Going out to dinner is one of my favorite things, but for a date night, it's fun to mix up the activities! Here are my eleven favorite unique date ideas specific to San Francisco and the Bay Area:
1. PARK PICNIC
My favorite picnic spots are Golden Gate Park, Washington Square Park, Lafayette Park, Alamo Square, Yerba Buena Gardens, Dolores Park, and the Palace of Fine Arts. Bring a picnic basket and blanket and hang out in the sun. The must-have picnic accessories in the picture are linked below.
2. URBAN PUTT
A little competition always leads to a little flirting. Urban Putt is San Francisco’s only indoor mini golf course - with a bar and restaurant! It’s so cool how intricate the course is, showcasing all of San Francisco’s gems with the most elaborate setup into the small place like a puzzle so all 14 holes can fit. It’s only $12 for adults to golf, and is always a fun time!
Photo by Urban Putt
Photo by Urban Putt
3. CHURCH OF 8 WHEELS
Church of 8 Wheels is a funky roller rink set in an old church. It’s $12 (cash only) to get in, which includes the skate rentals. We had so much fun here for Joe’s birthday, and want to come back for a fun little date adventure some time!
4. SUR LA TABLE COOKING CLASS
Joe and I took a cooking class at Sur La Table for Valentine’s day this year and had SO much fun! Not only did you get to make and eat a delicious dinner together, but you got to learn a lot about cooking - which has carried on for many more cooking dates since then! We learned how to properly chop, which kitchen utensils to use for certain things, what heat we need to cook different foods at, etc. This is one of my favorites, and I can’t wait to take another class! You can view the class schedules on Sur La Table’s website here. The classes range from $65-$85/person - but you get the class + dinner, so it’s a pretty great deal.
SPIN is a brand new ping pong bar and lounge that opened up in San Francisco - how Silicon Valley-eqsue!? Joe and I checked it out and were in awe by the cool decor and idea in general. It’s located right by all the tech hipsters in San Francisco’s SOMA neighborhood on 3rd and Folsom. The space is probably filled with about 20 ping pong tables and cool graffiti everywhere. There’s an upscale bar with a and lounge area where you can order food in the middle, and DJs performing at night. You can rent a table for $19 for a half hour during off-peak hours, and $29/half hour during peak times. The BEST part about this bar is that they come around and pick up all the ping pong balls; you don’t have to chase your own balls because you have a basket to pull new ones from - seems like a small benefit, but it’s honestly so nice to not have to shag the balls! Book a table here for your next date night.
6. HOT AIR BALLOON
Joe surprised me with a hot air balloon trip over Napa for my 24th birthday! It was one of the coolest things I’ve done. Wine Country is the perfect place to do it, not only because it’s close to San Francisco, but it’s also one of the prettiest landscapes in the country. Most of them come with brunch and bubbly to follow at one of the wineries. You can often find Groupons for this - here’s one for Sonoma that’s currently up.
iFLY is SO fun. It’s an indoor skydiving experience. I received a voucher for two as a prize for winning a sales competition at work last year. I’m way too scared to actually go skydiving, so this was a big adrenaline rush for me! Joe and I had an absolute blast with indoor skydiving. There’s a location in Union City (about a 30 minute drive from San Francisco) and the prices range from as low as $70/person to $135/person, depending how many flights you want to do.
8. ROW BOATS
What a romantic, old-fashioned thing to do - which makes it so fun! Joe and I headed to Lake Merritt in Oakland, but you can also rent row boats at Stowe Lake in Golden Gate Park. It’s a pretty cheap activity, and it's always relaxing and fun to get outside! Check it out next time you need a date idea, or better yet, plan a surprise date for your person! 😃
9. PENNY ARCADE
Did you know there’s an antique penny arcade on Fisherman’s Wharf called Musèe Mèchanique? Joe and I checked it out a couple weekends ago for a fun little date. They have some modern games like air hockey and pinball, as well as tons of antique arcade games and mechanical musical instruments in their original working condition. It’s free to get in, and most of the games cost anywhere from $0.01 to $0.50 to play!
10. STEWARD STREET SLIDES
The secret slides of San Francisco, called the Steward Street Slides, are located in the Castro neighborhood. They consist of two slides that are about 4 stories high. The slides are made of cement, so you ride down them sitting on a piece of cardboard to get more speed. There are a ton of cardboard pieces at the foot of the slide, so no need to bring your own. See more about the slides on my Little Kids, Big City post about what to do with your kids, nephews, cousins, etc. when they visit you in San Francisco - these slides are fun for both kids AND adults, as you'll see in the video below! 😃
11. PLANET GRANITE
This bouldering gym is located near Crissy Field and the Presidio. You can drop in and try bouldering for $20/person. We went on a fun double date here with our friends Kristyn and Brian awhile back. We ended up being sore from using muscles we’re not used to, but it’s a fun and different idea for a date if you like to be active! You can also take a beginner’s class here - more info on their website.
What are your favorite date spots in the city? Always looking for new ideas, so share yours in the comments section below!
Next, check out the 10 best pizza spots in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area.