Dating looks a little different these days…but we’re hopeful first dates will be a “thing” again sometime soon.
So when it’s time to connect in person with that crush you’ve been texting for months throughout quarantine, or that new connection you just made on Hinge, Becky and Gabby have your back.
First Date Ideas
From sports and outdoor activities to foodie experiences, shared time is the way to get to know each other. Becky Daniels and Gabby Fisher (along with some of their social media followers) have put together their favorite first date ideas in CapNY that go beyond the ordinary “let’s grab a drink.”
Looking for an Outdoorsy Date?
Start by meeting your date at Forts Ferry Farm, an heirloom farm in Latham. There, you’ll find produce, thoughtfully curated provisions, and goods for any home… These are all perfect talking points when you are going through the “small talk” phase. The farm not only has the cutest little barn structure, but they offer delicious coffee and homemade bagels. Grab a cup and take a seat at one of their outdoor tables, and enjoy the scenery and beauty of the farm.
When you’re done there, drive about four minutes to the entrance of Lions Park in Niskayuna. This is one of my favorite trails in CapNY. It runs along the Mohawk River and is perfect for a romantic walk or if you feel like just chillin’ on a bench along the water. You may see me rollerblading on the path, it’s my favorite spot to blade in the spring and summer. I will try not to interrupt your date by tripping over a stick and making a scene, but it happens often and I cannot make any promises HAHA.
Becky: I wouldn’t consider myself the sportiest gal around (the only teams I follow religiously are from my alma mater, Syracuse Orange). But, I do love attending a live baseball game. There’s something about an exciting atmosphere, the energy of people cheering on their team. Plus, there’s the anticipation of not knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s especially fun for a date, because it’s casual and comfortable, the game is a great conversation starter, and you can deepen your convos during lulls in the action. Plus, who doesn’t love a little junk food and beer?
Lucky for us, our local Tri City Valley Cats always deliver a great experience! They’re exciting, feature fun entertainment between innings, and have a great selection of stadium food and beer. And for a date night, pick a game that’s followed by fireworks — and maybe you’ll end up feeling some of your own (sorry, I had to!).
Looking to be entertained?
Gabby: The Hollow Bar + Kitchen! wins hands down with Indie rock, hard rock, beatboxing competitions and everything in between. The Hollow is a dope date spot. Not only can you grab delicious cocktails and dinner before the show, but the small intimate music venue helps you find your vibe with your date. Personally, music opens me up and I’m in my zone if I can dance and move with the music along with my date. If you relate to that, you definitely want to see if your potential partner is as fun as you OBVIOUSLY are…tearin’ up the dance floor.
Becky: This category is so tough for me. I love live music, theatre and comedy, so it’s hard to pick just one! While I do think that a comedy show for date night can be a bit of a gamble, I happen to love it. It offers a bit more opportunity for conversation than a concert and gives you a strong glimpse into someone’s sense of humor, and potentially how they handle some gentle roasting if the show is more interactive. I’ve caught great live comedy all around CapNY, including MopCo and Proctors in Schenectady, The Funny Bone in Albany, The Ruck in Troy and The Comedy Works in Saratoga.
Restaurants that feel like an adventure
Gabby: When people ask me what restaurant they should take their date to, Plumb Oyster Bar is always my number one pick. The lighting, decor, and overall atmosphere and experience is absolutely lovely. The whole place really sets the mood for a night of getting to know someone while sharing a delectable meal. Plus, oysters!!! It’s kind of fun shucking them together – especially if the other person has never tried oysters. As Plumb Oyster Bar is right in the heart of downtown Troy, if the date went SUPER well, you can just walk right out the door and onto the next stop. The options are endless for a full night of fun and exploration.
Becky: You can never go wrong with a romantic dinner, And, for a top notch date, you need a spot with great food AND great service. Daley’s on Yates is perfect on both counts. From the minute you walk in the door, you’ll feel taken care of. For something a bit more casual, you can have a light bite and drinks at the bar. Their bartenders are magician mixologists and are always down to whip you up something amazing based on flavors you like. For a sit down dinner, their atmosphere can’t be beat. In winter, the low lights and fireplaces keep you feeling cozy. In warmer weather, their patio is an actual slice of heaven, with comfy couches and fire pits. I wish I could recommend a specific dish, but every single thing on the menu is divine. (This is a lot coming from someone who often finds a favorite on a menu and doesn’t stray).
Gabby: The Saratoga Winery is one of my absolute favorite places during the spring or summer. Not only does the winery offer tastings of handcrafted wines and local craft beers, the brick oven pizzas are to die for and the outdoor seating area is absolutely gorgeous! Lights hanging across the trees in the back. Cornhole sets for couples who love a friendly challenge. Fires to enjoy during a chilly night…this place is a first date dream come true. Wait, let’s back up to the handcrafted wine. If you get a wine flight, it comes out on the coolest contraption you’ve ever seen at a winery or brewery. Instagram worthy to the max.
Craft Beer Date
Becky: Craft beer is booming in CapNY, with so many great places to grab a pint. Flights can be such a fun activity for a date because you can learn a bit about what you’re drinking and why you do (or don’t!) like certain varieties. After years living in Schenectady there are a few spots I’m particularly fond of that would all make for great “grab a beer” dates. Mad Jack Brewing at the Van Dyck is one of my favorites and I’m not just saying that because they’ve featured my namesake Becky’s Brew (yes, really!) for the last 3 summers. Their creative brews often come from collaborations with other local businesses like Gatherer’s Granola and are always delightful.
Have someone you think you might want to experience more than one tasting date with? Grab a Schenectady Ale Trail passport and get beer flights at 6 breweries – including Mad Jack – as well as Back Barn Brewing Company, Druthers Schenectady, Frog Alley Brewing, Great Flats and Wolf Hollow Brewing. Each of these spots have a great vibe. You’ll have a blast getting to know their beers while you get to know your date!
Gabby: I LOVE SPORTS. I consider myself a backyard athlete star – I excel at things like wiffle ball, badminton, kickball, spikeball, etc. You catch the drift. One thing I’m looking for in a partner is someone who can jump into athletic games at family parties and ummm…WIN! So here’s my next first date idea: All Stars Academy. Indoor batting cages, baby! I love some good competition on a date. It leads to some fun flirting and gives good insight on the playfulness of your date. If they can keep up with me, and make me laugh while they do it, a second date may be on the horizon. After, make the short drive to Tipsy Moose Tavern for a craft beer and bomb food (try their poutine!)
Becky: Being a little playful is such a fun way to break the ice and ease tensions while you’re getting to know someone new. Paint and Sip experiences are one of my favorite ways to tap into your creativity. And, they’re great for dates, no matter where you’re at in a relationship (or potential relationship). Saratoga Paint and Sip and Canvas Corks & Forks in Schenectady are so much fun. If you’re worried about being a terrible painter, well, most of us are! But each of these spots have teachers on hand to guide you through creating your masterpiece. You’ll have a lot to laugh about as you each create your own version of the selected painting at the direction of the teacher with your paintbrush and one hand and, if you choose, a fun drink in the other.
Written by: Capital Heart Connection, Becky Daniels & Gabby Fisher
Becky Daniels of Albany, 34, and Gabby Fisher of Schenectady, 28, are two boss women who ROCK being single. Now, they want to share with you why they love living and experiencing CapNY solo…so they present to you, Capital Heart Connection! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to be kept in the loop on singles content, events, and more fun than you could imagine.