camp for single adults if it meant you might score a date? The folks behind Coffee Meets Bagel is banking on ‘yes.’ The popular dating app recently launched Camp Meets Bagel — a three-day-long weekend event in the great outdoors that pairs all of your favorite childhood camp activities with bus loads of single adults. The goal is to help singles make more connections in person and hopefully reignite some of those campfire butterflies from days of yore.
Coffee Meets Bagel created the event after pulling data from Harris Poll which shows that 78 percent of Millennials would rather spend money on an experience than on a physical item they could own.
It makes sense. In five years time, you may not remember that shirt you bought off the H&M clearance rack to wear on a random Tinder date, but that trip to Upstate New York where you spent the weekend hobnobbing with a bunch of other singles around the camp’s open bar, now that is something that will likely stick in your brain forever.
While not all of us have the freedom to jet off to adults-only sleepaway camp (Camp Meets Bagel takes place 4-5 hours outside of New York City and costs well over $600 for the weekend), we can make a pact to plan more memorable date experiences that focus on creating memories, instead of spending the big bucks (although the two definitely do converge at times). Because, let’s face it, just like that H&M shirt isn’t particularly memorable, neither is that first date at that generic coffee chain you always go to.
Here are a few memorable date ideas to inspire you now.
1. Go to a concert.
While big name concerts are always fun to scratch off your bucket list, you don’t need to splurge on Jay Z tickets to create a memory-making experience for you and your date. Check your local listings. Maybe there’s a band you’ve never heard playing at your local dive bar. Invite your date to come with. Even if the music sounds like angry cats scratching their nails down chalkboards, it will definitely be memorable and something you can laugh about over a beer (or three).
2. Play tourist in your own town.
Sometimes the best dates don’t involve staring at each other across a candlelit dinner, but include a Duck Boat tour and soft serve ice cream down by the Pier. While it may sound cliche, playing tourist in your own town can be a lot of fun and with the cheese factor high, will surely result in some laughs. Whether you grew up in the area or not, a day playing tourist provides an excellent opportunity to connect over your favorite local memories.
3. Learn to make something together.
Whether it’s learning how to Macgyver a plastic dinosaur into a potter for your collection of succulents at the local craft store or getting insight into how to brew your own beer, taking a class together is a great way to bond while flexing your skills with a glue gun and googly eyes. Even better if there’s some tasty refreshments involved.
4. Get lost in your local Ikea store.
Confession: one of the best first dates I’ve ever been on involved a trip to Ikea. If you’re the kind of people that dig home decor and organizational things or maybe just have a fondness for walking around in circles while you enjoy a Lingonberry juice served as fountain pop, then Ikea is actually a great alternative date night idea. Get lost together in the aisles and end the evening with a feast of meatballs, hot dogs and soft serve ice cream (or not).
5. Hit up your local planetarium.
La-La Land. Ross and Rachel on Friends. There’s a reason why these popular movies and TV shows feature date night scenes set in planetariums. Stargazing is romantic AF (but often better enjoyed while in a warm, comfy setting). Don’t delay – grab your date for an unforgettable night under the stars.