Lifestyle

14 Great Atlanta Dates To Go On Right Now

Here’s how to warm up this winter.

Dating is hard enough. Add the additional layer of COVID-19 to the formula, and we’ve got a major dilemma: How the hell are we supposed to date responsibly in times like these? Love may not cost a thing, but an irresponsible date can cost you a lot right about now. 

This month, there’s even more on the line because Cupid’s arrow is aimed at us all. This is not the time to get caught slipping, so we decided to make Valentine’s Day planning a little easier for you this year. Here are 14 date ideas in Atlanta that are perfect for this romantic time of year—from sweet surprises to unforgettable experiences. Mask up and prepare to safely elevate your love life in Atlanta.

Show off your artsy side

Dunwoody
Show your crush how creative you can be at The Paint Factory. The Black-owned paint-and-sip company is hosting a romantic couples painting party on Valentine’s Day from 1-3 pm. Each couple only needs to purchase one ticket, which includes 16x20 pre-sketch canvases for each guest, plenty of paint, an assortment of brushes, an apron, and an easel. In traditional paint-and-sip fashion, it’s BYOB, so break out that special bottle of wine that you’ve been saving for a romantic occasion.

Invite your boo to an igloo

Old Fourth Ward
If you loved those private igloos on The Roof at Ponce City Market, then get excited because they are making a limited return for Valentine’s Day. 9 Mile Station is inviting couples to enjoy an unforgettable dining experience that includes a 2.5-hour rental of a private igloo, a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, a six course meal curated by Executive Chef James Burge, wine pairings throughout the evening, and a dozen roses for the guests to take home. Priced at $1,000 per igloo, couples can enjoy their one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day at sunset (5pm-7:30pm) or under the stars (8-10:30 pm).

Hang out at a rooftop amusement park

Old Fourth Ward
If you’re looking for something a bit more lowkey than dropping a band on an igloo, The Roof at Ponce City Market still has you covered with dates out in the fresh air that really makes you look like you’re in the know. In addition to the beautiful rooftop onlook of Buckhead, Downtown, and Midtown, Skyline Park has several activities that you and your Valentine can take part in, from miniature golf to Coney Island-style games. There’s plenty of space for photo ops, access to cocktail bars and good ass food, and (most importantly!) plenty of opportunities to win your date a prize that they can cherish long after the date is over.

Stay home for a wine-fueled game night

Home
With all of these date ideas, it’s imperative to protect yourself from COVID-19 by wearing a mask and social distancing, but we all know that nothing beats staying home. If that’s more your speed, no problem. Sommify, a new board game built around wine tasting, is the perfect at-home activity. Grab your SO—and maybe another couple as well—and expand your wine palate with a game that gives you a reason to spend the night tasting different wines. The game has a playable wine list, so get your bottles from a local like 3 Parks Wine Shop (via curbside pickup or delivery).

Explore the High for free

Midtown
No, don’t do drugs on your date (unless that’s what you two are into)—take your loved one to the High Museum of Art. Valentine’s Day falls on the second sunday of February, which means free admission for all visitors. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, walkups are no longer accepted, so you’ve gotta act fast to secure a Second Sundays ticket. Once you reserve your free timed tickets online, however, you’re all set for an intimate, cultured, and free date for you and yours.
 

Make s’mores at home

Another at-home date idea is a bonfire for two, and Red’s Beer Garden has the perfect package for you if you’re interested in going that route. The At-Home S’more Kit includes s’mores supplies for two, roasting sticks, a date night card, a four-pack of Flying Embers Pineapple Chili Hard Kombucha, and a four-pack of Wild Leap Rollin’ Deeper Cinnamon Roll Stout—all for the price of $25. You can start placing orders for yours as early as Monday, February 1.

Stimulate your taste buds with a 10-course tasting menu

Candler Park
These days, if you’re going to take your date out to eat, you’ve gotta make sure it’s a special experience. Skip that spot that y’all always go to and make a reservation at Lazy Betty, where you both can enjoy a special Valentine’s seven- or 10-course tasting menu for $175 and $225 per person, respectively. Lazy Betty also has handcrafted, gourmet chocolate boxes available for purchase, so for a succulent treat that you can enjoy even after the tasting is over, be sure to place an order by Friday, February 12.

Find out how sexy being nerdy can be

Druid Hills
Fernbank’s monthly event series “Fernbank After Dark” is an adult-only event that happens every second Friday of the month, featuring unique after-hours experiences. No, that doesn’t mean sexy time near the dinosaur bones, but visitors do have access to alcohol and live music while enjoying fascinating science demonstrations. February’s “Fernbank After Dark” is a surefire way to impress the nature and science lover in your life, and since it takes place on February 12, so you can enjoy your night without having to deal with the Valentine’s Day crowds.
 

Drink like a fish

Downtown
Love is not only in the air -- it’s in the water too. On Friday, February 12, the Georgia Aquarium is hosting Sips Under the Sea, a 21+ celebration during Valentine’s Day weekend. Tickets include after-hours admission to the aquarium from 7pm to 10pm as well as access to onsite cocktails and dining options, and the VIP tickets—while $10-$15 more expensive—come with three drink tickets. This date idea makes for an adult spin on a classic Atlanta attraction and a unique drinking experience, so grab you and your tickets before they sell out.
 

Vibe out at an outdoor cabaret

Lawrenceville
Making a mixtape for your date is sadly a thing of the past, but Aurora Theatre is bringing those vibes back for Valentine’s Day with Love Mix, an outdoor cabaret at Ironshield Brewing. Starting at 6 pm on Valentine’s Day, attendees will be treated to a live mixtape of romantic music while enjoying brews and good food. If you are both music lovers, then this is the date for you.

Savor some rose-shaped gelato 

Lenox Square, Buckhead
You can’t go wrong with treating your sweetheart to some sweets. If you really want to wow your date with an aesthetically pleasing dessert, you should take them to Amorino. Paris-level dessert luxury awaits you there, where gelato artists will shape delicious flavors of frosty sweet cream into edible flower petals. Seriously, how romantic is that. Also get the French/Italian café’s macaroons, gelato cakes, pastries, and even their version of pancakes and waffles for breakfast, if things really work out.

Take a stroll through Piedmont Park

Midtown
Sometimes the best dates are the ones without frills, gimmicks, or bills. If your pockets are tight, but you still want to spend some one-on-one time with your Valentine, invite your sweetheart to take a stroll with you through Piedmont Park. You may even get cool points for suggesting a date that follows COVID-19 safety guidelines. If not, just pick up a great to-go food package on the way from a nearby restaurant—like the special four-course meal from Einstein’s or takeout dinner for two from Cooks & Soldiers.
 

Have a photoshoot together

West End
If Instagram is life for both you and your date, then head to Culture Experience ATL, an interactive photo exhibit that boasts more than 20 Atlanta-related photo ops. Learn your date’s angles and take them through Atlanta’s rich history and culture, from Freaknik to HBCU homecomings. It’s sure to be a fun and quirky date, and while other people’s Valentine’s Day dates will only yield a great photo or two, some time at Culture Experience ATL will fill up your camera roll with lit flicks.
 

See a drive-in movie

Various locations
The dinner-and-a-movie formula is pretty hard to screw up. Our advice? Skip the chains and opt for a movie-going experience that both of you will be sure to remember. Plaza Theatre is absolutely killing it with its parking lot-turned-drive-in theater, and the Springs Cinema & Taphouse is a great weekend drive-in solution for anyone straddling their northern perimeter. However, there will never be a better date night deal than Atlanta’s legendary Starlight. You can bring your own food and drink, plus it only costs $10 to watch two movies from the sanctuary of your car, looking up at a big giant screen like they used to do in old romantic movies.

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Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor who hopes all his fellow Atliens can find love this fall. Follow him on Instagram at @roshjobin.
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