The 30 Coolest and Most Romantic Summer Date Ideas in Dallas
From dinner and a show to rescuing sea turtles, we’ve got you covered.
Whether you’re crushing hard on someone or you’ve been in a relationship for years, the carefree days of summer coupled with passionate romance can make for one very powerful combination. And now that vaccinations and boosters have made it possible for us to go on dates that don’t in any way whatsoever involve Netflix, flirting over FaceTime, or getting sloppy while making out through masks, this could be the hottest season of love in a very long time. We’ve gathered some date ideas that will increase the heat year-round, but they’re especially suited for summertime. And because we know not all dates are romantic ones, you can take your BFF along for some innocent fun, too.
One of the newest concepts to debut in Spring 2022, Fizz opens early each morning for all your caffeine needs, but transitions into a champagne, wine, and cocktail bar by afternoon and evening. Test your collaboration skills by building your own boards from a selection of charcuterie and cheeses, then cuddle up on a sofa or out on the patio and enjoy the results of your teamwork.
Interacting with animals always makes for a fun date and it doesn’t get much more exotic than the Backstage Safari at Dallas Zoo. For $150 per person—which adds up to $450 for thrupples—you can embark on a 90-minute excursion behind the scenes with one of the zookeepers. Feed apples to the largest land mammal (the African elephant, if you’re playing along at home), participate in a training session with some hippos, and attend a private Wild Encounters show where you’ll get an up-close look at tamanduas, tortoises, and other magnificent creatures.
East Dallas/White Rock Lake
Not only are the gardens at the Dallas Arboretum perfect for photo-ops during the summer, it can also be a place almost all your own. If you’re looking for a quiet, more private experience and you’re a morning person, take advantage of the fact that members get exclusive access two hours before the arboretum opens each day. Explore the seasonal exhibits, grab some food to-go from the Terrace Cafe or Cafe on the Green, then spread out a blanket for a picnic on the great lawn overlooking White Rock Lake as the bunnies and squirrels size up your sandwiches.
Created by a couple (so you know it’s an awesome date idea), TK’s Comedy + Cocktails + Cuisine elevates the comedy club experience exponentially. Rather than the bowl of stale popcorn (and maybe some hot wings if you’re lucky) other places peddle, you’ll find a full spread of high-end food and craft cocktails to enjoy. Just make sure to completely chew your filet mignon or truffle-mushroom ravioli before chortling too heartily.
If going behind the scenes at Dallas Zoo isn’t hands-on enough for you, perhaps making a big difference for animals and the environment will be the key to true love for you and your sweetheart. The Wild Earth Action team hosts cleanup events in different neighborhoods around town that are designed to not only remove litter, but help the area’s wildlife in the process. If you want to step things up even more, you can join the team on an adventure somewhere else in Texas, including an upcoming overnight sea turtle rescue on South Padre Island this July and a bat-saving opportunity in San Antonio in September. We’ve never worked with bats, but we have indeed rescued sea turtles in the Caribbean and can vouch for how wonderful it feels to help such majestic creatures thrive.
Take ‘em out to the ballgame
Sports fans (and hot dog enthusiasts) need look no further than Globe Life Field for a date night that could stretch into nine full innings. Cheer on the Texas Rangers while chowing down on ballpark food ranging from traditional to vegan (or bring whatever you can fit into a quart-size bag), sip on ice-cold beer, and feel part of the kind of Americana your parents talk about non-stop.
Despite having one of the most annoying websites on the planet, Farm + Feed has a truly fun concept—video games by the hour accompanied by food and cocktails. For as low as $5 per person ($10 after 6 pm), you can rent a station, sofa, or booth decked out with PS5s, XBOX Xs, Switches, or PCs to battle it out with your significant other in the virtual world of your choosing. If you’re feeling more analog, you can also enjoy old-school board games in the bar area while sipping on a Hard Reset (Tito’s Handmade Vodka, lime juice, mint-ginger syrup, and ginger beer).
There’s not a bad seat in the house at Truluck’s in Uptown, but reserve Table 71 and you’ll look like an in-the-know high roller. Situated in the corner with floor-to-ceiling windows on both sides, you and your date will enjoy views of the downtown and Uptown skylines (even more impressive after dark) while indulging in Champagne and fresh seafood. Plus, it’s the only time you can say you got crabs on a date and have it be a happy declaration.
To be clear, a date night at Electric Shuffle USA is definitely better designed for a group than a single couple—especially because you and your sweetie can partner up as teammates against another romantic duo for ultimate domination. Or you can always be a little more chill and simply enjoy cocktails and shareable bites while testing the accuracy of your hand-eye coordination.
The 12,000-square-foot Ritz-Carlton Spa, Dallas has gone under a multi-million dollar renovation, making the already luxurious full-service pampering oasis better than ever. Book a couple’s massage and let someone else do the work (unlike the massage class for two, also on this list). Make sure to allow time before and after the treatment to each enjoy the separate men’s and women’s relaxation areas, complete with jacuzzis, rainforest showers, saunas, and steam rooms. Then stick around for dinner at Fearing’s Restaurant or drinks at the Rattlesnake Bar (or all of the above).
With its giant, light-encrusted orb towering above the downtown skyline, Reunion Tower will always be one of Dallas’ most recognizable icons. The tower’s observation level, GeO-Deck, creates new memories with their special date night package that includes two admission tickets, VIP elevator service, a digital photo and a silver frame, two complimentary glasses of bubbly, and two keepsake Reunion Tower flutes. Better still, when you reserve this package, you can book a room at the Hyatt Regency downstairs at a nice discount.
Thousands upon thousands of people have discovered the glorious culinary shopping extravaganza that is Eataly, but patronizing the onsite restaurants is an even better way to sink your teeth into the concept. Head upstairs to Terra, the wood-burning grill on the third floor, for a lavish meal on the patio (or near the fire itself). Start with build-your-own Gin and Tonics, then choose the Per La Tavola option and dive into entrées such as Double Duck Breasts and Slow-roasted Wild Boar Ribs, along with seven different sides and accompaniments. End things with a visit from the gelato cart to really seal the “honey, you shouldn’t have” deal.
Dallas Love Field
Charter a jet for two just about anywhere imaginable for a luxurious, undeniably memorable date night. Chilled vodka and lobster on the flight before jazz and dinner in New Orleans? Sunset on the beach in San Diego? If you can dream it, they can probably make it happen at Leviate Air Group, which offers on-demand flights and white-glove service that you will never, ever, never-never-never-NEVER find on a major airline. (Bags fly free, too.)
Dark wood, dim lighting, and stiff cocktails set the scene for a night spent at a table for two in front of Warwick Melrose’s handsome bar. Behind the microphone, an immensely talented singer from a roster of local and regional performers provides a soundtrack for you to get lost in your own little world of togetherness (and a few Crab Cakes for good measure). Best of all, you can book a newly renovated room upstairs and turn Date Night into Date Weekend, complete with treatments at the recently debuted spa or an afternoon soaking up the sun (or shade) by the also-new(ish) pool.
The downtown Dallas skyline views don’t get much better than those available from the balcony of Sir Richard’s Flat at Virgin Hotels Dallas. You’ll never have to leave the 1,400-square-foot suite, which features a large living room, wrap-around balcony, well-stocked bar, and a gigantic bathroom complete with a clawfoot soaking tub and spacious (hint, hint) walk-in shower. You can also challenge each other to an intense workout on the LiteBoxer, then retreat to the custom-designed Best Bed Ever to, er, sleep it off.
Downtown Dallas has already welcomed thousands of visitors to the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit and a similar experience with Frida Kahlo. On July 1, you can add Monet, Renoir, and Degas as potential third wheels for your date night. Experience their masterpieces on a more intimate level with the exclusive Date Night package (Van Gogh and Frida only, for now). Each couple’s package includes VIP tickets, viewing from a private booth, plus take-home gifts like Kate Weiser Chocolates, a romantic gift set, and the option to add a one-night stay at Lorenzo Hotel. And if you’re looking to limber up with your special someone, consider booking a yoga session at the spa.
Show how much you care by volunteering your time at Bonton Farms (after a delicious breakfast at the cafe, of course). Sign up for a Saturday and weekday slot and you could soon be feeding baby goats, milking mama goats, harvesting plants, taking care of chickens, or assembling food bags for neighbors in need. It’s an opportunity to get dirty in a field with your date without ever joining FarmersOnly.com.
Nothing brings people together quite like the adrenaline rush of dropping a few dozen feet at upwards of 60 mph. Whether you prefer looping roller coasters or rides that shoot you high into the sky, Six Flags Over Texas is open daily for the big summer season. Best of all, a $69.99 summer pass gets you into both Six Flags and Hurricane Harbor as many times as you wish until Labor Day, so anytime you can’t think of something to do, consider “Let’s go ride the Titan” your go-to, innuendo-free pickup line.
Paddle your way around White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake
Stretch your legs (not to mention your forearms) with a kayak or canoe ride on White Rock Lake. White Rock Paddle Co. will get you decked out with a life vest and everything you’ll need to drift the day away. If you truly want to make it special, plan your ride in conjunction with the breathtaking sunset—just make sure to allow enough time to get back to the dock when the Paddle Co. closes shortly after.
The classic dinner-and-a-show combo always makes for an enjoyable, inside-the-box date night, but you can up the ante considerably when the show takes place outside the window of an aircraft. At Delta Charlie’s, you and your sweetheart can enjoy a three-course meal followed by a private sightseeing tour after sunset. Consider scheduling a flight during a fireworks presentation (you know, should you need a marriage proposal idea).
Sure, a 1970s sci-fi classic about a society in which anyone over 30 is killed off isn’t necessarily the most obvious theme for a successful date. But the Phillip Johnson-designed Fort Worth Water Gardens, where pivotal scenes from the movie were filmed, still make for a fun time full of hand-holding and puddle-jumping. Another bonus? The public water feature sits a short distance away from great conversation-starters like twice-daily cattle drives starring the Fort Worth Herd or the regularly scheduled live rodeo.
Navigate through the Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn on a gondola complete with a gondolier in black-and-white stripes operating a big stick. Choose from breakfast, lunch, and dinner options—fancy or casual—and see the city from a completely different vantage point. Cruises range from $155 to $425 depending on whether you have a meal, plus various other optional upgrades. And, little known fact: It’s gondola tradition to kiss every time you go under a bridge.
Far North Dallas
Sure, you can get a couples massage at just about any spa these days, but it’s a much rarer treat to learn the proper techniques to get the job done with your own four hands. At $279 per couple, this three-hour class is about the same price as most couples massages, but once you complete the course, the at-home massage possibilities are endless. Consider it the gift that keeps on rubbing.
Dallas Arts District
Curious if your Tinder date prefers pre-Raphaelites to Warhol? You’ll get your answer at the Dallas Museum of Art. Best of all, general admission to permanent exhibitions remains free while special exhibits can be accessed for a nominal fee. Across the street, the Crow Collection is also free, while $10 gets you the opportunity to wow your date with all your sculptural knowledge at the Nasher—or let one of the staff do the heavy lifting—by dropping some fascinating facts on them.
Okay, maybe you can't perfectly execute a split leap (yet), but what’s more fun than ice skating (or attempting to ice skate) at the Galleria? Even if you’re both terrible at the sport, falling into someone else’s arms (or vice versa) always speeds up the romantic process. Admission is $12 during public skating hours, and skate rentals come in at just $5 per person. Plus, on June 25 you can join the Summer Skate Night, complete with warm-weather songs from the Beach Boys to Harry Styles, plus tropical leis for each skater.
Did you call yourself a “fearless badass who loves to be extreme with five Xs” in your dating profile? It’s time to put your money where your mouth is, pal. iFly offers indoor skydiving sessions via a giant wind tunnel. It's not cheap—as in, $85 for two flights per person "not cheap"—but it's great for photo ops or proving that, yes, you would totally jump out of a plane without actually having to jump out of a plane. (Of course, you can always do that, too.)
Stroll all over the city at your own pace and learn along the way
Group sightseeing tours have lost a lot of their appeal over the past year and change, but that doesn’t mean you can't still gorge yourself on all our great city has to offer. With GPSmyCity, you can set off on any one of 10 self-guided tours around town for an annual subscription starting at $12.99. That means you could have 10 dates in Dallas, each with a different theme ranging from public art in Deep Ellum to an informative stroll around the Dallas Arts District. And if things go well, your subscription gets you access to walking tours in 480 cities worldwide—perhaps, even one for your honeymoon.
If you’re good at golf, you can show off your skills. If you’re bad at golf, you can make your date laugh. It’s a win-win. The best part? This place is patio-perfect on a whole new level. Order some drinks and snacks, and if you care to make things interesting, stick the loser with the tab.
This special section of Fort Worth’s famous Botanical Garden features strolling paths lined with traditional Japanese landscape as well as ponds. Its striking beauty and tranquility are sure to wow your date and put you both in a calmer state of mind. Admission is $12, but the peace and relaxation (not to mention great selfies) are priceless.
Oak Cliff, South Dallas
For an endorphin rush you'll probably both appreciate, you could certainly do worse than hitting either of these gorgeous multi-mile hikes through hundreds of acres of rolling wilderness and groomed trails. Perhaps you can even share some trail mix while assigning names to the river otters and other wildlife scampering across the path in front of you. Sweat it out then mix things up by careening down one of Trinity Forest Adventure Park’s many high-flying zip lines, with the longest clocking in at 100-feet.