Ditch the Friend Zone and Heat Things Up with These Miami Date Ideas

Skip the regular old dinner and drinks in favor of retro mini golf, movies on a rooftop, and more.

Dating in Miami is always its own special brand of interesting. Once you’ve managed to find a date that gets past the awkward app-based small talk and finally makes a plan, you’ve got to figure out where to go and what to do that’s both entertaining and allows for getting to know each other.

The good news is Miami has a ton of fun and flirty options to choose from. Whether you’re looking to take advantage of Miami’s weather with outdoor adventures like moonlight kayaking or racing each other on waterslides, or are into getting your hands dirty making pizza or pottery. There’s way more to than just your average dinner and drinks on this list of the best date ideas in Miami.

GIAnna Wyatt
Photo courtesy of GIAnna Wyatt

Food and Drink Date Ideas

Cooking and cocktail classes

Multiple locations
Rather than let a restaurant or bar handle your date night refreshments, why not take a class to try something new? The pizza masters at Fratelli la Bufala will have you tossing dough and knocking back prosecco during their Tuesday night “Let’s Dough It” wood-fired pizza-making classes or head to Mister-O1’s pizza school. Make your way to The Real Food Academy where classes include everything from ceviche making to soul food to plant-based delights. Pop into Matador Room’s bar to take part in one of their bi-monthly cocktail classes, and keep in mind that Miami’s first distillery at Tropical Distillers in Allapattah ends its tours with a cute, interactive cocktail course.


Multiple locations
Miami is having a bit of an omakase boom. And while it’s certainly not an every-night kinda thing, it’s special occasion dining at its finest. One intriguing new addition is Omakase by Kazu, a sushi counter hidden behind a ramen shop, where you and your date will share a sushi bar with only a few other people, far from the peering eyes of the world. If you’re looking for a flashy spot (think bright blue caviar and lots of dry ice theatrics) head to Nossa Omakase where you’ll need a password to enter, while those craving a more simple and classic experience should try Shingo in Coral Gables. Italian restaurants are getting in on the on the action too, as Fiola offers a five-course pasta omakase with an optional wine pairing.

Farmers market

Multiple locations
You’ll find plenty of neighborhood farmers markets in South Florida, but for a full-on date nothing beats the Yellow Green Farmers Market on Sheridan Road. Open Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 7 pm, you’ll find dozens of stalls of international foods, fresh veggies, and local artisans. They’ve also got two full liquor bars, a Saturday morning yoga session, Zumba classes, and a live band playing especially for you and yours—in case a whole afternoon sizing up tomatoes isn’t quite doing it for you.

Picnic at South Pointe Park

The best food deal in Miami is, without debate, the $8.95 Fried Half Chicken at Joe’s Take-Away. Grab a couple orders of that and a bottle of wine from Publix—this is a cheap date, remember—and head over to South Pointe Park to catch the sunset over the skyline. It’s the best 180-degree view in the city and a much more romantic experience than expensive restaurants can offer.

Rooftop Cinema Club
Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club

Arts and Culture Date Ideas

There’s nothing more romantic than trying to recreate the pottery wheel scene from Ghost. If it’s going to happen anywhere in Miami, it’s at OCISLY Pottery & Ceramics Studio—which stands for “of course I still love you” keeping it real cute and coupley—where you get to throw clay, vibe out to good music, and make a vase you can take home to hold the flowers you’re brought (or will bring on the next date).

At Superblue Miami, the large-scale immersive installations are perfect for a playful afternoon or evening with your beau. Walk through a room of fluffy clouds and a mirror maze or witness a huge printing press make it official by churning out four-foot-tall photos of you and your date.

Comedy shows

Various locations
The quickest way into someone’s heart is making them laugh. If you’re not that funny, let the experts help you out at one of Miami’s many stand-up comedy nights. Opt for the classic Miami Improv or head to Union Beer Store on Wednesdays for Connie’s Comedy Cabana, where you can pair local comics with local beers. Prison Pals Brewing also hosts comedy every other Friday, and not far away, the Goodtime Hotel has shows every Friday in the library from 8:30 pm to midnight.

Calle Ocho Tour

Little Havana
A trip to Miami’s Cuban enclave isn’t just for tourists, and you can spend an entire evening combing these few historic blocks. Start with dinner at Lung Yai Thai Tapas, grab drinks and do some dancing at the Cubaocho Cultural Center, catch your second wind with a cafecito, then continue the party with some live music at Ball & Chain. Stroll down to Café La Trova—named the ninth best bar in North America—for cocktails, Cuban music, and a trip back to the 1980s. Then finish the night with an order of some of Miami's best tacos courtesy of El Taquito.

South Beach
When evenings in Miami have a slight breeze and low levels of humidity, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up on an Adirondack chair at South Beach’s Rooftop Cinema Club. It’s a classic date idea for a reason and with the nostalgic favorites they screen, you’ll have plenty to bond over.

Putt Area
Puttshack | Puttshack

Sports and Wellness Date Ideas

If you’re looking for a throwback date that shows off your competitive side, head to Puttshack. Located at Brickell City Centre, the 27,000-square-foot venue has mini golf, food, booze, and cityscape views of Miami. Gone are the days of the tiny golf pencil. Puttshack has super fancy tech that takes care of all the logistics, so you can focus on chatting up (and showing off for) your date while you make your way through the course.

Various locations
Okay, so this date might not involve a ton of talking, but there’s something cool about donning a pair of headphones at the same time and listening to the captivating live-piano compositions played by Murray Hidary. This meditative experience travels through the city—from the Frost Planetarium to the sands of South Beach—and there’s even a session where you get to float in a pool while listening. They say comfortable silence is the sign of a close bond, so why not put your relationship to the test at MindTravel?

Kayak at Oleta State Park

North Miami
Rent a kayak and paddle out to one of Biscayne Bay’s deserted islands with a picnic basket full of eats from nearby Blue Marlin Fish House Restaurant. Nothing beats fish dip, a surprise sighting of manatees, and a delightful afternoon on the sand. Up the romance factor by planning your adventure around the full moon where a special guided kayak tour includes glow sticks and s’mores on a nearby island with views of Miami’s skyline.

Remember when you took those middle school field trips to the water park, and it was literally the highlight of the school year? Relive those days of unbridled fun—this time with cocktails—at Tidal Cove at the JW Marriott in Aventura. The lines are rarely long if you go during the week, and you both can relax holding hands while drifting down the lazy river.

Hotel pools

Miami Beach
It’s always a good idea to hang out at one of Miami’s best hotel pools. Not looking to fork out the cash to rent a room for the night? No worries, lots of hotels offer day passes so you don’t have to try and sneak in, like the National Hotel who’ll give you the run of the place with a lounge chair for $45. If you and your boo are looking for more of a rager, check out Goodtime Hotel’s pool party of the same name, where the scene is always a bit of a party.

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Amber Love Bond is a contributor for Thrillist.