Cuffing season is going strong and V-Day is just around the corner, which means, even though there are hundreds of amazing restaurants in Houston, thousands of couples nationwide are just so freaking tired of staring at their S.O. across the table while splitting mozzarella sticks discussing who will get the pasta and who will get the seafood so that they can split halfway through. I get it. I feel your pain.
Let’s mix things up a bit, shall we? Last year, we gave you nine date ideas, and now we’re back with more. From wine tasting and jazz to beer games and rock climbing, there’s something for every type of couple here. Let me know if you try any of these out on Instagram or in the comments — or tell me what your favorite date night is!
PS. Dating yourself? Grab your gals to do some of these. Or, we also got some ideas for ya — and they’ll spoil you.
1. For the Winos: Wine tasting at Solaro Estates
“Wine tasting? But there’s no wineries in Houston!!!” Wrong. There are a couple, actually! However, I grabbed my Napa crew the other day to try out a Houston winery that happened to be JUST down the street from where I live: Solaro Urban Winery. How magical.
No, it’s not a full-on winery — there are no cute vineyards to pose with. (The real vineyard for Solaro is in Dripping Springs — and I’ve been there too!) But the tasting room has tons of wines to try for just a $16 tasting. Plus, the wine menu changes weekly, since members get a free tasting EVERY WEEK. Seriously, how cool?
The tasting room is right off TC Jester just south of I10 — find it by its giant corkscrew statue out front. You can park in the gravel lots — one off TC Jester and one off the side street — or there is overflow parking down TC Jester.
2. For the Sunday Shoppers: Crepes and window shopping in Heights Mercantile
It’s no secret the new Heights Mercantile is one of our favorite new spots, nor is it new information that we love Melange Creperie! A cute little day date on the weekend would be shopping at all the little shops — from Gypsy Wagon and Bespoke to Warby Parker and Chubbies — followed by a visit to Melange. I legit did this date. We started with crepes — a veggie one with siracha that was AMAZING and a v filling ham and cheese — and coffee then browsed the shops. My favorites were Bespoke and Gypsy Wagon. Gypsy Wagon, which I went to in Dallas, is so cute for little gifts or trinkets, but gets pricy with its clothes. Bespoke has all these artisan pieces at a wide range of price points — I was p surprised I could afford some of their stuff! Plus, pretty regularly, they have the cutest coffee cart, Homebird Coffee, in the shop. Check out their Instagram to see when they’re there. PSA. I know the two couples who own both Bespoke and Homebird. They are precious and cool people who will inspire you to get bangs or a vintage jean jacket and remind you that, no, you cannot pull off a wide-brimmed felt hat even though they can.
3. For the Musically Inclined: Concert then drinks in Montrose
You probably didn’t know it, but there are quite a few places in Houston to catch live music in a smoky room. Our favorite: Continental Club off Main Street where Midtown meets Downtown. It’s usually a small cover and shows are different every weekend — check it out here. Bring cash for quick drinks and to tip the band!
Post-music bar ideas:
- Rooftop sips at the Rosemont (“Montrose” inverted)
- Fancy cocktails at Anvil
- Punch from Natachee’s
- Coffee cocktails at Double Trouble
- Beer at Axelrad
- Cornhole, big jenga and more at Brooklyn Athletic Club
- Wine at Bacchus
4. For the Film Buffs: Midnight movie at River Oaks Theatre
There’s nothing better than a good bad movie. Every weekend, River Oaks Theater does a midnight showing of a movie on both Friday and Saturday night. It’s called Midnight Madness (click here for the current calendar) and they show the famously awful The Room, classic Rocky Horror Picture Show, and more on the reg.
The theater is super cute, too. It’s a classic in Houston and feels very much like a classic old timey theater — the scent of butter popcorn is thick. But there’s a full bar upstairs and tons of fun spots to hang out before the late night show. I’d suggest this to someone who is a night owl but wants a break from the bar scene.
Pre-movie dinner or drink ideas:
- Fancy feast at Brassiere 19 (walking distance)
- French food at Epicurean Cafe (walking distance)
- South American cuisine from Americas (walking distance)
- Asian food at Cafe Ginger (walking distance)
- Patio fare at Piggy’s
- Cute pics and drinks at Emmaline
- Drinks in the dark at Marfreless
- Chill food and drinks at Backstreet Cafe
- Margs and queso at tila’s
5. For(e) the Whisky-Loving Golfers: Virtual Top Golf at Bayou and Barrel
The Four Seasons’ Bayou and Barrel is a relatively new addition to the longstanding hotel. It’s super cool for happy hour or a quieter option to going out downtown. They have whisky lockers — the mayor has one and you can see what he’s sipping on. (Spoiler: It’s Gin.) Plus they have these super cool “Swing Suites” which is JUST like Top Golf where you tee up a ball, take a swing and, hopefully, hit the ball. Only your ball hits the cushioned screen and a computer calculates where that hit will go. CREEPY TECHNOLOGY! But also v cool.
Plus, while you’re swinging, you get to sip on yum drinks and nibble on apps in the comfort of the great indoors. To rent the suite is pretty pricey — not quite sure of the exact cost. Up to ten can play, so grab some friends to double/triple/quadruple date.
Continue the date (if you like) at some of my favorite downtown bars!
- Beer/Bites at Conservatory
- Wine at La Carafe (bring cash!)
- Give back at Okra Charity Bar
- Fun cocktails and DJ at Lilly and Bloom
6. For the Forever Learners: A museum day and planetarium showing
A day at the museum is perf for an artsy couple or a new couple still learning things about each other. You get to talk a lot, but have the sometimes welcomed distraction of an exhibit in front of you. We love, love, love Museum of Fine Arts Houston — especially the Oscar de la Renta exhibit, and the museum permanent exhibits are free on Thursdays (plus there are bars and food trucks usually). They also constantly have mixers — click here for more on their events.
The other big favorite is the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences. I got to spend a night at the museum a while back trying Karbach’s brand new Hop Delusion Imperial IPA and watch two of the planetarium’s shows: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (SO TRIPPY AND COOL!) and a show about black holes (educational but also insane!). It’s so cool. You kick back in the chairs (which are reclined) and hold hands (optional) and watch on the big ole domed screen. Shows are about $9 and Dark Side of the Moon is at 4 pm most days (not Thursdays, unfortunately). Click here for the full calendar.
Monarch Bar at Hotel Zaza is great for drinks after or wander over to Pax Americana or Hobbit Cafe for dinner.
7. For the Fitness Fiends: Indoor Rock Climbing
Guess what!!! We have a brand new indoor rock climbing studio right here inside the loop! Momentum Indoor Climbing has a Silver Street location (also: a Katy one!). It’s $20 for a day pass and $6 to rent shoes, so plan a few hours of climbing to get your money’s worth. There are also yoga classes to try too. I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on my list!! In summer camp I was OBSESSED with signing up for the rock climbing specialty camp — it was highly competitive and more expensive than the other camps. Then, as a counselor, I climbed allll the time. AHH, the life.
Post climb, fuel up at some area restaurants!
- Adult slurpees and pizza at Pi Pizza
- Local Pho
- Sushi at Kukuri
- Steak at B&B Butchers
- Bar food at Henderson Heights
- Seafood at Starfish
8. For the Foodies: Cooking class
I’ve only ever taken one cooking class, and it was on assignment, not on a date. (I was writing about it, obviously.) I made croissants from scratch, and I will never, ever, ever be able to do that on my own. But, a cooking class for a date night sounds super cute, especially if you are new to town — you might meet your Frank and Beans (The Office reference, basically a couple to be your new couple friends.)
Here are a couple Houston-area cooking classes to check out:
- Central Market cooking school — there’s even a Couples Cook series. $130 per couple.
- Culinary Institute LeNôtre’s Leisure Classes — Weekends. $120 per couple; $70 each person.
- Sur la Table — in River Oaks. $70-85 per person.
- Sylvia’s Enchilada House — Monthly Tex-Mex classics. $60 per person.
- UrbanChef — Even has a date night option that is $210 per couple.
9. For the Competitive Couple: Share a beer flight on game night at Holler Brewing or trivia night at Under the Radar
If you haven’t picked up on a theme here: I like doing activities with drinking. Houston has a whole ton of breweries and, while I’m still in the process of trying them all (blog post to come), I get the idea that they all like to host fun themed nights. Two that I’ve been to are Under the Radar’s trivia night (went for “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” which I could not contribute to, yet somehow my boyfriend and his friend got us to tie for 3rd) and game night at Holler Brewing Co.
Trivia at Under the Radar is Wednesday, and they have everything from Mean Girls and The Office trivia to Bob’s Burger and The Room trivia. (Wow, ok, second reference to The Room in one blog post. Shocked.) Here’s their Facebook events page where you can see what’s coming up. Ps. No food at the brewery, but you can BYOF or hit up the food truck – when I went it took FOREVER to get my food. Beer, however, is a flowing. When I went, it was only like $4 or $5 for a full beer. You can also do the commemorative glass with tokens if you want.
Holler Brewing Co.‘s game night is Friday and it’s also the night they have burgers for order! They have stacks and stacks of games to choose from, or you can bring your own. It is kind of hard to get a table, though. Holler is known for its IPAs and Stout. Pick six to split for $15, then grab a full glass of your favorite for $5-10.