6 Fresh Ideas for Date Night

By Shelby Deering | Photography By Kaia Calhoun

Candlelight, soft music, roses. If these are your go-to Valentine’s Day date essentials, we think that’s pretty romantic. But what if you gave this lovey-dovey holiday the Madison treatment and did something a little different? For a fun and unique outing that’s big on local flair, here’s what we recommend.

GET COOKING

Here in Madison, you can choose among the best restaurants in the Midwest for your date. But to mix things up—literally— try a cooking class with your main squeeze. Sur La Table at Hilldale goes beyond its retail space filled with cooking must- haves by offering a plethora of classes in a gourmet kitchen. Orange Tree Imports on Monroe Street is a Madison mainstay for cooking classes: cassoulet or handmade pasta, anyone? surlatable.com; orangetreeimports.com

LOOK SHARP

Axe throwing has been around since lumberjacks first wore flannel, and now it’s the latest craze for the suburban set. We think it makes for a date you won’t soon forget—and one infused with Wisconsin panache. Head to FlannelJax’s Madison or Happy Axe Throwing to try your hand at a new (and adventurous!) activity. You and your date will be guided by experts as you throw your axe and aim for the target. Bullseye! flanneljaxs.com; happyaxe.com

LAUGH IT UP

If you’re looking for a date idea that’s high on the fun-o-meter, look no further than a destination that will keep you laughing for a few hours. Comedy on State is a State Street fixture that regularly brings great national touring comedians to the stage, including stars of “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live.” madisoncomedy.com

SIP A LITTLE VINO

Elegant. Distinctive. Lively. These are certainly words you can use to describe your date, but they might be even better-suited for the wines you’ll taste together at Verona’s Fisher King Winery. Visit the tasting room for a delectable experience, where you’ll sample the winery’s sweet Meadow Song Moscato or the dry Heatwave Chardonnay along with scrumptious eats like truffle popcorn, warm chive and parm crostini or an entire charcuterie board. fisherkingwinery.com

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

For a date that’s truly one-of-a-kind, and oh, so nostalgic, we suggest a trip back into your childhood at Williamson Street’s I/O Arcade Bar. But this isn’t the arcade you visited in high school with your friends. This time, you can enjoy a cocktail while you play your favorite arcade games. From Donkey Kong to Millipede to Space Invaders to pinball, bring some friendly competition to your date as you savor chips and queso along with local brews. ioarcade.bar

HIT THE RINK

The Ice Rink at The Edgewater has quickly become a top wintertime activity among us Madisonians, and we think it makes for a perfect date location, too. Lace up your skates and you’ll both feel like kids again as you glide and twirl on the lakeside ice rink, festooned with white lights and an ideal view of the Capitol. Afterwards, walk on over to the Ice House, an accompanying warming house where you’ll cozy up to classics that include a fish fry and cheese curds. theedgewater.com/the-ice-rink

 

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