When the time comes to plan your next date night outing, it can sometimes be difficult to get out of your shell. After all, the traditional dinner-and-a-movie routine is so familiar — and so easy! But whether you’re planning a first date or going out on the town with your sweetheart of 20 years, there are plenty of fun activities in the area that are sure to provide a good time and even better memories.
We rounded up some of the best date night possibilities in the Akron and Canton area, including something for every personality, taste and budget. Have fun!
Photo courtesy of Northside Speakeasy
This Prohibition-era cocktail lounge will whisk you back to the 1920s with its swanky atmosphere and crafty creations. Conveniently located in the heart of the Arts and Entertainment District in downtown Akron, this speakeasy was designed with comfort in mind, offering plush seating surrounded by dark velvet curtains and hidden entrances. The cocktails are all invented and hand-mixed by a team of talented mixologists, and the menu features options like the “Joe Juice,” a twist on a classic espresso martini, and the “Plumbucker,” made from Bulleit Rye, house-made plum syrup, egg whites, plum bitters and fresh lemon juice. It’s an ideal place to end the night (or grab a drink before dinner).
Eat and drink your way through the Canton culinary landscape! The three-hour walking tour takes a small group to four Canton-based hot spots, where local chefs will hand select small plates that best represent their style. You’ll end up feeling full and happy, and you’ll know exactly which restaurants to reserve for your next date night out. View the calendar to see the tour schedule and snag your tickets!
Photo courtesy of Gervasi Vineyard
Order a bottle to split at Gervasi Vineyard, one of the most scenic getaways in the Canton area. The spacious patio is a wonderful date night destination on summer evenings, featuring cornhole, live music from Tuesday through Saturday and delicious counter-service food from an outdoor kitchen. But, the inside space is just as gorgeous and a bit more cozy — a great spot for lingering over a long conversation. No wonder it made the list of best wineries near Akron and Canton!
Bonus: Gervasi Vineyard offers free public winery tours on Saturdays.
Photo courtesy of the Escape Room Downtown
Uncover clues, work through puzzles and collaborate with your date to try and escape from a local puzzle room. Whether you make it out in the time provided or not, we’re sure the experience will leave you with fun memories and a few great conversation topics! We recommend venturing to the Escape Room Downtown, which features three different options for a fun night out. Why not try them all?
Photo courtesy of Painting With a Twist
Let the creativity flow at a local paint and sip class! Painting With A Twist provides step-by-step instructions for completing a gorgeous painting, and the experience is fun for everyone — even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body. Plus, you can bring wine, beer or another favorite beverage to share! Pro tip: If you come with your date, you can split the canvases and work on different halves of the same painting. Hang them together once you’re done!
The Old 97 Cafe is a must-visit date night destination in the Akron area. The festive pub is located in a historic building, and the patio is laden with picnic tables, ferns and twinkle lights. It definitely has a “hidden gem” feel about it, although the mouthwatering cuisine, inventive cocktails and lively atmosphere are no longer secrets. There is often live music during the evening, so if you’re looking for a fun night on the town and a great meal, look no further!
Photo courtesy of Milk and Honey
The Akron/Canton area is the best region in the state to settle into a cozy booth and enjoy homemade flavors in an old-timey atmosphere. In fact, many of the shops in the area have been around since the 1930s or earlier! Split a shake, a scoop or a sundae at one of these 10 local shops we love.
Explore the Canton Arts District, which boasts more than 30 art galleries, studios and specialty shops — plus a wide range of public street artwork and five live music venues! It’s a lively destination on any night of the week, and the ideal place to discover something new with a loved one. Also, don’t miss out on First Fridays, monthly celebrations featuring live music, performance and visual art events, delicious bites and more.
Photo by Joe Levack/Studio Akron via the Akron Art Museum
The Akron Art Museum is the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the area and takes pride in exhibiting significant art by international, national and Midwestern artists. The work here is often eclectic, but always fascinating, and rotates frequently so that every visit here is a new adventure. Plus, the museum offers free admission and extended hours (11 am to 9 pm) on Thursdays!
This spectacular architectural gem is guaranteed to take your date-night experience to a new level! The theater shows old and new movies on select nights including several family-friendly options during the summer months. And it’s also a popular destination for celebratory get-togethers, musicals, plays and other forms of entertainment. You can find an updated list of events on the Facebook page.
Photo courtesy of Dante Boccuzzi
Located just on the edge of downtown Akron, Dante Boccuzzi (part of the famed Dante Dining Group) is renowned for its dazzling dishes and elegant dining space. Though there isn’t a bad seat in the entire space, and the patio is nothing short of magical, we recommend sitting at the chef’s table to get the full culinary experience. Here, you can watch the magic of the kitchen, interact with the chef and witness how everything comes together on the plate. Try it for your next date night!
Ice skating is challenging if you’re not experienced — but learning with a loved one can be really fun! Tie on your skates, pull on your mittens and whirl around the rink, racing to see who can complete a lap first, or simply taking time to enjoy your surroundings. Year-round you can skate indoors at OBM Arena, the Kent State Ice Arena and the Center Ice Sports Complex, or take it outside during winter months at any of these local hot spots!
Photo courtesy of Chuck Madden via the Akron Civic Theatre
The Akron Civic Theatre was designed by John Eberson in 1929 as one of the grand movie palaces of the roaring ’20s, and even after $19 million in renovations (which were completed in 2001), the theatre hasn’t lost any of its antique charm. The magnificent space exudes elegance from all corners and the interior decor is absolutely breathtaking. Book tickets at this historic venue to experience plays, concerts, musicals and more. There isn’t a bad seat in the house!
Dinner and a movie is a classic date night combination, but the Midway Drive-in Theatre allows you to step the experience up a notch. There’s something so romantic about seeing the latest cinematic hit in an old-timey setting! Situated just a half mile east of Kent, the Midway Drive-in is open seven days a week and shows four movies per night on two screens.
Enjoy your date night!