Arts & CultureSex & Relationships

First date? Try one of these Eugene places to impress your date



First dates can be daunting. They are the first impression for a potential relationship; what happens can determine how interested both parties are in pursuing the relationship. It establishes expectations for what the relationship should feel like in the future. Where you take your date is an important part of that first impression. Here is a list of five different ideas for a variety of different dating scenarios.

Cinemark 17 — The Shoppes at Gateway, 2900 Gateway St.

The movie theater is a classic first date venue. It feels casual and is great for shy or awkward people who want to ease into a new relationship without too much forced conversation. While a common taste in entertainment can be discovered by picking a movie both parties enjoy, the lack of conversation can leave a movie date feeling weak or impersonal. A first date is the perfect time to get comfortable around someone, but the screen leaves little opportunity for this.

But because of the arcade in the lobby, Cinemark 17 is the best movie-date destination. This fairly small arcade has one important thing to offer: 50 cent air hockey games. Some friendly competition can be just the thing to spark up a relationship. The workout stimulates endorphins, and the game gives you a platform to focus your interaction on.

Townshend’s Eugene — 41 W. Broadway

This tea house in downtown Eugene is a great place to delve into conversation and really focus on getting to know someone. The inside is cozy and provides options; there are tables for a more formal feeling, or couches for people who want to scoot in a little closer. The walls are lined with artwork, which could be a perfect conversation starter. There are usually students reading, working on laptops, or just relaxing, so you won’t feel like you’re the only two in the room. They have a variety of teas as well as kombucha and bubble tea, or you can order a whole pot of tea for longer visits.

Check out the Emerald’s list of the best tea houses in Eugene, here.

Spencer Butte — 85385 S. Willamette St.

Spencer Butte is a fantastic — and free — first date location for anyone who loves the outdoors and is looking for a partner to adventure with. The hike itself is a good bonding activity, and the top offers a beautiful view and plenty of picnic space. There are two different main trails. One is slightly longer but easy enough that even if your partner isn’t a proficient hiker they will manage it fine. The other trail is shorter and more intense, perfect for establishing an active relationship.

Local Concert

Concerts are great first dates for music fans. Dancing can be a fun and intimate way to get to know someone. Eugene has a pretty active music scene, so there’s likely a show playing just about every night. HiFi Music Hall hosts free weekly jams and dances. Local acts play cheap small shows in the Whiteaker neighborhood and around campus. Underground bands often stop at the McDonald Theater and WOW Hall, and tickets for these are usually under $30. For a bit more money, more well known bands visit the Cuthbert Amphitheater and Hult Center throughout the year.

University Lecture or Seminar

Intellectuals looking for a relationship where they can delve into their favorite subjects, discuss interesting coursework or bond over stimulating debate should try taking a date to a university lecture. Lectures are good ways to connect over mutual interests. Like movies, they take up the focus of the date, but they also provide compelling conversation matter afterwards. These are usually free for students and a variety of departments host the events. To find one you’re interested in or for a more general look at University events, you can visit UO’s events calendar.


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Patience Greene

Patience Greene