52 Relational Dates
group magazine: February, 1994
From: February 1994 GROUP Magazine
Keywords: Boredom Dating Discussion
A Must-Have Handout for Kids
52 Relational Dates
Check out these boredom-busting, discussion-starting dating ideas. Ready to photocopy for your group members.
by Michael Huey
Want a guaranteed attention-getter topic for your youth group? I know one: Dating. Like an old zombie movie, it's the topic that never dies. But when you think about it, few things are more important to your kids' Christian life than their relational choices. You can help by giving them practical, healthy ideas for creative dates.
An ideal date must
* be out of the ordinary,
* be inexpensive, and
* promote communication.
All of the 52 ideas that follow fit that mold. So photocopy this list and give it to your young people as a yearlong dating handbook.
1. Test-Drive Cars-Dress up and hit the new and used car lots.
2. Water Fountain Tour-Locate indoor or outdoor water fountains in your area. Get a roll of nickels or pennies and go with another couple to the fountains to pitch coins. As you pitch your coins, each of you should make a wish (out loud!).
3. $2 Shopping Spree-Go on a double date to a shopping mall. Limit your budget to $2 each, then find a gift for your admirer for that amount. Guys go with guys, girls go with girls. Everyone meets back together to give their gifts in 30 minutes.
4. Prom Fashion Show-Most girls love to shop, and they love trying on clothes. So go together to a mall that has formal dresses. Have her try on different dresses while the guy takes pictures.
5. Lights, Camera, Action!-This would be great for a double date. Get a camcorder and videotape. Go to your public library and find a good short story. Have both couples read the short story and then make it into a movie. Watch it with popcorn and soft drinks.
6. Sunday School Switch-Together, offer to substitute teach for one of your church's elementary Sunday school classes. You'll get a sense of your date's Christian maturity, and you'll see how much he or she cares for children.
7. Take a Trolley or Bus Tour-Many cities offer trolley or bus tours that stop at all the city's great sites. Tour guides typically offer fascinating background stories about buildings, streets, statues, and fountains.
8. Aid the Elderly-Take your date to a retirement home and visit the elderly residents. Or contact your church for the names and addresses of shut-ins. When you visit, bring flowers, cookies, a card, or something that communicates, "We love you."
9. Fixin' Dinner-Invite your date over to your house for dinner. Then together, plan and cook all the food. Afterward, plan group games for the whole family.
10. Creation Commentary-Go to a park and open your Bible to Psalm 104. Read it, then tell each other what it means in light of your surroundings.
11. On a Course to the Capitol-Go on a double date to your state's capitol. Bring a picnic lunch to eat on the capitol lawn. Call ahead to find out the time and price for a capitol tour.
12. Snowman Contest-With another couple, have a snowman-making contest. Ask passers-by or neighborhood kids to judge which one is the best. Whoever loses treats the other couple to hot chocolate.
13. Give It Away-Stand on a busy street corner with your date and hand out cheap flowers, stickers, or Hershey's Kisses. Afterward, grab a bite to eat and talk about how people reacted to you and how you felt.
14. Fore!-Go to a golfing range and hit a bucket of balls together. Make it even more fun by going with another couple, then making it a contest (men vs. men, women vs. women, couple vs. couple). Contests could include longest drive or closest to the marker.
15. Workout Weekend-You and your date sign up for a free trial membership at a local health club. Go biking, running, play racquetball, or lift weights together.
16. You're an Animal-Go to a pet store and pet the animals. Tell each other characteristics about your date that are like the animals you're playing with.
17. Tennis Anyone?-Play doubles at a tennis court. The winners get free lemonade from the losing couple.
18. Collage Creations-Get a stack of old magazines, some glue, and two pieces of poster board. On your date, go through the magazines and cut out pictures that represent something in your life. Then tell each other what everything represents.
19. Sapphire Satire-Dress up and go to jewelry stores to try on rings or necklaces.
20. Boat Races-With another couple, spend the day at a lake. Rent two paddle boats or canoes and either drag-race or paddle through an obstacle course.
21. Comic Stripping-Sit at a table with plenty of paper and pencils. Together, make your own comic strip. Develop the plot and create the characters together. Then draw your ideas.
22. Strike It Rich-Go shopping together at a mall. But don't take any money. Bring a sheet of paper and a pencil. Go through the stores and "spend" up to $1,000. Keep a running total on your paper. Notice what's important to your dating partner.
23. Night on the Town-Dress up and go to a ritzy restaurant overlooking the city. Order two cups of hot tea and a dessert, then enjoy the view and conversation.
24. Play It Again, Sam-Find a Christian radio station in your area and tour its facilities. Have a song dedicated to your valentine.
25. Hilarious Hat Hunting-Shop for funny, tacky hats at a mall or thrift shop.
26. Get Your List and Check It Twice-Get a grocery list and some cash from your parents. Take your date to the grocery store and pick up the food.
27. Makeover Madness-Give each other a makeover. The guy puts makeup on the girl, and the girl does the guy's hair the way she likes it.
28. Missions Mind-set-As a couple, plan your own fund-raiser for missions. You could hold a garage sale for your parents or sell something at school. Give your profits to a missions program sponsored by your church.
29. Go Fish-Have a fishing contest with another couple. Ask local anglers at a sporting-goods store where the best fishin' holes are located, then go there. The couple that fails to catch the largest fish has to clean the fish. Then have a sumptuous fish fry together.
30. MTV Madness-Together, choose one of your favorite Christian songs. Then get a camcorder and a tripod and make your own music video.
31. Blood Buddies-Go to a local Red Cross and give blood together.
32. Biking It-Rent two bicycles made for two and join your parents for a long bike ride.
33. Japanese Joy-Before you go to a Japanese steakhouse, where the food is prepared in front of you, go to a public library and read about Japan. At the restaurant, imagine you're really there.
34. Fall Harvest-Take your date to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch. Pick some fruit and make a pie together.
35. Feed the Poor-Together, volunteer at an inner-city mission to serve meals or to help where you're needed.
36. Airport Humor-Go to an airport terminal and watch people. Tell each other what hobbies or occupations you think the travelers have.
37. Happy House-Hunting-Look in the newspaper classified ads for homebuilders that are having open houses for their model homes. Tour the homes and decide on those you both like. Set a dollar figure that you must stay under. This will help you know what's important to your sweetheart.
38. Take Me out to the Ballgame-Take your date to a baseball game. Bring extra cash for food. Call ahead to find special nights when cheaper tickets are offered.
39. Hayride-Call a park or stable and negotiate your best hayride deal. After the ride, go out for hot chocolate.
40. Double Skating-Go to an ice-skating rink and imagine you're competing for the Olympic gold medal in ice dancing!
41. Man on the Street-Get together with several couples and gather a camcorder for each couple. Have each couple do their own "man-on-the-street interviews." Then, after an hour, meet to watch your journalistic efforts.
42. Visit the Sick-Ask your pastor about church members who've just returned from the hospital. Then bring them homemade goodies or balloons and a magazine.
43. Birthday Card Shopping-Both of you get a list of five relatives who'll be having birthdays soon. Together, go to a shopping mall and look for 10 birthday cards.
44. Art Gallery-a-Go-Go-Call an art gallery and find out the most inexpensive time to go. Many public libraries offer free passes. Have a picnic in a neighboring park. To remember the occasion, buy an inexpensive print of your favorite painting in the gift store.
45. In-Law Relations-Hunt together for your Mother's Day or Father's Day presents. Tell each other about your parents' positive qualities.
46. Basketball Beau-Go to your high school's basketball game dressed from head to toe in your school's colors.
47. Super Bowl Sunday-After church, invite your friends to your house for a party. Have everyone bring snacks or soft drinks. Or, if you're feeling courageous, invite both of your families to one house to get to know each other. Videotape the game if it's on during your church's service, then watch it on a VCR.
48. School Supply Shopping Spree-Right before school starts, pick up your school supplies together. Talk about your excitements and anxieties for the coming year.
49. That's History, Man-Find a local historical or military museum and learn about your area. Call ahead to find out the museum's schedule and cost.
50. Valentine Party-Invite three other couples over to your home. Have snacks and play The Newly-Date Game, based on the old television show. Girls answer questions the way they think their dates would, and vice versa.
51. World Tour Dinner Date-Look up ethnic restaurants in the yellow pages. Pick five of them. Then plan to spend only a dollar or two at each place. At the first, get an appetizer. At the next, get a salad. At the next two restaurants, get side dishes for your main entrees. At the last place, choose a dessert. Pick authentic spots rather than fast-food places.
52. The Final Date-By now, you've probably brainstormed your own creative dates. So why not sit down together and plan your next two months of creative weekends?
Michael Huey is a former youth worker, now a seminary student in Missouri.
Copyrightę 1994 Group Publishing, Inc. / GROUP Magazine