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Date Ideas for Lovers or Friends

Whether or not you have a valentine this February, you can still have fun with these out-of-the-box date ideas.

Written by: Abigail Preiszig

Indoor Rock Climbing

If you and your counterpart are into physical challenges, then rock climbing may be perfect for you!

Nosotros Rock Climbing gym has both a Lakewood and Cleveland location. An all-day pass and gear rental costs about $23. With this pass, you can bounce between locations and come and go as you please throughout the day. If you visit the Lakewood gym, you can also visit Ohio City Burrito across the street after you finish working up an appetite. Nosotros is a nonprofit — their mission is to “use rockholds to help households” by donating time, money and services to communities in need. There are 100 different climbing routes, each with their own start and end tag, making this the perfect gym for beginners.

Shaker Rocks is located in Shaker Heights. An adult day pass including rental gear will cost about $33. This rock climbing gym is much larger, offering 14,000 square feet of climbing, over 200 routes, 40-foot roped walls and bouldering. Their mission is to “improve people’s quality of life by providing opportunities to experience joy, and to create connections to a caring and supportive community” through climbing, and their purpose is to “provide a unique opportunity for sport, camaraderie and civic pride.”

Wine or Coffee Flights

Little Birdie Wine Nest is a great place to connect and have fun with your date. It is a “retail wine and tasting shop that features a coffee bar, fitness classes, a unique gift shop, and sip + create art studio” in Parma, OH. With a wide array of social activities, Little Birdie Wine Nest always has something fun planned. They blew up on TikTok for their fun coffee and wine flights, and they host trivia nights at 6:30 every Tuesday with various themes. Some upcoming February themes include Golden Girls, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Wedding Crashers, and Bridesmaids trivia. Some other fun events in February include a Valentine’s Day Wine & S’mores Party (2/11), Galentine's Day brunch (2/12), and a Sip & Style Valentine’s Grazing Board Workshop (2/14).

Thrift Shop Challenge

How well does your partner, bestie or crush know your style? For this date idea go to a thrift store of your choice and take 15 to 20 minutes to find each other an outfit. This includes tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories and more! Meet up at the fitting rooms and try on your creations, or buy the clothes and wear them out — no excuses.


If you and your date are broke or looking to give back to the community, volunteering is usually free and there are plenty of opportunities in the Cleveland area. This is a great way to get to know your partner and do something good for the community at the same time.

If you want to help people:

St. Malachi Parish serves a Monday Night Meal. Volunteers are asked to come between 5-5:30 and can leave around 7:15 to help prepare, serve and clean up.

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is always looking for volunteers to sort and repack donations, assist in preparing lunches, refrigerate donations, and distribute food to the community. They list various volunteer opportunities throughout the month on an online calendar.

If you want to help animals:

Volunteering with animals is a bigger commitment because you are typically required to go to prior training sessions, and this can be a good test to your relationship — are they willing to commit?

Berea Animal Rescue Friends is looking for volunteers to feed, exercise, socialize and train animals, clean and disinfect cages, and participate in community awareness programs and adoption events.

Secondhand Mutts is a volunteer-operated cage-free and friendly dog adoption center.

If you prefer nature:

The Cleveland Metroparks have many volunteer opportunities that typically take place in the spring. If you can’t formally volunteer with the Metroparks, you and your date can always pick up litter of your own accord.

Support local theater

Dinner and a movie is the most basic date there is, so why not spice it up by going to see a play or musical instead? Near West Theater is located in Gordon Square. Their mission is to “build loving relationships and engage diverse people in strengthening their sense of identity, passion, and purpose, individually and in community, through accessible, affordable and transformational theatre arts experiences.” This February they will be performing The Fantasticks, a story about two children tricked into falling in love written by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. The performance will be on weekends only, opening February 11th and closing February 20th. The suggested price for tickets is $15, but they have a “pay what you can policy” to make tickets affordable to all. Gordon Square is also a hub of many trendy and delicious restaurants such as The Boiler 65, Blue Habanero Street Tacos and XYZ the Tavern.


Karaoke is a great way for you and your date to have a laugh and enjoy yourselves, whether that is by pushing one another out of your comfort zones to sing in front of strangers, or simply observing those brave enough to perform. Many bars host weekly or monthly karaoke nights, but at Corky’s Place in Lakewood, every night is karaoke night. The drinks at this dive bar are cheap, and the atmosphere is fun and casual. Karaoke begins at 7pm, and be sure to get there early if you want to sing — the roster fills up quickly.

If you desire privacy and a more upscale experience, Galaxy KTV in Cleveland combines both American and Asian styles of karaoke through their public lounge and 15 private rooms. A private room can be rented for up to two hours, and can accommodate 4 - 20 people (great for a double date). Pricing ranges from $40 to $90 and each room comes with a fruit tray. For the public lounge, there is a $10 cover. They serve a variety of food and drink. The lounge is open to all on the weekend, but only open to parties of 10 or more on a weekday.

Both Corky’s Place and Galaxy KTV are 21+ and sadly, there are no karaoke bars in Cleveland that allow people under 21.


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