Dallas’ 21 Coolest and Most Romantic Summer Date Ideas

Get back out there.

Rooftop Cinema Club
Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club

It’s the season of love, y’all, but having a great date in Dallas/Fort Worth doesn’t have to be centered on Valentine’s Day-related events whatsoever. The year-round accessibility of these date ideas make them flirty fun any day, any week, any month. So even if you’re stumbling upon this post well into April, you can find ways to celebrate life, love, and the pursuit of conscious coupling long after Cupid’s gone into hibernation. And most of these date ideas even work for platonic friends.

Rooftop Cinema Club
Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club

Cuddle up on an outdoor loveseat for a classic movie

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 getting to the venue). Choose from love seats, bean bags, or bring your own blanket or lawn chair to cuddle up in front of movies ranging from Pretty Woman and Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Fight Club and Pulp Fiction. Onsite, 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.

The Ritz-Carlton Dallas
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Dallas

Book a staycation at a five-star hotel

There are staycations. And then there are luxury vacations of a lifetime that just happen to take place in your own city. For a truly memorable romantic weekend, splurge on a room or suite at The Ritz-Carlton Dallas for a first-class experience like no other. Reserve spa treatments for a little pampering, feed each other from across the table at dinner and/or brunch at world-renowned Fearing’s Restaurant, and hang out by the rooftop pool with a piña colada. Make sure to set aside time to walk hand-in-hand through Uptown, Klyde Warren Park, and the Dallas Arts District after sunset for a magical time beneath Dallas’ beautifully lit skyline. Or if you prefer to never leave your room, draw a bath for two, pop some champagne, then settle in for some room service (robes strongly suggested).

Take ‘em out to the ballgame

Attention sports fans (and hot dog enthusiasts)—look no further than Globe Life Field for a date night that might just stretch into extra innings. Cheer on the Texas Rangers while chowing down on ballpark bites ranging from traditional to vegan (or bring whatever you can fit into a gallon-size bag), down some ice-cold beer, and take part in a slice of that good old-fashioned Americana your Pop-Pop talks about non-stop.

Strengthen your bond while screaming in terror

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, summers were made for amusement parks and Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane Harbor across the freeway have everything you need for a little action-packed canoodling. Best of all, a $59.99 season pass gets you into both parks all summer long so anytime you can’t think of something to do, “Let’s go ride the Titan” can be your go-to, innuendo-free pickup line.

Set sail at White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake
Stretch your legs (not to mention your forearms) by taking a kayak or canoe ride on White Rock Lake. White Rock Paddle Co. is open daily to get you decked out with your life vest and everything you’ll need to drift the day away. If you truly want to make it special, plan your ride in time to marvel at the sunset, allowing enough time to get back to the dock when the Paddle Co. closes shortly after.

Get high (really high) with your date

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).

Recreate scenes from Logan's Run at the Fort Worth Water Gardens

Fort Worth
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 a regularly scheduled live rodeo.

Capture a Venice vibe on a gondola ride

Las Colinas
Navigate through the Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn on a gondola complete with a gondolier in black-and-white strips carrying a big stick. Choose from breakfast, lunch, and dinner options—fancy or casual—and see the city from a completely different vantage point. Cruises start at $155 and go up to $425 depending on whether you have a meal, plus various other optional upgrades. The best part: It’s gondola tradition to kiss every time you go under a bridge.

Learn to massage each other in a private class

Far North Dallas
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 $243, 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.

Hang with goats at Bonton Farms

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 joingin FarmersOnly.com.

Get cultured at the Dallas Museum of Art or the Nasher Sculpture Center

Downtown Dallas
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, $10 gets you the opportunity to wow your date with real sculpture knowledge or let one of the Nasher’s staff do the heavy lifting by dropping some fascinating facts on them. 

Channel your inner Adam Rippon at the Galleria Dallas Ice Skating Center

North Dallas
OK, maybe you can't perfectly execute a split leap, but—still—what’s more fun than ice skating (or attempting to ice skate) at the Galleria? Even if you’re both terrible at the sport, few places in the city are cooler than an ice rink inside an air-conditioned building. Admission is $12 during public skating hours, and skate rental comes in at $5 per person.

Show off your bravery with indoor skydiving

Did you forget that you called yourself a “fearless badass who loves to be extreme with five Xs” in your dating profile? Now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. 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 stuff along the way

Multiple locations
Group sightseeing tours have lost a lot of their appea 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 of $12.99. That means you could have 10 dates, 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 one would be perfect on your honeymoon.

Squeal at the baby animals Dallas Zoo or Fort Worth Zoo

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.

Take selfies together at Rainbow Vomit

East Dallas/Fair Park
The wildly colorful, completely immersive art experience appropriately known as Rainbow Vomit wants to give you a date night for the record books. You can even rent out the whole space for an hour. And keep in mind that it’s BYOB, so even at $300 for the private experience, it could end up much cheaper than a typical Dallas bar tab for a night out. Plus, unlike any nightspot in town, this one comes with its very own life-size dancing unicorn.

Trinity Groves
Photo courtesy of Trinity Groves

Grab dinner with a view at Trinity Groves

Trinity Groves
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 a soon-to-open beer garden. Explore the Art Park (opening this month), then walk over to the Ron Kirk Pedestrian Bridge for a romantic Bridgerton-worthy promenade set against one of the best views of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the majestic Dallas skyline.

Show off your swing at Topgolf

Multiple locations
If you’re good at golf, you can impress your date. If you’re bad at golf, you can make your date laugh. It’s a win-win. The best part: There’s plenty of shade and fans at Topgolf to cool off when it’s hot. Order some drinks and snacks, and if you want to make it interesting, stick the loser with the tab.

Find your Zen at the Japanese Garden

Fort Worth
This special section of Fort Worth’s famous Botanical Garden features strolling paths lined with traditional Japanese landscape as well as ponds. Its breathtaking beauty and tranquility are sure to wow your date and put you both in a calmer state of mind than the one you had when you walked in. Admission is $12, but the peace and relaxation (not to mention great selfies) are priceless.

Take a hike (a real one) at Oak Cliff Nature Preserve or The Great Trinity Forest

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.

Go on a romantic stroll through the Dallas Arboretum

East Dallas/White Rock Lake
Not only are the gardens at the Dallas Arboretum perfect for photo ops, but it’s also quiet there and not too crowded if an early-morning date is in the cards. Explore the visiting art exhibit, 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 and cheese.

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Steven Lindsey is a contributor for Thrillist.
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