By: Sally Hodges

Summer is the time to get out and explore, check off those to-do lists, try that restaurant with the pretty patio and always changing taps. It can also be a great time to mix up your date night routine. The days are longer and there is more time to try something new. At various seasons in your life you’ve likely found yourself in routine. Routine can be a good way for us to stay on track to meet goals, set boundaries, and reduce stress. However, it can also create boredom and apathy in places like our sex lives, communication styles, and yes, date night.

This is my list of things to do in the KC metro to make your next date night one that you want to keep reliving. You won’t find a restaurant review or a new wine list, but you will find fun. That is, unless the babysitter tells you the kids haven’t fallen asleep when you get home.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Right in our own backyard we have a nationally recognized art museum. It is an icon of our city and with over 33,000 works of art, a must see. Go while it is still light outside so you have time to talk around the sculpture gardens that span the length of their lawn.

Why I love it: It is free. I like free because it means you can add fun additions to the night and not feel like you are breaking your budget just to get alone time. For an added bonus go on Thursday nights in the summer and do the museum first and then a free showing of Shakespeare in the Park outside the museum. Bring a picnic basket, chairs and be ready to reconnect. More here.

Up Down Arcade Bar: Remember the thrill you felt as a child walking in to an arcade with a handful of tokens and nothing to lose. You can relive those moments and they are even better now with a beer instead of a Kool-Aid and your life partner beating your high score rather than your older brother. At Up Down Arcade bar you play over 50 arcade games from Ms. Pacman to Pinball and Nintendo 64 to Lifesize Connect Four. Games start at only 25 cents.

Why I love it: This date night allows you to play, be silly and laugh at yourself. A little healthy competition gets the heat going in your relationship. For an added bonus go early on Friday nights. The first 100 guest get 20 free tokens. More here.

Cliff Drive: By drive, I mean bike ride, walk/run or a car drive (but only on weekdays). Sometimes the best city dates are to just get out of the city all together. Located in Northeast KC, Cliff Drive is a 4.5 mile historic and scenic drive.

Why I love it: Getting out in the fresh open air will always do your body, mind and relationship some good. Take a weekday afternoon/evening to drive if that is your preferred method or go on the weekend with your bikes while the route is car free. More here.

Green Lady Lounge: Think about the last romance scene you saw in a movie. What song was playing? I’m willing to bet the background music to that passionate kissing was Jazz. Jazz is the music of romance and where better to cultivate romance than date night.No cover, live music, and TV free makes the Green Lady Lounge a place to reconnect and enjoy each other’s company. I’d still encourage you to give this place a try even if you’ve never been to a Jazz lounge. It’s a good kind of uncomfortable when we try new things.

Why I love it: In Jazz music it’s unlikely you will hear the same song more than once. Green Lady Lounge ensures this is true with an ever changing line up of bands. More here.

The Ceramic Café: The last time your kids suggested finger painting, did you sit down at the table and join them? If not, maybe your creative side could use a boost. There is something about letting our minds go in an art project. Our defensiveness drops, our stress level lowers and we connect to the artist within.

Why I love it: When we are more relaxed but also focused on a task, conversations tend to flow with more ease. Whether you are just discussing how your week turned out or deciding which family of in-laws you’ll be visiting for the Holidays, having an art project to focus on keeps the conversation softer. The Ceramic Café has something for everyone whether you want to paint pottery or fuse glass, you’ll find something of interest. For an added bonus, The Ceramic Café offers classes. So, if you are feeling extra creative sign up for a class to guarantee a regular date night. More here.

Maybe my list of ideas isn’t how you’d define fun and you are still looking for something to do. One of my favorite ways to find what’s going on in my community is using the Facebook Events tool. From concerts to comedy, ice cream tastings to cooking class. Just put in your zip code and voila, an up to date list of the latest and greatest going on around you.

Honorary Mentions:
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Couples Cooking Class
Drive-In Movie Theatre
Kansas City Botanical Garden
Escape Room

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