Whether it’s a first date or a 50th anniversary, here are the hottest spots you should be looking at for your next romantic date idea.
As the new year approaches, so does Valentine’s Day. You should start planning now. For residents and newcomers alike, we’ve created a guide to help you sort out all the best possible date ideas in Houston.
Without further ado, here are 25 events and locations to organize the perfect Houston date:
Perfect Date Ideas in Houston
Get in Touch With Nature – Houston Date Ideas that Explore the Outdoors
For the more adventurous type, Houston has plenty of charming outdoor areas. Nature has a unique beauty that helps bring out our romantic side. For outdoor and animal lovers alike, here are just a few places you’ll love:
As the largest Houston park, the Hermann Park Conservatory has an incredible 445 acres of a lush environment, including several monuments, a Japanese garden, and a golf course. The grounds also include the city zoo, nature trails, and lakes open to the public for fishing.
For added romance, you can rent private paddle boats or tour trains. There are playgrounds for your children and rental pavillions for any occasion. No two visits here will feel the same. Plus, the city has several ongoing projects to expand and add more attractions.
2 – Houston Zoo
This 55-acre park is in the heart of Houston’s Hermann Park and houses over 6000+ animals. Since 2002, the non-profit Houston Zoo Inc. operates the facility and does a lot of conservation work around Kenya and Borneo. So, visiting with your partner is both romantic and helps endangered animals around the world. Plus, it’s a relatively inexpensive option with adult tickets at $18 and free admission for members. You should probably pack some snacks and lather up with sunscreen!
Located off Bagby St., this 6-acre facility boasts over 500,000 gallons of water for exhibits with 600+ aquatic species. They also host a few Bengal White Tigers in a Maharaja temple themed enclosure. You can even get up close and personal to feed their stingrays for an extra $2.99. Admission is just $12.99 for adults, $10.99 for seniors, and $9.99 for kids (2 and under is free!).
This famous bridge is known as a sightseeing spot to witness thousands of bats emerge from its crevices and bushes at sunset.
While bats might comes out at any time of year, they prefer to hunt for insects in dry weather above 50 degrees. An astounding 250,000 Mexican Free-Tailed Bats call the bridge home. Visiting the viewing platform is free of charge, though you can pay for a reservation with the Waugh Bat Colony Boat Tours.
The platform often gets crowded quickly, so get there early for a decent spot. If you do arrive 30 minutes before sundown, there’s usually a conservationist giving some brief information about the bats.
Explore Houston Dating Through the Arts
Artwork both inspires our creativity and challenges our perceptions. By choosing an art-inspired date, you’ll share a range emotions every step of the way. Houston art has a unique way of capturing our collective human experience. The following places are just a handful of Houston date ideas that will fuel your imagination:
This 3,000-foot park includes dozens of handmade folk architecture and figurines. Created by the visionary artist Jeff McKissack, the park serves as a piece of living history. Several artists host shows and personal exhibits at different stations throughout the year. The 2018 Annual Houston Art Car Parade begins April 12-15 and features colorful vehicles from around the US, Canada, and Mexico. The Orange Show Monument a great place just to enjoy the scenery with your significant other. Check their website for upcoming events and get your tickets early!
Being one of the largest art galleries in the United States, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (MFAH) has five main campuses with a permanent collection of over 64,000 pieces of artwork from 6 continents across 6,000 years of history! From French Impressionism to the Renaissance, the MFAH has it all! They are rapidly expanding exhibits and routinely feature new special collections.
This attraction is a cost-effective Houston dating option since you can both enjoy free admission any Thursday. Additionally, any weekday you can get in free from 12-2 pm when you present a receipt from the MFAH Café or their food truck of the day.
This gallery is a quaint facility that features a variety of African artists from around the world. Admission and parking are completely free, though they encourage donations as a private non-profit organization. Feel free to visit their website to schedule a guided tour from Wednesday to Friday anytime between 11:30 – 4 pm.
They have a long list of events on their calendar. Check back on their site to see updates on artist meet and greets, documentary screenings, and poetry readings. If you’re looking to celebrate other cultures, the Houston Museum of African American Culture is an excellent Houston date night idea.
8 – Beer Can House
So maybe you’re a more laid back, goofy kind of couple. Then explore a house almost entirely made of beer cans, bottles, caps, and labels!
Now a part of the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, retired furniture maker John Milkovisch created the building himself in the 1960s using over 50,000 beer products!
Admission is only $5. The museum is open from Wednesdays – Sundays 12-5 pm over summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day), and varies for the rest of the year.
9 – Rothko Chapel
The Rothko Chapel is a work of modern art that also serves as a place of meditation and inward focus for all faiths. About 40 years ago, architects John and Dominique de Menil designed the building as both a work of art and a place of culture for citizens to find spiritual rest. It includes 14 murals by Mark Rothko, a reflecting pool, the Broken Obelisk (dedicated to Martin Luther King jr.), and the inner sanctuary itself.
The Rothko Chapel should be a great place to relax and enjoy each other’s company while you ponder life’s most profound questions. They do host weddings, but you’ll have to request it in writing. Admission is always free to the public, though it’s occasionally closed for private venues. Call in advance to make sure.
Located on approximately 7.5 acres of the Hermann Park, the Miller Outdoor Theatre (as the name implies) is the center for the performing arts in the city of Houston. Live performances for all ages are free to the public throughout the week. In fact, this is the largest free entertainment of its kind in the country! Their calendar includes Shakespeare plays, modern musicals, live concerts, ballet and dance recitals, children’s productions, and more!
While it’s entirely free, you might want to show up early to reserve seating. You can book a total of 4 seats per person over 16.
Otherwise, you’re free to lounge on the grass if you bring your lawn chair or towel. Remember to silence your cellphones during the shows!
You can watch Romeo and Juliet live in Houston for free! Talk about romantic!
Even though it’s outdoors, the stage building covers most of the seats with an awning.
Sign up for a Cooking Class!
Relationships are a team effort. They involve communication, coordination, and humility. You know what else does? Cooking!
Houston is famous for delicious food from all cultures and walks of life. Several places downtown offer cooking classes for couples looking for “spicy” Houston date ideas. Prices for courses tend to range from $50-150 per couple. Here’s the best in our book:
11 – Sur La Table
There are two Sur La Table locations in the heart of Houston, one on Grey St. and another on Town and Country Blvd. Check the individual websites of both, as events may differ between the two locations.
At your nearest Sur La Table, you can enjoy personalized lessons to make scrumptious meals like pizza, tamales, and fried chicken! And the best part? You both get to eat your creations at the end! They even have children’s classes for your little ones. Book your events early!
Just off Airline Drive in Houston Heights, Well Done Cooking Classes specializes in providing an educational and fun experience in the culinary arts!
If you enjoyed it enough the first time, you should consider registering for their Cooking Club that gifts you a 25% discount on one class a month (which rolls over if you don’t use it) among other promotions.
They offer Date Night classes on Fridays, Saturdays, and sometimes on Thursdays. While they have a generous wine selection, they welcome you to bring your own alcohol to go with your masterpiece.
Journey Into The Past with Historic Houston Dating Adventure
The past comes alive when we let it shape our future. Houston is filled with rich history and makes for great adventures in discovery.
History buffs and amateurs alike will be amazed by the city’s cultural monuments, old battlegrounds, and museums! Let the past inspire you with these educational Houston date ideas:
Located on the northern end of Hermann Park Dr., Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) houses 14 permanent exhibits, with thousands of pre-Columbian artifacts and several rooms with geographical themes, including a permanent exhibit dedicated to Egyptology!
They keep things interesting by rotating out a variety of unique exhibits, currently including Knights, Mapping Texas, and Reality Check (a virtual reality tour of historic places!).
The HMNS also includes a massive 394 seat theater that shows educational films on a 60′ by 80′ 4K screen.
They also have a beautiful butterfly garden, awe-inspiring planetarium, and observatory.
Admission price might vary depending on what exhibits you choose to visit. If you enjoy your visit, you could purchase their membership plan and get free access to all their permanent exhibits throughout the year, discounted prices on special exhibits, and early access to some showings and attractions.
14 – USS Texas
This battleship served proudly in both World Wars and is the oldest memorial ship of its kind still in existence. Experience history firsthand through your own self-guided tour. You could also sign up for a “Hard Hat” tour to explore areas usually closed off to the public (though these are only offered 5 times a year).
You only pay $12 admission to enter the battleship and parking is free!
15 – Houston Space Center
Think your partner is out of this world? Try taking them to the Houston Space Center! Tour the historic mission control room that managed the lunar landings. Or get a view of the New Mission Control and watch NASA communicate with the International Space Station in real time. Better yet, schedule lunch with an actual astronaut. There are countless possibilities for astronomy lovers of all ages to enjoy, including all the remaining historic shuttle modules and a glimpse into the future of spacecraft!
Admission price will depend on how you build your trip – but we recommend an all-day excursion to get the most bang for your buck.
Classic Dinner Dates
Dinner and a show is a date idea as old as time itself. Besides, who doesn’t love eating? If you’re in the mood for fine dining or just craving the munchies, there’s a lot of fun places in Houston to grab a bite.
If you’re looking for something exotic, the Etoile Cuisine Et Bar has the best French food in Houston. Owners and head chefs Philippe Verpiand and Monica Bui have created an inviting experience that brings European elegance to the heart of Texas.
They’re open for lunch and dinner with a concise selection of classic French delicacies, all for under $30. Be sure to check out the restaurant’s special menu for Christmas and New Year’s Eve dinner. You should make a reservation in advance and wear formal attire for this one-of-a-kind Houston dinner date.
17 – Rainbow Lodge
Want to add the taste of Texas to your next date? The Rainbow Lodge offers fresh game and barbecue with live music. Local bands from all around Houston entertain you while you enjoy excellent food and spirits. The interior looks like a wilderness lodge and provides a delightfully rustic atmosphere that complements the authentic cuisine. Call or fill out the form on their website to make a reservation.
You can’t go wrong with dinner and a movie, so why not do both at the same time? At the Alamo Drafthouse Theater, you can order a full course meal while enjoying the latest Hollywood blockbuster. They even have a Star Wars inspired dish, in honor of the new movie. And of course, it’s called the Drafthouse for a good reason, as they have a large selection of craft beers, wines, and cocktails.
How does it work? They’ve arranged the chairs in rows just like a typical theater, except a long table stretches the length of each. The ordering process is designed to be unobtrusive and discreet. They even describe their servers as ninjas!
If you arrive at the show early, you can order food and drinks normally, and it will come in time for the show. After the lights dim and the show begins, you just write down what you would like on a slip of paper, and it is discreetly retrieved and processed.
Pricing for just the movie ranges from $10-13. The menu is affordable with delicious treats like chicken tenders, cheesesteak sandwiches, burgers, and tacos.
19 – Just Dinner
For comfort American food, Just Dinner gives you a wide selection of pasta and meat entrées with a genuinely romantic atmosphere.
Enjoy gourmet chicken and duck or classic spaghetti and eggplant parmesan for your evening out. Just Dinner runs on a BYOB model with a corking fee for bottles over 750ml. Started as a family run, small diner back in 1921, El Salvador native Lila Rivas currently manages the restaurant and enjoys hands-on cooking herself at their Dunlavy location.
Downtown Houston Nightlife
If you’re a late night go-getter kind of couple, Houston downtown has a nightlife sure to make for a memorable evening. The city has everything you could want with live music, dance clubs, and plenty of bars to hop. Check out some of our favorites:
20 – Firehouse Saloon
Named in the Top 15 Best Venues to Listen to Country Music by AmericanTown’s Media, you won’t be disappointed in the honky-tonk theme and feel-good jams of the Firehouse Saloon.
Owned and operated by local fireman Tom Imber, this bar is your place to enjoy a brewsky and live folk music from local artists, though they welcome musicians from all genres.
You can also rent the venue for your party or special occasion (popping the question?).
21 – House of Blues
While historically famous for blues and gospel music, the House of Blues in Houston features concerts of all genres. They also offer stand-up comedy, karaoke nights, and burlesque shows. Check out their website for a full listing of events throughout the year and be sure to purchase tickets ahead of time to get the best seats.
You can enjoy the House of Blues Restaurant & Bar for some pregame and occasional live music. For a more exclusive night, you can sign up for their membership VIP club.
Dating back to 1977, the FitzGerald’s Nightclub (or more commonly just “Fritz”) has been the place to dance the night away to classic rock and roll. While they don’t serve food, they are surrounded by exceptional diners, including the Capri Ristorante, a local favorite in Italian cuisine. They’re open at 7 pm every night, except Mondays. We recommended stopping by around 5 pm to get tickets for the show. You cannot reserve seats here so show up early to get a spot close to the stage.
Maybe you’re looking for something more intimate. Houston has some of the most luxurious hotels for a romantic weekend! Here’s some of the best:
Enjoy pure opulence with the 5-star St. Regis Hotel of Houston. It’s a favorite hosting place for weddings and anniversary parties of couples everywhere.
Treat yourself to a spa day, fine dining, and 24-hour valet service. Located down Briar Oaks Lane in the center of Uptown Houston, this is the ultimate couples’ getaway for under $200, depending on the season. And, it’s in walking distance of several excellent restaurants, a golf course, and the Galleria Mall.
The La Colombe d’Or Hotel blends luxury comforts and artwork all in one! Modelled after the Old World Europe, each of the five suites is uniquely designed with vintage furniture and real artwork from the likes of Picasso, Dali, Man Ray, and others. It will feel like a museum you live in for the day. It’s pricey any time of the year, though opting for just the lobby restaurant is well worth it. If living in a high-end mansion for a day sounds like a romantic date idea, La Colombe d’Or Hodel of Houston is for you.
Go all out on your date by checking into the Four Seasons Hotel located at the corner of Lamar and Caroline St. near Discovery Green Park. You’ll lack none of the essential amenities in this 5-star, 468-room hotel. They treat you to a resort-style spa and pool, a fitness center, nail salon, indoor golf course, and exquisite Italian dining. And no need for a babysitter as they offer childcare services with around-the-clock activities to keep your kiddos entertained.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to share your Houston date ideas!