12 Sacramento Area Date Ideas That Don’t Involve Going to a Restaurant
While there are plenty of wonderful restaurants perfect for date night in the Sacramento area, it’s fun to think outside the box when planning the next adventure with your significant other.
From simple walks through a garden to extravagant staycations in the city, we have lots of unique date ideas up our sleeve!
1. Enroll in a Fun Class
Don’t worry — we aren’t talking about a class involving homework and tests. Get crafty with a class at Painted in Folsom. Enjoy two hours of cocktails, creativity and lots of fun! Even if you’ve never picked up a paintbrush, you can follow step-by-step instructions as you create a masterpiece together and sip on local wines from Amador, Lodi, Napa and Sonoma.
Even if you’re skipping the restaurant portion of the date, that doesn’t mean you need to starve! Expand your cooking skills with a class at Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op, where you’ll cook a meal together, learn about local growers and producers, and create a memory that will last a lifetime. Take a look at their class calendar to coordinate your next date night adventure.
2. Solve a Mystery Together
Photo Courtesy of Escape Sacramento
You might not consider being trapped in a room together with no foreseeable escape an enjoyable experience for you and your date. However, Escape Sacramento in Midtown will provide a thrill and mystery you can’t get from every date night experience. You will have 60 minutes to escape this interactive, real life escape room by solving a series of puzzles that will challenge your mind and confound your senses. Work together as a team to beat the clock and find an escape!
3. Admire Beauty Inside or Outside
There is so much beauty to behold in and around Sacramento. The views will be made that much sweeter with a hand to hold!
For a Sunny Day…
Visit the UC Davis Arboretum! It’s as simple as that. Enjoy free admission to the gardens 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You’ll find 100 acres of beautiful gardens for active recreation or peaceful contemplation, guided tours led by UC Davis experts, and much more.
For a Rainy Day…
Take a stroll through the Crocker Art Museum! Even if the sun isn’t shining in Sacramento (but when is it not?) you can still admire the man-made beauty on display at the museum. You’ll have a blast discussing your favorite piece and strolling through their impressive collections with your date.
4. See an Exciting Show
If you haven’t yet visited the brand new Golden 1 Center, now’s your chance! Take a glance at their event calendar and plan your next date night accordingly. From sporting events to concerts, and everything in between — there is always something exciting happening at Golden 1 Center. Save some hassle and a few bucks by riding the SacRT light rail to and from the Golden 1 Center!
5. Take a “Staycation”
Photos Courtesy of Vizcaya and Carmen Salazar
Turn your date night into a special getaway weekend to celebrate a special occasion. Lucky for you, you don’t have to travel far to get away from it all. There are plenty of places to enjoy a “staycation” in the city — whether you’re looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, or a cottage in and around Sacramento. Need a place to start? Vizcaya is located just a mile away from the Capitol Building, providing a peaceful getaway in the heart of activity.
6. Go to the Shooting Range
Experience the thrill of shooting at The Gun Range in North Highlands. After paying for a few items, such as the range rental, handgun rental, etc., and reviewing the important range rules, step inside the range to see who can get closest to the target!
7. Practice Your Golf Game
Photo Courtesy of Topgolf
You’re never too old for a fun and childlike day spent playing miniature golf! Head to Golfland in Roseville where you can play a round of miniature golf — or even race each other on the race course. You could also visit Topgolf in Roseville for a unique golf experience, where you’ll practice your swing in one of their private bays while you enjoy wonderful food and drinks!
9. See a Drive-In Movie
You might think of “dinner and a movie” as the stereotypical date night lineup. However, you can spice things up by cooking a meal at home then going to a drive-in movie at West Wind Drive-In — or better yet, bring your home cooked meal with you to the show! This historical theater has been in operation since 1952, so you’ll find a mixture of old-school nostalgia combined with the latest technology. West Wind proudly shows first-run movies at the same time as traditional indoor theaters, so you can see current movies in this unique setting!
9. Bowl a Strike
Bowling always makes for a fun and unexpected date night outing, and there’s no better place to bowl in the area than Pins N Strikes in Elk Grove. In fact, Pins N Strikes was voted the Best Bowling Center in 2016! They are equipped with 44 bowling lanes, a state-of-the-art scoring system, a sound and lighting system, a live DJ, and much more.
10. Ride a Horse-Drawn Carriage
Ride a horse-drawn carriage through the charming streets of Old Sacramento through Top Hand Ranch. Rent a carriage for just $15, then travel in style to and from your favorite shops, eateries and historical attractions in Old Sacramento. You don’t have to be pulling off an extravagant proposal or celebrating a major event to reserve your horse-drawn carriage!
11. Cook a Meal With Fresh Farmers’ Market Ingredients
For a daytime date, visit the Davis Farmers’ Market at Central Park in Davis, which operates year-round each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pick from the ever-changing selection of fruits and vegetables, meats, chicken, fish and seafood, wine, local eggs and honey, and much more. Then create a meal together at home using your fresh and local finds! If you visit the market during the spring and summer, you can browse the market during “Picnic in the Park”, featuring live music from local musicians.
12. Sample Locally Made Spirits
Head to the beautiful El Dorado Hills area to sample some of the region’s finest vodka, whiskey, brandy and bourbon at Dry Diggings Distillery. The distillery focuses on locally produced farm fruit, grains and wine used to create their exceptional spirits. Experience their unique selection in Dry Diggings’ Gold Rush-era tasting room with historical elements and a cozy and intimate feel. Book a tasting or a distillery tour to enhance the experience for you and your date!
What did we miss?
What non-restaurant date night ideas should we add to this list?
Category Davis, El Dorado Hills, Elk Grove, Folsom, Neighborhood Guides, Roseville, Sacramento
Cathy Harrington is Lyon Real Estate’s director of marketing, overseeing the content on the Lyon Local blog, website and social media channels.