We get it. Coming up with new date night ideas can be hard work. But don’t make it more difficult — or boring — than it has to be by resorting to the same old dinner and a movie. Whether you’re on your first date with a new flame or your 100th with your ride or die, up your dating game with these fun and unique ideas guaranteed to create a night to remember.
There are some things that just go better together: milk and cookies, peanut butter and jelly, books and beer. At the Newton in midtown Phoenix, cuddle up with your sig-o and a good book among the stacks at Changing Hands Bookstore, which offers everything from the latest bestsellers to the classic must-reads and everything in between. Then say cheers to the moment with a frosty beer at First Draft Book Bar. And if it’s Arizona brews you’re into, the in-store, wrap-around bar offers a variety of local beers and wines, as well as coffee and nibbles made with ingredients from local purveyors. To finish it all off, grab some dinner at Southern Rail for some refined Southern comfort.
There’s dining under the stars, then there’s Cloth and Flame. For a singular dining experience, treat your date to a dinner hosted by this unique event company. Dinners are held at some of the most stunning and picturesque settings in Arizona—from remote locations in the sweeping Sonoran desert to tree-filled forests of the north country—and prepared by local chefs dedicated to using Arizona-grown and ingredients. Enjoy a multi-course, gourmet meal served with wine or beer, then move in close as you drink in all of Arizona’s beauty. Word to the wise: these popular dinners tend to sell out quickly, so grab tickets while you can.
Sure, dinner is always the first idea when it comes to planning a date - but this is no ordinary dinner spot. The restaurant is perched on a mountaintop 1,800 feet above the city, giving you breathtaking views of Greater Phoenix. Your first pick for where to eat should be the patio, but not to worry - the indoor dining room has floor to ceiling windows so you can still enjoy the scenery. To make it the best experience, go for the chef's tasting menu, which pairs some of the restaurant's top Mediterranean influenced dishes with fine wines.
At Century Grand, you can travel back in time to the 1920s, and have a virtual train ride. This immersive experience from the minds behind UnderTow place you in an Art Deco train car at the start of Prohibition. Choose some world-class cocktails to sip on as audio visual elements - like "windows" that show the train moving across the country and the sound of the chugging train - make you feel as though you've been transported to a different world. Pro-tip: make reservations as early as you can - this experience fills up quickly on weekends.
If you're strapped for cash, you can still impress your date with a trip to First Fridays. On the first Friday of each month, Downtown Phoenix's Roosevelt Row, along with other spots throughout the downtown area, are transformed into an evening of art, food, and music. Peruse the area's art galleries, or watch a street musician perform while you grab a snack from a food truck. You can even head into some of the surrounding art museums like Heard or Phoenix Art for free during these nights.
What's more romantic than a picnic? The city has several beautiful parks where you can spread out a blanket and whip out some charcuterie. Go on a paddle boat at Encanto Park, fish at Steel Indian School Park, or take a train ride at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. To get more ideas of the best spots for a picnic, check out our blog post.