10+ Fun Ideas for Date Nights in Columbia, SC | When In Columbia (2024)

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Updated March 30, 2024

Wondering where you should plan your next date night in Columbia, South Carolina? You aren’t alone! We are constantly on the lookout for new ideas for date nights in Columbia.

While we love a good dinner at Mr. Friendly’s (it’s one of our go-to date night restaurants in Columbia!), we also like new adventures around town. It inspired us to compile a great list of date night ideas that we hope will inspire your next fun date night in Columbia.

Whether it’s a first date and you are looking for something to impress, or you manage to snag a babysitter for a much-deserved night out. This list covers everything from a fun arcade to a night at the museum.

Go To An Arcade

1712 Main Street | Downtown Columbia

Spend time at an arcade in downtown Columbia with excellent food

Transmission Arcade is anarcade and eatery in downtown Columbiaon Main Street. You’ll find everything from a great food menu to craft beer, wine, co*cktails, pinball, skeeball and arcade games.

They have a ton of fun games available that cost 1-2 tokens each (4 tokens per dollar.) You’ll find everything from skeeball to pinball to Mortal Kombat!Check out their game lineup here.

Transmission has a ton of different brews on tap, with options from local Columbia Craft to out-of-state breweries like Other Half Brewing Co (Brooklyn) and Austin Eastciders. They also have a great co*cktail menu.

The most unexpected part of Transmission is thattheir food is amazing! It’s worth going for even if you aren’t into games. You’ll find appetizers likesmothered fries and a Bavarian pretzel with beer cheese. They also have anawesome smash burgerand even asmoked Beyond burger. And definitely don’t miss their ‘cheesesteak Monday‘ where they feature a full list of cheesesteaks and happy hour all day.

Go bowling (but make it fancy!)

1621 Main Street | Downtown Columbia

The Grand on Main is such a fun place for a date night in Columbia.

It’s a cool concept and a great way to shake up your typical date nights. The space itself is also really cool with vaulted beamed ceilings. It’s a former theater space and the original marquee sign was uncovered during construction. The sign was restored and is on display today!

You’ll find seven bowling lanes at The Grand in addition to pool tables, shuffleboard, foosball, putting greens, retro video games and other fun finds.

They also have a large bar and a great food menu, with items ranging from quesadillas to ribeye to seafood alfredo. Downstairs you will find dessert and co*cktail lounge The Robinson Room (read more about that below!) Oh, and great outdoor seating.

One last fun mention is their tap wall! Pretend you’re a bartender and enjoy sampling several varieties on tap.

What’s awesome is that you can book a lane online and/or make dinner reservations in advance.

And if you like the idea of bowling but you want more of the classic, old-school bowling feel, check out Beltline Lanes.

Enjoy Dessert At a Fancy co*cktail Lounge

We mentioned The Robinson Room above but thought it needed its own shoutout here. This is a separate restaurant from The Grand, though it’s actually located just downstairs. Here you’ll findelevated desserts and co*cktail pairings.

It’s a very Instagram-able space with gold butterflies on the walls and jewel-toned pillows

Now, to actually get to the Robinson Room… head to the Grand! The server can point you in the right direction or you can follow the gold butterflies down. Enjoy!

Have Your Own Night At The Museum

Downtown Columbia

10+ Fun Ideas for Date Nights in Columbia, SC | When In Columbia (4)

The Art Museum and the State Museum both host various date night-worthy events. Below is the next on one the calendar at the Art Museum.


Enjoy beer, live music, DIY art projects, scavenger hunts, unique perspective tours, and a variety of food vendors at the Columbia Art Museum’s Arts & Draughts event.

Have a coffee date night out

I was led to believe that grabbing coffee at night was date-worthy, but I realize now as an adult it wasn’t ever on my radar. That is, until I realized that Drip closes at 8pm. That definitely leaves enough time in the evening for a fun coffee date.

So, now I pretend I’m Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail. I bring my rose and copy of Pride and Prejudice and…. ok, not really. But you should!

Drip is such a cool spot. They havegreat coffee, great food and great hours. It’d make the perfect first date spot in Columbia because it’s really laidback.

And if you aren’t ready to say goodbye at 8pm, just hop over to Bang Back Pinball Lounge to keep the night alive.

Dinner and A Movie

1607 Main Street | Downtown Columbia

One of our all-time favorite places in Columbia is The Nickelodeon on Main Street.

If you aren’t familiar, The Nick is Columbia’s only independent movie theater. Their programming is comprised of a mix of first-run independent films, curated series, and one-off screenings of films of relevance to our community.

You should definitely considerbecoming a memberif you aren’t already. Not only are you supporting a great local place, but as a member, you get discounts on showings, popcorn and drinks.

Make it a night by grabbing dinner before or after a show. One of our favorites just a few blocks away is Cantina 76. The Grand on Main is also right there as well as Smoked.

Visit A Wine Parlour

1635 Main Street | Downtown Columbia

If you haven’t had a date night at Lula Drake yet…

Well, go! Right now. It’s perfect. And it’s also on Main Street because… everything is?? It’s so great to see our downtown get the love it deserves. It’s a seriously cute street with so much going on.

Lula Drakeis small, intimate and makes for the perfect date night out. Whether it’s your first or hundredth. You’ll find anextensive wine menu, beer and great bites as well. We love their charcuterie boards and the Korean Fried Chicken!

Psst: Lula Drake makes a perfect stop after a showing at The Nickelodeon on the same block. Talk about a fun date night in Columbia!

Go For A Romantic STroll

10+ Fun Ideas for Date Nights in Columbia, SC | When In Columbia (8)

This is an idea better suited for the daytime, but you should definitely consider adding a romantic stroll to your date idea list. There are several spots in Columbia that are perfect for this.

Our number one pick: Main Street and the State House grounds.

Get a coffee or ice cream cone at Sweet Cream on Main Street and pick a bench to sit at once you get to the State House.

Other great walking options include the USC Horseshoe and the Columbia Riverwalk.

Cheer On The Fireflies

Bull Street

10+ Fun Ideas for Date Nights in Columbia, SC | When In Columbia (9)

Root, root, root for the home team!

Hear me out… going to a baseball game can definitely be date night worthy! The Fireflies 2023 season starts in April and goes through September.

Most of their games start at 6 or 7pm and they host Thirsty Thursdays throughout the season with either themed trivia or live music each week.

It’s a fun way to get in the Columbia spirit and to spend an evening out with your love. It’s also a kid-friendly activity… two birds, one stone.

Dress Up For A Fancy Dinner Out

Sometimes it’s fun to put on your nicest clothes and take yourself and a date out for a night on the town.

A few of our favorite restaurants for this are Motor Supply Co, Halls Chophouse and Hampton Street Vineyard.

We actually have a wholeguide to fine dining restaurantsin Columbia. Maybe you’ll get a new idea or two from it.

And if you are looking for a variety of restaurants, check out our list ofawesome date night restaurants in Columbia, SC.

That wraps up our list of ideas for date nights in Columbia! We hope it helps with planning your next one (and that it goes well!)

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Where can I take a girl for a casual date? ›

Take a stroll

Taking a stroll by the waterside or in a park following an early dinner is a great way to spend time with your date. Walking inspires conversation topics, as you can discuss things that you encounter while strolling or walking.

Where can I go on a date in Nashville? ›

Creative Date Ideas in Nashville
  • Dance Classes. Feel the rhythm of Music City with a night of dancing together. ...
  • Pottery Classes. ...
  • Paint and Sip. ...
  • Painting Classes. ...
  • Photography Classes. ...
  • Cooking Classes. ...
  • Food Tour. ...
  • Brewery Hop.
Jan 10, 2024

What to do on a date if you have no money? ›

Fun, Cheap Date Ideas You Can Do in Your Town
  • Have a picnic on the beach.
  • Discover a new food truck in a funky neighborhood.
  • Hike with your pets around a lake.
  • Enjoy free concerts in your local park.
  • Take the elevator to the tallest building in your city and share the best view.
Aug 23, 2023

Where can I take a shy girl on a date? ›

Choose an Activity-Based Date
  • Attend an outdoor concert. Sit on the lawn and listen to good music with your new friend.
  • Attend a comedy show. ...
  • Attend a play. ...
  • Attend a poetry reading. ...
  • Attend a sporting event. ...
  • Go bowling. ...
  • Go ice skating. ...
  • Go to a festival or carnival.
Mar 12, 2024

How to get girls for casual? ›

Have your friends set you up.
  1. Ideally, look for someone your friend isn't super close with. It's generally a bad idea to sleep with someone if it may have a negative impact on your friendships.
  2. Be sure to let your friends know that you're just looking for something casual, not a long-term relationship.

Where should you take a girl out on a date? ›

Fun first date ideas
  • Go to an arcade. ...
  • Visit an aquarium. ...
  • Outsmart them at trivia night. ...
  • Take a hike. ...
  • Challenge them to a karaoke-off. ...
  • Break out your ice skates. ...
  • Listen to live music. ...
  • Take them dancing.
Aug 31, 2023

Where can I get a girl to date? ›

Ways to meet women
  • Take a class. Have you always wanted to learn to cook, paint, rock climb, or repair bicycles? ...
  • Join a sports/exercise club or group. ...
  • Visit bars or coffee shops. ...
  • Hang out in museums or go to art events. ...
  • Use online dating apps. ...
  • Attend volunteer events. ...
  • Go to dating events.
May 21, 2024

How do you ask a girl to date casually? ›

Start by building a connection by having a conversation. Then, casually suggest getting together to do something like going out to dinner or seeing a movie. Leave it up to the other person to decide if that's something they would be interested in, and don't try to pressure them into saying yes.


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