Denver

Denver Date Ideas You'll Both Actually Enjoy

Spice things up.

The Cooper Lounge
The Cooper Lounge
The Cooper Lounge

Winter in Denver is the perfect time to get cozy with your special someone, but that doesn’t mean you should get lazy on the dating front. Cuddling on the couch as you hit play on another Netflix pick should definitely not be the go-to. You can do better. And we’re here to help keep your dating life fresh with these (safe and socially distant) date ideas. And in case it slipped your mind, this is your friendly reminder that Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. So book that room, order that meal kit, or make reservations for a romantic meal out ‘cause with these ideas, you’ve not no excuse for slacking this year.

Dine in a private heated igloo

Union Station
Cooper Under the Stars is the new outdoor dining experience from The Cooper Lounge, and it’s one of the most romantic socially distant dining options in town. Located in the plaza in front of Union Station, your reservation includes a private igloo and a five-course prix-fixe menu that includes three cocktails or glasses of wine per person.

Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek
Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek
Halcyon, a hotel in Cherry Creek

Enjoy a romantic staycation

Various locations
Denver hotels are ready to set the mood with a ton of Valentine’s specials and packages. Over at The Curtis, opt for some fun with friends with their COVID Couple Survivors Game Night package that includes dinner from The Corner Office and fun couple challenges. The Halcyon in Cherry Creek is offering the Love at First Bite package complete with in-room four course dinner from Local Jones plus access to their heated rooftop pool. For a luxurious downtown experience, check out The ART Hotel’s Roses are for Romance package with a three-course in-room meal, bubbly, and late check out.

Take a virtual couples cooking class

Online
Along with in person classes, Uncorked Kitchen has added a selection of virtual classes including a special chef-lef Valentine’s edition which includes a live streamed class and meal kit delivery with a bottle of wine and all the ingredients you need to create an indulgent surf & turf meal for two. 

Go to a drag queen bingo brunch

Dairy Block
Every Sunday in February (including Valentine’s Day), drag queen bingo is on in the heated Alley at Dairy Block from noon to 3 pm. Play a game of bingo with your date while enjoying some outdoor entertainment and eats from Milk Market and other Dairy Block restaurants.

OSAKA RAMEN
OSAKA RAMEN
OSAKA RAMEN

Cook for your date with an at-home meal kit

Various locations
Don’t want to deal with dining out for Valentine’s? Denver restaurants all over town have your back with at-home meal kit options so you can be the chef and impress your special someone. Some standout options: DIY pappardelle bolognese and risotto kits from Il Posto, a ramen and wine kit for two from Osaka Ramen, fondue for two from Temper Chocolates, and sundae kits from High Point Creamery.

Pack a park picnic

Various locations
If you’re just getting to know someone new, a socially distant outdoor date is the new “dinner and a movie” — a 100% dependable, safe bet for pandemic-friendly banter with that maybe-special someone you swiped right on. Thankfully the park system has over 20,000 acres of space from city parks to mountain open space areas. Even as colder weather rolls through, our ample days of sunshine mean that park dates are an option all year long. Grab some canned wine, a couple blankets, and some picnic-ready sandwiches and get to know your date in the fresh Colorado air. 
 

Get competitive with a game of putt-putt

Central Business District
Putt-putt in the Mile High got a major makeover thanks to the addition of Urban Putt. Now you can go for that hole in one all year long, no matter the weather, ‘cause this steampunk-themed course is totally indoors. And they’re taking COVID-precautions seriously, with plenty of equipment sanitizing and social distancing. Bonus: They’ve also got a full bar and serve dinner. Just don’t get too competitive with your plus one, chief.

Bad Axe Throwing
Bad Axe Throwing
Bad Axe Throwing

Test your ax-throwing skills

North Denver
Wanna feel like a badass on date night? Head to Bad Axe Throwing. I don’t know, but there’s just something about hurling large, sharp objects at a target that really ups the stakes on your bonding time. PLUS you can get some serious insight into that special someone’s ability to defend you in a zombie apocalypse situation. Right now, they’re only taking reservations for groups of four or more, so go double date-style, or head in during their walk-in hours. 
 

Put your problem solving skills to the test at an escape room

Five Points
Role playing takes on a whole new meaning at Solutions Lounge where you’ll have to work together to get out of some sticky situations. Can your skills as a team help you find the killer on the Budapest Express train, or solve a murder mystery in a Scotish mansion? Only time will tell, and there’s not a lot of it. But one thing’s for sure, afterwards you’ll probably need a drink — which they happily offer along with a full menu (don’t miss the bacon mac & cheese).
 

Take a budget-friendly trip to Golden

Golden
Not quite ready for that much car time one-on-one? Take a 15-minute jaunt to Golden where plenty of low-cost options await. Start with a visit to Golden’s first food hall, Tributary, for some oysters or a $5 gelato float, among other options. Then take a riverside stroll through town and check out the over 50 historic buildings along Washington Avenue. On your way back to Denver, take a detour up Lookout Mountain for some photo-worthy views of Denver in the distance.

MCA Denver
MCA Denver
MCA Denver

Check out some art and see if your tastes match up

Union Station
The MCA Denver is smaller than the Denver Art Museum, making it perfect for date night exploration. The art changes regularly, and the rousing exhibits are guaranteed to be conversation starters. They’re currently using a timed ticketing system to help limit capacity for social distancing, so be sure to reserve ahead of time. Admission is only $10, plus they do penny admission days the first Saturday of every month if you’re really on a budget.
 

Take them to Grandma’s House, obviously

Platt Park
If you don’t want to scare your date off, you should probably save the trip to your actual grandma’s house for later in the relationship. Grandma’s House brewery is a totally acceptable option, however. They’ve also set up an awesome hidden patio out back so you can enjoy your brews in the fresh air.

Hammond's Candies Since 1920
Hammond’s Candies Since 1920
Hammond’s Candies Since 1920

Go behind the scenes at one of Denver’s most iconic businesses

Chaffee Park, Boulder
Do you and your date both have a sweet tooth? The iconic Hammond’s Candies factory offers free factory tours all day during business hours and you’ll get a sweet treat to take home. Masks are required while on the tour and reservations are required to guarantee your spot.
 

Take them on a delicious dim sum date

Athmar Park
It’s not just a feast, it’s a social experiment. By the time the check comes, you’ll know whether 1) you share similar tastes and 2) you’re comfortable unbuttoning your pants for all the wrong reasons together. Plus dim sum is easy on the wallet. Plan on about $20/person for a serious feast. Test this theory at Star Kitchen which is currently open for in person dining and offers their dim sum to-go too.

Test your limits with indoor rock climbing

Multiple locations
Rock climbing gym Übergrippen offers 90 minute reservation slots which is a fine step when you’re ready to work up a sweat together, but not yet ready for an outing that could theoretically require calling in a rescue team. Bonus: Your jokes about the relationship hitting a wall are going to kill.Sign up here for our daily Denver email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Molly Martin is a freelance writer in Denver, Colorado who would never turn down a date that involves whiskey. Follow her Mile High adventures @mollydbu on Twitter and Instagram.

Denver

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Denver This Year

For a successful St. Patrick's Day, hit these parades, barcrawls, parties, and festivals.

VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER

Grab your green and your Guinness-St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and there’s fun to be had. In addition to being the first big celebratory holiday after New Year’s, St. Paddy’s is also a signal of spring; more hours of sunshine, T-shirt temps, and filling Blake, Market, and Larimer with drunken revelry make up a particularly Denver type of equinox. However you plan to celebrate-with family friendly activities or for those over the legal drinking age only-there are parades to be watched, playful drinks to be sipped, and a whole lot of shamrock-ing to do.

Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits

Dance a jig or two at Mile High Spirits’ Shamrock Shenanigans

March 17
If you’re ready to put your dancing shoes to good use, wiggle your way on over to Mile High Spirits-doors are opening at 12 pm and there’s no cover ‚Äėtil 10. Enjoy MHS’ drinks, big dance floor, and even bigger outdoor patio for all the Irish pride and shenanigans you can handle.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

Whip up steak for a St. Paddy’s Date Night

March 17
Cook Street’s special St. Paddy’s Day class involves making the perfect steak while sipping on Irish whiskey. On Friday only, learn about proteins, cooking methods, and choosing side dishes carefully while cooking up traditional Irish cuisine.

Crawl around town. You know, figuratively…

March 17 – 18
Is it a drinking holiday in Denver if there aren’t a handful of bar crawls happening? Probably not. St. Paddy’s Day is no different; you can start crawling from a number of bars, but a few in particular have everything plotted out for you (for a small fee). Start at the Ginn Mill and receive a map of over 10 pub locations you’ll be crawling to either Friday or Saturday, plus drink special vouchers. There’s also a crawl departing from Nola Jane (Friday only) with its own food and drink specials, plus a scavenger hunt and some St. Paddy’s merch, too.

The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat

Visit one of Denver’s Irish Pubs

March 17 – 18
If you can’t think of a better place to spend St. Paddy’s Day then at a local Irish pub, we salute you-just be prepared to throw a few elbows making your way to the bar. Denver’s got several good ol’ pubs from Broadway to Larimer Square that’ll be in full swing this weekend, pouring fresh pints as far as the eye can see. Check out Scruffy Murphy’s, Nallen’s, The Irish Rover, Finley’s, The Celtic on Market, or the Fainting Goat for that SPD revelry you know, love, and trekked out for.

Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square

Sip and savour St. Paddy’s themed bevvies

Through March 17
Everyone pulls out the green food dye and mint flavouring for St. Paddy’s, but there are some other creative drink specials to sample, too. The OG’s got a boozy milkshake for the occasion, aptly named “Who’s Your Paddy,” a mix of vanilla ice cream, Cr√®me de Menthe, Tullamore Dew, Bailey’s, and whipped cream. BEZEL’s Irish Matcha Man is pretty unique, with Teeling Small Batch whiskey, lime, thyme-infused honey, and matcha powder. And then Slater’s 50/50 takes it to another level (unsurprisingly) with its Lucky Mint Green Shake: mint-flavored ice cream in a frosting-rimmed glass with Lucky Charm marshmallows, rainbow stripe sour strips, whipped cream and green sprinkles. Other notable specials can be found at Poka Lola Social Club, Dairy Block’s Moo Bar, and Seven Grand.

Sing along and cheers to live music

March 17
Denver’s The Monkey Barrel is known for its regular live performances, and this St. Patrick’s Day you can tune in to Elijah Petty & The Part-Times and other musical guests if you’re in search of a chiller spot to sip your Guinness. Or, have one of the best burgers in town while relishing the shenanigans and live music of Cherry Cricket Cherry Creek this St. Paddy’s Day. Food and drink specials will also be available through the holiday weekend, so leave extra room or wear your stretchy (green) pants.

HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series

Show your St. Paddy’s spirit by‚Ķ running?

March 18
Feeling restless? Or maybe you’re itching to get a few laps in before hammering down several pints this Saturday? Either way, Highlands Ranch is hosting its St. Patrick’s Day 5K where finishing the race gets you St. Patrick’s Day merch, an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and of course, a complimentary pint courtesy of Living the Dream Brewing.

Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company

Drink and do good at Holidaily Brewing Co.

March 17
This St. Paddy’s Day, Holidaily and the Gluten Intolerance Group are putting on their Raise a Pint, Lend a Hand fundraiser. A special glitter and green Firkin tapping is happening at 4 pm at both taprooms, with special (and gluten-free) treats available at the Golden location, thanks to Farmhouse 5280 and Waive the Grain bakery. 10% of all St. Patrick’s Day sales will be donated to the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery

Party at a local distillery

March 17 – 18
Talnua Distillery is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day bash to remember this year, featuring food trucks, live music, special themed cocktails, and more. Limited bottles of Talnua’s exclusive Olde Saint’s Keep whiskey will be available for purchase, which you can hang onto while you dance along to pipe bands or eat a brat or two from El Jefe’s.

Watch some Irish step dancing

March 17
Head on over to Stanley Marketplace to witness the talent and skill of the students at the Wick School of Irish Dance at 12 pm, and follow it up with a green cerveza at Cheluna Brewing Co. Of course, plenty of tasty lunch and dinner options are available around the marketplace so you can soak up a bit of that beer.

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Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

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