Alright. So you've swiped right and it's match! Now the awkward part... to make contact.
Should you initiate a conversation or wait for them? Oh look, a message. Phew. Okay, so let's see... loves the same foods, a great sense of humor, and an nature enthusiast. Can anyone say marriage material?
But now, here comes the hardest part: you have to choose where your first date will be. (Dun, dun, dunnnn.) Don't worry, we've all been there! Googling "unique date ideas" in hopes of finding something fun and memorable. First dates can be intimidating, but we can help take some of the pressure and planning off of you. Here's a breakdown of why having your first date at Wild Florida will guarantee a second date (and hopefuly a lifetime of happiness).
1. Check in for your airboat tour and buy your date a momento in the gift shop
As you pull up, 15 minutes early as every eager date should, make your way to the Wild Florida gift shop. Here, you'll be able to check in for your airboat ride. And if you forgot to bring flowers with you, don't worry! Stroll around the gift shop to see if there is a gift that really speaks to you and greet them with that in your hands instead!
2. Stop by the world map and pin where you both are from
Once your date arrives and you've got your wristbands from checking in, take a look at the world map on our wall. Here, you can charm your date by proving that you "really do listen" and place a pin on the city where they're from. You might get a laugh, an eye-roll, or a combination of the two. (Both signs are positive, in our opinion.)
3. Take an #airboathair selfie during your airboat tour in the Everglades
When it's finally time for your airboat ride, you and your group will be led the dock down to meet your airboat captain and board the airboat. When you get to this point, make sure to position your date closest to the water and wildlife to get a better view. This will trigger a smile and make them less likely to resist taking an #airboathair selfie during your airboat ride.
4. Grab lunch at the Chomp House Grill
If you find yourself hungry after the airboat ride, don't worry about having to leave and go get lunch, just stop by the Chomp House Grill. Not only does Chef Ramon cook up some mean burgers, he can even cook some traditional swamp deliciacies if you and your date are up for trying something new.
5. Take a stroll through the Hawk Swamp
After your fuel up at the Chomp House Grill, walk with your date over to the Gator and Wildlife Park. Near the walk-in aviary, you'll see an entrance to our Hawk Swamp. Here you can stroll along the boardwalk under a canopy of cypress trees, which happens to keep the air a wee-bit warmer in the winter and a wee-bit cooler in the summer. These cypress domes are ecosystems within an ecosystem, and characteristic of the Central Florida Everglades. And if you're lucky, you might be able to spot some wild alligators, snakes, an eagle, or even an otter!
6. Interact with some of our animals at the petting zoo or the exotic animal show
After the stroll in the Hawk Swamp, you'll find yourself in the middle of the Wildlife Park, right in between the petting zoo and the exotic animal show. Depending on your timing, you can attend the exotic animal show and meet Fluffy with all his friends from the Everglades. Or you can visit our petting zoo where you and your date can feed and pet cute goats, a Brahman calf, a llama, and even a tortoise!
7. End your date by visiting all the animals throughout the Gator and Wildlife Park
The exhibits in our Gator and Wildlife Park feature more than 15 animals from around the world, and more than 10 native to Florida that call Wild Florida home. So we can understand that it might be hard to choose where to start. But lucky for you, the Wildlife Park is one giant circle that you can follow at your own pace in either direction.
Motivated to make this the #BestDateEver? Well, take the initative! Ask them out and tell them where you're taking them. But as just one more #ProTip before your date: you might want to review our blog on the emojis you use when visiting Wild Florida (giving you some extra time to craft that perfect first date status update or SnapChat story). So impress your date with some time management skills and book your airboat tour early (we even have some private airboat tours you can choose from for a more romantic experience!)