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30+ date night ideas for every type of Columbusite

Got a hot new fling? Hoping to spice things up with your longtime partner? We’re here to help plan your next date in Columbus, Ohio.

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Stories on High is one of the newest rooftop bars in Columbus. | Photo via Stories on High

Table of Contents

Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to CBUStoday.

Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby (played by Jason Radnor, who was born in Columbus) had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons. Regardless, whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 30+ local date night ideas that are worth a fling.

For the ones who want a night out on the town

  • Make your night out extra exclusive with dining igloos around Columbus, including VASO and Lumin Sky Bar.
  • Take your love to new heights on one of these rooftop bars in the city. We’ve got options ranging from “elegant and fun” to “laid back and aesthetically pleasing” so your date night can be tailor-made.
  • When they pull their phone out for a quick picture of their drink, you know you picked the right spot. Pro tip: You can’t go wrong with these six unique cocktails.
  • You aren’t cheap for hitting up these 20 happy hour spots — you are just cost effective.
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You can also sit near a fire at Lumin. | Photo via @lumincolumbus

If the way to their heart is through their stomach

  • Forget eating out, The Mix at Columbus State Community College is teaching you how to cook at home like a professional chef. These cooking classes range in cuisine and culture, and almost always sell out.
  • If your date is anything like us, they always ask for extra cheese. And that’s why we recommend making a reservation at Pelino’s Pasta, known for it’s cacio e pepe that’s prepared in a massive cheese wheel at your table.
  • Try something new with Kura Revolving Sushi Bar, the only spot in CBUS offering sushi on a serve-yourself conveyor belt.
  • Plan a morning date and check out our recommendations for local coffee shops. If the date is bad, at least you had a good cup of joe.
  • Cameron Mitchell Restaurants remain a top-notch choice for date nights. From great ambiance to delicious dishes, it’s hard to beat this local restaurant empire for a celebratory dinner.
  • Tell us if this sounds familiar: You and your partner can’t agree on where to eat. Solution? The Columbus Commons on Wednesday mornings for its breakfast food truck court, or on Thursday afternoons for its lunch food truck court.
  • Start your morning together just like this and you’ll be on the right foot. Pro tip: City Editor Mitch recommends the vegan sausage at Fox’s Bagels & Deli.
  • Don’t let dietary restrictions ruin date night. We’ve put together a guide of 25 vegetarian and vegan restaurants that can please all eaters.
  • No date night is complete without dessert in our book, and these 10 ice cream shops are approved by CBUStoday readers.
CBUStoday Columbus Park of Roses

The Columbus Park of Roses features five different horticulture themes. | Photo via @endlesslywandering__cee

If you love the great outdoors

  • Roses are the quintessential flower symbolizing love, which is why you have to take a romantic walk through the Park of Roses. This park in Clintonville features 12,000 different rose species.
  • Take your partner out on one of the various trails or parks in the city. We’ve already done the homework, too. Choose your own adventure with 20+ local trails, or 20+ local parks.
  • Looking for a specific park recommendation? Try Battelle Darby Creek, and keep an eye out for wild bison roaming in a fenced area.
  • Take advantage of a sunny day by climbing at an outdoor wall, such as the Scioto Audubon or Quarry Trails. Sometimes the great outdoors are unpredictable, and that’s why you can trust these indoor climbing gyms to remain open regardless of the season or weather.
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Did you know bison can weigh up to 2,000 lbs? | Photo by Liz Christian

For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)

  • Share your interests with your date at Robbie’s Hobbies, a Clintonville staple store for a variety of toys. It’s also fun to just explore the store for the nostalgia thanks to its selection of model trains and cars.
  • From free retro arcade games to tabletop classics, there’s more than one way to play games in Columbus.
  • Tee off your night with a game of golf. Whether that’s indoors or outdoors is up to you — but most likely up to your partner.
  • Are you and your partner more homebodies? Check out Capital Games — located on 216 Granville St. in Gahanna — for a wide selection of retro games and consoles, ranging from Nintendo to Sony.
  • Does anyone still play Pokémon Go anymore? Our survey says yes, and Schiller Park in German Village is a great spot for mingling with other players.
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The atmosphere at Pickle & Chill will be bright with vibrant graffiti art on the walls. | Rendering via @pickleandchill614

If you’re really hoping that it works out

  • Pickleball is a big dill in CBUS, which explains why there are now 27 different courts to choose from. This is a great double date idea, too.
  • It’s important to remember recovery days while working out, and that’s why you should take your date to Tranquility Salt Cave. Check out our sneak peek.
  • Take your partner to a fitness class and see if they are willing to put the work in.
  • Maybe you and your partner have exhausted every gym in the city — that’s okay. These unique classes, ranging from trampoline fitness to dancing, can spice things up in the weight room.
  • Not every date needs to be fancy. Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a walk to see these awesome murals created by local artists.
  • Snag a CoGo Bike and take an art tour of the city using our handy guide. We won’t tell anyone that we did all the legwork here.
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Columbus Blooms | Photo via Franklin Park Conservatory

If you want an “old fashioned” date

  • Find conversation starters galore at the Columbus Museum of Art, including paintings, photography, video, and pottery. General admission is free on Sunday if you want to keep this budget friendly.
  • Stroll through beautiful botanical gardens, colorful butterflies, and glass-blown sculptures at Franklin Park Conservatory. We call this a picture perfect date.
  • Learn something about the world and your date at COSI, the No.1 science museum in the US for four years in a row. Avoid the kids during the “COSI After Dark” events, or bring the kids any other day for a play date.
  • Keep it classic with dinner and a movie at a local theater. Might we suggest an outdoor movie during the summer season?
  • We believe all date nights should include three things: Food, drinks, and an activity. Browse through our past archive that does just that in specific neighborhoods throughout the city.
  • From Buckeyes to Clippers to Blue Jackets, it’s always sports season in Columbus.
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