Five Columbus Date Ideas That Aren’t Dinner and a Movie


If you have young children, odds are that your date nights are few and far between. Coordinating schedules, babysitters, and a desire to put on something other than yoga pants means that date nights are all too infrequent in my house. And while getting away for a quick dinner is always a welcomed break, it doesn’t always feel like much of an escape.

Maybe it’s just us, but when my husband and I get out for the rare dinner date, our conversations seem to inevitably drift to the kids, house projects, and what’s coming up on our schedules. Things we love and are important to us, but that we could also use a break from.

Recently it occurred to me that if our dates got us doing something new, then perhaps we’d have something new to talk about. Something to take our minds off the everyday business of our lives and get us focused on having fun together.

So, in that spirit, here are five date ideas in Columbus that are not dinner and a movie.

  1. Take a cooking class at Sur la Table. Heat things up with a cooking class, where you not only get a great meal, but learn a thing or two, as well. I know, I know—cooking on your night out? But with a cooking class you get a fun atmosphere and someone else has to clean up the mess!
  2. Hit up Vertical Adventures to learn to rock climb. For a different kind of date, get sweaty together and learn a new skill. Try the Rope 101 or Bouldering classes, both geared toward beginners with no previous experience required.
  3. Tap into your inner child at Cosi After Dark. Tired of knocking over all the kids at Cosi to get your turn on the high wire unicycle? The first Thursday of every month is Cosi After Dark—a night at Cosi with no kids and plenty of cocktails. While you sip on cocktails, enjoy experiments and activities geared to get you and your partner moving and having fun.
  4. Find your artistic side with a wine and canvas night. Don’t have an artistic side? It’s cool, just drink more and I’m sure you’ll swear you’re Van Gogh reincarnated by the end of the night. Check out Wine and Canvas or Square Canvas to get painting (and drinking). 
  5. Put your wits to the test with an escape game at Breakout Games. Rooms include The Kidnapping, The Museum Heist, Operation: Casino, and Hostage. Piece together clues and see if you and your partner can work together to escape the room in your allotted hour. Rooms generally accommodate six to eight players so you can take along some friends or make some new ones.

So, next time you have a precious date night on the horizon, consider changing it up with one of these options. And just in case you just can’t muster the energy for any of this, check out our post on quick and cheap dinner dates, complete with a yoga pants wearability rating.

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Emma Nelson
Emma is an Athens, Ohio native, who moved to Westerville seven years ago after a two year stint in Chicago. She lives with her husband, Matt, and their two boys, Lincoln (3) and Silas (1). Emma is a journalist turned marketing assistant turned teacher turned stay at home mom. So far she loves her newest gig, though she’s probably just okay at it. Keeping two young boys occupied means lots of exploring Columbus to find all that is not only kid friendly, but also adult friendly. Emma enjoys writing things in her head that she never actually gets down on paper, getting lost in the rabbit hole that is YouTube with her kids, and playing a game with her rambunctious boys that her oldest likes to call “attacking boys” (you can pretty much guess how that goes for her). Emma has a B.A. in journalism and political science from Miami University and completed further study at Ashland University to obtain her teaching certification in secondary English Language Arts. You can contact her at [email protected].


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