Netflix & Chill is so last year. We know it’s hot, but avoid the temptation to just hang out at home with your S/O — or resort to the equally commonplace dinner-and-a-movie option. Instead, we challenge you to impress your girl with a different kind of date that goes way beyond the norm.
Keep your cool while ensuring that your next date heats up with this treasure trove of hidden gems in Dallas that aren’t just romantic, they’re downright fun.
There's something for everyone here — artsy, active, adventurous, casual, dressy, outdoors-y, and more. And, whether you’re new-ish to the city or a hometown native, this list likely features places you’ve never even heard of.
Don’t have a girlfriend? Not to worry, these spots are equally assured to impress your next Bumble match way more than “grabbing a drink” ever will.
You can thank us later for this cheat sheet — it will be our little secret.
And, girls, there’s no shame in forwarding this list to your man. After all, we know they can use a little nudge in the right direction sometimes.
Prairie Creek Waterfalls
Didn’t think you could go chasing waterfalls in Dallas? We’re here to tell you that you absolutely can. The falls here are still pretty miniature, but this secluded spot is still the perfect place for a romantic, outdoors-y date. Plus, the water is a surefire way to keep your cool in the summer heat.
Give thanks for the girl in your life at this chapel, located in the heart of downtown. The swirling architecture is a sight to behold — and the stained glass will think you’ve been transported to the cathedrals of Europe.
Dallas Heritage Village
Think you have to wait until Halloween for a haunted house? Not so. The Millermore Mansion, a Civil War-era mansion at Dallas Heritage Village, is said to be haunted by an unidentified lady ghost. Stick around to check out the rest of the Village, which is home to the largest collection of 19th-century commercial buildings and Victorian homes in Texas — and also serves as a great impromptu photo shoot location, which your girlfriend will love.
Cake Bar at Trinity Groves
Have your cake and eat it, too. This adorable spot isn’t just Instagram-worthy — it’s delicious. The Southern-style treats are made from scratch, meaning it’s a very sweet destination for you and your own sweetie.
We guarantee your girlfriend will be extra-impressed that you’ve even heard of this place. Tucked away in the back of a floral and luxury oddities shop in the Knox-Henderson 'hood, it’s a favorite gathering place for stylistas. But, the food is on point, too — as witnessed by the Snob Sandwich (yes, it’s really called that!). It’s only up for lunch, though, making it a great weekend daytime option.
If you’re looking for something a bit more original (and less crowded) than Klyde Warren Park downtown, try this tiny hidden park in Oak Lawn. Not only is its name way cooler, it boasts a fantastical collection of Game of Thrones-esque statues— think angels, fairies, gargoyles, and dragons, natch.
The Samurai Collection
This under-the-radar museum is just as special as the mainstays Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center. It boasts an exemplary collection of 1,000-plus pieces of Japanese armor, weaponry, and more. You are her knight in shining armor, after all.
GeO-Deck and Cloud Nine at Reunion Tower
So, the big ball in the Dallas skyline is nothing new. But, even if you’ve seen it from afar a thousand times, it’s high time you venture 470 feet up, where you’ll experience breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views, HD zoom cameras, telescopes, and an indoor/outdoor observation deck that lets you see for miles in any direction.
Trinity Forest Adventure Park
Face your fears and bond over an adrenaline rush with this dose of aerial adventuring that includes canopy tours, zip-lining, wobble bridges, challenge courses, and more. And, here you thought that Dallas didn’t have any nature-fueled fun.
Fort Worth Water Gardens
Okay, okay. So, we cheated just a little bit with this one. While this destination is in Fort Worth, it’s worth the mini road trip. This refreshing oasis, adjacent to the Fort Worth Convention Center, was designed by the notable Philip Johnson, and it’s really an architectural and engineering marvel. No wonder it was featured in the 1976 post-apocalyptic film, Logan’s Run. The tranquil urban park is a perfect place to cool off in the summer — while getting some photos for the ‘gram.
Soda Bar at the Nylo Dallas South Side
Searching for a more traditional date-night setting — taken up a few levels? Then, head to this rooftop hotspot. There’s really no place better for a panoramic view of the Dallas skyline than this indoor-outdoor bar, located atop the Nylo South Side hotel — the fire pits and infinity pool only add to the ambiance. Go after sunset to capitalize on the city lights.
Paris may be the city of romance, and you can bring your date to France (well, sort of) at this very French and very cozy café that boasts savory and sweet crepes, galettes, and more. Ooh la la!
Bourbon & Banter
Yes, you really do need the secret code word to get into this swanky, subterranean speakeasy, located in the newly renovated Statler hotel. For that reason alone, it’s one of the coolest places to go for drinks after dark. The cocktails are super-creative, too.
Sons of Hermann Hall
Be the best (dance) partner by taking your date to this historic music hall in Deep Ellum. Every Wednesday night, they have swing dancing lessons, so you can brush up on your moves and then dance the evening away until the clock strikes midnight.
Maple Leaf Diner
Even though this diner was featured on the Food Network via Incredible Edible America with the Dunhams, it’s still pretty nondescript. But, don’t let the strip-mall location and bare-bones décor fool you. Bold Canadian flavors inform the menu, but the portions are Texas-sized — hey, it’s fun to share, anyways. Get the chicken-fried steak and waffle dish with a garnish of cream puffs. Sounds weird; tastes wonderful.
Grapevine Lake Fireworks
Let all those love sparks fly with fireworks. At Grapevine Lake, they have them every Friday at 9:30 p.m. during the summer from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Check out multiple vantage points including Acorn Woods Park, Big Daddy’s Ship Store & Grill, and the field next to Scott’s Landing Marina.
For all the NOLA lovers out there, the vintage charm of this intimate lounge brings a touch of the French Quarter to Deep Ellum. As if the jukebox wasn’t enough reason to go here, they have karaoke theme nights, so you both can do an epic duet.
Yoga at Klyde Warren Park
Get your sweat on — together — with outdoor yoga on the grass. The park offers several free classes throughout the week. But, don’t worry, they are in the cooler hours of the morning or evening. Then, you can cool off with ice cream from one of the food trucks onsite — because, balance. Namaste.
Dallas Farmers Market
You may not think of the Farmers Market as a cool place for a date. But, the indoor Market Shops are a fun place to browse around for local, artisan goods. And, there are a number of places to grab refreshing drinks and fresh-to-table food, too. Of course, if you really want to be an overachiever, you can also shop for produce and ingredients to make your girlfriend dinner later.
Azucar Ice Cream Company
Specializing in Cuban ice cream, Azucar just opened in the Bishop Arts District. But, these frozen treats won’t stay a secret for long. It’s the shop’s first location outside of Miami. So, get it while it's hot — ahem, cold.
The Texas Theatre
So, if you really want to chill out at a movie, at least go to this super-historic theater in Oak Cliff that’s as offbeat as its indie films and vintage classics. It’s also the place where Lee Harvey Oswald hid after assassinating JFK — not to put a damper on things. Now, grab the popcorn!
Zero Gravity Adventure Park
If you and boo are adrenaline junkies, then this is the perfect date destination. You’ll be like a thrill-seeking kid in a candy store with bungee-jumping, free falling, a Skycoaster, and so much more.
Copper Bar at Forty Five Ten
This stunning space is ideal for your stylista S/O. It’s located on the first floor of downtown’s high-fashion retail mecca, Forty Five Ten. You can also grab a seat on the patio and chill next to artist Tony Tasset’s giantly weird Eye sculpture next door.
Sweet Tooth Hotel
Indulge your sweetheart by checking in at the Sweet Tooth Hotel. The sugar-fueled art and retail pop up in Victory Park was made for Instagram moments and features five unique rooms overflowing with sweet dreams and candy crushes. But, don’t delay — the indulgence officially ends on August 31.
You’ve likely heard of — or frequented — Revolver Taco Lounge. But, have you ventured down the narrow passageway to their secret back room called Purepecha? Behind the wooden antique door is one of the most casually intimate spots to dine. You do have to plan ahead for this one, as the room only accommodates 14 people on any given night. Make a reservation for the eight-course meal with specially selected traditional Mexican dishes by mother-son chef duo Juanita Rojas and Regino Rojas.
Play the sous chef for your girlfriend and learn how to cook — together! — at this enticingly warm venue in the Design District, where cooking class meets dinner party.
Nestled in the Junius Heights neighborhood of Old East Dallas, this unique little café is proud to be off the beaten path. You’ll want to find it, though, for the Southern-style fare that’s made for a brunch date with bae. It also has a pup-friendly patio and on-site garden.
All couples need a break from reality. This whimsical neighborhood coffee shop delivers just that — plus, an iced cappuccino caffeine kick — all amidst a comfy lounge setting that’s perfect for a low-key respite from the sun.
Bookstore meets booze at this tucked-away spot in Oak Cliff, which basically means you have the best of both worlds for readers and drinkers. Romeo and Juliets will also love the semi-annual Shakespeare in the Bar event that’s happening this summer on August 13.
Magic Time Machine Restaurant
It’s 100-percent cheesy, but that’s the whole attraction of this quirky restaurant. What’s on the menu? Princes and princesses, superheroes and villains, pirates, pop culture icons, and all sorts of other zany characters who prance around the dining rooms for a good dose of dinner entertainment.