Denver Date Ideas You'll Both Actually Enjoy

Spice things up.

Winter in Denver is the perfect time to get cozy with your special someone, but that doesn’t mean you should get lazy on the dating front. Cuddling on the couch as you hit play on another Netflix pick should definitely not be the go-to. You can do better. And we’re here to help keep your dating life fresh with these (safe and socially distant) date ideas. And in case it slipped your mind, this is your friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. So book that room, order that meal kit, or make reservations for a romantic meal out ‘cause with these ideas, you’ve not no excuse for slacking this year.

Dine in a private heated igloo

Union Station
Cooper Under the Stars is the new outdoor dining experience from The Cooper Lounge, and it’s one of the most romantic socially distant dining options in town. Located in the plaza in front of Union Station, your reservation includes a private igloo and a five-course prix-fixe menu that includes three cocktails or glasses of wine per person.

Enjoy a romantic staycation

Various locations
Denver hotels are ready to set the mood with a ton of Valentine’s specials and packages. Over at The Curtis, opt for some fun with friends with their COVID Couple Survivors Game Night package that includes dinner from The Corner Office and fun couple challenges. The Halcyon in Cherry Creek is offering the Love at First Bite package complete with in-room four course dinner from Local Jones plus access to their heated rooftop pool. For a luxurious downtown experience, check out The ART Hotel’s Roses are for Romance package with a three-course in-room meal, bubbly, and late check out.

Take a virtual couples cooking class

Along with in person classes, Uncorked Kitchen has added a selection of virtual classes including a special chef-lef Valentine’s edition which includes a live streamed class and meal kit delivery with a bottle of wine and all the ingredients you need to create an indulgent surf & turf meal for two. 

Go to a drag queen bingo brunch

Dairy Block
Every Sunday in February (including Valentine's Day), drag queen bingo is on in the heated Alley at Dairy Block from noon to 3 pm. Play a game of bingo with your date while enjoying some outdoor entertainment and eats from Milk Market and other Dairy Block restaurants.

Cook for your date with an at-home meal kit

Various locations
Don’t want to deal with dining out for Valentine’s? Denver restaurants all over town have your back with at-home meal kit options so you can be the chef and impress your special someone. Some standout options: DIY pappardelle bolognese and risotto kits from Il Posto, a ramen and wine kit for two from Osaka Ramen, fondue for two from Temper Chocolates, and sundae kits from High Point Creamery.

Pack a park picnic

Various locations
If you’re just getting to know someone new, a socially distant outdoor date is the new “dinner and a movie” -- a 100% dependable, safe bet for pandemic-friendly banter with that maybe-special someone you swiped right on. Thankfully the park system has over 20,000 acres of space from city parks to mountain open space areas. Even as colder weather rolls through, our ample days of sunshine mean that park dates are an option all year long. Grab some canned wine, a couple blankets, and some picnic-ready sandwiches and get to know your date in the fresh Colorado air. 

Get competitive with a game of putt-putt

Central Business District
Putt-putt in the Mile High got a major makeover thanks to the addition of Urban Putt. Now you can go for that hole in one all year long, no matter the weather, ‘cause this steampunk-themed course is totally indoors. And they’re taking COVID-precautions seriously, with plenty of equipment sanitizing and social distancing. Bonus: They’ve also got a full bar and serve dinner. Just don’t get too competitive with your plus one, chief.

Test your ax-throwing skills

North Denver
Wanna feel like a badass on date night? Head to Bad Axe Throwing. I don’t know, but there’s just something about hurling large, sharp objects at a target that really ups the stakes on your bonding time. PLUS you can get some serious insight into that special someone’s ability to defend you in a zombie apocalypse situation. Right now, they’re only taking reservations for groups of four or more, so go double date-style, or head in during their walk-in hours. 

Put your problem solving skills to the test at an escape room

Five Points
Role playing takes on a whole new meaning at Solutions Lounge where you’ll have to work together to get out of some sticky situations. Can your skills as a team help you find the killer on the Budapest Express train, or solve a murder mystery in a Scotish mansion? Only time will tell, and there’s not a lot of it. But one thing’s for sure, afterwards you’ll probably need a drink -- which they happily offer along with a full menu (don’t miss the bacon mac & cheese).

Take a budget-friendly trip to Golden

Not quite ready for that much car time one-on-one? Take a 15-minute jaunt to Golden where plenty of low-cost options await. Start with a visit to Golden’s first food hall, Tributary, for some oysters or a $5 gelato float, among other options. Then take a riverside stroll through town and check out the over 50 historic buildings along Washington Avenue. On your way back to Denver, take a detour up Lookout Mountain for some photo-worthy views of Denver in the distance.

Check out some art and see if your tastes match up

Union Station
The MCA Denver is smaller than the Denver Art Museum, making it perfect for date night exploration. The art changes regularly, and the rousing exhibits are guaranteed to be conversation starters. They’re currently using a timed ticketing system to help limit capacity for social distancing, so be sure to reserve ahead of time. Admission is only $10, plus they do penny admission days the first Saturday of every month if you’re really on a budget.

Take them to Grandma's House, obviously

Platt Park
If you don’t want to scare your date off, you should probably save the trip to your actual grandma’s house for later in the relationship. Grandma’s House brewery is a totally acceptable option, however. They’ve also set up an awesome hidden patio out back so you can enjoy your brews in the fresh air.

Go behind the scenes at one of Denver's most iconic businesses

Chaffee Park, Boulder
Do you and your date both have a sweet tooth? The iconic Hammond’s Candies factory offers free factory tours all day during business hours and you’ll get a sweet treat to take home. Masks are required while on the tour and reservations are required to guarantee your spot.

Take them on a delicious dim sum date

Athmar Park
It’s not just a feast, it’s a social experiment. By the time the check comes, you’ll know whether 1) you share similar tastes and 2) you’re comfortable unbuttoning your pants for all the wrong reasons together. Plus dim sum is easy on the wallet. Plan on about $20/person for a serious feast. Test this theory at Star Kitchen which is currently open for in person dining and offers their dim sum to-go too.

Test your limits with indoor rock climbing

Multiple locations
Rock climbing gym Übergrippen offers 90 minute reservation slots which is a fine step when you’re ready to work up a sweat together, but not yet ready for an outing that could theoretically require calling in a rescue team. Bonus: Your jokes about the relationship hitting a wall are going to kill.

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Molly Martin is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado who would never turn down a date that involves whiskey. Follow her Mile High adventures @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram.
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