Dallas’ Coolest and Most Romantic Fall Date Ideas
Artistic immersions, seductive cocktail dens, and Cowboys games—now that’s romance.
It’s the most romantic time of the year—after all, people fall in love for a reason. So as the temperatures cool, the leaves change color, and the nights grow longer with each passing day, Dallas love birds needn’t look far for quality date ideas.
The activities on this list make the most of the season, although many items on our list can be enjoyed year-round, too. Hell, even platonic friends can take part in nearly all these 24 heartwarming shenanigans, too. (A goodnight kiss, of course, is optional.)
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.
A night out at the movies has been one of the all-time-great date ideas for more than 100 years, but Look Dine-in Cinemas brings the experience into the 21st century with a private twist. Rent out an entire auditorium (only $99 for a limited time) to take in the new release or a classic film of your choosing. The price is good for up to 50 people, but you can also reserve the space for an intimate two-person screening. Add on some bubbly, popcorn, and even sushi rolls from the vast menu of food and drink options, then it’s up to you whether the next two hours will be spent watching the film, making out, or a combination of the two.
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, but you can experience the artist’s masterpieces on a more intimate level with the exhibit’s exclusive Date Night package. Each couple’s package includes VIP tickets, viewing from a private booth, plus take-home gifts of Kate Weiser Chocolates and a Voluspa diffuser and candle. And if you’re looking to limber up with your special someone, consider booking a yoga session in the same space while surrounded by gorgeous artwork.
Normally sitting blindfolded in a restaurant would raise some suspicion among the other diners, but it’s par for the (multi-)course each Thursday night at the Fairmont Dallas. It’s all part of Dining in the Dark, a program encouraging diners to experience the tastes and textures of an elegant meal in complete darkness. Choose from a secret menu (vegan, seafood, and meat options available), then let your non-visual senses take over for a dinner date like no other.
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.
Dallas Heritage Village
After keeping Dallas entertained with a fabulous pop-up drive-in theater during COVID, Rooftop Cinema Club returns with outdoor screenings that don’t require a car whatsoever (well, other than the one that gets you to the venue). Choose from love seats, bean bags, or BYO blanket or lawn chair and snuggle up for movies ranging from Coco and Beetlejuice to Crazy, Stupid, Love and La La Land. A full bar, concession stand, and food trucks rub elbows with some of Dallas’ most historically significant structures for the perfect 21st-century-meets-19th-century ambiance.
Take ’em out to the ballgame
The Rangers’ season might be coming to its fateful end, but that doesn’t mean all your sports-loving (and stadium snacks-loving) date night dreams have to. Fall is actually primetime for live action sports, with the NFL and MLS in full swing and the NHL and NBA nipping at their heels. Hit up the show-stopping AT&T Stadium to see Dak Prescott lead America’s Team onto the gridiron, bundle up to see the Stars do what they do best at American Airlines Center, see FC Dallas master the Beautiful Game at Toyota Stadium, and splurge on courtside pre-season seats to catch the Mavs kick off what’s bound to be a 2020 revenge tour.
Nothing brings people together quite like the adrenaline rush of dropping a few dozen feet at upwards of 60 mph. Whether you prefer roller coasters or water-based thrill rides, Six Flags Over Texas has plenty of festive opportunities in store, from Fright Nights to Holiday in the Park. Best of all, a $64.99 season pass gets you into both parks for the rest of 2021 and all of 2022, so anytime you can’t think of something to do, consider “Let’s go ride the Titan” your go-to, innuendo-free pickup line.
Set sail at 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 giving.
Get cultured at the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, or Crow Museum of Asian Art
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 and $10 gets you the opportunity to wow your date with all your sculptural knowledge—or let one of the Nasher’s 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 $5 per person.
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, $80 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 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.
South Dallas; Fort Worth
The Dallas Zoo has new hippos. The Fort Worth Zoo has Elephant Springs. Both have gorillas, lions, tigers, and giraffes galore, so a visit to both of North Texas’ amazing award-winning zoos is the next best thing to an African safari. And by making plans to contrast and compare the two parks, you’re guaranteed at least two dates with your favorite monkey-lover.
If you’re set on the whole get-to-know-you-over-a-meal thing, at least pair it with a nice view. In the Trinity Groves area, you have your pick of restaurants, from Beto and Son for a liquid nitro margarita and Tex-Mex to all-things-avocado at AvoEatery and the brand new ArtPark beer garden. Then walk over to the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge for a romantic Bridgerton-worthy promenade set against one of the best panoramas of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the majestic Dallas skyline.
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.
East Dallas/White Rock Lake
Not only are the gardens at the Dallas Arboretum perfect for photo ops, but 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, members get exclusive access two hours before the arboretum opens each day. Explore the seasonal exhibits, grab lunch 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 eye your sandwiches.