18 Dates For When You’re Feeling Young And In Love

For when you can’t “grab a drink.”

As someone who pops back and forth between being legal (in Canada) and not legal, I totally understand how frustrating it is to not be able to say that… I love a movie night at home just as much as the next person but eventually that gets a little boring.

Luckily, Columbus has so much to do and explore! Here are 18 of my favorite non-alcoholic date ideas around Columbus for next time you and your boo want to get out!

Pull up to a drive-in movie

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Drive-in movies started disappearing in the 70s and continued disappearing until the early 2000s when we were left with just one- the South Drive-In Theatre. This is the only drive-in theatre I’ve ever been to in Columbus… because I wasn’t alive when most of them closed. But nevertheless, I love a good night at an outdoor movie! Bring your blankets, pillows, as many snacks as you can, your mom’s hatchback, and head on over! You can see two shows for $12 or $7 on weekdays.

See an improv show at The Nest

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I love to watch improv shows! I’m terrible at doing improv but watching is super fun. Watching people more creative than myself do things that make me go “OMG that’s so clever, I never would have thought of that” is right up my alley. The Nest has shows every Friday and Saturday night but check their calendar for the occasional Thursday or special event.

Free Sundays at the Columbus Museum of Art

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Okay, so I may or may not have had “take me to CMA on a Sunday” in my Tinder bio at one point… It’s just such a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Wander around, look at art, look at your cute date, spend no money, really it’s a total win. I guess you can go on any other day of the week too, I just love a good deal.

Grab a slice

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If your date doesn’t like pizza, abort mission immediately! My favorite pizza places around town are Late Night Slice, Yellow Brick, and Harvest Pizza if you’re looking for a nicer sit-down place.

Go skating!

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Any type of skating! Head to any of the Ohio Health Chiller locations for ice skating, Skate Zone 71 for roller skating, or bring your wheels of choice to Dodge Skate Park.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

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Pack your sunscreen and a lunch and spend all day at the Columbus Zoo. If you live in Columbus you likely already know how amazing our zoo is, but let me introduce you to a new concept- going to the zoo, without your family. It really is a different experience. When you don’t have loud children setting your walking pace or parents making you pull a wagon of unnecessary items, going to the zoo is an entirely more pleasant experience.

Grab a coffee at a local coffeeshop

Columbus really has some super cute places to get a coffee. My favorites are the Roosevelt Coffeehouse, Bake Me Happy, and Fox in the Snow. A lot of our coffee shops are in adorable areas so grab your drink, hang out for a bit, and then go for a stroll.

Spend the evening with Actors Theatre of Columbus outdoor summer shows

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Every summer Actors Theatre of Columbus puts on donation-based shows in Shiller Park. The shows run every Thursday-Sunday. Check the schedule to see what’s playing now! Bring a blanket and some snacks and cozy up under the stars for a great show.

Go bowling

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Bowling is one of my favorite things to do when it’s raining. I am horrible at bowling but I love making fun of myself! Head to Gahanna Lanes or Pins Mechanical Company for two very different types of bowling! Pins becomes a bar at 8 p.m. so make sure to head over early. This place is super popular so I always try to go right when it opens to make sure I get a lane.

Saturday night Gallery Hop in the Short North

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The first Saturday of every month is Gallery Hop in the Short North. Take a stroll down High St. to experience the great arts scene of Columbus. There are tons of street vendors, performers, gallery exhibitions, and lots of great food.

Bike or scooter around town

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As I’m sure you’ve seen there are bikes and scooters for rent stationed all around Columbus. CoGo bikes have docks all around and there are three different scooter brands (that I know of) that can be driven and left wherever. Riding those scooters around Scioto Mile is so fun!

Go thrifting

Thrift shopping with your boo to make fun of crazy clothing or find hidden treasures is a super cheap way to have a great afternoon. Set a time limit and see who can find the strangest item in the store. Ohio Thrift, Out of the Closet, and Volunteers of America are all good places to start! If you’re looking for more of a vintage store and less of a thrift store check out Rag-o-Rama.

Explore Franklinton Fridays

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The second Friday of every month the Franklinton area has a celebration of arts, science, and community. Explore the neighborhood and check out the performances, exhibitions, foods, and friends of the area. Check here for a list of the activities and exhibits!

Get lost in the Book Loft

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Hopefully, you’ve already spent some time getting lost in the Book Loft because it’s really a magical experience. Something about being surrounded by that many books is just special. So now imagine doing that with someone who’s just as special? Pure awesomeness. It’s also totally free! Assuming you can keep yourself from buying a book, that is.

Go hammocking in the park

I don’t know why but hammocking is super trendy at the moment and I’m totally on-board. If you’re not on board, you should be. It’s a cheap and easy way to get out of the house. My favorites places to set up a hammock are Jeffrey Mansion along Alum Creek and Goodale Park. I also want to scope out spots at Hayden Falls, Scioto Audubon Metro Park, and Shiller Park. Bring a double and get cozy with your boo or bring two singles and relax with some snacks, maybe some music, or even make it a reading date.

Check out the galleries of the Wexner Center for the Arts

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Columbus has a great art scene and I don’t take advantage of the opportunities to see it. This is one way to do that! The Wexner Center is free for college students and $8 for the general public.

The Candle Lab

The Candle Lab is a cute and unique place to take your date. One of the best types of dates are ones where you create something together. Choose your fragrances and make the perfect candles for each other. They have locations in the Short North, Grandview, Worthington, and Downtown.

See a show at Shadowbox Live

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Shadowbox always has great (and reasonably priced) plays, musicals, and comedy shows running. Shadowbox has a larger stage in the back that most of their main shows run on and a stage in the front for smaller shows. Hashtag Comedy Improv show is one of my favorite reoccurring shows to see at Shadowbox. They’re on every Wednesday!

In my opinion, the best dates are the ones where they are either entirely spontaneous or incredibly planned out (by the other person). Impress your date! String a few of these together to get the cutest day with your boo ever. My suggestion? Grab a coffee, go for a walk, set up a hammock, and then bike or scooter to an ice cream shop! I know, I totally just exposed all my “moves” right here.

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