The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, your first instinct might be to stay bundled up inside with your significant other. Tempting as this may be, we have a counter offer: 10 date experiences worth layering up and venturing outside for, whether you’re trying to distract from the awkward silences on a first date or need to get away from the kids to celebrate your five-year anniversary.
Once an industrial warehouse, this RiNo outpost is now a modern take on the jazz and supper clubs of the 1940s and ‘50s. You and your date can listen to the classically romantic genre of jazz, featuring a constant lineup of live performances in a variety of styles, from avant-garde to bebop. This locally-owned business also offers delicious cocktails and food, and audiences are encouraged to dress up for a romantic evening (jeans are still acceptable though). 1330 27th St.; live music fee starting at $15 per person (added to your final check)
You’re never too old for a tea party, and Babe’s Tea Room—a bright new take on LoHi’s former House of Commons tea room—is ideal for a casual brunch date. Start with a kettle of the London Lavender Fog, or choose from an impressive selection of more than 100 loose-leaf black, white, green, and oolong tea varieties (looking at you, Spiced Christmas). Be sure to also bite into a hearty BAE (bacon, avocado, and egg) scone sandwich before nibbling on colorful macarons. The space is even adorned with elaborate flowery displays, perfect for snapping a picture with you and your babe. 2401 15th St., Suite 170
Bust move and enjoy the care-free atmosphere at this energized date spot. Enter the Dancehall, where you can join in on Swing, Salsa, Tango, Blues, and Samba classes. Afterward, roam through the Rose Dining Room or Jungle Dining Room, which features other forms of entertainment like poetry performances, tarot card readings, or classical musicians. Mercury Café also has an inclusive and locally sourced menu, catering to vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free guests. 2199 California St.
You don’t have to be a lumberjack to show off your skills wielding one of these sharp objects, though donning a flannel doesn’t hurt. Learn from an instructor how to nail a bullseye, or take your target practice to a private lane. Visitors must bring their own food and drink, but get to choose from a menu of small axes, large axes, and even knives for throwing. Compete with your date to see who’s got the better aim—loser has to buy dessert at nearby Ice Cream Riot afterward. 937 E. Colfax Ave.; ticket prices vary for reservations; $27 per person for walk-ins
Dates feel a little easier when someone else is breaking the ice. As Denver’s newest improv and sketch comedy location, Chaos hosts shows Thursday through Sunday, featuring performers from across the country. Comedy is contagious here (don’t worry, everyone’s fully vaxxed), so if you and your partner are feeling courageous, Chaos has a full training center, including improv and sketch courses to test out material of your own on your next date. 70 South Broadway; prices vary
You and your sweetheart can immerse yourselves in a surreal environment where four universes collide at this four-story exhibit. Take goofy pictures together while interacting with the many layers of installations created by hundreds of artists. The intricate storytelling will leave you untangling the mysterious narrative for hours afterward. You can also check out the on-site concert venue, the Perplexiplex, for an equally mind-blowing musical performance from artists like Julian Jeweil (January 14) and Yonder Mountain String Band (February 24). 1338 First St.; ticket prices vary
Right at the intersection of competition and amusement, this psychedelic mini-golf spot and its clever cocktail list promise a night of flirty fun. Work your way through challenging paths to every hole—pay close attention as each part of the course pays homage to some of Colorado’s coolest spots, from Coors Field to Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Afterward, you and your date can take a seat and dine on delicious late-night food like cheese curds and pizza. 1201 18th St.; prices vary; walk-ins welcome, reservations for dining only
Everyone loves a classic stroll through a winter wonderland, and the 24 acres of colorful, LED-lit flora brightening your night at this annual display don’t disappoint. The gardens are BYOB/food, perfect for a curated picnic under the twinkling lights. The outdoor walk itself takes about an hour, which means you need to bundle—and cozy—up. 1007 York St.; tickets are $16-19 for members and $18-21 for non-members
Add a dash of spontaneity with a show by Sofar Sounds, a community bringing intimate concerts to surprising venues around the city, from cubicle offices to clothing shops. Select a general location in your city when you buy tickets. Then, 24 to 36 hours before the show, you’ll find out the specific address of the venue. Upon arrival, you’ll learn what bands are playing (it can be a toss-up for what genre of music is featured). Bring a blanket and a bottle of wine (permitted at most Sofar shows, unless stated otherwise) for you and your date to cuddle up with in the chill atmosphere as you discover new sounds. Addresses vary; tickets are $25 per person
Spice up your usual Saturday night takeout order and chef up something special. The culinary hotspot inside Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace offers monthly classes dedicated to date nights, where the two of you can try your hand making a variety of international bites, like Moo Nam Tok from Thailand or tapas from Spain. Taught by a professional chef instructor, you’ll prepare a three-course meal paired with wines and cocktails. With options for beginners and experts alike, you won’t need to worry about Gordon Ramsay shouting in the background at this easygoing spot. 2501 Dallas St., Aurora; ticket prices vary