The largest urban area in the East Midlands brims with quirky activities perfect for planning unusual first dates in Nottingham. Our list covers everything from exhilaration to vintage chic, urban cool and cheesy retro fun, providing oodles of inspiration.
Unusual first dates in Nottingham
Live life a little less ordinary and choose one of these exciting and inventive days or nights out with your new squeeze.
Architects of Air
This incredible immersive luminarium is described as “somewhere between a womb and a cathedral”. Inspired by natural forms, geometric solids, Islamic and Gothic architecture, the epic labyrinth of art installations are filled with radiant colours backlit by daylight. Wander through its pneumatic sculptures and tunnels together, or take a seat in a cocooning pod as you absorb the soothing soundscape. A visit to Architects of Air will make for an unforgettable and almost other-worldly date experience.
Mowgli Street Food
Instead of eating dinner sitting, why not eat dinner swinging? At this funky Indian eatery, diners can take a pew on heavy-duty wide wooden swings while tucking into healthy, zingy, fresh and predominantly plant-based dishes. Enjoy wholesome plates including Yoghurt Chat Bombs, Fenugreek Kissed Fries and Aunty Geeta’s Prawn Curry. Mowgli’s owner is a ‘curry evangelist’ and has been awarded an MBE for her services to the food industry. The vibe is upbeat and super on-trend, ideal for hip young professionals meeting for the first time.
Ludorati boardgame cafe
If you often feel awkward on a first date and would rather be doing, than just talking, why not play an interactive game together? This casual full-service cafe on Maid Marian Way has over 750 old school and new creations from which to choose. And the staff will be happy to recommend something suitably straight forward if neither of you is connoisseurs.
A night at the movies is fairly standard for a first date. But rather than making a bee-line for the same old multiplex chains, opt for a classic film in this retro art-deco cinema on Derby Road. It’s the only surviving pre-Second World War cinema in the city, dating back to the 1930s and itself appeared in a movie – Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, in the 1960s. Dress up, get a drink in the bar and settle in for a convivial and classy old-world cinema experience.
Liven up a date in a bar, by choosing this quirky venue in Hurts Yard. The colourful, snug den specialises in authentic tequila and exotic agave spirits. Get your Mezcal on by ordering some amusing and unique alcoholic concoctions like Make America Grape Again, A Spicy Pear and Miami Vice. Head along on a Wednesday, Friday or a Saturday night for some banging tunes courtesy of a live DJ.
Speed dating in Nottingham
If you’d like to meet some suitable singles and would rather leave the arrangements up to someone else, book a spot speed dating in Nottingham. Whether you live or work in the city and its surrounds, this is a super convenient way to up your dating games. You’ll get to experience a number of first dates in one fell swoop, giving you a better chance of meeting someone who’s a great fit. All you have to do is reserve your place and turn up. Once you’re there, the host will guide you through the evening’s proceedings.
Do you both have dogs? If your date’s pooch is the apple of their eye, they’ll be delighted when you book a table at the UK’s first permanent themed canine cafe. It’ll be important to see if your pets are compatible – as well as each other – and this is a relaxed way to do it. There’s a play area for small breeds and a menu of pawfect doggie treats and puppuccinos. Here you don’t need to date alone – chat over a cuppa with the company of your four-legged best friends. If you’re ‘cat people’ rather than ‘dog people’, opt for a trip to the Kitty Cafe instead.
Games Workshop Warhammer World
This is one for the geeks and hobbyists, or for those who are simply curious about this elaborate and hugely popular fantasy world. Take a wander through the exhibition centre with its huge vignette dioramas, boasting the world’s best display of Warhammer miniatures. Afterwards head to Bugman’s Bar, the onsite themed pub, for hearty food and a few tankards of beer.
To the north of Nottingham, is Lime Lane Woods, home of Nott’s Maze. Stretch your legs and take the air as you navigate the two miles of this charming 12-acre giant puzzle. If that’s too pedestrian for you, you can visit after dark for some in-maze laser tag. There’s a snack shack strung with fairy lights at the end for some drinks and treats. And if you want to seem really smart, you can cheat by buying a maze map for a pound before you head in!
If you want to social distance, but still get physical on your date, this is the way to do it. Expect thrills and spills as you hurl yourselves downhills (and at each other) notching up a potential speed of 30 miles per hour. You’ll be encapsulated in your individual giant inflatable spheres of safety and even burn a few calories as you go. Or you can choose an on-water version (expect to get soaking wet). Sphereing – or zorbing as it’s also known – works as a high octane ice breaker and offers guaranteed laughs.
Perhaps speed dating in Nottingham is too much of a stretch for you travel-wise. We have events in towns and cities throughout the UK, including speed dating in Sheffield and speed dating in Birmingham. So there’s always an opportunity within a reasonable distance of your home. You can search here for nationwide speed dating nights near you.
But if you’re local, enjoy these unusual first dates in Nottingham.