Updated: Feb 9, 2022
It's date night, and you're all out of ideas, aren't you? When dinner and a movie has been done to death and "the bar" is becoming a more familiar haunt than it needs to be, it's high time to mix it up a bit. So let's mix it up a bit, shall we? Here are our favorite unique date night ideas in Dallas, Texas.
1. ARCADE 92
📍 McKinney, TX
Looking for a way to spice up your date night? We've got ya covered. Coming in first we have Arcade 92...time to go RETRO! Say hello to the arcade bar located in Downtown McKinney. Think date night mixed with a little friendly competition, and a full service bar. to enjoy a beverage or two. What better way to switch up date night than with a little fun and games?! They even have weekly tournaments where prizes can be won. From Pac Man to Super Smash Bros, Arcade 92 has all the classics for you and your significant other to enjoy!
📍 Deep Ellum, TX
OK, so we threw dinner-and-a-movie under the bus earlier, but you need to understand, dinner at Niwa in Deep Ellum is no regular affair. As soon as they swung open their doors in November 2016, Niwa was on the map as one of the most interesting foodie destinations in the neighborhood that has only gotten trendier and trendier as well.
The concept is yakiniku, literally translated from Japanese, means grilled meat. Sounds simple enough, except you're doing the grilling yourself, right there at the table, on one of those self-serve Shinpo down-draft grills sunk right down into the middle of your table. But don't worry, you stand no chance of burning the place down. It's all under control, until you start ordering the Wagyu.
3. axe throwing // Whiskey hatchet
📍 Deep Ellum, TX
Have a couple drinks and let fly the sharp projectiles! What could go wrong, amirite? Well, that's what waivers are for, and the staff at Deep Ellum's Whiskey Hatchet are some of the best in the business at keeping all the axes all flying in the right direction. You and your partner ($25-40 per person) will get a 10-15 minute introduction to the centuries-old art of axe-throwing before you get to hone your new skills for your 70-minute session. Reserve in advance, and keep in mind that if you go as a couple, you will most likely be introduced to some new friends to throw with, as each axe-throwing bay accommodates eight people. And from the drink menu? What could go better with axe throwing than their Pick Axe (Old Forester rye, passionfruit, hibiscus tea, lemon, $11)?
4. roller skating // interskate
📍 Lewisville, TX
An old school roller rink is a love song to what is now almost a completely bygone era. And they almost certainly will play whatever 80s or 90s love song just popped into your head over the loudspeakers, at Adult Skate, which happens every Thursday and Sunday night, from 8:30-11:30 at Interskate, according to their website. Does it date us when we say the song we immediately thought of is Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time"?
There are just a handful of these places left in DFW, including Arlington's Skatium, the Cedar Hill Roller Rink, Grand Prairie's Forum and the Redbird Skateland, after Grapevine's Skate Town closed permanently last year. Support your local roller rink, and try not to fall all over each other when you go!
📍 The Colony, TX
Adult mini-golf, anyone? Now this is our kind of golf outing. Think Top Golf's digital scoring technology, combined with intricate and diabolical hole design, then stir in some elevated dining options and high-end cocktails.
It all adds up to great fun at Grandscape in The Colony. It's the kind of date night that will really get your competitive juices flowing. Also, did you know? Dallas is one of just six cities in the U.S. with a Puttery, so check it out!
6. Bowling // bowLounge
📍 Dallas // Fort Worth, TX
Bowling as a hobby was begging for a fresh take and an updated experience. Enter Bowlounge, and gone are the days when "let's go bowling" meant you'd also be subjecting yourself to bad bowling alley hot dogs and stale bowling alley beer. With locations near Southside in Fort Worth and in Dallas' Design District, Bowlounge brings the fun atmosphere the sport has always kept, just with a little more kick in the kitchen and behind the bar. At the end of the day, it's still a place where we think The Dude, Walter and Donny (God rest his dear, sweet soul) would love to roll.
7. rare books bar
📍 Frisco, TX
To quote the great James Joyce, “The light music of whiskey falling into a glass — an agreeable interlude.” If you're basing your next date night on you and your partner's mutual love of whiskey or mixology, head north, to Frisco's Rare Books Bar inside the J. Theodore Restaurant & Bar. With live vocalists on Mondays and Tuesdays, the book nook strikes a smooth, jazzy note. On any night of the week, you can get yourself educated on the best of the best in rare whiskey from all corners of the world. Try the Texas bourbon flight ($35) or the Sensei flight ($56) if you're a fan of Japanese whisky. For cocktails, we love both the lavender lemon drop ($15, vodka) and the jigsaw girl ($15, gin).
8. reunion tower
📍 Dallas, TX
This one is soooooo Dallas it hurts! Reunion Tower has three great choices for couples looking for unique things to do around town. While there are no dining options in Reunion Tower at the moment (due to renovations, according to the website), you can still bring your date (1) for a day-and-night viewing, where adult tickets are $24 apiece, or you can (2) reserve a special "Love is in the air package." The package includes two observation deck general admission tickets, VIP elevator service, a digital picture and an analog 5x7 silver picture frame, two complimentary sparkling glasses of wine and two commemorative Reunion Tower flute glasses. You have to start the booking process by using the website's contact form, and you need to reserve your space with at least 48 hours' notice.
The third option is the Official Dallas City Pass, which for $47 each, gives you admission to four premier Dallas attractions: the Reunion Tower observation deck, the Perot Museum, and then your choice of two of the following three: the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the Dallas Zoo and/or the George P. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Your access to all four is valid for 9 days after purchase, so you don't have to cram all four attractions into one exhausting date!
9. cooking class // eataly
📍 Dallas, TX
Plan well in advance for this great date night idea, because folks seem to love Eataly's cooking classes and wine nights! Eataly is located in the Northpark Center and, aside from being the best Italian grocery this side of the Mediterranean, the food and wine experts there are glad to share their love of Italian culture and cuisine with us blockheads multiple nights every week! From a glance at their schedule, it appears cooking classes usually sell out about two weeks in advance. Your date will think it very refined of you to offer up this idea. Very refined, indeed.
10. go karting // andretti's
📍 The Colony, TX
Photo by: @andrettithecolony
Who wants to go fast? I wanna go fast! Even if you're taking the whole dating thing slowly, you can go fast as heck in the vroom-vroom machines at Andretti's at Grandscape. You'll zoom through all manner of twists and turns as you climb the multi-level track and leave all the suckers who bothered to line up against you in your dust. Races cost $25 each for non-members, and members get a nice little discount on a three-race package.
Andretti's also features a zip-line course, a great arcade and a laser tag course, so when you're done racing, you can beat your date at any number of activities. Or you can fuel up at the Andretti and get back out there for more racing action! Whatever you do, remember to wear close-toed shoes, people!
11. electric shuffle
📍 Dallas, TX
Shuffleboard is a game of precision. A subtle touch or tap can swing the result from a win to a loss, or vice versa. Sounds a lot like dating, TBH. But you've never seen shuffleboard quite like they do it at this new Deep Ellum haunt, which opened last November. When you walk in, the industrial-style bar will immediately catch your eye. But the gameplay will keep you coming back for more. The digital interactive gameplay was developed by literal rocket scientists.
Be sure to reserve your spot on their website if you plan to slide ye olde weights, otherwise, you can have a good enough time grabbing a bite, trying a couple cocktails and moving on, if traipsing through Deep Ellum is more your style.
12. comedy show // dallas comedy club
📍 Dallas, TX
Photo by: @dallascomedyclub
Funny happens at Dallas Comedy Club. Husband-and-wife duo Ian and Rosie Caruth opened this spot, also in Deep Ellum, in August of 2020 with an idea to not only host great acts but make Dallas a funnier place. Not only do their shows run the gamut from stand-up to improv to open mic nights and sketch shows, but they feature some family-friendly comedy options as well. Check out their upcoming schedule here.
13. cOURTSIDE KITCHEN
📍 Fort Worth, TX
Pickleball is certainly having its moment, isn't it? Especially at Courtside Kitchen, the answer is yes, yes it is. If you haven't played before, the barrier to entry is super low — basically everyone has a blast learning and playing the game. Think of a slower version of tennis, but minus any volleying at the net, with wooden paddles instead of rackets, and a bigger ball.
At Courtside Kitchen you can not only learn how to play "the fastest growing sport In America" on one of 11 regulation pickleball courts, but you also get access to the scratch kitchen/sports bar that, you guessed it, heavily features chicken-related fare, and a ton of other space for various yard games. It is a hoot.