Swipe Right on the Best Date Ideas in Las Vegas

Take things up a notch in Sin City with romantic dinners, museum strolls, and more.

Arte Museum
Photo courtesy of Arte Museum
Photo courtesy of Arte Museum

Romance is alive and well in Las Vegas. Whether you just want to hook up at a nightclub or take the time to get to know someone special, the possibilities are endless in Sin City. You don't even have to drink to have fun (but you can if you want). As we inch towards Valentine's Day and the warm spring weather, Vegas has plenty of date ideas to offer, whether grabbing a bite, experiencing culture, visiting immersive attractions, or feeling the heat of the sun–and your relationship–in the great outdoors.

Photo by Connie Zhou, courtesy of KYU

Food and Drink Date Ideas in Las Vegas

Of all the restaurants at the brand-new Fontainebleau, KYU is one of the best for a romantic night on the town. The dining room gets everything right, from perfectly dimmed lights to music at just the right volume and tall windows that reveal a unique ground-level view of the Strip. The circular booths are best for snuggling up, but the restaurant has a comfortable layout that never feels too crowded. The menu specializes in wood-smoked meats and vegetables with a heavy Asian influence and tableside presentations. The wagyu beef tartare is mixed with torched bone marrow for extra flavor, and the stone pot rice is best with King crab stirred in. The roasted cauliflower, chopped at the table, is the signature veggie dish, but the Japanese sweet potato is even better with creamy parmesan cheese and buttered black sugar. Just save room for the layered coconut cake for dessert.

If you’re still in the “getting to know you” phase of a relationship, play it safe with an easy, low-pressure lunch date. Just make sure the food is good. You can’t go wrong with all’Antico Vinaio, an iconic Italian sandwich shop that comes to Vegas for the first time with a new location at UnCommons. The brand built its reputation in Florence and is now spreading its presence worldwide with five locations (and counting) in the United States. Choose from various recipes that utilize prosciutto cut-to-order, fresh vegetables, imported cheeses, and house-baked Tuscan Schiacciata bread with a thin and chewy texture that’s perfect for sandwiches. If the date goes well, continue to explore UnCommons with ice cream at Salt & Straw and happy hour at the Sundry.

Multiple Locations
The Royal Crawl has two self-guided drinking tours to soak in the alcohol while soaking in the sights of Las Vegas. The Downtown version at the Fremont Street Experience begins at Overhang and Mega Bar at Circa, continues at Bar Prohibition inside the Golden Gate, then wraps up at Bar Canada and Longbar at The D. A Strip crawl takes guests down The LINQ promenade with drinks at I Love Sugar, Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club, Tilted Kilt, Flour & Barley and AmeriCAN. Go at your own pace while following the Royal Crawl app with a choice of beer, wine, or cocktail at each stop. Each drink earns a digital playing card with a prize for the day’s best hand. Receive 50% off tickets using the code HOLIDAY50 at checkout.

The Palms
Vetri Cucina is on the 56th floor of the Palms with panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip. Marc Vetri’s menu stays true to fresh and flavorful Italian cuisine, skipping heavy sauces in favor of light, crisp ingredients. Housemade pastas are perfect for dates to share, especially the almond tortellini with white truffles or spinach gnocchi in brown butter. Begin any meal with a doughnut-like zeppole, topped with honey and prosciutto di parma cured for 24 months for a rich, buttery flavor. The brown butter-infused Manhattan is exceptional, but it’s hard to resist ordering a bottle of Italian wine to share in a dining room that has the right mix of rustic charm and modern decor, setting a tone that only gets better when the roaming amaro cart pulls up to your table.

The Strip
The Savory Bites & Neon Lights tour is a sky-high way to plan a perfect night on the town in Las Vegas. The evening begins with a Lip Smacking Foodie Tour food crawl of three top restaurants on the Vegas Strip featuring at least 12 dishes. You’ll enjoy signature recipes with no lines, reserved seating, and everything included (so no tips to worry about). Upgrade for drink pairings. After the food crawl wraps up, you and your date will be driven to the Maverick Helicopters terminal for a 12-15 minute ride above the Strip with incredible views of colorful Vegas landmarks.

Rita Deanin Abbey Art Museum
Photo courtesy of Rita Deanin Abbey Art Museum

Arts and Culture Date Ideas in Las Vegas

There’s an extra-special way to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil, a spectacle with swimmers, divers, and acrobats in and around a pool filled with more than a million gallons of water at the Bellagio. Sign up for the La Grande Expérience, which includes a pre-show reception with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, a meet-and-greet photo session with performers, and seats inside your own intimate VIP suite with a sweet treat, cocktail service, and even more champagne.

The term “hidden gem” gets tossed around loosely these days, but the Rita Deanin Abbey Museum is a wonderful surprise, hiding in plain sight near Lone Mountain in the Northwest Valley. It’s a beautifully built structure next to the home of the late Rita Deanin Abbey, a late artist and former UNLV professor. It was built about 40 years ago when there was little more than desert in the area, and dozens of pieces are now on display. The variety is impressive, with paintings, sketches, sculptures, and more, all created by one woman over a lifetime. Make sure to step outside, where large format works command attention near a desert garden. The showstopper is a 40-foot-long semi-circle of polyester resin and fiberglass that looks similar to stained glass and was commissioned by the original Temple Beth Sholom.

One great photo op deserves another. The Neon Museum, where historic Vegas signs and marquees are preserved and restored, has a portrait hour for guests to bring their own photographer for a professional shoot in the North Gallery. It could be just the thing to celebrate an engagement or elevate your relationship. If you want to simply hang around and absorb the history, that’s cool too. The North Gallery is also home to Brilliant!, an evening show that brings vintage casino signs back to life with sound, video, and immersive projection mapping.

PrairieFire Nevada
Photo courtesy of PrairieFire Nevada

Interactive Date Ideas in Las Vegas

Off the Strip
The entertainment, dining, and retail district known as AREA15 is a great place to bring a date. Omega Mart, a massive walkable art installation by Meow Wolf that’s a trippy spoof of a superstore, is the main attraction. You can also visit Illuminarium for immersive trips to space or an African safari with wraparound video walls and 4D effects. Lost Spirits is a distillery with a Willy Wonka-style tour and multi-course dinner menu that takes guests 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Otherwise, feel free to grab a cocktail at Oddwood, Emporium Arcade Bar, or Liftoff (which elevates guests 130 feet in the air). Ride the Haley’s Comet motorized zip-line, play one of eight simulator bays at Five Iron Golf, and check out the Wink World hall of infinite mirrors.

Think of Play Playground as the best “rec room” in Las Vegas. The 15,000-square-foot attraction has at least 20 large-format games and puzzles, including some that take inspiration from childhood favorites. Doctor Doctor, for example, invites players to don a white coat and pull bones from an oversized “patient” (a la Operation), while Rolla Derby is like a carnival game version of Skeeball. Guests receive RFID cards with credits to play every game at least once. VIP cards allow people to play as much as they like (and come and go) throughout the day, with a cocktail included at one of two bars. There’s also a free photo booth and a few other surprises.

The Strip
Shaq’s Fantasy Lab is a labyrinth of seven rooms that reflect dream-like environments with lights, mirrors, video, music, set pieces, and other effects. It’s hard to explain the attraction without giving too much away. Rooms may be peaceful, with lights dangling in the darkness or ominous, like a nightmare. One is best described as an “acid trip bedroom.” Phones and photos are encouraged, and yes, you’ll have plenty of time to get that perfect Instagram shot. Fantasy Lab is affiliated with NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, whose image appears here and there, most notably in a circus-themed room where animated animals share space with a couple of basketball hoops. Take advantage of a bar and lounge near the entrance that has its own whimsical decor and selfie stations.

Arte Museum is named after the first two letters of “art” and “technology,” with a two-level space at 63, a new complex on the corner of CityCenter. Guests are welcome to browse at their own pace through up to 15 different rooms and exhibits with computer-generated animations in immersive environments. At any given moment, you’ll find yourself on a beach, next to a series of waterfalls, or on a cartoon safari, in which your own scanned sketch comes to life on the surrounding walls. At the very end of the tour, you can even go alcohol-free and enjoy a mocktail in the Tea Bar interactive lounge.

PrairieFire is a 550-acre adventure park surrounded by mountains and rugged terrain outside Las Vegas. The courses are inspired by special operations units and taught by former members of the military. Couples can bond during ropes and rappelling classes, which follow a real-deal curriculum, teaching students how to scale walls, climb towers, and navigate rope ladders or cargo nets. You’ll find yourself mastering rescue techniques and swinging into balconies like James Bond, Batman, or the people the CIA doesn’t want you to know about. Call it #tacticool. PrairieFire also has firearms and archery courses with hikes and physical challenges among rocky slopes and canyon walls for more experienced participants.

Boulder City
Here’s an excellent excuse to take a day trip to Boulder City. Lake Mead Mohave Adventures is launching a new season of its Hoover Dam Rafting Adventures tours, which have rare security clearance to get within about a quarter mile of the iconic landmark on the Colorado River. The shorter Hoover Dam Postcard Tours are about 90 minutes, zooming around on motorized rafts with up to 20 guests and guides sharing details on the dam’s history, how it was built, and other cool nuggets of information about the surrounding landscapes. A longer three-hour Hoover Dam Raft Tour holds up to 80 people, includes lunch, and travels to Willow Beach. Tours are available Thursday-Sunday.

Alcohol and sharp objects might seem like two things you don’t want to mix, but Flight Club finds a way to make it work. The secluded lounge allows visitors to toss darts around in an environment that’s more sophisticated and stylish than your average English pub, with digital screens making it easy to keep score. The 16,000-square-foot space is beautifully decorated with Strip views and a 27-seat bar modeled after a vintage carousel. Even the dart boards are made of oak for an old-school touch. The lounge winds around corridors and corners with 20 bays or “oches” for groups as small as two (for a private date night) and as large as 12 (to bring a few friends along). Upgrade the experience with beer buckets, cookie towers, prime beef sliders, and other options off the menu.

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Rob Kachelriess is a full-time freelance writer who covers travel, dining, entertainment, and other fun stuff for Thrillist. He's based in Las Vegas but enjoys exploring destinations throughout the world, especially in the Southwest United States. Otherwise, he's happy to hang out at home with his wife Mary and their family of doggies. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.