The Perfect Date Night

These 10 unique date ideas make planning a night out a little less complicated.

By Olivia Sylvain
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With so many unique places to eat, enjoy music and try new things, you would think planning a fabulous date in Austin would be easy. Sometimes, though, we get in a rut and end up back at the same places every week because it’s just less complicated that way. The best way to break the old routine is to get creative. Step away from the norm so you and your significant other can enjoy one another and this great city with no stress and no strain on your cash flow. First date? Take some time to look for something that’s new to both of you. Ease some of the pressure of date night (or day) with these great spots.


For Lovers of the Outdoors

Outdoor activities can add a unique element to a date. Of course, the summer heat can really impact just how romantic things can get, so try some evening outdoor adventures.

For a casual evening date, head to Mount Bonnell and take a hike together. Enjoy the amazing views from the highest point in Austin. Get to the top just in time to watch the sunset for that added touch. Best of all, this date is totally free.

If you’re going for something a little less sweaty, schedule a sunset boat ride on Lady Bird Lake. You may have to make these plans a bit further out, but the beautiful scenery is worth it. Some boat tour companies are BYOB and allow passengers to bring a few snacks. Kick back, get comfortable and see where the evening goes.


Old-fashioned Fun

The Blue Starlite Drive-In is the perfect place to get comfy with your date and enjoy classic films. Be sure to reserve your car slot online in advance, just in case space is limited. BYOB, bring snacks or check out the concession stand for a tasty s’mores kit. The theater also offers plenty of space for walk-in and bike-in customers.

Nothing says all-around fun like dinner and cocktails followed by some bowling, karaoke, shuffleboard or arcade games. You and your date can do it all in one spot at Punch Bowl Social. Let your inner child free and enjoy yourself. The best part is that everything is in the same location, which leaves lots of room for the two of you to choose what you would like to do together.


Early Eats

Brunch is always a great weekend-date option. Austin has a variety of restaurants that will offer up delicious meals and provide the perfect atmosphere for cozy conversation. If you haven’t tried the New Orleans-inspired brunch menu at Sawyer and Co., your next date is the perfect time to show just how much of a true Austinite you are. The vintage layout and decked-out patio (AstroTurf included) is sure to make for a memorable morning.

If you and that special someone are early birds, make a date out of a trip to the farmers market. Check out the vendors at the Sustainable Food Center Farmers Market every Saturday at any of the five locations throughout the city. Try fresh beverages and hot food, such as breakfast pizza, and listen to live music. This date is casual, affordable and can be an option year-round.


For Music Lovers

OK, everyone in Austin is a music lover, right? Perhaps your date is into a different genre. Take some time to find a great place to listen to their favorite tunes. The Elephant Room is a favorite for jazz lovers. Enjoy a few drinks and live music during happy hour and don’t worry about a cover on weeknights. View the monthly calendar of performances online.

East Austin is home to the treasure and landmark that is The Historic Victory Grill. This blues venue is packed with lots of history that any blues junkie would swoon over. Take your date to the place where greats like Billie Holiday took the stage, and see just where the evening takes you.


Easy-going Entertainment

It’s an Austin favorite and you’ve probably enjoyed it before, but don’t underestimate the date potential of Peter Pan Mini-Golf. This date is going to be easy on your wallet and hopefully it will bring out the kid in both of you. Best of all, the park is open late so you can enjoy a laid-back date when it isn’t so hot outside.

Take a stroll along South Congress on the first Thursday of each month. Stores and restaurants are open late, and you can find drink specials just about anywhere from Barton Springs Road to Elizabeth Street. Take in the sights, grab a bite to eat and simply enjoy each other’s company. This date is simple but there are endless possibilities. 


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