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Date night ideas for every type of Louisvillian

Got a hot new fling? Hoping to spice things up with your longtime partner? We’re here to help plan your next date in Derby City.

five plates of food on a table with a wine bottle and wine glass

The pizzas and pasta dishes are popular bar Vetti picks, but this Italian restaurant is also a great stop for light bites and drinks.

Photo by Neon Bites

Table of Contents

Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to LOUtoday.

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 local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.

BelleofLou_6_26_21_-48 copy

In 2017, the Louisville waterfront welcomed the Mary M. Miller.

Photo by Belle of Louisville Riverboats

For the ones who want a night out on the town

  • Take that special someone on a tour aboard the Belle of Louisville, the only remaining authentic steamboat from the great American packet boat era. Whether you’re into a picnic lunch or a sunset dinner, there’s a booking for you.
  • If your loved one is a fan of the arts, see what’s happening at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. From concerts to Broadway shows, there are entertainment options to accommodate every couple.
  • The couple that laughs together, stays together — and there are lots of shows that’ll have you rolling at the Louisville Comedy Club.
interior of a restaurant with a long bar and colorful artwork along the walls

Proof on Main offers an intriguing menu with equally interesting decor.

Photo by Proof on Main

If the way to their heart is through their stomach

  • Bring bae to bar Vetti for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. With a full bar, extensive cocktail menu, and decadent dessert list, you can be sure that neither of you will leave hungry.
  • Set inside the 21c Museum Hotel, Proof on Main boasts unique wallpaper and artwork at every turn. And its dinner menu features a specific section with shareable items, like the charred octopus with bagna cauda, which is one of the restaurant’s staples.
  • Reserve a corner table in Bourbon Bistro‘s dimly lit dining room, or save a seat by the wood-burning fireplace during cooler months. Either way, this Clifton spot offers all the romantic feels.
boats floating on the river by the bridge during sunset

Waterfront Park boasts a wealth of date-night activities, including organized events + self-guided tours.

Photo by LOUtoday

If you love the great outdoors

  • Grab a blanket and your picnic basket, and head to Cherokee Park. With walking paths and pollinator gardens, there’s lots to explore before setting up for an al fresco sunset dinner.
  • If you’re into adventures and breathtaking views, take hike around LOU. Between the forest giants and historic stone bridges, there will be lots to explore.
  • The 85 acres that make up Waterfront Park offer lots to do, whether you want to take a walk by the river or check out one of the park’s many events.
people playing outdoor games at night

Head to Union Restaurant and GameYard for a night of cornhole, giant Jenga, Connect4, and more.

Photo by LOUtoday

For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)

  • Get your blood pumping with 130+ games at Recbar, including pinball, air hockey, Skee-Ball, and Dance Dance Revolution.
  • Take some swings at Top Golf, which boasts three levels of climate-controlled bays.
  • Test your aim — and theirs — at Flying Axes. Just buy your date a drink for five free coach-instructed throws.
Climb NuLu Louisville

Build trust in each other — and yourselves — atop Climb NuLu’s indoor bouldering experience.

Photo by LOUtoday

If you’re really hoping that it works out

  • Ain’t no mountain high enough for you two. Go bouldering at Climb NuLu to experience rock climbing in an indoor space.
  • Practice mindfulness together at The Inner Warrior. The donation-based yoga studio offers classes for all interests and levels, no reservations required.
  • Put on your dancing shoes and get ready for some salsa, swing, jazz, or hip hop. Dance Louisville has group and private lessons — and your first one is free.
people standing outside of a tavern amid red metal tables and chairs

Book a Louisville Historic Tour that starts at The Tavern, so you and your date can share a drink before your stroll.

Photo by LOUtoday

If you want an “old fashioned”-style date

  • What’s more old fashioned than a trip to the oldest bar in LOU? The Mellwood Tavern is a popular pick for beer and whiskey — but consider the fried chicken for a dinner date.
  • History and architecture lovers will appreciate Louisville Historic Tours. Book a tour that starts at The Tavern to enjoy a drink before your stroll.
  • Go old school with an ice cream date at one of Louisville’s classic shops. Share the triple scoop heavyweight at Dairy Del or the fireman’s sundae at Dairy Kastle.

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.

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