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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 25+ local date night ideas that are worth a fling.

For the ones who want a night out on the town

  • 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.
Oprah has called Graeter's ice cream the best she's ever tasted. | Photo via @hungrybubblesaur

Oprah has called Graeter’s ice cream the best she’s ever tasted. | Photo via @hungrybubblesaur

If the way to their heart is through their stomach

  • 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.
  • Sometimes our schedules don’t line up for date night and it turns into a day date. Start your morning together just like this and you’ll be on the right foot.
  • 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

  • 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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Get transported back to the 70s + 80s at 16-Bit. | Photo by CBUStoday

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

  • 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 Butcher Shop Fitness has locations at 2571 Neil Ave. and 780 S High St. | Photo by @thebutchershopfitness

If you’re really hoping that it works out

  • 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.
CBUStoday Drexel Movie Theater

We highly recommend bringing your own lawn chair to Easton’s movie nights. | Photo via Easton Town Center

If you want an “old fashioned”-style 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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