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Keep in mind the purposes of a first date. You want to learn about each other, but you may also want to minimize too much intensity, to ease your anxieties. So while you might want to be alone to some extent, you might not want too much aloneness. That means you might not want to go to a party where there are lots of singles. You also might not want to put your date in too-personal a setting too soon, like meeting your parents or going to a family function.

If you already know that you really want to be together, then anywhere you go is fine. Whatever you share, you will have a good time. but in case you're at a loss for what to do, here are some suggestions:

A picnic in the park

A visit to a museum for a special exhibit

A matinee or evening performance of a play

A live concert in the park on a Sunday afternoon, or a nighttime music club or concert by your favorite band

A ballet

An afternoon trip to an amusement park or a zoo

A walk along the beach, a pier, or any waterfront promenade

Any sport you can do together, such as shooting pool, bowling, or playing fold or tennis. Other sports (such as skiing) involve more time and more complicated preparations, so save these for future dates)

A barbecue in your backyard

An afternoon parade

A street fair

A walk along a boardwalk or through a local marketplace with food stands and shopping stalls (like the Pikes Market in Seattle or the pier in New Orleans)

An arts and crafts festival

A walk with your dog

A flower show or arboretum

A visit to a pier or promenade (The well-known Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles has booths as well as constant open-air events, like dance festivals.)

A walk with a purpose -- like to observe local architecture

A toy-shopping excursion to shop for a child

A shopping excursion to help you pick out something you need that might be an interesting experience for them, too (a tennis racket, backyard furniture, a new stereo set or computer)

A buggy ride through a local park

A city-wide festival at the local fairgrounds, such as Renaissance Fairs held in many cities around the country

A comedy club (Remember that laughter not only physiologically turns you on, but it psychologically brings out the best in you. After all, you're having fun, and having fun together is intoxicating.)

A karaoke bar (Though a "thing" of the '90s, karaoke bars are still fun. The experience of singing together, even if you're out of tune, can bring you close together.)

A coffee shop (These are becoming more "in" and provide a comfortable atmosphere to relax and get to know each other.) Since coffee can activate your body physically (setting off adrenaline and other body sensations), it can also stimulate your love interest.

A night on the town (Get dressed up formally in a tux or gown, and rent a limo to take you to various nightspots. The experience of getting all decked out will put you in a fun, sexy mood.)

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