Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to RALtoday.
OK, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons (and saved his kids a lot of time).
Regardless, whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 25+ local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.
For the ones who want a night out on the town
- Prove your sense of humor with a trip to Goodnights Comedy Club for a stand-up show from local and national comedians.
- During hockey season, head to PNC Arena for a Carolina Hurricanes game + enjoy local food options from your seat.
- For a more upscale occasion, get dressed up to visit the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts for a show by NC Opera.
- Red Hat Amphitheater offers concerts + events in the warmer months and an ice skating experience in winter.
If the way to their heart is through their stomach
- Impress your beau with a classic Angus Barn steak dinner. Don’t forget to make a holiday reservation in advance to enjoy the cozy, festive ambiance.
- Chef Cheetie Kumar’s hip new Five Points joint Ajja is a perfect place to bond over new food together.
- Try a more plant-based menu at Irregardless, and enjoy local live music while you eat.
- Want an excuse to sit and talk? Grab a drink + an app while waiting for a table at the reservation-free Stanbury. This menu is ever-changing, so make it a regular spot for a variety of food.
- Make a reservation at Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern for a fine dining experience downtown.
- If seafood is more your speed, try St. Roch Fine Oysters + Bar for a cool evening vibe.
- Picture this: You’re a bit picky, but you don’t want your date to know — head to Transfer Co. Food Hall for a variety of options.
- For a more hands-on date, try a cooking class at Wynton’s World Cooking School or learn more about wines at Vitis House.
If you love the great outdoors
- Explore historic Dorothea Dix Park or William B. Umstead State Park for a day among the trees, or traverse a Raleigh path with stunning water views.
- Rent a bike or scooter and roll through downtown in style — maybe take our art tour, while you’re at it.
- Go on a scavenger hunt and find geocaches.
- Do some good on your date and pick up some litter with the Great Raleigh Cleanup.
For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)
- Game the night away at Boxcar Bar + Arcade and show off your competitive spirit with air hockey, racing video games, and more.
- Flex your muscle with an ax throwing date at Epic Axe in Morgan Street Food Hall.
- Save your date from danger with six different escape rooms around Raleigh.
- Head to North Hills for Kings, featuring bowling, arcade games, and tasty food + bevs.
- Are board games more your vibe? Head to Side Quest Game Lounge + Bar or The Kitchen Table at Relish for a wide selection of tabletop games.
- Not enough games for you? Here are eight more places to get playing.
If you’re really hoping that it works out
- Plan a relaxing flow at Barre-Up, YogaSix, or Dose Yoga + Smoothie Bar.
- Chalk up and head to Triangle Rock Club for an afternoon of climbing + other fitness activities.
If you want an “old fashioned”-style date
- Look for the hidden moody bar at Morgan Street Food Hall to find Aunty Betty’s Gin and Absinthe Bar with thousands of combinations to make your perfect negroni.
- Wear your best to Death and Taxes, a wood-fired kitchen run by Raleigh Chef Ashley Christensen. Pro tip: Sit at the bar to watch the chefs at work.
- Love a speakeasy? Visit Green Light‘s hidden bar for classic + inventive cocktails.
- Try one of Heights House‘s events, like afternoon tea, supper club, or visit The Parlor for drinks during a luxurious historical staycation.
- Walk through Historic Oakwood for a glance at some of Raleigh’s oldest homes.
- Watts & Ward is a 1920s-style speakeasy located underneath Hargett Street — have a drink or two with your date in your roaring ‘20s finest.
If you wanna show off by knowing all the hottest events in town...
- Shameless plug: Sign up for our daily newsletter, where we call out our top picks of things to do around town. Your date doesn’t have to know we’re behind it — you can take all the credit.
- Stay up-to-date on the coolest local events around Raleigh with our events page (and check out this guide for our tips on navigating the page).
What did we miss? If you know a perfect date spot that’s not on the list, guide us in the right direction using this survey.