We all have experienced the awkwardness of a first date. You don't know what to wear, what to say or how to act.

Or perhaps not so much awkward, but just a plainly horrible date. But it doesn't always have to be such a gruesome experience. First dates can be a lot of fun.

When it comes to planning a first date, I encourage you to think outside the box a little bit (not necessarily way outside the box).

So often first dates happen just at a restaurant. That's it. You sit there across from a semi-stranger, trying your best to conjure small talk or something you might have in common. The moments of silence seemingly endless.

And that's all you have for a story if you do end up together in the future - quite lame if you ask me. That is unless something incredibly unique and crazy happened while you were eating your pasta and meatballs.

Here are some cool first date (or any date really) ideas:

1. Go To The Zoo


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Lion and tigers and bears. Oh, my! Okay, yes, maybe that was a little corny...but zoo dates, on the other hand, are not.

Zoos are a great idea for a first date because it allows you to walk around and be interactive, as opposed to simply sitting down at a bar or a restaurant.

Plus, zoos often have exotic, exciting and often cuddly looking animals. Who doesn't like that?

2. Go To An Arcade


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This is a fun date idea even for a non-gamer. Arcades are perfect for those who love a face paced scene, are adventurist and have a little bit of competitiveness to them.

Arcades often have easy to follow, exciting games. This is an excellent way to get both of your adrenaline going. By moving around and playing games, you are also able to get to know your date enjoyably.

Perhaps you can even go head to head and race each other. How the other person deals with losing (or even winning) can say a lot about who they are as a person.

3. Go To A State Park


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Especially with the weather being beautiful, going to a state park now is a fabulous idea. With very minimal admittance fees, this a cheap and affordable first date option.

Not to mention that state parks give you such a variety of things to choose from. You can go hiking, swimming, fishing, play volleyball/basketball, etc. This allows you and your date to get some fresh air and be active while having fun at the same time.

Hey, also if you guys decide you just feel like hanging out, it would be cute to bring a picnic and eat by the water. And if you do have any prolonged awkward silences, you can just look out at the beautiful view in front of you.

4. Make Sushi From Scratch


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For all you avid sushi lovers like me, this date idea is right up your alley. Making sushi from scratch is an exciting experience as it allows you to see first handed what goes into sushi making - it's probably harder than you think, but don't worry it's doable.

Working together to create a finished product is a nice way to bond as well.

My only warning for this choice is to be careful about buying raw fish. I would suggest making California rolls, with cooked crab meat, cucumber, and avocado. A great first roll - for a great first date.

Any of these four first date ideas would yield an excellent time. Perhaps ask your date what they're into first and see what one they would be most comfortable with. And if you guys decide you just want to get bite to eat, or a drink at a local bar, that's okay too.

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