Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to SJtoday.
Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons (and saved his kids a lot of time). Regardless, whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 20+ local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.
For the ones who want a night out on the town
- Catch a local comedian at San Jose Improv, and for a pre-show delight, head just around the corner to Goodtime Bar for natural wines, farm-to-table bites, and a cool space to chat before the laughs.
- If you’re looking to bust a move, snag tickets to any of The Ritz‘s weekend shows. From disco nights and raves to emo bands + up-and-comers, there’s a performance for everyone looking to dance the night away.
- Is bar hopping your vibe? Fill up first at San Pedro Square — with options like craft pizza and beers, fusion hot dogs, Latin American fare, and more — then, go to the bar-muda triangle on South First Street that has a multitude of watering holes steps away from each other.
If you love the great outdoors
- For some fresh air, head over to the Sierra Vista Open Space Reserve to hike some of the ten trails overlooking our great 408, and play a fun game of nature I-Spy with your date.
- Build a sandwich at Zanotto’s Family Market to take on a sunny picnic at the Municipal Rose Garden.
- Head to the water for kayaking, paddleboarding, canoeing, and more in the South Bay. Our guide will help you + your date get your toes wet.
If the way to their heart is through their stomach
- Take an unofficial taco tour around town, we’ve got a guide to fit in tacos for every mealtime of the day.
- Share a bunch of appetizers at Ludwig’s German Table, like Jäger fries or Spätzle cheese croquettes, and pair it with one of their seasonal drinks like the Rhubarb Spritz with prosecco.
- Try your hand at one of TasteBuds Kitchen‘s cooking classes where you can learn how to cook with beer + wine, make your own pasta, or whip up Mediterranean, Argentinian, Italian, Chinese, and other cultural dishes.
For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)
- You can’t go wrong with barcades like Miniboss, where each cocktail is inspired by the retro games inside. Or, San Pedro Social, where you can bowl, do karaoke, play beer pong, and so much more.
- Test your date’s span of knowledge at a trivia night — we’ve got a guide for weekly nights that host themed trivia.
- Are you and your partner gamers? Head to the Guildhouse for PC gaming, console stations, and even classic board games.
For the ones like to get creative
- Try your hands at one of the School of Visual Philosophy‘s many art classes. From watercolor painting to printmaking, you + your date can create something together to take home.
- Explore new exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art San José or the Anno Domini Gallery, where admission is always free.
- Why not create something for each other? Go to Ashy Aromas in San Pedro Square + do the “Candle Lovers” package for an hour experience with a complimentary glass of wine. Or, up the ante with a rug tufting class with 528 Entertainment.
If you’re really hoping that it works out
- Get two $25 day passes to The Studio, an indoor rock-climbing gym in the heart of Downtown where you + your date will learn to climb together.
- Here’s a way to break a sweat — break stuff. This demolition center offers several budget-friendly packages for you + your partner to let loose in their rage rooms.
- Try out a fitness class that takes you away from your day-to-day gym routine. From parkour and martial arts, to boxing and silk dancing, explore unique classes in the area.
If you want an “old fashioned”-style date
- Roll in to West Wind Capitol Drive-In for a movie under the stars, complete with hot food, popcorn, and sweet treats from the snack bar. (Impress your date with some history about SJ’s last drive-in theater.)
- Order an Old Fashioned at Haberdasher — a speakeasy-type bar where you’re served by bartenders that look straight out of the 1920s.
- Who doesn’t love a good mini golf date? Try the new Tipsy Putt, an indoor mini putt course with shareable bites and a full bar.
If you wanna show off by knowing all the hottest events in town
- Shameless plug: Sign up for our daily newsletter, where we call out our top picks of things to do around town. Your date doesn’t have to know we’re behind it, you can take all the credit.
- Stay up-to-date on the coolest local events around the great 408 with our events page (and check out this guide for our tips on navigating the page).
What did we miss? If you know a perfect date spot that’s not on the list, guide us in the right direction using this survey.