The words “date night” often prompt laughter in households full of children. “What’s that?” is what my fellow moms say at the mere mention of the word “date”. Even those without children can often get wrapped up in work and home life and forget to go out and celebrate each other. Whether you had to sneak out the back door of your house, or are looking for some fresh ideas, we have your next date night covered.
Classic Cincinnati Dates
The Cincy-Day Date
I have always admired the Cincinnati Day Dates that my friend Rebecca and her husband plan. They love to hit the town to discover new and rediscovery old Cincinnati staples. A trip to Skyline Chili followed by a visit to the Taft Museum. Noshing on Big Boys followed by a trip Krohn’s Conservatory or seeing a film at the IMAX followed by ice cream at Graeter’s. Enjoying the gems that our city is known for is always a great date.
Picnic in the Park
Grab your picnic blanket, pick up some Revolution Rotisserie and make your way to Ault Park. Our city is a treasure trove phenomenal parks that offer quiet and secluded areas with great views. Other great picnic ideas include: hitting the Rootbeer Stand and then venturing to Sharon Woods. Or, head to Miami Market and take your picnic to Stonelick Lake! Or, if you’re feeling a little fancy, get a charcuterie board from Dutch’s in Hyde Park to enjoy in Alm Park.
The OTR Scene followed by a Tour of Music Hall
Over the Rhine has become the mecca of hipsters, foodies and anyone wanting some of the best food in the city. The options are endless which often leads folks to explore two or more places during their visit. A lobster roll at the Anchor, fried chicken at the Eagle and gourmet hot dogs at the Senate are just a few of the tantalizing options available. Be sure to schedule your tour of Music Hall–Molly, former tour guide indicates that it is one of the most enjoyed tours in the city. Go behind the scenes or for a spooky treat, opt for their ghost tour.
A Toast to the Wild
The Cincinnati Zoo is always coming up with new and innovated events to engage the city. In their series, “A Toast to Wildlife”, the zoo offers Zootini, Wild About Wine and the Zoo Brew. These events offer patrons opportunities to sample varies drinks, nosh on local grub– all while exploring the fabulous zoo. These events do sell out every time, and quickly, too! Therefore, I recommend following the zoo sites closely for ticket release days.
Root For The Home Team
Everyone knows that no respectable Cincy staple list would leave out a Reds or Bengals game. Take that experience to the next level by taking a tour of the Great American Ballpark and getting behind the scenes; look at the dugout, press boxes and stand right behind home plate. Want to add a touch of luxury to your ball game? Reserve a spot at the Handlebar to experience the game like never before.
Bengal fans are some of the most die-heart fans around. Even though our team may not be the best, we can sure tailgate with the best of them. Tailgating before a Bengals is an experience to behold and by some accounts, better than the game itself.
Don’t miss out on some uniquely fun Cyclones Hockey nights. Star Wars night and $1 beer night are few fan favorites. Naturally, I can’t leave out the amazing FC Cincinnati for a great evening full of excitement and soccer.
One of our favorite parks that highlights our beautiful city is Smale Riverfront Park. On the banks of Ohio River, this park boasts great views of the Roebling Bridge with modern swings big enough for singles, couples, and families alike. I recommend hopping on the Carol Ann Carousel to spark that childhood excitement.
The Foodie Scene
Progressive Dinner in Pleasant Ridge
Have you visited Pleasant Ridge here lately? If not you need to high tail it over to this up-and-coming hot spot! With new trendy restaurants all within walking distance of one another, this is the ideal foodie date night without the crowds of OTR. My recommendations: Start with custom cocktails at the Overlook Lounge, share a cheese plate at Share Cheesebar then top your night with some authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Figueroa. Please note: the churros are to die for.
The Summit at Cincinnati State
This unique dining experience transports you into the classroom for culinary students at Cincinnati State. This restaurant is run by chefs who are earning college credits under the direction of a professional management team. Your entire meal, with optional wine pairings, is packed with educational tidbits and local flair from the students. The Summit is open Fridays and Saturdays only, and reservations are highly recommended.
Cincinnati Dinner Train
All aboard for a dining experience that is full of class and elegance. The Cincinnati Dinner Train offers a four-course meal paired with a 3-hour long train ride. Drinks are available for purchase in the Oasis Tavern Car which was formerly part of the red train for the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. Check out their special events and remember that reservations are often made months in advance as they sell out frequently.
The Presidents Room at the Phoenix
I had to include this gem after the phenomenal experience my friend Kari had for her anniversary. This restaurant located in the Phoenix downtown gives diners dishes prepared with quality ingredients all served in an elegant, historic dining room. The Presidents Room takes special events seriously and has every fine detail planned out. For their anniversary, Kari and her husband were able to enjoy a customized 12-course dinner in a private dining room overlooking the kitchen. A perfect romantic and memorable experience. Rumor has it that there is a secret bowling alley in the basement and if you ask (tip) the right person they will take you to see it.
Hit the Northern Kentucky Wine Trail
Yes, Kentucky has a wine trail and it is just as glorious as it sounds. Plan an afternoon exploring Kentucky’s countryside while sipping on tasty wine. I would recommend checking the events at Seven Wells Winery, as they often have live entertainment and allow you to bring in outside food. Plan your trip on the trail today.
Kungfood Chu’s Amerasia
Explore this hidden gem that is offering dishes packed full of Asian inspiration and flavor sprinkled with a hint of American flair. Local self-appointed ambassadors Kathleen and Craig have declared this one of the best date night spots in the queen city. It is different, delicious and has a great beer selection.
Take a Cooking Class at Jungle Jim’s
Most folks from Cincinnati know that Jungle Jim’s is a good place to noodle around for a few hours, but did you know they offer tons of cooking classes? Classes are offered throughout the week and make for a great weeknight date for those who can’t sneak away on the weekends. From pasta to steaks, these cooking classes are the perfect bonding opportunity while eating delicious food together. Before or after the class spend time perusing through the store for some yummy treats.
Dinner with a View
There are plenty of great restaurants in the city, but a few offer panoramic views of the city like Primavista. It makes the perfect dinner spot before catching a performance at the local Covedale theater. For those looking to dine riverfront snag a table on the Chart House’s patio or at the classic Montgomery Inn Boathouse. Visitors to the Boathouse should leave time to meander along Sawyer Point Riverwalk.
Eat Your Way Through Findley Market
This fabulous market is a food-lovers paradise. There is an opportunity to take a free tour that is offered on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month at 10:00 am. Other tours are available and we recommend the tour and treat that allows participants to choose an item from three different vendors in addition to the 30-minute walking tour. At $10 per person, this is an affordable and fun experience. No tour? No problem! Findley market is chock-full of tempting local delicacies for you to discover around every corner.
Unique Date Ideas
The Video Archive
This is one of the few secret bars in Cincinnati. I wouldn’t give away what makes the Video Archive so special, just know that this is a must for those looking for a unique bar. Grab dinner at Gomez Salsa or take time to grab another fun cocktail at Myrtle’s Punch House.
Class Axe Throwing
When my friend Angie told me that one night she and her husband went ax-throwing for fun, I thought she was crazy. Nope. Class Axe Throwing offers just that very thing and you can bring your own beer!! After you take this ax-throwing class take your new skill up to the Renaissance Festival and win that turkey leg!
Tour Spring Grove Cemetery and Take a Picnic
This may be the perfect date for those looking for that perfect fall date. While picnicking in a cemetery may seem odd and creepy, it isn’t for those who have seen the beautiful gardens and grounds in Spring Grove. The grounds are so spectacular they are actually a natural historic landmark. Schedule your tour today to see what makes this place so memorable.
Endless folks have raved about the tours offered through Segway of Cincinnati. It offers three unique and routes to explore the city. They even offer a Segway with Santa during the holidays!
Art After Dark
If you follow my site it is no secret that I am a huge advocate of the Cincinnati Art Museum. Their monthly Art after Dark event offers visitors a half hours, adult only themed party complete beverages and food for purchase.
Be Tourist in Your Own City
There are tons of little museums, sights, and attractions hidden around Cincinnati that you just need to find. Visit the Police Museum followed by games at 16 Bit or swing into the Lucky Cat Museum and then go Karaoke at Toyko Kitty.
Looking for More:
Take a hot air balloon ride with Bella Balloons in Lebanon and plan for an evening in historic downtown Lebanon.
Go explore Ohio Valley Antique Mall.
Catch the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra down at River Bend.
Take a canoe ride down the Little Miami River then nab some delicious BBQ at Midwest BBQ and Creamery.
Need a great group date? Look no further than the Escape Game on the Banks.
Still Not Enough?
Try checking out these fun Unique Cincinnati Destinations.