Whether you’re just starting a new relationship, or you’ve been married for years, arranging regular “date nights” allows for an opportunity to get to know your partner a little better, make some memories and strengthen your romantic relationship.
Lucky for you, you’re in Indy! Indianapolis is a study in contrast. It has a rich history but a thoroughly modern vibe – and that makes for an amazing mix of things to do when you’re looking for a good time and a way to connect with your partner. If you’re looking for a way to shake up your routine, why not try one of these fun date night ideas?
1. Wine and Dine at Tinker Street
For a classic date night with an elevated feel, Tinker Street offers an intimate and cozy atmosphere and a fabulous fine dining experience. This charming restaurant features a thoughtfully curated menu of contemporary cuisine, complemented by an extensive wine list and a wide array of dessert cocktails. The dimly lit ambiance and attentive service make it an ideal spot for a romantic dinner with your significant other – but you definitely want to make reservations!
2. Catch a Show at the Indiana Repertory Theatre
If you and your partner appreciate the performing arts, head to the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) for a show. This regional theater company consistently delivers top-notch productions, ranging from classics like “A Christmas Carol” and “Frankenstein” to contemporary shows like “Little Shop of Horrors.” Enjoy an evening of storytelling and theater magic, then discuss the performance over dessert at a nearby cafe.
3. Explore the Canal Walk
The Indianapolis Canal Walk is a picturesque spot for a romantic evening stroll. The three-mile loop is lined with colorful pedal boats and adorned with charming bridges, so the canal provides a serene backdrop for couples. Rent a paddleboat or simply walk hand in hand along the water’s edge as you take in the views of the downtown skyline.
4. Go for a Bike Ride on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail offers a unique daytime date experience because it takes you through eight of the most diverse and interesting neighborhoods in the city. Rent a pair of bicycles and embark on a scenic ride along this eight-mile urban stretch. You can check out the art near Fountain Square, the local businesses in Market East and more. You’ll pass by public art installations, parks and various cultural landmarks along the way, making it a great way to explore the city together.
5. Attend a Live Music Performance at The Jazz Kitchen
If you love music, The Jazz Kitchen is a must-visit venue. Considered one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World,” the club features live performances from local and national artists, plus tons of food and drinks. Enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz while sipping on signature cocktails and indulging in delicious homemade crab cakes, filet mignon and other menu delights. The intimate setting and soulful music make it a romantic’s ideal spot for a date.
6. Take a Gondola Ride on the Downtown Canal
Can’t hop on a flight to Venice to take a romantic gondola ride? Well, you can go there in your imagination by taking an Old World Gondoliers’ ride on the canal in downtown Indy where the gondolier will do their best to make your trip as romantic as possible.
7. Challenge Each Other to a Game at Topgolf
For a fun and interactive date night with zero stakes, visit Topgolf Indianapolis – Fishers. You don’t even have to know how to golf or own a club to enjoy a little friendly competition in a driving range game. When you’re done, kick back in the vibrant atmosphere with some fun American-style fare and drinks and catch whatever is playing on the big-screen HGTVs while you relax.
8. Savor Sweet Treats at the Flying Cupcake
Take your sweetheart out for some sweet treats at one of Flying Cupcake’s five Indy locations. This beloved bakery serves up a delightful array of gourmet cupcakes in a whimsical setting. Share the sugary goodness between you with a jumbo-sized cupcake in one of their classic flavors, like “Red Velvet Elvis” or “Peanut Butter Blackout,” and pack up a box of “Fancy Pants Flavors” minis to go for later.
9. Explore the Local Vibes on Mass Ave
Mass Ave is the city’s eclectic hub for arts, entertainment and one-of-a-kind shops – which makes it a unique adventure every time you go. You can catch a live performance at the District Theatre, savor a meal at someplace like “J’s Lobster & Fish Market,” then cap off the evening with a craft cocktail, a coffee or some other special treat.
10. Visit the Indianapolis Zoo After Dark
For a unique twist on a zoo visit, consider attending one of the “Zoo After Dark” events. These special adult-only evenings, like the “Halloween Brewfari,” feature live music, cocktails and the chance to explore the exhibits after hours. In the winter, “Christmas at the Zoo” returns, with all the lights and romance you can imagine – so keep checking the Zoo’s calendar of special events to plan your trip!
11. Take a Private Hot Air Balloon Ride
For a truly unforgettable and romantic experience, raise the stakes and take to the skies with a hot air balloon ride. Several companies in the Indianapolis area, including Indy Hot Air and MidwestBalloon Rides, offer rides with breathtaking views of the city and its picturesque surroundings. Drifting above the landscape as the sun sets is an incredibly romantic way to make some unforgettable memories with your favorite person.
Indianapolis is brimming with things to do – even if you’re on a limited budget. If you’re looking for a way to ratchet up the romance in your life, all you have to do is get out there and explore!