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Summer Date Night Ideas to finish off the season

With August finally hitting us, summer is quickly coming to an end –– but it’s also the best time to grab a date and hit the town. With so many parks, restaurants and cute neighborhoods, Columbus is definitely home to the ultimate date night. Here’s a fun round-up of things to do when “Netflix and chill” has become way too routine.

The Market: Italian Village

1022 Summit St.

The modern restaurant houses a coffee shop, deli counter, old-world market and an urban eatery all under one intimate roof. The upscale market serves brunch, lunch and dinner, so it’s perfect for any type of date. Personally, I prefer a classic evening wine-and-dine. The Italian Market chefs make some of the greatest pizza I’ve had in Columbus –– and I’ve had a lot –– while also serving a huge selection of local, domestic and imported wines and brews. Located in the  heart of one of Columbus’ historic neighborhoods, it’s a cozy spot that’s perfect for conversation.

Bike through the Scioto Mile

233 S. Civic Center Dr.

If you’re more into an active date night (or day), check out Columbus’ CoGo Bike Share. The city offers stations all around downtown so you can rent and return bikes at any convenient location. For an especially romantic ride, I recommend taking a spin down the Scioto Mile, preferably at sunset. With one of the greatest views in Columbus and a fun activity to keep you both busy, it’s an option that’ll keep everyone happy. If biking makes you hungry, there’s also a huge variety of food and dessert options downtown.

Salsa Dancing at Mazah Mediterranean

1453 Grandview Ave.

To shake up your Saturday’s, grab a partner and show them that your hips don’t lie. The Mediterranean eatery offers Salsa dancing every Saturday from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. for just $10. For the beginner, the restaurant offers a Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Merengue and Cha-Cha dance lesson for the first hour, followed by a dance party for the rest of the night. The venue also offers bar service throughout the evening if you need some liquid courage to get you moving.

Picnic at the Metroparks

For a perfect day-date, you can never go wrong with a picnic filled with your favorite foods and your favorite person. Make some sandwiches together and grab a blanket and you’re set for the day. With 18 parks in the Columbus Metroparks System, there’s a lot of locations to choose from depending on your mood. My personal favorites are Highbanks and Scioto Audubon –– the first is more low-key and filled with hiking trails, while the latter has trails and a rock climbing wall and obstacle course in case you get bored.

Arcade games and hot dogs

258 S. 4th St. and 254 S. 4th St.

For the more low-key couple, downtown Columbus is home to a lot of casual bars and eateries. For a fun night out, I’d first head to Dirty Frank’s Hot Dogs for some dinner. The eatery offers a great atmosphere for late-night fare and hot dogs with any topping imaginable. After some food, head down to 16-bit Bar + Arcade and kick your partner’s butt at NBA Jam or Mario Bros. The bar houses a huge variety of retro arcade games and fun drinks. Even better, games are free for the whole night if you buy a drink.

Explore German Village Together

For the romantic, the brick streets and vintage feel of German Village are a great spot to hit in the evening. For dinner, start at Lindey’s for a candlelit dinner on the patio, followed by drinks at any restaurant or bar in the area –– there are so many to choose from. Finish off the night with a stroll through the book loft, which offers 32 rooms full of classic novels, comics, satires and more.

Watch a movie at South Drive-In Theatre

3050 S. High St.

If you’re both into movies and need a change of scenery from your couch, the drive-in theatre offers just that. Outside and under the stars, couples can watch new movies from the comfort of their cars. The theatre also serves all sorts of snacks, but feel free to bring your own and spend a night bonding in your car.

Gallery Hop

Short North Arts District

Last but not least, Gallery Hop is a great date option for the eclectic. Every first weekend of the month, the streets of the Short North are filled with all kinds of performances, art galleries, pop-up shops and more. As you walk down the street, you’ll get a showcase of what Columbus’ art community is all about. The best part is that the area is filled with cool bars and restaurants, so if you get hungry stop in at any one on your way. Cap off the night with dessert and hit Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams or Simply Rolled.

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