25+ Unique Date Ideas in Indianapolis: From Casual to Classy

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As a long-time local, I’ve got a bit of a knack for sniffing out the best spots in Indy for date nights. With its blend of urban charm and Midwestern warmth, Indianapolis is full of unique experiences for couples. Whether you’re planning a first date that impresses you or keeping the spark alive in a long-term relationship, there are dozens of date ideas in Indianapolis to keep you busy.

I’ve spent countless afternoons and evenings exploring the nooks and crannies of our city, from the eclectic streets of Fountain Square to the buzzing energy of Mass Ave, and let me tell you, Indy never disappoints. With a mix of playful, sophisticated, and outright unique date ideas up its sleeve, Indianapolis offers a little something for everyone. 

I’m excited to share with you some of my personal favorites and local secrets. From casual outings that break the ice to classy nights out that add a touch of elegance, we’re about to dive into a list of 25+ date ideas that are sure to make your next night out in Indianapolis anything but ordinary.

So, grab your significant other, and let’s embark on this journey through the romantic side of Indy. Trust me, whether you’re a lifelong resident or just passing through, these date ideas are going to add a little extra sparkle to your time in my city.

Indianapolis skyline

Casual Yet Creative Date Ideas

In Indianapolis, the art of a great date isn’t just about the glitz and glamour; it’s about finding those casual yet creative experiences that turn an ordinary evening into something truly special. From the quirky charm of duckpin bowling to the delightful serenity of flower arranging, these date ideas are perfect for those looking to add a dash of fun and a pinch of creativity to their romantic outings.

1. Have a friendly Duckpin bowling competition

After our recent trip to Gatlinburg, I was reminded of how much fun it is to play a few frames of duckpin bowling. Similar to regular bowling but with smaller balls (with no finger holes), it’s a fun activity that anyone can pick up easily. Luckily, in Indianapolis, you have two options to enjoy duckpin bowling.

Atomic Bowl

The original duckpin bowling in Indianapolis is located in the basement of the Fountain Square Theater Building. Along with bowling lanes, there is a snack bar with a nice variety of pizzas, burgers, etc. Atomic Bowl feels super retro with its 1950s and 1960s furnishings and cool, kitschy vibe.

Action Duckpin Bowling, 1105 Prospect St.

Pins Mechanical Company

Our newest duckpin bowling can be found at Pins Mechanical Company in the ultra-trendy Mass Ave Garage Food Hall. When you tire of bowling, Pins Mechanical also has plenty of other fun date night activities like pinball, Bocce, Hookie, and more. Plus, they have a full bar with plenty of fun drinks to quench your thirst.

Pins Mechanical Company, 856 Carrollton Ave

2. Create a flower bouquet with Flower Boys Indy

If you’re looking for a date idea that’s a little out of the ordinary, why not try your hand at a flower bouquet workshop with The Flower Boys? These workshops are a delightful blend of creativity and relaxation, held a few times a month at various local distilleries or wineries. You’ll need to sign up online ahead of time, as these popular events tend to fill up quickly. 

During the workshop, you and your date will learn the art of arranging flowers and getting hands-on guidance on how to create a beautiful bouquet. Plus, you’ll pick up some useful tips on how to care for your flowers, ensuring they bring a burst of color and joy to your home long after the date is over. The best part? You get to take your floral creation home, a fragrant and lovely reminder of a unique date spent together in Indianapolis.

Pam’s insider tip: this also makes for a really fun girls’ night out event!

Flower Boys Indy, 702 Lexington Ave.

Indianapolis canal with skyline in background

3. Float down the canal with Old World Gondoliers

Old World Gondoliers is one of those unique experiences that you just don’t find in many US cities (aside from maybe Vegas). Right through the heart of Indianapolis is the Canal, and along with biking, walking, and dining options along its sidewalks, you can enjoy the romantic experience of floating in a boat with a gondolier serenading you. 

We had a blast when we joined up with another couple several years ago and spent a fun hour exploring the canal in a whole new light. Be prepared to have folks stop and take your picture. I’m not sure it was the most romantic thing we’ve done, but it was a fun and unique experience!

Pam’s insider tip: Not up to the whole gondolier experience? You can also rent kayaks or paddle boats and float down the canal on your own.

Old World Gondoliers, Indianapolis, IN

Outside of Newfields in Indianapolis, IN

4. Explore the artistic beauty of Newfields

Newfields (formerly known as the Indianapolis Museum of Art) is a date night standby for many Hoosiers. Not only is a gorgeous art museum well worth exploring on its own, but it’s also home to a variety of engaging seasonal events that are must-do’s for many Indy residents.

In the summer months, enjoy a movie outside or a walk through the outdoor sculptures of the 100-acre Woods along with a drink in the beer garden. During the fall, Harvest Nights is a fun way to kick off the autumn season. And in the winter, Newfields holds my personal favorite cold weather date night with Winterlights, a stunning display of thousands of lights!

Newfields, 4000 Michigan Rd.

5. First Friday on Mass Ave

There are quite a few locations in Indianapolis that hold a First Friday event, but my favorite is the one on Mass Ave. As one of Indianapolis’s designated cultural arts districts, Mass Ave has a hip, artsy feel anytime, so strolling the streets and popping into galleries and boutiques in the evening just feels right to me.

On the first Friday of every month, many of the shops and galleries on Mass Ave (and in the nearby CCIC) stay open from 6 to 9. Sometimes you’ll find special art showcased along with wine and snacks, and often the shops will have some sort of unique discount. 

It’s a great way to celebrate the arts in Indianapolis, makes for a perfect romantic date night, and as a bonus, it’s free, so if you are on a budget, make sure to add this date night idea to your list!

Classy and Sophisticated Outings

When it comes to planning a date night that oozes sophistication and class, Indianapolis has no shortage of options. This section is all about those upscale experiences that elevate your evening from the every day to the extraordinary. Think jazz music that stirs the soul, luxurious staycations that feel like a world away, and retro movie nights under the stars.

Whether you’re seeking a night of culinary delights, a cozy movie experience, or a stay in some of the city’s most elegant hotels, these ideas are sure to add a touch of class to your romantic outings. So, get ready to step up your date night game with these classy and sophisticated ideas in the heart of Indy.

5. Music & dinner at the Jazz Kitchen

Over the years, The Jazz Kitchen has become one of our go-to spots for an evening that combines great food, a lively atmosphere, and outstanding music. It’s the kind of place where the rhythm of jazz blends perfectly with the clinking of glasses and the murmur of conversation, creating an ambiance that’s both relaxed and exhilarating.

Each visit to The Jazz Kitchen brings a new experience. Whether it’s a smooth saxophone serenade or the upbeat tempo of a jazz quartet, the music always sets the perfect backdrop for an enjoyable night out. The performers are not just talented; they’re storytellers, weaving magic through melody and inviting us into the heart of jazz.

And let’s not forget the cuisine! The menu at The Jazz Kitchen is a delightful fusion of flavors, offering dishes that are as enticing as the music. From savory entrees to indulgent desserts, each bite is a culinary adventure, making the experience all the more memorable. If you haven’t visited this Indy classic yet, take a look at their upcoming schedule and plan a fun date night.

The Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N College Ave.

JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis

7. Indulge in a luxurious staycation

A staycation in Indianapolis is a fantastic way to rediscover the city from a fresh perspective and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation. Opting for a local hotel transforms an ordinary weekend into a luxurious escape, right in your backyard. 

Imagine lounging in a plush hotel room, enjoying room service, and then stepping out to explore nearby attractions or a romantic dinner downtown. It’s the perfect blend of convenience and adventure, offering the chance to unwind and reconnect without the hassle of travel. You’ll feel like you’re on a mini-vacation without all the travel hassles. Here are my two top suggestions (maybe book both, and have TWO fun stayacations this year).

JW Marriott

The JW Marriott in Indianapolis epitomizes luxury, making it an ideal choice for a staycation that feels a world away from the everyday. Its elegant rooms offer breathtaking views of the city skyline and the hotel’s top-tier amenities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center and a sophisticated lounge, add to the indulgent experience. Dining at the JW Marriott is a culinary delight, with restaurants serving exquisite dishes that cater to every palate. We’ll sometimes run into the lobby for a Starbucks or grab a drink at the bar.

Its central location also means you’re just steps away from the city’s best attractions, allowing you to effortlessly explore the vibrant heart of Indy. Whether you’re lounging in the lavish comfort of your room or stepping out into the bustling city, a stay at the JW Marriott promises a blend of relaxation, luxury, and adventure.

JW Marriott, 10 South West St.

Book your stay at the JW Marriott!

Ironworks Hotel Indy

If you aren’t wanting to stay downtown, the Ironworks Hotel Indy is an excellent, luxurious choice. Every room is eclectic yet contemporary and the location of the hotel is terrific. There are plenty of great restaurants nearby, and the Fashion Mall is just across the street.

There is also a rooftop lounge which is always a plus in my book, so it’s easy to enjoy a delicious nightcap after a fun evening on the town.

Ironworks Hotel Indy, 2721 East 86th St.

Book your stay at Ironworks Hotel Indy!

8. Retro romance at Tibbs Drive-in movie theater

I love a date night at the drive-in. Stepping into Tibbs Drive-In for a movie night is like taking a delightful journey back in time. With its nostalgic charm and the unique experience of watching a film under the stars, Tibbs offers a date night that’s both romantic and reminiscent of a simpler era. 

As you settle in your car with snacks and tune into the movie’s audio, the ambient glow of the screen against the night sky creates an intimate and cozy atmosphere, perfect for a memorable evening with your special someone. And if you are lucky enough to have a truck, load it up with blankets and pillows, turn it around, and sit in the bed – cozy and romantic!

Tibbs Drive-In, 480 S. Tibbs St.

Hi Fi in Fountain Square in Indianapolis IN

9. A foodie adventure: food tour in Fountain Square

Food tours are so much fun! And it’s such a unique experience that I think everyone should try it at least once. Lucky for us in Indiana we have a few terrific neighborhoods ideally set up for food tours. 

Now, you could create your own by planning a progressive type outing at a few restaurants in one area of town (and that’s fun and something we’ve done before), but an easier way is to book a food tour with a local expert like the ones from this highly rated tour.

Book your Indy food tour today

Unique Date Ideas in Indianapolis

In a city as diverse and dynamic as Indianapolis, stepping off the beaten path for date night can lead to some truly extraordinary experiences. This section is dedicated to those unique date ideas that make Indy such a special place for couples. 

From the tranquility of a salt lounge to the sophisticated allure of upscale bars, and the immersive cinema experience in the historic Bottleworks district, each of these suggestions offers something a little different, a little unexpected. Whether you’re in the mood for relaxation, indulgence, or adventure, these unique date ideas are sure to create unforgettable moments and deepen your connection in the most surprising ways. Ready for some hidden gems in Indianapolis?

Pam enjoying time in a salt cave

10. Relax at a salt cave

Have you ever experienced a salt cave? I enjoyed one a few years ago with my son and have thought it would be an ideal date night (or even girls’ night out) ever since. Luckily in the last few years, several have popped up in the Indianapolis area, so now is the perfect time to book a session and enjoy it as a unique date idea!

These sessions offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It’s an opportunity to connect in a calm and healing setting, where you can chat softly or simply enjoy the silence together. Whether you’re looking to de-stress, rejuvenate, or just try something new, a session in a salt lounge promises a unique and memorable date experience that leaves you both feeling refreshed and connected.

Indianapolis Salt Cave, 8899 Kent Ave.

The Carriage House cocktail from Livery in Indianapolis IN
The Carriage House from Livery

11. Craft cocktails at a fancy bar

I love a great cocktail and if you are looking for a fun night out, why not visit one of the fancier lounges in Indy and enjoy a drink together in a terrific atmosphere? Even though the drinks tend to be pricey in these bars, honestly a few drinks are a much less expensive night out than dinner and drinks at an expensive restaurant. Ready for a few suggestions?

Platt 99

Platt 99, located in The Alexander in Indianapolis, presents an exceptional setting for a sophisticated date night. With its stunning floor-to-ceiling skyline views and colorful glass pendant lamps, the ambiance is both chic and inviting. Their ever-rotating cocktail list promises a fresh and exciting experience each visit, complemented by flavorful, well-crafted small plates. 

Platt 99 is also perfect for pre or post-game drinks and snacks, especially during Indianapolis Colts home games, because they offer enticing game day specials, including $2 beers, $6 craft cocktails, and a variety of $8 small plates. Whether you’re there to celebrate a win or just to enjoy a night out, Platt 99 provides a stylish backdrop for a memorable evening in the heart of the city.

Platt 99, 333 S. Delaware St.

Spoke & Steele

At Spoke & Steele, located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, you’re invited to an experience that beautifully captures the essence of the city. Tucked inside the golden doors of the elegant Le Meridien Indianapolis, this destination shines with its fresh, eclectic menu, buzzing bar scene, and the kind of warm, knowledgeable service that’s the hallmark of true Hoosier hospitality. 

I love enjoying a drink at the beautiful bar and chatting with the bartenders. Not only are they personable, they make a delicious cocktail!

Livery

One of my favorite cocktails in Indianapolis is at Livery. The Carriage House is their take on a margarita and it’s outstanding. Add an order of corn empanadas or ceviche and you’ve got a lovely date night. 

There are two locations of Livery, one is in Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville and the other is located near the popular Mass Ave Arts District. The Indy location has a lovely rooftop bar and on a summer evening, it’s a terrific place for a date night.

Livery, 720 N. College Ave.

Trail at Fort Harrison State Park in Indianapolis

12. Hiking and beer!

I’m a huge fan of hiking and local breweries, so this date idea is right up my alley! If you like to get outside on your dates, head over to Fort Harrison State Park and enjoy a hike, then stop by Triton Brewing Company and order a flight of their tasty beers. 

We love doing this if we have a free weekend afternoon because it’s such a fun and enjoyable outing. Fort Harrison State Park is located on the northeast side of Indianapolis (but still within the city), and has quite a few wonderful trails. 

Just a few minutes from the park is Triton Brewing. I love their flavored gose and typically they have at least a half dozen on tap. They also have yummy chili and their breaded mushrooms are outstanding. If the weather is nice you can bring your pup and sit outside. 

Triton Brewing Company, 5764 Wheeler Rd.

13. Movies & drinks: a cozy evening

I know that a movie night is a date night go-to, but not if you visit one of the more unique movie theaters in town! 

Living Room Theater  

Living Room Theaters has embraced the historic charm of the Bottleworks district (a current theme here as it’s such a great area for date ideas), creating a theater space that is as distinctive as its surroundings. The commitment to design and comfort is evident the moment you step inside, where you’re greeted by unique lighting and the most comfortable recliners in the industry, making you feel more like a guest in a cozy living room than a traditional movie theater.

But it’s not just about the movie; it’s about the entire experience. The Living Room Theater goes beyond the big screen, offering a casual and inviting atmosphere where you can relax, dine, and enjoy a drink. Their on-site restaurant and bar elevate the movie-going experience, serving sophisticated meals and a variety of drinks, from quality wines and cocktails to traditional theater concessions. I love enjoying a delicious cocktail before, after (or even during!) the movie. A date night here promises a blend of relaxation, indulgence, and cinematic excitement, all within the lively and historic Bottleworks district

Living Room Theaters, 699 E. 9th St.

Lobby of Landmarks Art Cinema at Keystone

Landmarks Keystone Arts Cinema

On the north side of Indy, located in the upscale Fashion Mall on Keystone is another special movie theater, Landmarks Keystone Arts Cinema. Upstairs, across from Nordstroms, this theater is one of my favorite places to watch a movie. It’s quiet, clean, and feels much more “date-like” than a typical movie theater – yet the prices aren’t any higher!

Whenever we’ve visited, we’ve had our choice of seats, been able to enjoy delicious popcorn and first-run (or indie) movies, and then enjoyed a drink after the movie either in the bar attached to the theater or at one of the nearby restaurants located in and around the mall. 

Pam’s insider tip: If you go to Landmarks for a matinee consider a decadent coffee creation after the show at Nordstrom’s coffee bar – yum!

Landmarks Keystone Arts Cinema, 8702 Keystone Xing

14. Indulgent decadence at DeBrand Chocolates

Chocolate and romance go together, right? Whenever we visit Fort Wayne, Indiana we try to make a stop at the Flagship DeBrand store and participate in the amazing chocolate tour. However, even if we are at home in Indy we’ve found that we can still indulge in the chocolate goodies DeBrand offers at the DeBrand Fine Chocolates Indianapolis location.

And if you love chocolate, this makes for a wonderful Indianapolis date! The store offers a variety of gourmet chocolate/coffee drinks as well as sundaes and ice cream. Yum. I highly recommend dark hot chocolate – it is rich, smooth, and just amazing. But honestly, you won’t go wrong with anything you order, so grab a few drinks (or split a sundae), sit down and chat while you indulge.

DeBrand Fine Chocolates, 8685 River Crossing

Daffodils in Garfield Park Conservatory

 15. A romantic stroll through Garfield Conservatory

During the drab, dreary winter months in Indiana, a visit to the serene beauty of Garfield Conservatory makes for a perfect relaxed date. Although the rest of the grounds are beautiful year-round, in the winter, a romantic stroll through the indoor gardens will warm you up and allow you a chance for a quiet conversation. There are ample benches throughout the garden so you can also sit and enjoy the atmosphere and company. I’ve never found it to be particularly busy, and it’s a super affordable date too.

When I feel the need to escape and remind myself that warm weather will eventually return, I grab my partner (or sometimes the whole family) and we head down to Garfield Conservatory. After I’ve warmed up, enjoyed some greenery, and felt a bit more cheerful, we’ll head to a nearby coffee shop or brewery for a drink and a few rounds of Yahtzee or Uno Flip!

Garfield Conservatory, 2505 Conservatory Drive

glass of wine from Easley winery

16. Wine Tasting Adventure at Easley Winery

I’ve found that most wineries tend to be located outside of downtown areas, and we have quite a few terrific ones in nearby Hamilton County (which makes sense as they need the land for the vines), but Easley Winery is a lovely exception. 

Easley Winery has been a place for locals to enjoy delicious wines in downtown Indianapolis since 1974. Located in the old Fertig Ice Cream Factory, it has a cool and cozy vibe. Wine tastings are just $8 for 7 wines, and you can also purchase a glass or bottle to take to a table in the outdoor wine garden and savor. 

Although I tend to prefer dry wines (and Easley has some of them too), I do like some of the award-winning Reggae sweet wines that Easley is well known for. You’ll find them at local grocery stores and events and are quite popular among Indiana residents. We’ve always had a wonderful time when we’ve visited Easley Winery so I can highly recommend this as one of my favorite date ideas in Indianapolis!

Easley Winery, 205 N. College Ave.

Gainbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis

More Enchanting Date Night Options

Beyond the classic dinner and a movie, Indianapolis has plenty of enchanting date night possibilities that promise to add a touch of magic to your evenings. In this section, I’m exploring a variety of experiences that go beyond the ordinary, from the whimsical joy of ice skating to the serene beauty of a park, and from creating something together to indulging in the city’s finest desserts. Whether you’re gliding hand-in-hand across a frozen rink or creating a craft cocktail, each of these activities offers a unique way to create lasting memories with your significant other.

17. Ice Skating Fun

Looking for winter date ideas and don’t want to spend all your time inside? In the winter months, there are several terrific choices for ice skating around the Indianapolis area. Ice skating in Indianapolis offers a delightful mix of fun, romance, and a touch of whimsy, making it a perfect date idea for couples looking to enjoy the city’s winter charm.

The newest addition to Indy’s ice skating scene is right in the heart of downtown, just outside the Gainbridge Fieldhouse. The Elevance Health ice rink invites you to glide hand-in-hand with your loved one, surrounded by the bustling energy of the city. This inaugural year is the perfect time to visit, as the rink promises to become a hub of events and activities, adding a sparkle to your winter date nights and creating memories in the frosty air of downtown Indianapolis.

Elevance Health Ice Rink, 125 S. Pennsylvania St.

Holliday Park ruins in Indianapolis Indiana
some of the ruins at Holliday Park in Indianapolis IN

For those who prefer a more scenic backdrop, Holliday Park’s Ice Rink is a must-visit. Returning for its second year in 2023, this beautiful outdoor venue is set in one of Indy’s beloved local parks. The rink opens on November 24 and runs through February 29, offering a picturesque setting for skating amidst nature. With tickets available online for $14 (including skate rental), and concessions that include beer and wine on weekends, the Ice Rink at Holliday Park provides a charming and relaxed date environment. Skating here, especially with the park’s natural beauty as a backdrop, is a winter wonderland experience not to be missed.

Pam’s insider tip: Holliday Park is one of my favorite summer parks in the city too – pack a picnic and enjoy hiking the trails or strolling by the unique ruins.

Holliday Park, 6363 Spring Mill Rd.

For those who enjoy a more traditional skating environment, the Youth Pavilion at the Indiana State Fairgrounds is an excellent choice. Managed by the Fuel Tank at Fishers, the Pavilion offers public skating sessions on weekends from September through February. With reasonable admission and skate rental pricing, it’s an affordable date option. However, do keep in mind the $10 parking fee at the Fairgrounds, which could vary based on other events (and maybe you could extend your date by checking out other events happening at the fairgrounds!). Skating here offers a lively atmosphere that’s perfect for couples looking for an active and fun date experience.

Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St.

18. Exploring & Dinner on the West side

When the weather is warm another fun outdoor/dining experience is heading over to the West side of Indianapolis for an afternoon at Eagle Creek Park and then an evening at Rick’s Cafe Boatyard.  

Like Fort Harrison State Park, Eagle Creek Park is a wonderful and large area of green space within Indianapolis. At the park, you’ll find terrific hiking, kayaking, and even a tree-top zipline adventure course. Plenty of fun and active soft adventures to keep you busy all afternoon. 

After working up an appetite, head over to nearby Rick’s Cafe Boatyard for a lovely dinner on the outside patio. The views are lovely, the menu has a little bit of everything, and it’s well-known in Indy as a romantic spot for dinner. With its waterfront location, it feels a bit like an island getaway.

Rick’s Cafe Boatyard, 4050 Dandy Trail

"The Basic" from Please & Thank You coffee shop on Mass Ave in Indianapolis. Consists of a chocolate chip cookie and coffee.

19. Crafting Candles and Sweet Treats

I love this as an unusual date idea in Indy (and it’s a fun one to do with your girlfriends or as a mother-daughter outing too). Start at Penn & Beech Candle Co with the in-store candle-making experience. You’ll have over 100 fragrances to explore and combine. You and your date can discover and blend scents that resonate with your personalities, guided by knowledgeable Scent Specialists. Once you’ve selected your favorite aromas, the next step is choosing the perfect candle vessel from their large selection. Then, it’s time to roll up your sleeves at the Fragrance Bar, where the magic of blending happens. As you mix your chosen scents with hot wax, sipping on a beverage and enjoying each other’s company, you’ll create more than just a candle – you’re crafting a memory. 

Penn & Beech Candle Co, 747 N. College Ave.

While you are waiting for your candle to cure (it takes about two hours), head over to my favorite coffee shop on Mass Ave, Please & Thank You, and order “The Basic”. It’s such a yummy combination (hot coffee & chocolate chip cookie) that I find myself thinking of it often and wanting to plan a visit (I just wish it was closer to home!). Stroll the shops along Mass Ave with coffee in hand and enjoy the atmosphere!

Please & Thank You, 849 Massachusetts Ave.

20. Decadent desserts & sparkling wine at The Cake Bake Shop in Broadripple

The Cake Bake Shop is an over-the top dessert cafe with two Indiana locations (the original one in Broadripple and a newer one in Carmel), and a third location opening up in 2024 at Disney World. The entire restaurant is an Instagram dream, and many people get a little bit dressed up (don’t worry, not too much, this IS Indiana) when they visit, so it feels quite special.

Just the fact that there will be a Disney location tells you how special this place is! If you love decadent desserts and bubbly, you’ll be a huge fan of this Indianapolis date idea! The slices of cake are HUGE, so you can easily share, and they offer champagne, sparkling wine, tea, pressed pot coffee, and more delicious drinks. 

The Cake Bake Shop, 6515 Carrollton Ave.

chicken ragu from Mama Carolla's Old Italian restaurant in Indianapolis, IN

21. Romantic Italian dinner at Mama Carolla’s

Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant has been the scene of many date nights, engagements, and other celebrations for plenty of Indianapolis residents. It’s a go-to for folks looking for a romantic and delicious dinner. What I love about Mama Carolla’s (in addition to the heavenly pasta) is the atmosphere. If it’s summer, you can sit outside in the garden area, and in the winter, get cozy in one of the small enclaves scattered around the restaurant.

I’m also a huge fan of the bar – it feels so old-fashioned and comfy, yet the bartenders make a killer cocktail. We like to arrive early, grab a drink at the bar, and soak up the atmosphere before enjoying dinner. If it’s the holiday season, cap off your night with a drive up Meridian Street to look at the Christmas lights on the houses, or if it’s summer, grab a nightcap at one of the lounges in nearby Broadripple.

Mama Carolla’s Old Italian Restaurant, 1031 E. 54th St.

22. A night at the theater: show at the IRT

For a special night out, consider a show at the IRT (Indiana Repertory Theater). There are several great theaters in Indianapolis, but for romance, you can’t go wrong with the IRT. It’s a beautiful older theater, and small enough that there isn’t a bad seat in the house. 

We’ve seen everything from off-broadway shows to performances of A Christmas Carol during the holiday season. Combine a show with a fancy dinner downtown and if you want to really up the ante, add on an overnight stay at the nearby Conrad and you’ve got a date night in Indianapolis to remember!

IRT, 140 W. Washington St.

Boozy coffee in a blue mug from Easy Rider Diner in Indianapolis IN

23. Leisurely Brunch Options

Brunch is always a good idea. That’s my motto and I’m sticking to it. If your evenings are too packed for a traditional date night, why not enjoy brunch as a date instead? There are quite a few wonderful options around the Indianapolis area for a delicious brunch, so if you are a local spend a month enjoying a new one each week! If you are visiting from out of town, sorry for your luck, you are going to have to pick just one. A few of my favorite suggestions include: 

Cafe Patachou

Cafe Patachou is our go-to for Mother’s Day, the last day of school, heading off to college, etc. brunch celebrations and it also makes a wonderful brunch for dates. I love the omelets (especially the Hippie with a Benz) and the cinnamon toast, and I always drink my fill of their smooth and rich coffee.

Cafe Patachou, 225 W. Washington St.

Milktooth

Milktooth, a hip bistro (located in an old auto repair shop) in Fountain Square is an Indianapolis brunch favorite, so it does tend to get busy. However, once you’ve tried one of their amazing Dutch Baby pancakes and pour over coffees you’ll be a convert. 

Milktooth, 534 Virginia Ave.

Easy Rider Diner

Easy Rider Diner is also in Fountain Square and connected to the always fun Hi-Fi (perfect spot for live music on the weekends). I love the vibe of this place along with the food which is comfort food with a Southwest flair. And, you can always order a mimosa flight (yum!) or whatever their specialty “breakfast” cocktail happens to be. It has a fun old-fashioned diner feel, so very casual.

Easy Rider Diner, 1043 Virginia Ave.

I could go on and on with many more options (maybe I’ll do a blog post on brunch in Indianapolis in the future), but these three will get you started!

cocktail I made during a cocktail-making class at Four Fingers distillery

24. Learn and Laugh: Drink Class at Four Fingers Distillery

When we told our friends we were taking a “drinking class” they all got a kick out of it. What I should have said is that we were taking a “cocktail-making class” – although there was quite a bit of drinking! 

Four Fingers Distillery (used to be known as 1205 Distillery) offers a cocktail-making class several times a year and they are a ton of fun. You’ll hear a bit about the history of the distillery and learn how to make two craft cocktails. I learned a LOT and feel quite confident in my cocktail-making abilities after this fun experience. The class size is small and it’s very interactive. I’ve been able to successfully replicate the drinks at home so not only was it a fun activity, but it’s also been beneficial to my other friends and family!

Four Fingers Distillery, 634 Virginia Ave.

ComedySportz stage at the Wit Theater in Indianapolis IN

25. Laugh yourselves silly at ComedySportz

I’m a huge fan of comedy clubs and although Indy has several options, an evening with ComedySportz at the Wit Theater is a personal favorite. The venue is very low-key and small, so every seat is fabulous and they serve a few simple food and beverage items (think popcorn, burgers, beers, ciders, etc.). 

It’s quite entertaining to watch the comedian teams compete with each other, and they do a fantastic job of getting the audience involved without embarrassing anyone. You’ll have a blast and have plenty to talk about on your drive home (we sure did). It’s also an affordable night out, so a great option if you are now on a budget from all these fantastic dates you’ve been enjoying!

Wit Theater, 3808 Shelby St.

Map of Date Ideas in Indianapolis

FAQs: Date Night Ideas in Indianapolis IN

Where to go on dates in Indy?

Museums, local breweries and wineries, restaurants, parks, brunch and more!

Is there anything interesting in Indianapolis?

There are tons of fun things to do in Indianapolis, from outdoor adventures to museums to terrific food.

Conclusion: Best Date Ideas in Indianapolis Indiana

And that’s a wrap on our exploration of date night ideas in Indianapolis. From casual outings like ice skating downtown to more unique experiences like relaxing in a salt lounge or enjoying a meal at Mama Carolla’s, I’ve covered such a wide range of activities that surely you’ll find the perfect date night idea in Indy. Whether you’re a local looking for new date ideas or a visitor experiencing Indy’s charm for the first time, there’s plenty here to keep your date nights fresh and exciting. So go ahead, pick a few of these suggestions, and create some great memories.

Remember, the best date nights are about spending quality time together, exploring new places, and making memories. So, whether you choose a night of laughter at a comedy club, a quiet evening crafting candles, or an adventurous afternoon at the State Park followed by a cold beer, each experience is an opportunity to connect and enjoy each other’s company. Indianapolis has a lot to offer, so take advantage of these diverse date ideas and keep adding chapters to your own Indy love story. Happy dating!

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