“Grabbing a drink” runs a close second to “let’s hang out” as one of the most overused, tiresome, and empty dating crutches — especially in this era of digital match-ups and swiping left and right.
No matter if it’s your first date or a fifth anniversary, it’s high time to bring the fun back into dating with something that is a bit more creative and unexpected — and far more inspiring — than sidling up to the bar.
Sure, many of these ideas come with a bit more commitment than the easy escape hatch of the bar scene. But, for better or worse, at least you’ve done something a little different from the norm. We promise it will be fun.
Jump for joy
Get some air time at Altitude Trampoline Park, which puts the standard trampoline on steroids with 20,000 square footage of jumping space. You’ll be surprised how fun it is to just jump around — or show off any backflip action you have.
Have your own “Night at the Museum”
Roam the halls of the Dallas Museum of Art until midnight at their monthly “Late Nights” experience that also comes packed with special tours, film screenings, live music and entertainment, and food and drink.
Plot your escape
Escape rooms are all the rage, but Deep Ellum’s theatrical A Room With a Clue is especially immersive, as you play the characters of the multi-layered mystery, get-out game.
Play (video) games
For some arcade action, look no further than Pinstack, where the entertainment playground also has a two-level laser tag arena, colorful LED bumper cars, a high ropes course, and more.
Veg out (for a night)
Feed the body, mind, and spirit at Kalachandji’s, a Hare Krishna temple serving dishes from India’s vast and ancient vegetarian tradition that relies on the Ayurvedic art of cooking. We promise it will be delicious — no burgers or tacos required.
Grab a brush
Do we really need another paint-by-numbers canvas gathering dust? At Board & Brush Creative Studio, you might actually make something you want to display with their DIY wood sign workshops, with farmhouse-trendy pieces that actually come out looking good.
Be a skater
Flash back to childhood at Southern Skates Roller Rink. Thursday nights from 9:30 PM to 1 AM are adult skating only, making it all the more groovy to lace up your skates for a spin.
With both provocative and punchy art exhibits, the Dallas Contemporary presents challenging ideas from regional, national, and international artists — because pushing the boundaries is always a little fun, right?!
So, you can still grab a drink at boutique bowling alley Bowl & Barrel at The Shops at Park Lane, which combines 15 full-size lanes with a modern American tavern. Cocktails go so much better with lucky strikes, anyway.
The couple who downward dogs together stays together? Maybe, maybe not. But, much fun will still be had as you and your date get flexible. There’s no shortage of studios where you can pop in for a class around town, or head to Klyde Warren Park for their free morning yoga sessions on the weekends with instructors from some of the top studios in Dallas.
Get on the laugh track
Both fun and funny, Dallas Comedy House in Deep Ellum has affordable, good-quality shows five nights a week. Or, you can brush up on your own laugh-inducing skills with classes in improv, sketch, stand-up, and storytelling.
Be a different kind of rock star at Summit Dallas, a top-rope, lead climbing and bouldering facility where you can easily take your relationship to new heights.
Become a cheese whiz with the Mozzarella Company’s hands-on cheese-making classes. They also have pairings classes with wine and beer.
Roll with the punches
Okay, so kickboxing might not be everyone’s thing. But, it’s still a fun way to break a sweat together — and take out any pent-up frustration from the day. Title Boxing Club has clubs all across the city.
Ride a gondola
Escape to Venice (sort of) with Gondola Adventures’ rides on Lake Carolyn and through the Mandalay canals in Irving. If you really want to go all out, dinner cruises are also available.
Take the plunge together — without going so far as to jump out of a plane. After all, you’re safely indoors at iFly. Remember: Shared adrenaline rushes generally bring people closer, so proceed with caution — or throw caution to the wind. Your call.
Take a chocolate tour
If your language of love is chocolate, then you’ll have all the heart-eyes for Dallas by Chocolate’s decadent tour of the top cocoa stops that you’ve likely never even heard of. Even if the sweet stuff isn’t your thing, the same company serves up a Dallas Bites! edition that includes everything from tacos and margaritas, to wine and jazz.
Spread the love
Sometimes giving back is the best thing you can do together. For a hyper-rewarding date, volunteer at any number of local causes such as North Texas Food Bank or For the Love of the Lake. There’s a whole list at Voly.org.
Go on a ghost hunt
Get ghosted — the right way — at the Fort Worth Stockyards Ghost Tour. The historic Stockyards are one of the most talked-about destinations in the U.S. for paranormal activity. You’ll tour through The Cadillac Hotel, Miss Molly’s B & B (as seen on The Discovery Channel), The Stockyards Hotel, Cowtown Winery, and more. It’s not technically in Dallas, but who cares about technicalities when it comes to haunted houses.
Grab a paddle (board)!
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP, for short) is probably the trendiest and most accessible water sport out there right now. DFW Surf has everything from beginner lessons to weekly guided tours and SUP yoga at various locations including White Rock Lake, Frisco, Grapevine, and Little Elm. The SUP Glow sunset tours are especially cool with LED torch paddles.
Put some bite into Sunday brunch
Sunday Funday took on all new meaning with Drag Brunch Dallas’ spirited revue at Don’t Tell Supper Club. It’s a hot mess done right.
Go on an owl prowl
For a different kind of nightlife, take a guided evening hike through the Great Trinity Forest with the Trinity River Audubon Center, and learn all about nocturnal creatures. The night ends with some s’mores action, too, to refuel after all that owl-spotting.
Test your trivia
Maybe you really are the smartest person in the room. Find out at The Ginger Man Dallas’ “Trivial Tuesdays” accompanied by craft brews and prizes.
Embrace your geek streak
Be a smartass at Geeks Who Drink’s weekly pub trivia quiz, at different bars all around the city. The quizzes cover everything from celebs in trouble, to wordplay, to bad TV, and so much more. There’s even a “Name That Tune” audio round. Plus, there’s alcohol.
Have a diva moment
Sing until your heart’s content at Good Luck Karaoke, a two-man karaoke show at Deep Ellum’s Twilite Lounge with weekly themes like Vampire Beach Party, Therapist Night, Storm Chaser, and more. It’s weird, wild, and pretty much like Halloween every week. Costumes are encouraged.
Have a lick
Chill out with Mexican paletas at Encanto Pops, where the gourmet shop in Oak Cliff has too many flavors to count — from mango avocado to kiwi passion and milk-and-cookies — along with stuffed churros and other authentic treats. Popsicles never looked so sexy.
Channel your inner artiste
From macramé planters to glass mosaics, portrait watercolors, jewelry-making, and so much more, Oil and Cotton in the hip Bishop Arts District has a class for it.
Take a hike
Become one with nature at the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, where you and your date can explore any number of hiking trails at this urban park.
Bond over an adrenaline rush
Zero Gravity Adventure Park has thrills like bungee-jumping, free falling, a skycoaster, and more. Warning: Adrenaline junkies only.
Swing round and round
Be the best (dance) partner by taking your date to Sons of Hermann Hall, a historic music hall in Deep Ellum. Every Wednesday night, they have swing dancing lessons, so you can brush up on your moves and then hit the dance floor until midnight.
Be a Top Chef
Top Chef fans will love this. Not only was Tre Wilcox on the show, the celeb chef with a larger-than-life personality serves up cooking classes at Tre Wilcox Culinary Concepts — everything from “Global Cuisine” to “It’s A Southern Thing.” Even if the relationship doesn’t work out, your new culinary skills will last forever.
Have some screen time
Dinner and a movie is almost as trite as grabbing a drink. So, spice it up with an indie or classic flick at The Magnolia Theatre and it will still be a blockbuster night.
Paint your own wine glass
Uncork your inner Picasso — with a side of pinot noir — at The Art of Wine. Not only do they have a unique wine list, you can paint your own glass at this neighborhood bar, located in the heart of Preston Hollow.