February is a month that leaves many couples scrambling to find that perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. This year, we’ve got you covered with a list of great date night ideas in Indianapolis. Having a tough time finding a sitter? No worries. Our kid tips offer advice on enjoying a special night out with the kids in tow.
9 Great Date Ideas in Indianapolis:
1. Grab a bite to eat
Indianapolis is quickly becoming an important city on the food scene, meaning there’s no shortage of new restaurants for you to try out, no matter what side of town you’re on. And with cuisines from all over the globe, you can venture outside of your comfort zone or stick to your tried-and-true favorites. We asked around to see what some local favorites are to give you ideas if you don’t know where to start:
- Nicole: “Seasons 52 is one of our go-to spots. We like that the menu changes frequently and that they always offer items that change with the seasons. We also really enjoy sharing small plates at divvy in Carmel.”
- Tessa: “We love Ramen Ray for dining in or carry-out. The limited menu is helpful for indecisive people like me, and warm ramen really hits the spot on a cold Indiana night.”
- Trisha: “It’s hard to choose! We love so many of the Cunningham spots – Vida and Livery for sure. Nada, Hedge Row, and Jazz Kitchen are great, too. And a newer favorite is Baby’s.”
- Claudia: “Mama Carolla’s is cozy and romantic. Napolese is a nice spot too with delicious food and great wine pairings. And Ocean World on the far north side never disappoints!”
- Arielle: “Cannon Ball Brewery – it’s quaint with craft beer and a small rotating menu of inventive dishes. Shoefly is affordable and delicious with lots of vegetarian options.”
- Kevin: “We prefer Bluebeard for dinner and really like Turchetti’s for lunch.”
- Maddie: “We love Delicia at 52nd and College. Intimate atmosphere, rich and bold flavors, plus killer margs.”
Kid tip: Date night can include the kids without including the cost! Check out our Kids Eat Free guide to enjoy a meal out with the whole family.
2. Enjoy dinner and a movie
Flix Brewhouse in Carmel takes the age-old concept of dinner and a movie to a whole new level. Enjoy handcrafted beers brewed on site and choose from their selection of delectable meals for a movie experience that can’t be beat. To top it off, each theater is comfortably outfitted with leather reclining chairs and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Kid tip: It may have brewhouse in the name, but kids are more than welcome here. Discounted kids tickets are available for G and PG-rated films.
3. Spend a night at the theater
There is nothing quite like reconnecting with your partner by spending a night at the theater, and the Indiana Repertory Theatre in downtown Indy is the quintessential spot to do just that. The IRT offers nine plays each season that are crafted with Indiana audiences in mind. Productions cover a variety of subject matters and theatrical styles, but all promise to entertain and provoke discussion. The Watsons Go to Birmingham is currently on stage through March 7.
Kid tip: If your kids will be joining you, explore their 2019-2020 calendar to find an age-appropriate show that you’ll all enjoy.
4. Climb to new heights
If you’re up for a little adventure, head to Climb Time Indy on the city’s northside. Climbers of all ability levels will enjoy pushing themselves to new heights on the ever-changing routes at this indoor rock climbing facility. Whether you’re looking for some powerful bouldering or just a fun night out trying something new, give the rock wall a shot. Plus, every Friday from 5:00 – 10:00pm is Date Night at Climb Time! All couples on a date get free shoe rentals.
Kid tip: The motto at Climb Time is “If you can walk, you can climb.” Check out Kids Club on Wednesday nights. It’s just $12 per session and kids receive free coaching on their rock climbing skills. Parents get free harness rental and also some kid-free time to work on their own climbing skills!
5. Cheer on the Pacers
Ok, maybe attending a basketball game doesn’t scream “date night,” but between the thrill of the game, the in-arena entertainment and the roar of the crowd, a night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indy will leave you and your beau feeling like teenagers again. Even if you aren’t the biggest basketball fan, there is plenty to enjoy. From Boomer’s antics to the toe-tapping beats of the High Octane Drumline, a Pacers game is full of non-stop action. If you are lucky, you might even get caught on the kiss cam.
Kid tip: A Pacers game can be fun for all ages, and Lucas Oil Family Nights offer a budget-friendly way to treat the whole family to a night out. Starting at $15 each, your family can get a ticket to a designated Family Night game, plus a unique Pacers hat and a Chick-fil-A meal. Upcoming dates are March 21 and April 11.
6. Get creative
You and your partner can channel your inner artists during one of the Date Night events at the Nickel Plate Arts Campus in Noblesville. These art-inspired evenings include artist-led projects and live performances. Beer and wine is available for purchase. Date Nights will be held February 13-14 from 6:00-9:00pm.
Kid tip: Nickel Plate Arts will host their Cupid Art Crawls for the whole family to enjoy on February 8 & 15, 10:00am – 5:00pm. Create crafts and enjoy a fun day out together. Fees vary.
7. Try stargazing
Head to the Butler campus for a romantic evening of stargazing at the Holcomb Observatory & Planetarium. The current fulldome feature film is From Earth to the Universe, showing on February 14, 15, 21, 22, & 28 with doors opening at 7:00pm and the planetarium show beginning at 7:30pm. When the film ends, there is plenty more to see during the telescope viewing from 8:30-9:30 pm (weather permitting). The cost is just $5 for children and students under 18 and $7 for adults. Tickets can be purchased in the lobby after the doors open.
Kid tip: If you plan to arrive when the doors open at 7:00, be sure to bring a little something to keep your kiddos occupied for the 30 minutes prior to showtime.
8. Race the night away
Ladies and gentleman, start your engines! At Speedway Indoor Karting, let your competitive juices flow as you race around their two-level road course and a mini superspeedway. Open Sunday – Thursday and Friday – Saturday, 11:00am – 11:00pm, as well as Sunday, 11:00am – 10:00pm. Check out their website for pricing. Make a night of it and grab dinner at the two-story 1911 Grill where you can watch the karts speed by while you enjoy their refined American cuisine and full-service bar.
Kid tip: If you have a little Ricky Bobby who wants to go fast and get in on the racing fun, they offer Junior Karts with adjustable pedals and a 4-point safety harness with roll bar for children ages 8-13. All participants must be at least 8 years of age and 48 inches tall.
9. Get the ball rolling
Go for the strike at Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling in Fountain Square. This is not your typical bowling alley. Located in the historic Fountain Square Theatre Building, you and your Valentine will feel like you’ve stepped back in time at this duckpin alley furnished with authentic 1950’s and 60’s equipment and restored as an original 1930’s era alley. While walk-ins are fine, it is always best to make a reservation. The lanes are rented by the hour with reservations made in half hour increments. The cost is $40 per lane and bowling shoes are provided for free. Open bowling hours are Monday, 11:00am – 6:00pm; Tuesday – Thursday, 11:00am – 10:00pm; Friday – Saturday, 11:00am – 12:00am; and Sunday 11:00am – 8:00pm.
Kid tip: Because duckpin bowling uses smaller balls and pins and allows bowlers three balls per frame – this is the perfect place for kids to go for the spare. Or even better – the STRIKE! And because one lane can accommodate up to six people, the cost remains the same for families (with four or less children) as it would if it were just the two of you bowling. And that is good news, indeed.
So, grab your calendar and block out a special date night this month. Whether it’s with just your special someone or with the kids in tow, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in Indy!