Many of us have been there. We swipe right, the person on the other end has most likely said something more interesting than “hey”, we’ve chatted back and forth and deemed this person worthy of our time. We promise ourselves we won’t ghost them this time, but what to do? Dating apps have become the modern version of a blind date. What if they’re boring in person? Or what if they don’t look like their photos? The thoughts will race through the mind but don’t worry, we’re here to help! These ideas are sure fire ways to have a good time, even if the person is a bust.. But hey, they caught a big fish in that picture, remember?

Dance the night away at Play

★ 4.3
If your date is scheduled for a Wednesday, Thursday, or Sunday night, then take your date down to Play! On these days, they do a wonderful drag show at 10 pm and again at midnight. You’ll see these wonderful ladies dancing and singing to some of our favorite classics, and we guarantee you’ll be singing right along with them. After the show, the night isn’t over! You can walk over to the adjacent dance floor and dance the night away. Here at play, everyone can be exactly who they want to be, and isn’t that the idea of a first date? Make sure to get there early to have a front seat to the show and have those dollar bills ready!

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Go on an art crawl

This one is very time specific but if your date is on the first Saturday of the month then why not take a leisurely stroll from art gallery to art gallery and drink free wine? Every first Saturday of the month there are two art Crawls in Nashville. One that is downtown with a closer proximity to Broadway bars. And another, that we prefer, in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. Compared to its brethren in downtown, this one is less crowded and more intimate giving ample opportunity to discuss each piece to better understand your potential partner’s perspective. Let’s be real, if what they see reminds them of a butt and you, however, are reminded of a sunflower.. well.. at least there’s another free glass of wine within reach.

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Catch a stand-up show

★ 4.5
Take away the edge off of scrambling for first date conversation and let someone else do the work for you by going to Zanie’s comedy club! They’ve hosted a variety of big names and their lineup for the next month includes D.L. Hughley, Nikki Glaser, Michelle Wolf, and everyone’s lovable favorite, Rob Schneider! If you want to be a part of the action and want to see your date’s reaction to possibly being roasted, we recommend that you sit close to the stage! Keep in mind there is a two-drink minimum but hey, look at the bright side, at least everything, including your date, will be even more funny.

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Show off those vocal cords

★ 4.5
With so many record labels in Nashville, why not go on a date and get discovered too? Be the star you are and belt those high notes down at Santa’s Pub. Located in a double wide trailer, this famous karaoke dive bar is quintessential Nashville. It’s ran by a man affectionately known around Nashville as Santa for one obvious reason, he looks like Saint Nick himself. You and your date will be greeted with Christmas lights on the outside, and a modest space with faux brick wallpaper on the inside. If you’re lucky, you may have a celebrity sighting as big names like Ke$ha and Ed Sheeran among others have sang here. That list gets long so we recommend you go on a weekday. You’ll not only be able to give your best rendition of “Fergalicious”, but you’ll also get to see a free show as the incredibly talented regulars come to sing on these days. Keep in mind it is a cash bar and smoking is still allowed inside!

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Take a wild ride on the Nashville Bar Bike

★ 5
Cruising Nashville in the open air with your favorite drinks is an energetic, fun, and spontaneous way to begin the date or wrap one up! With times throughout the day – you can adjust the tone and vibe to match the mood. Take an early day ride to catch the sites, or take a late-night ride to keep it funky! With private tours (for those looking to impress) or public tours (mix & mingle), you have a lot of choice in creating the perfect Bar Bike experience for your date. Cruise the streets and identify places y’all must visit next, bars you want to hop on over to, or find a romantic or bustling spot to match the mood. The open atmosphere of the bike sets a great tone to make everyone relaxed and receptive to great conversations.

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Watch an independent film and play darts

★ 4.8

Located in the Hillsboro Village is an iconic staple of Nashville, the Belcourt Theater. For a short time in the 1920s, this location was used for the historic Grand Ole Opry radio show. Today, it’s a movie theater that plays independent films and old classics for its patrons. It recently underwent a remodel expansion which now includes a concession stand that serves beer! Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? After you’re done snuggling up to your date, a short walk away is a local dive called The Villager. Here you can get competitive and show off those trash talking skills in a game of darts. Bonus: if for whatever reason you decided that your birthday was the best day for your first date, then The Villager will give you 3.5 pints of beer in a dog bowl to celebrate it for free!

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Shop for Vinyl’s

★ 4.8
Another Nashville icon, Grimey’s, has been around for years. They’ve recently moved from their staple location on 8th avenue to a bigger location, an old church, in East Nashville. This seems very fitting as one may find refuge in perusing the treasure trove of Vinyl’s, videos, and much more they have to offer! But wait, why go shopping on a date? Well.. you’ll get a better understanding of your date’s musical taste so if they pick out a Nickelback vinyl with an unparalleled enthusiasm, you’ll see it. We’re welcome. Afterwards, hop a few steps over to the Fox bar for a fancy cocktail where you can discuss Nickelback’s groundbreaking work in the music industry and show off your new Nicolas Cage poster!

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Have dinner at an old movie theater and play pool

★ 4.4
On 8th avenue, next to the marquee sign that says “Melrose”, you’ll find a cute restaurant called Sinema. Aptly named, Sinema is located in the old Melrose Theater for which the marquee sign remains. When you walk into this remodeled theater turned restaurant that also had past lives as a bowling alley and recording studio, you’ll be greeted by the original winding staircase of the theater. Sinema keeps the theme true to form with old movies playing on a projector and movie themed décor. Not only is it a very unique ambience, they also dish up some of the best meals in nashville and have very creative libations to enjoy. If splurging a bit on a first date isn’t a concern, this is the place for you. Afterwards you can walk to the basement dive bar next door, also named Melrose, and shoot some pool with your potential new love.

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Be social and knock down some pins

★ 4.5
A few blocks from Broadway in the middle of downtown Nashville is Pinewood Social. This place is a multitude of things in one venue that promotes exactly what is in its name, social. You want to have an afternoon coffee date? They have a coffee shop in house with couches as comfortable as the ones in a living room at the front of their restaurant. You want to play Bacce ball and be outside? They have that too. During the summer months they even have a pool that you and your date can lay by to soak up the rays. What’s really cool about this place is their old school style bowling alley. Make a reservation ahead of time to reserve a lane and you’ll be able to show off those bowling skills as much as you want! Get a snack, maybe their corn fritters, have a classic cocktail, and show your date how its done!

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Eat sushi with a skyline view and watch a live show

★ 4.4
Virago sits in the Gulch and serves some impeccable sushi dishes. We especially love this place for their patio views. With a beautiful view of the downtown skyline, it’s hard to have a bad date on Virago’s patio with such a beautiful atmosphere. (Hack: If you’re balling on a budget, set that date for Monday when they have half price sushi and sake from 5-10 pm!) With such an intimate setting, how can one not feel the romance on a first date? As you’ve seen the theme, a successful date has a nearby second option. This comes in the form of The Station Inn. A modest sized music venue, The Station Inn boasts some of the best bluegrass, classic country, and Americana. We also love how its remained all these years though it’s surround by newly developed high rises.

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Listen to Jazz and watch a burlesque show

Imagine you’re walking with your new date, you take a turn, and boom.. It suddenly feels like you’ve been transported to Beale street in Memphis or Bourbon street in New Orleans; that’s how it feels when you first stumble upon Printers Alley. A semi-hidden gem in the heart of Nashville, Printers Alley boasts a range of bars. From Ms. Kelli’s Karaoke to a speakeasy with a rooftop bar, you have a list of options. We specifically want to point out one in particular, Skull’s Rainbow Room. This understated bar has live jazz every day at 7 pm which is followed by a burlesque show. These ladies come out in all their 20s glory and steal the show. (May I remind you we’re now living in the roaring 20s again?!) Let your conversation be stimulated by the music, and have that front seat for th fun in the show. The only thing missing to really top of the Printer’s Alley experience is beads, so BYOB (bring your own beads)!

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