It’s been rumored that the dating scene in Phoenix is lame, because there’s either nothing to do or no one to date. And while there’s not much that anyone can do about who you’re attracted to or choose to go out with, I do firmly believe in the motto that “dating is only as lame as you make it”.
Whether you’re in a relationship, or you’re keeping your options open, there’s plenty to do to besides the basic dinner and a movie.
The most important thing to consider for a date is your audience. Knowing your audience isn’t just for marketing and public speaking, it also applies to dating. It is essential that you know at least a little of what your date likes, what they’re open to, and hopefully a few things they despise so you can avoid anything uncomfortable.
Once you figure out what they’re into, you have to think like Spotify (yes, the music streaming app). What I mean by that is that you can either hit the nail on the head and do exactly what you know your partner already likes, or plan something similar but new to them.
Here are some ideas:
Maybe your partner loves to go dancing, which for them is usually at the club, but suppose you’re tired of nightclubs. Instead of hitting the club, try finding a specific dance night somewhere.
For example, places like The Duce in downtown Phoenix hosts swing dancing on Tuesday nights and “Latin Nite” on Thursdays. Dave and Buster’s also has “Havana Nights” every Wednesday and Sunday night where you can learn and dance merengue, bachata and salsa.
Don’t judge it before you try it. Science is cool and basically magic, I mean, have you ever been to the Arizona Science Center?! It’s a really cool interactive educational museum, and they have adult-only events like Science With a Twist and Lasers and Liquor Night. This is great place to make a first impression because it’s playful and makes you look cultured (*wink wink*).
Luckily, Phoenix is a city with all the major professional sports you can ask for. This makes it easy to take your someone to out to a game or… you can take them out to play.
Places like Main Event and Dave and Buster’s not only offer arcade games, but also miniature sports like ski-ball, basketball, laser tag and bowling. And let’s not forget miniature golf at Glow Putt or Castles N’ Coasters. For something a little more modern Top Golf is always a great choice as well.
Phoenix is actually a pretty diverse foodie city. A great way to switch up your dining experience is to attend a food festival or food truck market. The great thing about food festivals is that they’re ever-changing with different themes and occur pretty much every weekend. For example, there’s the vegan festival, the burrito festival, and even the Aloha Festival. The best way to find the next upcoming festival is just to search “Phoenix festivals”.
For food truck events the Open Air Market happens every Saturday between October and April with a good selection of vendors that offer everything running from cocktails to Mediterranean cuisine and more. And then there’s Uptown Farmers Market that rotates six food trucks every Saturday and three trucks on Wednesdays. The widest selection you might find will be is the Street Market every Sunday with over 50 vendors.
Another way you can make things fun and interesting is by taking a cooking class together or taking a city food tour. You can find companies that curate activities like this on Groupon.
Now, this gets a little tricky in Phoenix during the summer, but from October-May, the weather is usually pretty perfect for a picnic at a park, by a lake, or, my personal favorite, on a mountain.
Don’t forget about the Phoenix Zoo for a fun day date. The Desert Botanical Garden is also a great choice with beautiful desert flowers and their fair share of desert wildlife roaming freely.
While there is plenty to do in the city, you can always take a day trip to explore a new trails like Seven Falls (Tucson, AZ), Antelope Canyon (Page, AZ), or tour Coloss Cave (Vail, AZ). Arizona is also home to the Grand Canyon which is one of the world’s 7 natural wonders. And if you’re up that way you can also checkout the mile-long Meteor Crater or explore the Lava Tubes in the northern part of the valley. Of course, I’d be wrong if I didn’t mention the Snowbowl for skiing and snowboarding during the winter and early spring months.
Phoenix is filled with art that you can find at places like the Phoenix Art Museum, or at social outings like First Friday where the galleries open up late and local artists put their art on display. There are plenty of exhibits and a murals around town or you can take a sip and paint class where they serve wine and you paint your own pictures, which is always a great way to make memories.
Just Be Open
When it comes to dating and going on dates it’s important to have a plan, but also be open to going with the flow. A great idea is finding a place to eat or event to attend in an active part of town and then just exploring afterward.
Phoenix is great for this because there are plenty of pockets in the city that are social hubs with lots of restaurants and bars within walking distance of each other. And a lot of these venues have event nights like open mic nights for music, poetry or comedy.
Another suggestion would be to google what’s happening the night you plan to go out or checkout Groupon for deals on activities like indoor skydiving, ax throwing, and even escape rooms.
Phoenix is to so big with so many offerings that there is never an excuse to not keep your date nights interesting. Unless, of course, you’re already happy with dinner and a movie, but even then, it’s always fun to mix it up every now and then.
*PRO TIP: You can get a Culture Pass from any Phoenix library to places like the Science Center, Phoenix Zoo, and the Desert Botanical Garden. They put out a limited number of passes and reset them every week. All you need is a library card and the passes are free with free entrance.