Fun & Unique Date Night Ideas around San Diego

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Prioritizing your relationship is hard when you have kids—especially when enlisting a babysitter means that even a cheap date night just got a whole lot more expensive. To maximize your time and your wallet, we’ve pulled together fun date night ideas that are both thrilling and adventurous (none that include going to the beach)—plus a few romantic date night ideas thrown in for good measure. From rock climbing, indoor sky diving, to sunset cruises and escape rooms, you’ll never ask what to do for a date night in San Diego again.

Conquer the California Tower Climb

Couples that climb together, stay together, right? Lace up your sneaks and head to Balboa Park for the ultimate stair climbing experience. Not only will you get a workout when you climb up to the eighth floor viewing deck of the iconic California Tower—you’ll also get one-of-a-kind views of Balboa Park. To access, buy advanced, timed tickets from the Museum of Us. After? Head over to Panama 66’s outdoor patio for dinner next to the sculpture garden and toast to your accomplishment.

Museum of Us
1350 El Prado
Balboa Park
Online: museumofus.org

Panama 66
1450 El Prado
Balboa Park
Online: panama66.com

Related: Looking for a Free Family Date Night Idea? Check Out These Kid-Approved Hikes

Take Flight with Indoor Skydiving

One of the more unusual things to do for date night near San Diego? Take flight! Get ready for an adrenaline rush as you fly up two-stories high inside the wind tunnel at iFly for indoor skydiving. You’ll suit up with safety gear, a quick lesson and a guide will hold onto you the entire time as you feel the wind lift you up and fly you around. Make sure to plan your dinner for after your flight session.

Where to Eat: If you visit the Mission Valley location, head over to Puesto for delicious Mexican food like cheese wrapped squash tacos and mezcal flights; if you are closer to the Oceanside location, head over to Hooked on Sushi for creative rolls and Japanese food.

iFly San Diego
2385 Camino Del Rio N
Mission Valley

3178 Vista Way
Oceanside
Online: iflyworld.com

Related: Why Oceanside Is the Relaxing Vacation Vibe We All Need Right Now

Test Your Skills at an Escape Room

You’ll really get connected with your partner when you have to rely on each other to find your way out of these escape rooms. Choose your room theme and use the clues inside to unlock more clues that will eventually get you out in one piece. If you want to take the pressure off, make it a couples date night and invite your friends!

Where to Eat: If you go to the Great Escape Room, visit Ballast Point Brewing Miramar after for an excellent dining menu along with their brews. Close to Subscape Kearny Mesa? You’ll find Common Theory brewhouse with a full menu and an Asian twist. And if you try the Lockdown Escape Room, Hillcrest Brewing Company is nearby and is great for stone-fired pizzas, wings and growlers.

Insider Tip: Check out Groupon before you go for discounts and deals to make it a (relatively) cheap date night.

The Great Escape Room
9340 Dowdy Dr.
San Diego
Online: greatroomescapesandiego.com

Subscape Escape Rooms
12544 Kirkham Ct.
Poway

55756 Magnatron Blvd.
Kearny Mesa
Online: subscapegames.com

Lockdown Escape Rooms
1037 University Ave.
Hillcrest
Online: lockdownrooms.com/san-diego

Plat at Arcade Game Restaurants

Fire up your competitive spirts and play each other at a round of Skee-Ball, darts, bowling, air hockey, arcades or other games on tap at these arcade restaurants. These are like your one-stop-shop for date night because each has a full menu of food, drinks and desserts onsite so you can stay and play all night long.

Punch Bowl Social
1485 E St.
Downtown
Online: punchbowlsocial.com

Dave & Buster’s
2931 Camino Del Rio N
Mission Valley

2501 El Camino Real
Carlsbad
Online: daveandbusters.com

Related: Themed Restaurants around San Diego Worth the Splurge

Go Rock Climbing

Challenge each other to the top of the wall at these fun climbing gyms. You’ll get a good workout together along with fun climbs to motivate and cheer each other on as you head to the top.

The Wall Climbing Gym
1210 Keystone Way
Vista, CA
Online: thewallclimbinggym.com

Vertical Hold
992 Rancheros Dr.
San Marcos, CA

13026 Stowe Dr.
Poway, CA

2074 Hancock St.
Midtown
Online: verticalhold.com

Mesa Rim Climbing Center
405 Camino del Rio S
Mission Valley, CA

10110 Mesa Rim Rd.
Mira Mesa, CA
Online: mesarim.com

Take a Cooking Class Together

Learn a few tricks to use in the kitchen with these super fun revved up cooking classes from Sur La Table. Choose from a variety of classes like French Luxury, Dim Sum, Flavors of the South and even Italian desserts or making fresh pasta. Each class is about 2 hours long and some are even online Zoom sessions so you can do them from home if you can’t find a sitter.

7007 Friars Rd.
Fashion Valley Mall, CA

The Forum Carlsbad
1915 Calle Barcelona
Online: surlatable.com

Learn a New Skill at Woodshop

Get crafty with drills, hammers, paint and textures at an AR Workshop together. Choose from a wooden family namesake plaque, corn-hole boards to personalized charcuterie blocks and even knit blankets or create a unique front porch project to liven up your entryway. You’ll really have to work together and agree on your design direction to make these unique family projects come alive. Classes are usually 3 hours long.

Where to Eat: Head over to Miguel’s Cocina or The Henry if your close to the Coronado location; and if you’re at their San Marcos location try out SETS Kitchen & Bar for casual American fare.

AR Workshops
1033 B Ave.
Coronado, CA

1523 San Elijo Rd.
San Marcos, CA
Online: arworkshop.com

Take a Sunset Cruise

Sunset cruises are one of the most romantic date night ideas in San Diego. You can hop on board for either a 1-hour sunset cruise and grab dinner on land nearby, or splurge for a special occasion and sign up for their dinner cruises that usually feature live music.

Flagship Cruises
990 N Harbor Dr.
Embarcadero
Online: flagshipsd.com

Hornblower City Cruises
1800 N Harbor Dr.
Embarcadero
Online: cityexperiences.com/san-diego

Bahia Belle
998 W Mission Bay Dr.
Mission Bay
Online: bahiabellecruises.com

Enjoy a Stand Up Comedy Show

Laugh it out together at one of these local comedy clubs that feature big-name celebrity acts and local comics; either way you’ll have a blast. Sometimes they host open mic nights or even improv audience participation nights, so check before you go if you want to show off your own comedic chops.

American Comedy Co.
818 Sixth Ave.
Downtown
Online: americancomedyco.com

National Comedy Theater
3717 India St.
Midtown
Online: nationalcomedy.com

The Comedy Store
916 Pearl St.
La Jolla
Online: thecomedystore.com/la-jolla

Go See an Outdoor Concert

Watching an outdoor concert at the Rady Shell is a brand new iconic San Diego experience not to be missed. The “shell” surrounding the stage features amazing graphics and images that correspond with the performance as you enjoy music along the waterfront with sailboats cruising by. Grab one of the tables and chairs up close or BYO blankets and cozy up on the lawn; both have excellent views and ambiance to make the most of your romantic date night. There’s plenty of food options to either order ahead and have it delivered to your seat, or order from the standing lines and eat at the nearby tables or bring it to your own seat. And while the lineup this summer is sizzling hot, we’ve got our eyes on Jennifer Hudson, Elvis Costello and Ben Platt coming up later this month.

222 Marina Park Way
Embarcadero
Online: theshell.org

Watch a Rooftop Movie

For a new twist on the dinner-and-a-movie outing, head over to the outdoor rooftop for a movie experience like no other (now through Sept. 5). Book a lounge chair or a bean bag and cozy up on the 4th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt hotel downtown for a movie. They’ve got classics from all decades, pajama days for kids, teen nights, horror nights and even “wooftop” pet-friendly movies. There’s a kiosk with movie snacks, appetizers, drinks, beer and wine.

Insider Tip: Bring your parking voucher with you to get it validated at the rooftop for a parking discount.

Rooftop Cinema Club at the Manchester Grand Hyatt
1 Market Pl.
Embarcadero
Online: rooftopcinemaclub.com

 

 

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