Searching for pandemic-friendly Cleveland date night ideas? Well you’re definitely not alone!
Maybe you’re looking for date night ideas for that new relationship. Maybe it is close to Valentine’s Day and you want to make it a special evening. Or perhaps you, like a lot of us with significant others, are sick of cooking all the time for these quarantine dates.
While we hope our normal date night guides will be useful again soon, it’s obvious that “date night” has to keep looking a little different for a while longer. So we’ve rounded up the best private experiences, outdoor igloo dining options, and even romantic take away options to make the most of your pandemic date night in Cleveland!
Private Shopping Experiences for Cleveland Date Nights
Ever wanted to rent out a store or space just for yourself for a bit? It’s perfect for shopping at your own pace, enjoying some quality time together, and getting the top picks of everything in stock. It may sound like an expensive dream, but you can do this in a few spots around Cleveland right now for free or really cheap!
1. Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates Private Chocolate Shopping Experience
2285 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights
Perfect for Valentine’s Day, especially for the chocoholics! Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates has shops across the city of Cleveland, but at their Lee Road location they are offering a 15-minute private shopping experience with personalized customer service for up to 4 people.
So if you are planning a double date night or just want to shop for some of Cleveland’s best chocolate for two, this is a fantastic Cleveland date night option. Plus, it’s free to reserve a spot!
Pick your own delicious chocolate gifts to give to each other, ranging from truffles to the iconic chocolate covered marshmallows.
Appointments can be made here between 10 am and 6:40 pm from Monday-Saturday. (Mitchell’s is currently ONLY open for private shopping, so you really will have the whole place to yourself!)
3. Private Book Shopping Experience at Visible Voice
2258 Professor Ave., Cleveland (Tremont)
At Visible Voice Books in Tremont, you can have the ultimate book-lover date night! Ever wanted to slowly browse a bookstore together to pick out your new favorite read? What about also getting to enjoy some food and drinks while you’re at it?
This idea from Visible Voice Books is genius (and we honestly hope it is here to stay post-pandemic)!
You can choose from 2 options for your private shopping experience, including a “Create-Your-Own Night at the Bookstore” or a “Brunch & Browse.”
The “Create-Your-Own Night at the Bookstore” option is $50 for a 90-minute private book shopping experience. It also includes 1 large 2-topping pizza from Crust and 1 bottle of wine or various non-alcoholic beverages.
The “Brunch & Browse” option is $40 for 2 people (plus $15 for each additional person) for a 100-minute shopping experience and includes a pastry platter from Leavened Bakery, DuckRabbit coffee, tea, and a mimosa pitcher.
So while you will have to pay to reserve your spot, it is really affordable and a fantastic way for bookworms to support local businesses in a cool way.
Book quickly, though, as these spots sell out fast! You can book the “Create-Your-Own Night at the Bookstore” here and “Brunch & Browse” here. Availability varies, but dates are typically Wednesday-Saturday for evening shopping with spots for 4:00 pm, 5:50 pm, and 7:40 pm. For the brunch option, time slots are on Saturdays and Sundays for 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm.
If no dates are currently showing, bookmark the pages to check again later; these offerings have been so popular that they are constantly opening up new dates/times!
3. Private Shopping at The Wine Spot
2271 Lee Rd., Cleveland Heights
Also located in Cleveland Heights is The Wine Spot. This place is currently offering 20-minute private wine shopping experiences on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10-11 am.
This experience does require a 12 bottle minimum purchase, so if you are planning to stock up your wine cellar or wine fridge for a bit, then it is a great idea to book an appointment to see what they have in person.
Peruse the shelves in search of the best Châteauneuf-du-Pape or Central Otago Pinot Noir for a romantic experience in Cleveland. Then you can enjoy the bottle(s) together at home.
Be sure to call 216-342-3623 to make a reservation.
4. Private Escape Room Date Night in Cleveland
Escape rooms are always a fun way to spend a date night. Test your teamwork skills together as you solve clues and puzzles to escape before the clock runs out!
With themes such as Jumanji, Eliot Ness, or a Pirate Tavern, there are so many great adventures to have!
Some escape rooms throughout the city are offering private games with plenty of sanitizing between customers. If you want to test your escape room skills together, here are a couple of rooms to check out:
- Perplexity Games, 2515 Jay Ave., #B3, Cleveland (Ohio City) – They have 5 different escape room options, each costing $30 per person. More info here.
- Trapped! Escape Room, Various Locations – There are over 10 different rooms to choose from and it is $28 per person. More info here.
There are quite a few other escape rooms in Cleveland, but these are currently the only two that allow for bookings for just 2 people and have documented COVID measures in place.
Romantic Outdoor Dining Experiences in Cleveland
It definitely is quite a bit chilly during the winter here in Cleveland. So while during the summer months there are ample romantically lit patios perfect for outdoor dining, in the winter, the weather can certainly make things challenging.
Fear not, though, as several restaurants have gotten creative with their outdoor dining and turned toward romantic igloos and cozy outdoor heaters to keep you warm and away from others.
Get bundled up and cozy with your significant other at a few of these unique outdoor dining experiences:
- Georgetown Restaurant & Vosh in Lakewood has charming igloos perfect for a romantic dinner and drinks.
- Betts Restaurant in downtown has quirky little greenhouses you can rent for two.
- The Lot by Platform has heated shipping containers, igloos, and even mini curling rings set up.
- Rocky River Wine Bar in Rocky River is offering private chalets that are ideal for drinks.
We have a whole guide about igloo dining in Cleveland with more details and lots more restaurants! Be sure to check that out for even more date nights ideas in Cleveland.
Outdoor Activity Date Ideas in Cleveland
If you are part of a more outdoorsy couple (or at least want to get outside after being cooped up for so long), these are some great things you can do in the Northeast Ohio area that are made for those who love being outside.
1. Topgolf Cleveland
5820 Rockside Woods Blvd N, Independence
Try your hand at this trendy high-tech golf game! With the new location open in Independence, you can easily book a spot for two to enjoy their several golf-centric games.
Luckily this is for all skill levels, so no need to be an expert golfer! The reservation fee is $5-25 for a bay per hour and games cost additional. Reserve a bay here.
The bays are partially enclosed, but also heated so you can be semi-outdoors but also warm during the winter months.
2. Explore Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP)
Whether you are planning a picnic lunch or want to catch a dreamy sunset over a gorgeous lookout spot, Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers so many great day date options near Cleveland!
And for those who want to try something new in the winter months at CVNP, you can enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing too!
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a great place to visit year-round, and with ample romantic and off-the-beaten-path places to enjoy, it makes for a perfect date idea not far from Cleveland.
3. Lakewood Solstice Steps
Lakewood Park, Lakewood
Looking for a great spot to admire a Lake Erie sunset together? You can’t beat the Solstice Steps in Lakewood Park.
In the summer, the park is lively with people walking the lakeside path and picnicking in the park, but it’s also a spot you can enjoy in colder weather, too – just be sure to bundle up, and maybe pick up some coffee or hot chocolate to bring with you!
This is simple, free, and such a lovely spot to enjoy, even during the cooler months of the year.
Cleveland Date Night at Home
If you would rather stay in and enjoy the best of Cleveland’s food scene at home, there are a lot of great options! (And the best part is you don’t have to do dishes!)
Here are a few local spots that we love for date nights to-go:
1. Sweet Brie Co.
For cheese lovers, you’ll want to order up a tasty cheese board from Sweet Brie Co!
You can purchase a prepared cheese board that ranges in size based on the number of people you plan to feed, or you can reach out to them and customize your own.
They deliver for a fee, too – be sure to order this one in advance!
2. Flight Cleveland
5712 Detroit Ave., Cleveland (Detroit Shoreway)
I actually recommend this idea as a combo with your Sweet Brie order. Flight is a wine bar in Cleveland, and they are currently offering virtual wine tastings!
Purchase the 4 bottles of wine they recommend, and enjoy a free virtual tasting online. Events range from a chocolate and wine tasting to learning more about Willamette Valley (Oregon) wines!
Sign up by calling or while placing your order for the wine they recommend. These events take place online from 7:30-8:30 pm on select Friday nights. You can learn more here.
3. The Black Pig
2801 Bridge Ave., Cleveland (Ohio City)
With a fantastic carry out menu with drinks, it is hard to beat a date night at home with the Black Pig. Create your own multi-course meal, add some cocktails to go, and enjoy from the comfort of your own home.
Some favorites include the pork collar, pan roasted duck, and the executive decision cocktail.
5417 Detroit Ave., Cleveland (Detroit Shoreway)
For delicious small plates and charcuterie or cheese boards, Astoria is perfect for a Cleveland at home date night. Order from their menu to-go, and definitely purchase some wine to pair with it!
In 2021, they’re also offering a special Valentine’s Day menu to-go, which includes dinner and wine for 2 for $75. See full menu here.
5. Valentine’s Day to-go
Speaking of local restaurants offering special to-go menus for Valentine’s Day in 2021, there are lots of options this year.
Some of our favorites include:
- Batuqui The Flavor of Brasil
- Bruno’s Ristorante
- L’Albatros Brasserie
- Luxe Kitchen and Lounge
- Mallorca Restaurant
- Pier W
Find a larger list with full menus available here.
Date nights certainly look far different from a couple of years ago, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be just as romantic and special. With a little creativity both as a couple and the many companies in Cleveland adapting to the times, it’s still possible to enjoy a great date night in a safer way.
What are your favorite go-to date night ideas in Cleveland this year?
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Kat is a Cleveland transplant and has lived here for over 5 years. She loves to eat, drink, and explore all across the city, and has made it her personal mission to find the best breweries and pizza in Northeast Ohio. She also runs a couples travel blog and podcast called World Wide Honeymoon.