When planning a date, it’s all too easy to default to the expected—dinner and a movie, drinks, Netflix and chill. If this is the case for you, it’s time to branch out. We’ve got you covered with everything from dinning to arts and entertainment. Whether you’re just getting to know someone or you’ve found your soulmate, pick any of these unique ideas to impress your date and land yourself another.
1. Design your own pastry crawl
It’s like a bar crawl, but for pastries, and the possibilities are endless. Stop for a cookie at Fig Tree Patisserie, pop in for macarons at Pastry by Camille and then make your way to Blackbird Sweets for a homemade cosmic brownie. Snag a flaky Butter Block croissant at Remedy House and, if you’re feeling ambitious, head downtown for artisanal donuts at The Public.
2. Or, take a pastry class
Pastry by Camille
1416 Hertel Ave, Buffalo NY 14216/ 716-551-0500 / Website
Some of us prefer our indulgences and our dates to be a little more hands on. Pastry by Camille offers two-hour long master classes in traditional French pastry. Any date that ends with homemade croissants is probably a pretty good date.
3. Take a wine class at Winkler and Samuels
500 Seneca St, Buffalo NY 14204 / 716-235-8121 / Website
If you and your date are curious about expanding your tastes in wine, Winkler and Samuels’ tastings offer an immersive tasting experience that includes a cheese pairing and takes place in their private cellar. The classes are informative yet approachable and the atmosphere is just the right amount of romantic. Check their website for a full list of upcoming tastings.
4. Get your caffeine fix with Rise & Grind
423 Elmwood Ave, Suite 100, Buffalo NY 14222 / Website
Maybe you’re a coffee snob. Maybe you’re dating a coffee snob. Maybe you’re just someone who appreciates sharing simple pleasures with people you care about. Learn how to create a better morning ritual and be more intentional about your daily cup of joe at the Rise & Grind coffee workshop, courtesy of the Found Folk, the team behind Root & Bloom.
If the idea of learning something new while spending time with your fling sounds like your idea of a perfect date, check out our guide to classes and workshops for inspiration.
5. Ice bumper cars at Canalside
31 Buffalo Skyway, Buffalo NY 14203 / 716-436-7100 / Website
Ice bumper cars aren’t as romantic as ice skating per se, but they are way more fun. After the fun, warm up with a beer at Resurgence Brewing Company or The Draft Room, or settle in for house-made sausages and classic cocktails at Ballyhoo.
6. Catch a classic flick at the Screening Room
880 Alberta Dr, Suite 207, Amherst NY 14226 / 716-837-0376 / Website
Skip the Netflix and chill routine for The Princess Bride and mimosas or popcorn and Casablanca. The Screening Room is the perfect place for you and your date to catch a favorite cult flick or brush up on classic cinema in a comfortable and cozy space.
7. Experience live jazz at PAUSA Art House
19 Wadsworth St, Buffalo NY 14201 / 716-697-9075 / Website
The warm, intimate setting of PAUSA Art House makes it feel like you’re in your living room, and you don’t have to be a hardcore jazz enthusiast to enjoy the live music. Split a bottle of wine, order a round of tapas or two and soak in the atmosphere for a relaxing and romantic date in quirky Allentown.
8. Explore Albright-Knox Northland
612 Northland Ave, Buffalo NY 14211 / 716-882-8700 / Website
While our dear Albright-Knox is under construction, the Northland satellite gallery continues to offer world-class programming in its airy, industrial setting in Buffalo’s Northland corridor. Perusing the gallery with your date is sure to spark conversation, whether you’re modern art aficionados or not. Read more about the space in our article, New: Albright-Knox Northland Brings Added Exhibition Opportunities to WNY.
9. Go thrift shopping
There’s no shortage of awesome thrift and second-hand shops in Buffalo, and exploring the city for hidden gems is a surprisingly fun way to spend an afternoon. You’re sure to find something you didn’t know you needed, and it will probably give you lots to talk about.
For a complete list of places to hunt for second-hand treasures, check out 8 Antique and Vintage Shops for the Perfect Gift or Hidden Gem.
10. Visit the City Hall observation deck
65 Niagara Square, Buffalo NY 14202 / 716-851-4890
There’s something undeniably romantic about a breathtaking view—especially when it’s a breathtaking view of a city that means something special to you and your date. Get the best view of the Queen City from City Hall’s observation deck and, while you’re at it, get a closer look at the building’s stellar Art Deco design.
11. Cross-country skiing and cocktails
The Terrace at Delaware Park
199 Lincoln Parkway, Buffalo NY 14222 / 716-886-0089 / Website
229 Lexington Ave, Buffalo NY 14222 / 716-882-7522 / Website
If you and your date are outdoorsy types, strap on your skis for a jaunt through Delaware Park—a truly magical place to spend a snowy afternoon. Cap off your adventure with drinks and appetizers at The Terrace. If you don’t mind a quick drive, head over to The Place, where you can indulge in Tom & Jerry’s.
12. Get lost in the Botanical Gardens
2655 South Park Ave, Buffalo NY 14218 / 716-827-1584 / Website
In South Buffalo, the Botanical Gardens are like a mini getaway, perfect for a relaxing Sunday afternoon of wandering through the lush glass halls. To see the gardens aglow after sunset, catch the Lumagination exhibit now through February 29. Check their website for happy hours, featuring food, drinks and live music.