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Dinner Dates
(for Ages 16-18)

Go to a campground. The girls are in charge of finding the wood and building the fire. The guys plan and cook dinner. Hot dogs are easy, but if you can cook a dutch oven dinner, you will surely impress everyone. If someone plays the guitar, you can have a sing-along around the campfire.

Make a gourmet lobster dinner. Take your date to the grocery store and pick out a lobster tail. Then take it home and broil or barbecue it (go to allrecipes.com or epicurious.com and search for recipes - time to cook is highly dependent on the size of the tail). Add the trimmings, put on some good music, and add candles.

Have a mystery dinner with a twist. Give each person a slip of paper with an action. For example, when person A sips his/her drink, person B has to call out a designated phrase, or when person C wipes his/her mouth, person D must vigorously scratch his/her nose. You can also set up a chain reaction. When one person does something, another has to do his/her assignment, which in turn triggers another person's assignment and so on. After dinner, pass out a list of assigned actions to all participants and see who can guess who and what triggered each action. Give a prize to the person with the most points (1/2 point for each "who" and 1/2 point for each "what").

Set up a table in the parking lot or in the back of a pick-up truck or in a motor home at a local fast food restaurant. Decorate the table with a fancy tablecloth and candles, then have a friend take your order, and deliver your food.

Make a scavenger hunt. The idea is to make of list of things that need to be gathered, and return with those items to a designated place. Have them end up where you are waiting with a nice candlelight dinner. One of the items to gather can be matches, which you can use to light the candles. This is more fun, if it includes several couples, working as teams.

Send formal invitations to a murder mystery dinner. Pre-assign each person a character to portray. After dinner, play a game of Clue as couples. Prizes go to the winning couple, with a consolation prize to the dying character.

Tell your date to dress up for a nice restaurant, then blindfold her and drive to the local pedestrian overpass with a nice dinner set up for two. Have a friend cater and serve your table.

All guys meet at a designated location (none of the girls are at this location). When the guys arrive, have a note delivered instructing them to listen to a prerecorded message and then send them on a scavenger hunt to find their dates. Meet them in a public location (our meeting place was the post office) for a picnic dinner.

Go on a double date with your parents. Select an inexpensive restaurant and offer to pay.

Make a meal together, and the feed each another.

Take your date to a fast food restaurant. Set the table at a pre-arranged time with some nice table settings and battery-powered candles (have a friend or employee set it up). Order your food, sit down, and enjoy a "candle-light" dinner in a fast food restaurant.

Take your date to a pond away from the city lights. Row out to where you previously stored dinner in air tight containers, set up a blanket, and have a picnic in the rowboat.

Write down different favorite places to eat on individual pieces of paper and put them into a container. Then write down different meal courses (i.e. appetizer, soup, salad, main meal, dessert, etc.) on individual pieces of paper and put them into a second container. Then take turns, selecting first a location, then a course. You may have an appetizer at Baskin Robbins, soup at a Chinese restaurant, salad at McDonalds, main course at Taco Bell, dessert at Subway, etc.

Are you going to a fun restaurant with a group of friends (to include that special someone)? Drop in earlier that day and give the waiter a card. He can bring it with the dinner and present it to an unsuspecting someone that you want to impress.

Cook tin foil dinners on the coals of a camp fire. It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook hamburgers with sliced potatoes, carrots, and onions and a thick slice of butter (if you use a grate, it takes longer). If you can't build an open fire, you can also use charcoal briquettes and a portable grill. Turn the tin foil dinner at least once. For variations, slice strips of steak or kielbasa instead of hamburger. Use heavy tin foil, and wrap securely. You can eat your dinners right out of the tin foil.

Have a pot luck dinner. The idea behind a pot luck dinner is that everyone brings something. As the host of a small party you would want to make the "main dish" and then have people bring other things like salads, side dishes, desserts, etc. You want to be sure to tell everyone exactly what type of dish to bring. Ask everyone to also bring a "show-and-tell" item that can be used to tell about a hobby or interest (as a way to get to know everyone a little better).


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