25 Date Night Ideas in Des Moines

Sometimes, just sometimes, we find ourselves in a date night rut. Here are 25 of our favorite (and memorable) date night ideas:

1.) A day of golfing or a night of mini-golfing or bowling.

2.) Paintball. Archery Field and Sports have a great paintball field.

3.) A concert or a play. Check out Des Moines Performing Arts or the Des Moines Playhouse to see what is currently running (or will be coming).

4.) Eat a leisurely dinner at your favorite restaurant. Our favorite date night restaurants include Malo, Django, and Christopher’s. We recently tried Ceviche Bar in the East Village and had a great experience.

5.) Grab a coffee. Java Joe’s or Smokey Row are great options for coffee and chats.

6.) Take a walk. A late-night walk around Gray’s Lake or the High Trestle Bridge (in Madrid, Iowa) are great for exercise and can be incredibly romantic.

7.)  Go enjoy open houses, check out houses way out of your price range, just for fun.

8.) Des Moines Art Center/Historical Museum/Science Center of Iowa. The Des Moines Art Center has a great lunch spot in the middle of it if you choose to do a day date.

9.) Go to a movie. Flix Brewhouse is a go-to for our movie date nights because we can enjoy dinner and drinks along with our movie.

10.) Game night. We love game nights with friends or other couples. Our go-to game is Cards Against Humanity (not for the easily offended).

11.) Date night in. We are pros at this one: take out (we’re fans of Mi Patria), a movie or a game of Scrabble, and wine. It is our typical Thursday night.

12.) Drinks. Louie’s Wine Dive, Confluence, or Exile are all excellent local choices.

13.) Dance classes. One of our favorite date nights was a salsa class we took back in the day (long before kids were even a thought). The Des Moines Ballroom Dance offers classes or private lessons and a variety of dances to choose to learn.

14.) Ice skating/roller skating. Many of the Des Moines area skating rinks offer adults-only nights or cheap skating nights.

15.) Hockey/baseball/basketball/football/etc. Game. We’ve got several teams here in Des Moines you can support (Iowa Wild, Iowa Cubs, Energy, Barnstormers) that have great games. Go IOWA WILD!

16.) Couples massage. East Village Spa is wonderful and in a great location.

17.) Book store. So, I’m a geek, but I love browsing shelf after shelf of books. Check out the Storyhouse Bookpub in the East Village and grab drinks afterward.

18.) Shopping. Yeah, this sounds boring, but sometimes it’s nice to just have a break to get errands done together. Twice a year, Hubs and I hire a babysitter and make a day of shopping for presents for the kids’ birthdays and Christmas. We’ve had a great time doing this and have some priceless memories.

19.) Champagne brunch. Americana has a great spread. Complete the brunch with a walk through the Pappajohn Sculpture Park afterward.

20.) Creme Dessert Lounge. Delicious sweets and cocktails. Need I say more? Beforehand grab pizza and wine up the street at Eatery A at one of the best happy hours in Des Moines

21.) Cooking class. Cooking With Alessandra has been a popular choice among our friends. Bonus that you can re-create the meal on a date night at home.

22.) Kayaking, boating, biking, hiking. Grey’s Lake has paddle boats or head to Big Creek to rent a kayak or boat. For hikes, we are fans of Ledges State Park. Take a look at the Interactive Park Map to get some great ideas.

23.) Hit up an arcade. We haven’t tried Up-Down yet, but several of our friends love it and have had a blast on their date nights.

24.) Trivia night. Many bars and restaurants host trivia. Check local breweries and bars.

25.)  Cook through a cookbook together.  Each week feature a new dish from the menu.

About the Author


Ashlen Sheaffer is a proud Des Moines resident who was born and raised here. Ashlen wears many hats: mom, wife, daycare provider at her in-home daycare, blogger and co-owner at The Kidsperts, children’s book author, and co-director and producer for the upcoming play Expressing Motherhood play. In her free time Ashlen enjoys exploring all Des Moines has to offer, road trips, and adventuring all with the kids in tow. Ashlen is super excited to be able to share some of her family’s adventuring with other Iowans and get other families out into the community.

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Website: www.thekidsperts.com

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