The only thing that’s more boring than taking your date to dinner is watching rocks grow. Small talk about things like how each other’s salads are and the actual spelling of each other's names is the worst, not to mention blisteringly awkward, way to get to know someone. That’s why, if you really want to get to know your date and singe your likeness into their memory forever,  you've got to take them to one of these completely unique, unorthodox Colorado dating locales.

The only thing that’s more boring than taking your date to dinner is watching rocks grow. Small talk about things like how each other’s salads are and the actual spelling of each other's names is the worst, not to mention blisteringly awkward, way to get to know someone.

That’s why, if you really want to get to know your date and singe your likeness into their memory forever,  you've got to take them to one of these completely unique, unorthodox Colorado dating locales. We promise the story will be enough to ward off any and all salad-related small talk during your future dates.

1. The Denver Mint

Everyone knows financial security is one of the most attractive qualities in a boo, so make your first date special by giving the lucky guy or gal the false impression that you have it. That’s right, we’re talking about a trip to the Denver Mint.

Yeah, we know the only time you ever got excited about the Denver Mint was when you heard you were going there on a field trip in third grade and you thought Mr. Burton meant “mint” as in the place where mint candies are made and you were wrong … but hear us out.

The Denver Mint is where most US currency is made. It’s the sexiest first date place, because you can stand in front of the cash-making machines and pose powerfully, which makes you look like it was you that ordered the making of all that money in the first place. Your date can lustfully imagine you shouting, “Fire up the hundreds machine, Quasimoto!” as you climb into your helicopter.

Sure, they’ll know right away that you’re living out of you dad’s detached garage (you like to call it a “studio”), but that won’t change the fact that you a.) Look really Instagram-able lit by the golden light of billions of pennies, and b.) You’re not somewhere that has popcorn shrimp on the menu. And that was the whole point in the first place; to avoid normalcy at all costs. Plus, you can use the line, “I left my wallet at home … but I know a place where we can get some cash.”

2. The Boulder Valley Humane Society

Fact: People love furry things in cages. Fact: When people see a cute furry thing in a cage (or out of one) their brains floods with dopamine. Fact: Dopamine rushes are one of the major neurochemical processes that cause us to fall in love. Point of this? Swimming through a sea of adorable animals will make you feel more attracted to each other. Also, seeing each other interact with cute, helpless things in a sweet, nurturing way sends unconscious signals that each other is capable of rearing young, and everyone knows that’s a panty-soaker.

We know what you’re thinking: “I can’t even remember what his name is, what the fuck are you talking about child rearing for?” Because, you sassy little weirdo, it’s light years more efficient to think about these things early on. No one’s ever written a postcard to their mom that says, “Having so much fun figuring out Jeff and I have completely different life goals and views on human reproduction two years into our relationship, will write again soon.”

Plus, afterwards you’re instantly bonded, united by joint custody over an unknown species of mammal named “Clippy” that’s currently pooping on your socks.

And, we think we can all agree: ten or so years of begrudged pet parenting is better than a first date dinner at the Cheesecake Factory anyday.

3. Comedy Show at the Deer Pile

One of the most important factors in a healthy relationship is a shared sense of humor. So, you’re going to need to find out right away what makes your date laugh … or storm out of the room. But don’t place that heavy burden on your perfectly-sculpted shoulders; let some of Denver’s best comedians do the grunt work of deciphering each other’s senses of humor for you.

Enter the Deer Pile, home of Denver’s best underground comedy shows. It’s nothing more than a little room on top of City O’ City where you can buy PBR out of a cooler, but it’s where Denver’s best comedians come to practice their routines. Occasionally, and hopefully for you, some of of them have crowd-play worked into their routines, and they’ll single out various audience members to publically humiliate. This is where you come in.

Comedians have a sixth sense for telling whether a couple is on a first date, so sit as close to the front as you can, where they can observe your awkward body language and probably mismatched levels of hotness. If fate is generous, they’ll say something that tarnishes the pristine reputation of one of your deceased grandparents. Based on your date’s reaction, you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly whether you’ve got a similar sense of humor.

That way, it’s not you that insulted her dearly beloved deceased aunt with that AIDS joke, causing her to stomp out of the room … it was the comedian. Now you know she can’t take a joke. If you could only swipe left on real people, amiright? Even if they don’t pick on you, you can still observe what your date is laughing/ crying about and get the same informative results.

Plus, Deer Pile is 1,000% cheaper than most other comedy venues in Denver, and we already discussed the benefit of this with you during the “Denver Mint” section.

4. Speed Denver Dating

First dates are weird, because you don’t know if you like each other yet. Hell, there might be someone else present during your date you like more. Hell, there might be 20-something other hot singles waiting individually at tables, who you have to talk to for eight minutes each in a counterclockwise pattern, that you would like more. And this is why you take him or her to Colorado’s crown jewel: Speed Denver Dating.

It’s just what it sounds like; speed dating. But at Speed Denver Dating, there are free gourmet appetizers and complimentary makeovers, meaning two things: you don’t have to pay for dinner, and you don’t have to be the one to tell your date you’d probably fuck them if it weren’t for their shoes.

Plus, you'll know right off the bat how what's-his-face handles jealousy. You'll know pretty quickly whether you're going to need a secret second cellphone based on their reaction to you dating twelve other people at the exact same time.

If you still like each other the most after those free shrimp skewers and hair gel samples, then that tells you an awkward dinner at Sizzler might not be so awkward after all.

5. Record Hunting at Twist and Shout

Record hunting is the best first date idea we’ve ever had. Why? Because there’s nothing better than finding out you both harbor an embarrassing and socially unacceptable love for Jimmy Buffet … except finding out one of you hates him with the wrath of a thousand suns, in which case this relationship isn’t going to work anyway … but hey at least it was Jimmy Buffet that did you in, not their seductive second cousin.

Twist and Shout has, hands down, the biggest and badass-est record selection in Denver, which means you could spend hours figuring out one of you has a fatally unattractive interest in Jack Johnson, or connecting magically over a shared love of Beach House. Plus, they’ve got tons of rare vinyl to get lost in … literally … if you’re looking for a way to escape your date. "You couldn't find me? I was in the rare Italian death bluegrass section the whole time" is a great excuse for disappearing.

6. Dispensary Tour

These days, with everyone in Colorado being a cannabis connoisseur, matching on important subjects like weed strain preference is an important thing. That’s why you, old high friend, are going on a dispensary tour.

And by that, we mean you can walk with your date around downtown Denver or South Broadway, where there are more dispensaries than people, and blaze your own 420 trail. You can pretend you're Cheech and Chong, and dip in and out of various weed stores, sampling their supplies like you don't have a job you have to be at in the morning.

Or, if the freedom and spontaneity of wandering crushes your soul, there are actual, structured tours you can go on too. Colorado Cannabis Tours does a really great one where they take you from grow shows to glass blowing demos to Cheeba Hut, and stop by a few dispensaries in between.

You’ll be so high by the end of it, you two will think you’ve been married for 45 years and that you share a common aorta.

7. A Kink Munch

Okay, we know what we said about first date dinners being lame … but that doesn’t include dinners that double as kink forums.

Known to members of Colorado's kink community as "munches," these half-dinner, half-BDSM discussion groups are held all over the state at wonderous locations such as the Boulder Denny's, Mulligan's in Fort Collins, and CB & Potts in Denver. And while the ice cream served at these fine establishments may be vanilla, the dinner discussion topics are anything but. Come prepared to talk about leather play, dominance and submission, possibly butt plugs, and which leather face masks make the most convincing dominatrix accessories. Because there's nothing like eating a Grand Slam while discussing the finer points of getting slammed with with someone you just met.

Even if you're not currently involved in the kink community, or have no idea what a "Sibian" is, then at least you'll get a good idea of how willing your partner is to tie you to a kayak and pelt you with strawberries at some future date.

Here's a complete schedule of Colorado Munches.

8. The Obligatory Mystery Band Date

Colorado is home to an innumerable amount of amazing venues, as well as a burgeoning music scene that you should check out with your future ex. And the best way to explore that within the context of a first date, is a little something we like to call the "Obligatory Mystery Band Date." 

Here's how to play. Figure out what your favorite/ most approximate Colorado venue is together, then close your eyes and let fate guide your quivering finger toward that venue's concert calendar. Whatever date your finger lands on … that’s the show you’re going to see, regardless if either of you have heard of the band or not. Oh no, did you just pick a Polish trombone scat group who plays at 4 p.m. on a Monday afternoon? Too bad, you're going.

If you want something cheapish with guaranteed good music, we’d try forcing yourself to go to a random show at The Larimer Lounge, The Boulder Theater, or The Bluebird.

9. Mountain Air Ranch

One of the primary goals of dating is to eventually see each other naked … but why not skip straight to the point and bask in the glory of each other's cellulite right off the bat? Enter Mountain Air Ranch, Colorado's premiere nudist experience.

Located just a few miles southwest of Denver, Mountain Air Ranch has everything you need to get to know your date on the most intimate level possible. Nude hiking, skinny dipping, and pantless dining all await your arrival, and you can top it off with a night's stay at their Lodge.

Yeah, that's a really grandiose first date, but did Thomas Edison think the light bulb was a really grandiose idea? Probably, but that didn't stop him from doing it, did it?

And in the event that it's too cold to go nude horseback riding or stomp around jiggling your butt cheeks in the refreshing mountain air, you can always just keep sending each other semi-naked Myspace angle selfies over Tinder.

10. The Colfax Strut

Colfax is the longest continuous street in America … which gives you more than enough time to get to know each other as you walk down it, one way, until neither of you retain the physical capability to walk anymore.

Starting at the intersection of Colfax and Broadway, meet up with your date and start walking east, stopping in the street's various bars, shops, and venues along the way.

As an added bonus to the variety of entertainment options on Colfax,  there are also tons of furious hobos and confusingly-good-at-juggling crackheads along the way so you can show off your self defense/ running away screaming skills. And don’t even get us started on the cuisine options. Colfax has everything from Good Times to an abandoned restaurant that used to be Good Times to choose from, so you’ll be able to fuel up for the next terrifying leg of your trip. Enjoy!