A first date is a perfect opportunity to make a good impression. You can wow the other person with who you are and what you enjoy, while you discover what it is about the other person that drew you to him or her.
It’s a fascinating give-and-take, and you never get a second chance to make a good first impression (or so the cliché goes).
What you might want to think about is the fact that a first date puts an incredible amount of pressure on you. What if you say something wrong? What if you wear the wrong thing? What if…? The questions may swirl around in your head, as you second guess everything.
Fortunately, simple outdoors activities are a great antidote to first-date worries. It’s hard to go wrong with natural beauty, especially under a romantic night sky.
Here’s what makes stargazing a great first date
Stargazing is a wonderful first date, but it takes some planning and good timing. You’ll need to choose a comfortable spot, wait for clear skies, and most likely bring some food and blankets. Avoid equipment like telescopes, unless you know how to use it well. For an even better experience, research what you should expect to see! It’s also wise to have a back-up plan for bad weather, like visiting a planetarium or air and space museum.
Why stargaze on a date?
Stargazing reminds me of when I was a kid, with the universe laid out in an ink-black canvas in front of me. I can lay out on the grass and see the constellations. All those ancient stories and myths come to life. Suddenly life seems a little less stressful and a whole lot more magnificent. If those reasons weren’t enough, stargazing is free.
Why stargazing is so romantic
Stargazing is romantic because you can put a blanket on the ground and lay out under the stars in peace, quiet, and solitude. It doesn’t have to be a big production. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. It can be an opportunity for you to learn about the other person, find out whether this is something he or she would enjoy.
Even the way that you plan your stargazing date, you’re showing him or her a little about who you are, what’s important to you, and where your passions lie. You’re allowing yourself to disconnect from the world, with all the noise and distractions. It’s just you and the other person in a moment of solitude. There’s something so romantic in that.
Of course, you can also embellish upon the stargazing first date. Make it a special event with flowers, music, a picnic dinner, and even some gooey s’mores. Of course, there’s more to planning a stargazing date than just preparing the delectable goodies. You can think about place, timing, and what wonderful night wonders you’ll share.
How to plan your stargazing date
A stargazing date night is a great way to create closeness with that person you care about. It’s also an activity that can be planned-out in excruciating details to garner the best results for your efforts. So, where do you start? Or rather, when do you start?
I love to go stargazing in my backyard, but for a fun dating experience, look for local spots that are dark enough to see the night sky easily. It’s always better if you scope out the spot before your date, so you know what you expect. You can also get a sense of where you’ll set up, if there are any trails or amenities nearby, and if you’ll be disturbed by other stargazers.
While it could be fun to bring telescopes and other astronomy equipment, a stargazing date doesn’t require all the bells and whistles. All that equipment could distract from the purpose of a first date, which is (hopefully) to learn more about the other person and to share in the wonder of the universe. For the simplicity of it, take a pair of binoculars to enhance the experience.
As a truly spectacular addition to a stargazing date, research the night calendar. What planets should you be able to see in the night sky? Will there be a meteor shower? Then, scope out the weather and temperature to see which night(s) will be even more memorable. Stargazing events are just the added spice that could make your date stand out.
Back-up plans: what to do if the weather doesn’t cooperate
Even when you’ve tirelessly planned, researched, and set your date-night stargazing mission into motion, it’s not always as perfect as you’d like. Unexpected weather patterns could roll in. It could be rainy or cloudy. Or something else could make stargazing a difficult if not impossible proposition.
That’s why you want a back-up plan.
Nobody wants a first date to be a total flop, so here are five more ideas that will allow you to enjoy the outdoors in a dry and safe space. You may just find that these activities will be part of a series of joint ventures that you’ll continue to enjoy together.
- Campfire and s’mores: Just because the stargazing didn’t work out doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outdoors. Find a safe spot out of the wind and rain for a campfire. Sit on a chair or a convenient log nearby and enjoy the company of the person you’re getting to know.
- Sunrise/sunset: The changing of the sky colors as the sun slips away or rises again carries with it a certain magical feeling of unlimited possibilities. The early-morning hours may not work for every first date, but after the sun has risen, it’s the perfect time to go for coffee or tea at your favorite spot.
- Movie on the big screen: Even if the weather is a bit cloudy, it’s the perfect opportunity to set up a movie in the park. Pick out one of our favorite movies and set up a projector to play on a sheet or portable screen. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s outside, under the night sky, with someone you care about. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss a movie you love.
- Take a sundae-to-go: A favorite dessert could be that much more special on a first date if you take it to the park for a walk at dusk. Watch the shadows lengthen and enjoy the icy treat on a hot summer’s day. The clouds can’t ruin the enjoyment of that.
- Try the indoor view: While it’s not quite the same as stargazing outside, you can still enjoy the stars at your local planetarium even on a cloudy night. A planetarium may have a whole educational program that shows you everything that you could have seen in the nightly sky if the weather didn’t ruin the view. The planetarium experience may be a bit more academic, but that could be the perfect first date for you.
Stargazing is romantic and memorable because it touches something deep in each of us. It feels as though anything is possible and maybe that’s why stargazing feels like just a momentous first date.
Perhaps watching falling stars in their wild trajectories across the night sky will foreshadow the best possible future for a new relationship.