Columbus, OH

19 Date Ideas in Columbus, Ohio

Sadie Smiley

Are you looking for some fresh and exciting date ideas in Columbus, Ohio? Whether you’re new to the city or just want to spice up your regular date night routine, there are plenty of fun activities for couples to do around this vibrant city!

From outdoor adventures to creative culinary experiences, there is something for everyone in Columbus. If you're looking for winter date ideas, stick to the indoor activities… brrrr!


We both love coffee! Not just drinking it but learning about how it is grown, harvested, roasted, brewed… all the way from bean to cup. We even write blog posts all about the best coffee spots in each city when we travel.

The Crimson Cup Innovation Lab in Columbus teaches all about what it takes to make a great cup of coffee. They also have articles about how to open your own coffee shop. I can't think of anything more romantic than running a coffee shop together.

Oh, and if you haven't yet, check out Fox in the Snow Cafe – it's a bakery and coffee shop. We are obsessed and can't wait to try it.
roller skatesPhoto byjasperAI


One thing we love as much as coffee? Roller skating! Yes, it's a date you can take the whole family on – or you can go as a couple. They even have indoor snowball fights in December.

If you don't already have your own roller skates, this is the perfect excuse to get them.

What a fun idea for a date night gift box.

Pro tip: If you want to avoid loads of extra kiddos, go late and skip school break times.


Writing this post has helped me remember how much we love to do all the things together. Bowling is so fun, it's active but not toooo active, and you can eat bar food while drinking and having fun.

Sign. Us. Up.

Ten Pin, Sequoia Pro Bowl, and Columbus Square Bowling Palace are all solid date night options. If you don't want to eat bar food, you can get a light dinner first – or go early and go to dinner after.


We love to laugh! I feel like it's nearly impossible to have a bad night if enough laughs are involved. The Funny Bone and The Nest Theatre are both solid options for comedy clubs in Columbus.

You can even take improv classes together – book early because they classes do sell out.
Photo bySadie Smiley


When my husband and I first met, he showed me (and the kids) cute magic tricks. And when we began our “Forever Honeymoon,” we went to a magic show where he got to go up on stage!


Magic is, well, magical… and should definitely be part of your fun date night plan.

Every month, P3 Magic Theater hosts an evening of magic, mystery, and laughs. It's a small theater (32 seats), so you get an up close and personal look at the entertainment. Different performers from around the globe put on a different show each month.

We are also excited to check out Rare Magic Show (at Hotel Leveque) featuring Drew Murray.


We haven't gone to a mystery dinner in a long time, but I definitely want to go to one again soon. It's fun to put your brains together (or go against each other and see who's right ;)) and the food is always delicious.


Zip lining is fun but to do it AT NIGHT? Whew! What a rush. The zip line at Zip Zone offers an unforgettable adventure with their Full Moon Night Flight tour. 5 zip lines and 4 sky bridges, you'll feel like you're Batman.

This is one of the pricier date ideas on our list, but at $99 per person, this unique date night experience is totally worth it if you can sneak it into the budget.


Nothing gets me more in the mood than kicking my husband's ass at arcade games. Kidddding… I let him win sometimes.

Old North Arcade in Columbus is the perfect date night for video game and arcade lovers alike. They've got old school arcade games as well as Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega, Dreamcast, Game Cube, and more. I may never want to leave…


Our friend used to do glass blowing, so we knew this would be a fun date. Glass Axis offers glass blowing classes where you can make beads, ornaments, a fused night light, and more – check their page for current class offerings.

Glass blowing is not a cheap hobby. The average price of the classes we looked at were $50-$75 each. However, it's a good winter date idea because outside is freezing and I'd happily pay to stay inside and keep warm for a bit.

Oh, and guess what? You can even sell your glass creations in their gallery – so maybe you can make some of that money back.


There aren't many drive-in movie theaters left, and COVID really hit The South Drive-In Theatre hard. Weather permitting, this is a nice, quiet date night spot. They have a flea market on the weekends, too.

While they offer concessions at the drive-in, you can save a pretty penny if you bring your own snacks and drinks.


Okay so I know it's not for everyone, but I love finding the “most instagrammable spots” in each city and doing a little photography tour. I don't even use Instagram, but I love taking pics! We're making a list of spots to check out. So far we have:

  • Easton Town Center (find the umbrellas – reminds us of Puerto Vallarta!)
  • Smiles of Sunflowers at Lynd Fruit Farm (given our last name, we are all about the smiles)
  • Fountain and roses at Whetstone Park of Roses
  • Franklin Park Conservatory (reminds me of St. Louis Botanical Gardens)

As we find more, we will add them to our list.
butterfly house watercolorPhoto byCreative Fabrica Spark


I mentioned the Franklin Park Conservatory above, but there is also the Grange Insurance Audubon Center as well as the Geroux Herb Gardens that will all help ensure you get your 10K steps in for the day.

Inniswood Metro Gardens is another garden that's free to visit and has loads of photo opps. The flowers are so beautiful. Lots of walking, lots of picture taking, and lots of fun, too!


While we admit this is a bit more than we'd normally spend on sitting inside a plastic bubble, but the Igloos at Vaso are pretty cool. The rooftop lounge is romantic and scenic, especially at sunset.


Yes, there are many libraries… but have you visited the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum? If you're a fan of comics (like my husband is), you will be in heaven! There are more than 2.5 million comic strip clippings here.


The perfect group date, escape rooms can be addicting, competitive, and so fun. Columbus has loads of escape room options:

Escape rooms are all about working together. It’s a fun, active way for everyone to let loose and have a little fun, rather than just sitting in a restaurant or movie theater.

Going to an escape room for a date can be an entertaining and creative way to get to know each other better, or drive each other crazy, depending on how long you've been together. 📷


Until we started searching for new date ideas, we had no clue that there were so many options nearby. Here's what we found in Columbus:


What's better than a date? A cheap date, of course. Various breweries, cafes, and restaurants have different “Happy Hour” hours throughout the week.

Put together a schedule and make it an evening tour.

And here's a huge list of Columbus Happy Hour deals. WOWZA. Pick a different place each week and you'll be busy for years to come.
Photo byThe Glass Roster Cannery


For some, homesteading is just a way of life. For us city folk, maybe it's a date night. The Glass Rooster Cannery offers classes on old school skills like soap making, dehydrating food, fermenting, and canning.

And, though not a date night, they also host kid's camps and private classes.


If you know us at all, you know we are a huge fan of all things haunted and mysterious. Right after we got married, we went on a Haunted Honeymoon Tour. It was completely made up by us, and we visited various “haunts” around Arizona in our Slingshot.

Take this 2.5-hour walking tour and visit Short North, Arena District, and Downtown Columbus. Each city has its own tale and experience, and your guide for the Boos and Brews Tour will make sure you have the best time.

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Sadie and Kevin Smiley love to write about creative ways to date your spouse and keep the spark alive!

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