As any parent knows, planning and executing a glitch-free night out with your significant other is quite the affair. Between paying a babysitter, getting ready, braving crowds, and just trying to stay awake, we sometimes wonder if it’s even worth the trouble.
That’s why my husband and I started going on fun, casual day dates. Not only do we get more of our money’s worth out of the sitter, going out during the daylight hours allows us to visit a more eclectic mix of spots—and still be home at a decent hour. (Even if you’re not a parent, these daytime outings are still worth your while.) Here are a few of our favorites:
Angelo’s Taverna: It’s probably just the Midwesterner in me, but oysters conjure up a sort of unattainable sophistication. Angelo’s casual, convivial setting lacks the pretension that can come with more upscale seafood joints, yet the oysters are just as fresh and icy cold. Bonus: If you get there before 6 p.m., oysters on the half shell are a buck apiece. (If raw shellfish makes you queasy, slurp down a two-dollar grilled oyster, instead.) 620 E. Sixth Ave., 303-744-3366
Golden City Brewery: This sweet little spot is located in a tree-lined neighborhood in the shadow of Coors Brewery—and it closes at 7:30 p.m. Service and food are minimal, but that’s part of the appeal of this no-frills locale. Down a Mad Molly’s Brown Ale or an Evolution IPA and snack on the house pretzels with sinus-clearing mustard. Afterward, walk off those suds by taking a stroll along nearby Clear Creek. 920 12th St., Golden, 303-279-8092
The Morrison Inn: After you mountain goat around at Red Rocks Park, drive through Morrison on your way home and stop at the Morrison Inn. Order one of the massive margaritas, which come in a stein best held with both hands. (The restaurant claims to dispense 15,000 gallons of its signature margs every year.) The spacious rooftop patio and sweet views will be the perfect end to your mini-vacation. 301 Bear Creek Ave., Morrison, 303-697-6650
My Brother’s Bar: A visit to this historic bar near Confluence Park is the best reward after a bike ride along the Cherry Creek bike path. The dark and cozy wood-lined interior is a welcome respite from the sun. While the menu is dense, you really can’t beat the basic steer burger with a side of onion rings. The condiment caddy that accompanies the burgers—tidily packed with relish, pickles, onions and peppers alongside the ketchup and mustard—makes customizing your burger a breeze. 2376 15th St., 303-455-9991
Super Star Asian Cuisine: Despite Super Star’s busy dining room, dim sum is all about relaxation—there are no menu decisions to be made, and all of the food comes right to you. The eats scream comfort: congee (a savory Chinese rice porridge that comes with many different accoutrements), steamed buns, dumplings, fried sesame balls. After you feast, continue the relaxation theme by heading next door to Min’s Foot Massage for an hour-long massage for just $25. 2200 W. Alameda Ave., 303-727-9889