Look, we’re not saying that there’s anything boring about a dinner-and-a-movie date. But at some point you might decide you’re ready for a romantic experience that’s a little more, well, challenging. If so, here are some high-thrill date ideas. In case you’re not quite sure how hard core you’re ready to be right now—or if you feel like you’re ready to roll, but you need to ease your date into the idea—we offer below some recommendations to help you find out just how “thrilled” you’re both willing to be. We’ll start with some warm-up thrills, then offer a few mid-range heart-racers, and finally move on to the serious adrenaline-pumping dates that, while they might not be death-defying, will feel like they are.
Serious Roller Coasters
To get you started, there are some pretty intense amusement park rides these days. One we’ve heard about is the Dive Devil at Six Flags Magic Mountain near Los Angeles, which offers the feeling of skydiving—without the parachute. On this 15-story, 60-mph free fall, you end up falling to 6 feet above the ground.
We’ve been told that the maximum g-force on this ride is 2.2, (whatever that means). That’s not a bad way to begin—find a thrill ride near you that offers a beginning step toward the real heart-pounding excitement.
Approximate cost: $125 for the two of you, including admission tickets and snacks for the day
Scream meter: 5 out of 10
As another move toward living dangerously together, you and your date might want to try whitewater rafting. There are outfitters all over the U.S. and Canada, and they can usually accommodate everyone from beginners to serious adventure seekers. That means that you can ride the rapids along with children and grandparents if you’d like, or you can schedule trips that actually take you over 20-foot waterfalls. Now that’s serious! Approximate cost: You can find prices as low as $35 per person, but the longer, more intense trips will cost much more, sometimes up to several hundred dollars.
Scream meter: 6–8 out of 10
You’ll feel like you’re flying as you travel at breakneck speed along the surface of the water. Then, brace yourself as the pilot of the boat executes a 360-degree spin that’s guaranteed to take your breath away. And be prepared: you’re going to get wet! Approximate cost: $25–$40 per person
Scream meter: 7 out of 10
Bungee jumping has come to be known as a prototypical event for thrill seekers. This high-altitude, high-speed thrill will stop your heart as you drop toward the earth and (eventually) snap back up at the end of the cord. There’s even such a thing as a slingshot bungee, which fires you skyward at extreme speeds. And while you could fly to New Zealand to dive at the site of the original bungee jump, you don’t have to spend that kind of money. There are bungee jumping venues and even bungee jumping clubs all over the country, and with just a bit of research you can most likely find a place not too far from you. Approximate cost: $50–$300 per person
Scream meter: 9 out of 10
If you haven’t heard of zorbing before, you owe it to yourself to watch some online videos of the activity. If you choose to go zorbing, you’ll be strapped into a huge, air-cushioned, transparent plastic ball, and then you’ll roll down a grassy hill at high speed. Once you reach the bottom and stagger around in a state of utter dizziness, the enormous orb will be transported to the top of the hill on something similar to a ski lift, so you can watch your date have the same scream-inducing experience you’ve just had. Approximate cost: $50–$75 per person
Scream meter: 8 out of 10
Hang Gliding Hang gliding has actually been around for centuries, and it’s even been used for military purposes. But it’s best known as a recreational sport that offers a thrill as well as an incredible view. These days, experienced pilots can soar for hours and even go thousands of feet higher than the place where they took off. If you’re willing to take the first big leap off the cliff, then you’ll be rewarded by scenery and excitement few people get to experience.
Approximate cost: For around $200 per person, you can fly tandem with an instructor. If you’d like to fly solo, you’ll need to take a couple of lessons, which will run anywhere from $100–$200.
Scream meter: 8 out of 10
You’ve seen it on TV. Maybe you’ve seen it done in person. But until you’re strapped to a parachute, looking through an open door at the ground 15,000 feet below, you have no idea what skydiving is all about. A good way to begin is to jump tandem with an instructor. But even then, this experience is not for the faint of heart!
Approximate cost: Depending on the height of the fall, you can usually skydive with an instructor for $150–$300 per person.
Scream Meter: 10 out of 10
These are just a few ideas to get you started as you think about pumping some energy into your dating life. There are plenty of other exciting possibilities for you adrenaline junkies out there. (For example, if you’re into snow, you might think about heli-skiing or extreme snowboarding.) Basically, you just need to use your imagination, do a little research, and then choose whatever appeals to you and your date.
And of course, we strongly recommend that you prioritize safety as you explore these different possibilities. Make good decisions about what’s right for you and what your body can handle, and thoroughly check out the companies you’re trusting with your life.
But what a way to spend time together as a couple! You get to experience something few people are brave enough to take on, and you’re sure to learn plenty about each other along the way. Plus, thrills like these can bring two people closer to each other, as they work together to master challenges and conquer their fears.