Dating in Houston can be great, despite what your single friends may have told you. We have great patio weather almost year round (and if it gets too cold, fire pits!). But if you're finding it difficult, don't worry friend. We're gonna add some extra confidence to your romance game by listing out a whole bunch of cool, affordable stuff to do with whoever actually agreed to go out with you.
Whether you’re looking for a cozy first date spot or desperately seeking a way to heat up your current relationship, these foolproof date ideas are sure to light a spark. And hey, on the incredibly off chance you don’t find something on this list that suits your needs, check out our super serviceable Houston bucket list for a lil' more inspiration.
Escape to Hawaii in Houston at Lei Low
Heights You and your date can channel tropics without even leaving the loop by popping in for a few tiki drinks Lei Low. Don’t be fooled by its unassuming strip center appearance; you’ll be shouting “Okole Maluna!" (bottoms up) after the first round of mai tais.
Listen to live music
Multiple locations Test your date’s ability to rock by hitting local live music dives like Fitzgerald’s, Satellite Bar, Continental Club, Warehouse Live, and White Oak Music Hall. Then, if you can still hear over the ringing in your ears, get to know each other over one of our picks for great late-night eats. If your date calls you back, they passed the test.
Take your dogs for a drink
Multiple locations Because if your dogs can’t get along, there wasn’t a chance to begin with.
Take a farmers market bike tour
Multiple locations You’ll be able to bond over locally made jams and fresh-picked produce as you hit two or three farmers markets over the course of a few hours. But be warned: you should be able to make it through a 15-mile ride (there are stops) without uncontrollably sweating before you attempt the Bayou City Outdoors ride.
Catch an outdoor flick at Axelrad
Midtown Mondays are for movie night at this expansive beer garden, with screenings of cult classics and top blockbusters starting at sundown. Snuggle up in a hammock and grab a slice of pizza from the neighboring Luigi’s.
Bocce in the yard at Brooklyn Athletic Club
Montrose An intense game of bocce in BAC's charming backyard will get the juices flowing. And if it doesn’t, a few rounds of intense cocktails by the outdoor fireplace should.
Play endless vintage arcade games
Downtown Channel your inner fifth grader at Joystix Classic Games and Pinballs. The Downtown gaming center opens up its showroom for free play on the first and last Friday of each month ($15 per person at the door). Just play it cool after you get whomped in Street Fighter.
Say "cheese!" at Houston Dairymaids
Heights Local cheesemongers, Houston Dairymaids, offer free cheese tastings whenever they are open, which taste even better when paired with the free booze tastings offered on Saturdays. Pick out a few varieties then head to Buffalo Bayou park for a picnic under the skyline.
Craft brews and country at Cottonwood
Experience Vietnamese crawfish
Alief Who new devouring crawfish heads and cracking king crab claws with butter-soaked hands could be so erotic? Us. We did. And we found out at Crawfish and Noodle.
Settle in with wine & s'mores
Midtown 13 Celsius is a dimly lit, very sexy wine bar, made 10 times sexier when tableside s’mores get added into the mix. Enjoy those alongside a 450+ library of eclectic, global wines, offered by the bottle, glass, half-glass, and taste.
Sing your hearts out at Glitter Karaoke
Midtown Kick back a shot to help with the nerves then pick your song and see if you’re a match made in karaoke heaven at this cult favorite Midtown spot. If you’re looking for some weekday tastiness, Glitter rocks pop-up kitchen takeovers on select Thursdays.
Drink for a cause at OKRA Charity Saloon
Downtown Not only is this Main St bar’s dimly lit, brick-walled interior a thing of beauty, but its mission is too. All proceeds go to a different local charitable organization each month. Each drink you get earns you a vote for that month’s winning charity.
Brave the wait for smoked meat at Killen's Barbecue
Pearland While you can almost certainly expect a line around the corner on weekends, the wait time -- coupled with the free beer -- will really help you get to know each other.
Get your hookah on at Cafe Mawal
Galleria/Uptown You’ll both get high (on life) as you smoke shisha in your cozy Bedouin tent. Also, watching your date smoke hookah is probably pretty hot.
Nerd out at trivia
Multiple locations Geeks Who Drink host about a trillion trivia nights around town, so the least you can do is make one of them.
Throw some large axes at wooden targets
Sharpstown Houston Axe Throwing offers a limited number of hour-and-a-half ax-throwing sessions for $25 a person, including 30 minutes of lessons and practice and another hour of ax-throwing games. The best part? The more rugged you look, the better.
Catch a sunset light show on Rice Campus
Rice University Sitting pretty next to the Shepherd School of Music at Rice U, James Turrell’s "Twilight Epiphany" Skyspace rocks LED light sequences at sunrise and sunset (but who are we kidding, you’re going to the sunset showing). The trippy shows are 100% free, but you’ll have to make reservations first.