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10 First Date Ideas for Saratoga Springs in the Summer

Make a Great First Impression With Your Date in the Spa City

Editor's Note (6/25/2020): Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some attractions and sites in Saratoga Springs are currently closed. We've noted below which places have yet to reopen for visitors in 2020.

Saratoga is perfect for summer lovin'! The birds and the bees are coming out in full force lately, and if you have a budding romance, we have a variety of first date ideas for you in Saratoga Springs.

1) Spend a Day at the Track

Please note: According to a press release from the New York Racing Association on 6/19/20, "Saratoga Race Course will open on July 16 without spectators in attendance."

crowd watching horse race at the track

Photo credit: Jeff Nudi

Going to the Saratoga Race Course is a sure bet for a first date! With its high energy, delicious foods, and fun atmosphere, it's sure to be a great time. Plus, with admission costing just a few bucks, you'll have plenty left to spoil your date at dinner later if all goes well.

2) Watch a Polo Match

Please note: The Saratoga Polo Association has decided not to host a 2020 polo season.

polo players on field

The track isn't the only place in Saratoga to see majestic horses. Saratoga Polo offers a casual environment that's ideal for getting to know someone. Plus, you don't need to be a polo expert to enjoy the match. These fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping matches are sure to excite you and your date, and make for a fun afternoon for the both of you.

3) Rediscover Bowling

Please note: Bowling alleys are currently closed in the Capital Region.

bowling alley with blue lights

Saratoga Strike Zone

Bowling is an excellent way to break the ice on a first date. Not only is it fun, but you'll probably end up getting in a laugh or two, especially if the ball goes into the gutter. Escape the summer heat for a few hours, and maybe check out midnight bowling for some low lighting ambiance!

4) Try a Paint & Sip

Please note: Paint and sip studios have not yet reopened for in-person painting sessions.

a couple holding up paintings they painted

Enjoy a glass of wine while you and your date learn how to create a beautiful painting together at Saratoga Paint & Sip. No experience is necessary, you'll be guided step by step through the whole process, and you'll get to take the painting home with you!

5) Head to the Park

a spring in a park on a path

Photo credit: Alan Nudi

Pack a picnic basket, throw a frisbee around, or simply take a relaxing stroll and explore your surroundings. The Saratoga Spa State Park is a beautiful setting for a casual date. There's no need to dress up or prepare - just be yourself and get to know one another all while enjoying the beauty of summer in Saratoga!

6) See a Concert at SPAC

music performance on stage with purple lights

Seeing a concert together at SPAC and rock out to a group you both love - or, see a performance you might not otherwise. Whether it's a high energy band or a soothing concerto you'll experience something special together that will allow the discussion to flow freely once the concert is over.

7) Sample Wines at a Tasting

two wine glasses at a tasting, one with red wine one with white

Go on a wine tasting! Whether you're visiting multiple wineries, or just checking out one or two, a wine tasting makes for a romantic first date. It allows you to try something new together, get to know each other a little better and find out what kinds of wine your date likes.

8) Dine Outdoors

salad by lakeDock Brown's Lakeside Tavern

First dates often revolve around food, in an open setting, where you can get to know the person. Try dining outside in Saratoga for a romantic first date! Saratoga is the ideal place to dine alfresco during the summertime, whether you're enjoying lakeside views or people watching on Broadway.

9) Explore an Art Gallery or Museum

Please note: Museums are currently closed in the Capital Region.

colorful collage-like painting

Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery

Branch out from typical first date ideas and check out one of Saratoga's many art galleries or museums. You'll be sure to have interesting chats as you wander around taking in the exhibits. And, bonus: galleries are often free or have a minimal admission fee.

10) Go to the Movies

Please note: Movie theaters are currently closed in the Capital Region.

outside of Criterion Cinemas

While it may be cliche, going to the movies is still a great option for a first date in our books! Two things to note: We recommend doing something after the movie, like grabbing or a drink or some ice cream, so you'll have time to get to know each other (as you won't be chatting during the film). And, keep it light on a first date - stick with a comedy.

Ready to plan the second date? Check out more things to do »

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