Between work and keeping an eye on the kids, it’s a wonder parents ever find any time to themselves. But if carving out time for a date night tops your to-do list, you can’t go wrong when you plan a date night at one of these Seattle spots. From axe throwing to laser tag to field trips specially designed just for grown-ups, here are 17 date night spots to try on your next free weekend.
Editor’s note: As things continue to evolve with COVID, please double check hours and availability at individual locations before booking that sitter.
Blade & Timber Axe Throwing
Because nothing says "I love you" like a little head-to-head axe throwing competition, you've got every reason to plan your next date night at this Seattle hot spot. Come as a pair or bring your besties to experience a date night that's not easily classified. Book a private lane if you've got a big group or plan to share if it's just the two of you. Then come prepared to learn the ropes from a certified coach who will walk you through how to throw the axe and score the game. Closed-toed shoes are a must to play, but the buffalo plaid is optional. Outside food is a welcomed addition here, but you can also opt for low-key snacks they sell on-site. As of this writing, water and soda are available for purchase but alcohol is not. Aim for a different kind of date night here.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 2-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. `11 a.m.-9 p.m.
206 Broadway E.
Burke Museum NiteLife
Editor's note: Although the Burke Museum is open, the NiteLife program is on hold. Consider registering for the Burke Trivia Night as an alternative.
Because sometimes dates should be educational, the Burke Museum is hosting NiteLife for adults who want to learn while they woo. First in the series, NiteLife: Earth lets couples get up close and personal with the museum's rocks and minerals and area experts while they explore. Expect groundbreaking activities like performances throughout the museum, photo ops with drag artists set on rocking the theme, and a DJ to spin the some earth-shattering tuneage. Throw in a themed cocktail and you’ve got yourself a night to remember.
Earth will be the first element featured in the series, followed by Fire, Wind, Water and Heart, every other month. If you and your other half dig the experience, consider getting a Nocturnal membership. It pays for itself in just two visits ($70 for individuals; $110 for two) and includes all the Burke’s after-hours events.
Good to know: The ticket price includes access to the activities, plus one drink ($5 per if you want more). Food can be purchased from Off the Rez food truck if hunger hits. Psst..choose your wardrobe wisely—jewel tones might earn you a special prize.
Cost: $35/person; $25/members
4300 15th Ave. N.E.
Seattle, WA 98108
Random fact: a "flatstick" is slang for a golf putter. At Flatstick + Pub, couples can combine one of America’s favorite activities with a bar. Each Flatstick Pub location has a similar look and feel highlighting the art of local artist, Ryan ‘Henry’ Ward. But each offers a unique and completely different experience. Whether in Kirkland or Seattle, expect to find a highly creative nine-hole course with various “water hazards” and obstacles to avoid like beer kegs or whimsical creatures.
Date night bonus: Flatstick Pub is also home to the original Duffleboard, a tabletop version of mini golf. This twist on the game was created by the owners of the pub and requires a special handheld putter. This game is just as simple and can be played by people of all skill levels. Score!
Good to know: All three Flatstick locations offer beer, wine, cider and soft drinks and will most certainly offer a good time. However, if you'd like to enjoy a meal with your game, the South Lake Union location is the best choice as it features a restaurant overseen by Ethan Stowell Restaurants featuring brick oven pizzas and pub classics such as chicken wings, jalapeño poppers and fried mushrooms.
Hours and prices vary by location.
15 Lake St., Suite 100
Kirkland, WA 98033
240 2nd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
South Lake Union
609 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Remember when roller skating was cool? It still is at Pattison's West, only now you can hang out with the cool kids during Adult Skate Nights. If it has been a while since you last laced up a pair skates, you'll be surprised to see how much things have changed.
Boasting as being one of the highest regarded skating rinks in America, Pattison’s West features a state-of-the-art music sound system, LED lighting and a super smooth maplewood rotunda skate floor. (We're not exactly sure what that is, but it sounds impressive!) The first Saturday of every night is set aside for Sip & Skate Nights featuring what Pattison's calls an adult variety of music and adult beverages"(beer and wine) giving a new meaning to "snack bar." The rink also offers Adult Rhythm Skate Nights on Sundays and Wednesdays featuring R&B, Fund, House and Hip Hop music.
Sip and Skate Hours: 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Adult Skate Hours: Wed., Fri. & Sun., 8:15-11 p.m.
34222 Pacific Hwy. S.
Federal Way, WA 98003
The only thing hotter than molten steel is smashing that metal into lifetime memories. Wait, isn’t that also called blacksmithing? For date night? Sure! This is all about playing with fire and gigantic tools (the kind of thing your six-year-old dreams about) and making stuff like horseshoe knives, bottle openers and garden art. Or use your creativity and immortalize your beloved in iron. Impress guests with a medieval cheeseboard and knife, or bust out chop sticks and wasabi bowls that look like props from Game of Thrones. Anything’s possible. If you can think it, you can forge it. No phones, no computers. Just fire, hammers and gloved hands. And anvils, don’t forget the anvils.
What started one weekend with friends forging knives from railroad spikes (as one does) became an inspiring bonding activity for Seattle creatives and couples who want to build something everlasting. (Metaphor alert!) Lawless Forge transports participants to an old-world blacksmith shop...except with electricity and indoor plumbing. Picture the village smithy now with his crystal ball: “They want to pay? To be a blacksmith?!” Oh yes. Yes we do. Pass the tongs!
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (by appointment only)
3600 E. Marginal Way S., Studio 8
Seattle, WA 98134
Have a fun date night and help protect sea life at the same time; that is the goal of Ocean5. Named after the five great oceans of the earth, this entertainment hub goes above and beyond bringing sustainable practices to the entertainment industry, including decorating with carpets made from recycled fishing nets and using locally sourced and reused building materials. However, they know that having fun is just as important.
Laser Tag is a really big deal here. Ocean5 features a two-story laser tag arena that can accommodate up to 40 people per game! (Not that you would bring 38 people on your date night, but it's nice to know that you could.) They offer both regular 10 Pin Bowling as well as Duckpin where everything is the same but smaller. Psst! Fans of the sport think it's twice the fun. The game room here also features over 50 classic games and after 10 p.m., it’s adults only. Score!
Good to know: Ocean5 offers special events like Paint & Sip nights, rock 'n' roll bingo, concerts, football Sundays, Wine Down Wednesdays, comedy nights and more. Also located on the Ocean5 premises is Table 47, a restaurant, bar, coffee lounge combo featuring over 40 beers and wine on tap as well as specialty cocktails. The food is special, too. Diners can expect to find pulled pork sliders, crispy Brussels sprouts, flatbreads, burgers, Chimichurri steak, baja shrimp tacos and more on the robust menu.
Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 3-9 p.m.; Fri., 3 p.m.-midnight; Sat., 9 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
5268 Point Fosdick Dr.
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
The goal of Vertex Arena is to connect people through the power of play and provide experiences that are both engaging and healthy by actually encouraging people to move around. They say that people who come here get a chance to “express their true inner eccentric through jump and movement, connect with their fellow man through lighthearted competition and relax with a shareable food experience.” You can’t beat that!
Vertex Arena is also a place to feel like a kid again with a variety of trampolines, Nerf guns, bows and arrow, dodge ball a ninja course and virtual reality chamber. Who wouldn’t want to freefall into a pool of foam squares, play a game of basketball while bouncing off of a trampoline, play a game of tag with Nerf products or balance on an obstacle course?
Good to know: Recharge at the Sideline Restaurant & Bar featuring freshly made thin crust pizzas, sliders, sandwiches, fish & chips, chicken wings and more, plus a list of beverages that range from Jones Soda to craft cocktails.
Hours: Mon., Tues. & Thurs. 3-9 p.m.; Wed., noon-9 p.m.; Fri., noon-10 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
10700 231st Way N.E.
Redmond, WA 98053
PacSci at Night
Editor's note: Although in-person PacSci at Night is still paused, PacSci often offers 21+ events online.
Science can be sexy at “PacSci at Night,” the special collection of Pacific Science Center events aimed at the 21+ crowd. Here you can try virtual reality, enjoy a craft beer before watching the latest IMAX feature film release and check out all of the fun exhibits you wanted to see the last time you were visiting with your children but didn't want to look foolish.
Good to know: Special events are planned each month at PSC, including happy hours, Brewology mixers, "Science in the City” talks, Laser Dome shows and the 4th Dimension virtual reality experience. A variety of parties are also held throughout the year, including their larger-than-large New Year's Eve party. Purchase a PacSci Fusion membership which will give you the biggest bang for your buck. It's a great deal, but doesn’t include babysitting.
200 2nd Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Bowlero/Garage Billiards & Bowl
Bowling has changed a lot since Fred and Barney’s bowling league days. And Bowerlo has helped to change the recreational sport’s image with the exception of those shoes. Today, these centers feature the latest technology in bowling but with a retro feel. It’s hip without being silly. The lounge areas and sports bars feature oversized shareables and signature cocktails. And the Lynnwood and Tukwila locations features 40 lanes and arcade games for the kid in you. The Garage Billiards & Bowl location is slightly smaller with just 20 lanes, but also features 25 pool tables, outdoor seating and a fire pit.
Hours and prices vary by location.
1222 164th St. S.W.
Lynnwood, WA 98087
Bowlero South Seattle
100 Andover Pkwy. W.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Garage Billiards & Bowl
Seattle, WA 98122
The Field Trip Society
We experience pangs of envy when the kids go off to the Seattle Aquarium and MoPOP and MOHAI. They get to spend the entire day learning and exploring and wondering. Why do kids get to have all the fun? Enter Field Trip Society, experiential event planners who produce academic excursions for adults. Their motto is “Semper Quaerens” (Always Searching) and that translates to a mind-boggling array of potential outings for curious couples who love to learn. Want to acquire the knowledge of how to make pies, or the history of caviar, or how to forage for mushrooms, or fly fish, or star gaze? Field Trip Society has you covered. No permission slip required!
The Field Trip Society locates passionate experts who are excited to convey their know-how to eager acolytes. Small class sizes and informal classrooms make it fun for everyone. Frequent venues include pubs and restaurants, because if you’re going to learn to macrame, wood-fired pizza and a glass of Syrah couldn’t hurt.
Field Trip Society
Mox Boarding House
If you're a game player–any type of game player–you’ve got to visit Mox Boarding House. It’s a perfect venue that can accommodate any type of date whether it’s just you and your significant other, a double date or even (sigh) a date night out with the kids. No really. This place features every kind of board or role-playing game you can imagine. Simply check them out from their library for free while dining in their full-service restaurant or enjoying drinks in the bar or a simple dessert for two. And if you fall in love with the game, you can purchase it in their retail store. Just remember, the one who wins the game has to put everything back in the box like you found it.
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-midnight; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-midnight
5105 Leary Ave. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107
13310 Bel-Red Rd.
Bellevue, WA 98005
Editor's note: Dusty Strings' private lessons have moved online.
Always wanted to play drums, bass or drumandbass? Dusty Strings is where souls soar on the wings of music. Grab your partner and find your mutual melody. Dusty Strings gives group and private lessons for the musically inclined or curious. Choose from autoharp, banjo, bass, bodhran, bones, bouzouki, button accordion, concertina, dobro, fiddle and violin, flute, guitar, hammered dulcimer, harmonica, harp, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, pennywhistle, piano, songwriting, ukulele and voice and singing (move over karaoke!). Whew!
Hold hands, take a deep breath and brave a group class. They are fun, welcoming and stress-free. In this safe group environment, couples bring their instruments and dive in, gaining confidence playing music together. Teachers might encourage an electronic tuner, picks, staff or TAB paper, a capo, music stand, foot stool, recording device or other items. No idea? No problem. Just call or email the friendly staff and tell them you are a musical noob and they will guide you.
Good to know: Private lessons provide the most individual attention. And they’re the best choice if you prefer learning two-on-one. Any place that advertises for hammered dulcimer makers is sure to be intriguing. The best part is choosing from a vast list of obscure instruments and giving them a try with someone you love. Isn’t being a couple all about making beautiful music together?
3406 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Jet City Improv
If your partner in crime’s sense of humor is part of your attraction, get in line for the Jet City Improv’s weekly Monday night Improv Dojo class, where comic artists (experienced and beginners) exercise their funny bones on stage with a bunch of strangers. Each week’s drop-in class (it caps at 18 performers) features a different teaching artist, all of whom work at Jet City, and a different topic to be explored. Past classes have included playing with courage, developing a character and storytelling boot camp. But no matter what class you land in, you’ll stretch the limits of your dramatic range by being both audience member and active participant in the evening’s plans.
Hours: Mon., 6-8 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.)
Cost: $12/person; $36 punch cards available for four admissions
5510 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
Let’s face it: no matter how athletic and active you were before kids, having a Little or two at home makes workouts just a tad more, well, work. Why not grab your spandex and your sweetie and head to Stone Gardens’ Ballard or Bellevue location for an exciting evening helping each other balance, stretch and climb your way to the top? Dubbed “The Climbers’ Gym,” Stone Gardens offers 2.5 hour Climbing 101 classes three nights a week (Mon., Wed. & Fri. from 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.) and two afternoons on the weekends (Sat. and Sun. from 3:30 p.m.-6 p.m.), where you will learn the basics of rock climbing, including climbing safety checks and belaying (climber-speak for managing the climber’s rope).
The student-teacher ratio is always 4:1, absolutely no experience is necessary and all gear can be rented on site. Mamas, are you worried you may not have the upper body strength to climb successfully? You have no need to fret because we’re told climbing is less about muscle and more about balance and problem-solving, skills we moms have in spades! The best news is, all classes include a two-week membership that will allow you (and maybe your kids, next time) to come back and test out your mad climbing skillz. What better and fun way to get your sweat on with your significant other?
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $55 (includes 2 week membership to both locations)
2839 N.W. Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
15600 N.E. 8th St., Ste. C-1
Bellevue, WA 98008
Hot Stove Society
Let’s face it–cooking after having kids sometimes falls into the same ho-hum category as laundry, unloading the dishwasher and vacuuming Cheerios out of the minivan. Luckily, the wide (as in enormous) variety of jaw droppingly delicious cooking classes at Hot Stove Society will turn ho-hum into hot tamale in seconds! Founded by beloved Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas (who sometimes shows up to teach a class), Hot Stove offers the freshest, fun and most downright delicious cooking classes this side of Le Cordon Bleu, at a fraction of the price.
Classes such as Potsticker Love with Hsiao-Ching and Knife Skills will bring your cooking game up a notch, but we’re partial to the classes that let you snuggle up with an adult beverage (and your favorite adult) while you cook. Along with classes like Wine Press and Tom Douglas’ World Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie, you really can’t go wrong planning the perfect date night with Hot Stove Society.
Good to know: Classes fill up quickly, so if you see a class that sounds interesting sign up now!
2000 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Seattle Donut Boat Co.
Because picnics in the grass are so yesterday, impress your significant other with an experience he or she will never forget. The Seattle Donut Boat Company offers one of the most unique and easy ways to wine and dine across Lake Union. These boats are so easy to operate, no skipper is required (although we aren't going to lie, keeping the boat headed in a straight path can be a challenge) and while they make for a nice romantic afternoon out on the water, these little guys will actually seat up to six people quite comfortably. It's best to make a reservation ahead of time, so Chief Donut Officers John and Steve or one of their friendly crew can get you and your party aboard and sailing away within ten minutes.
Traveling at a top speed of four miles per hour, these donut boats operate with a super-quiet electric motor. Don't expect to get anywhere fast (it will take you about 45 minutes to get from the dock to Gas Works Park) and don't plan on docking anywhere. But that's not the point, is it? Whether you choose to go as a group or just the two of you, you'll sit quite comfortably with the padded seating and the wide umbrella on top that can be opened or shut depending on your preference. On chilly days, the Donut crew will even offer you a blanket or two before you go.
There really aren't any rules during your two-hour excursion. We recommend packing a picnic and taking along some tunes. Heck, bring the dog along if you'd like. And be sure to swing by the many houseboats. Just remember to keep a healthy distance away from the water planes coming and going on Lake Union. A weekday outing is the best as there is little boat traffic and the water is calm, but really, any time is a good time to take a donut boat ride.
Dates: Mid-March to end of September
Times: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1-3 p.m., 3:30-5:30 p.m., 6-8 p.m. and 7:45-8:45 p.m. (one hour Sunset Cruise)
Cost : $200 for two hours or $125 for a one-hour sunset cruise
1001 Fairview Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
As if you needed yet another reason to drink beer, the folks at Cycle Saloon have found one for you. This crazy contraption seats 16 guests who peddle around the streets of Ballard on various pub crawls or brewery tours. It will surely make your kids jealous, but tough nuggets kiddos, mom and dad need their exercise!
Despite its name, riders don’t actually drink and drive (drinking on the bike is the same as drinking in public and carries all the same consequences under the law). But during this excursion, you don’t have worry about driving at all. That's because each oversized bike comes with its own driver. There are five pedaling seats on each side of the vehicle, a bench in the back that seats three non-pedaling guests and one standing spot in the middle for what they've deemed for the “dancer.” And guess what? You can bring any food and non-alcoholic beverages aboard as well.
Beginning and ending at 4425 Shilshole Ave. N.W., party tours run daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round; though the summer months are the busiest times. You can book individually or as a group. Just remember...all riders must at least 21 years of age and all peddlers need to be at least 5’3”.
And if that wasn’t enough, the company also operates the Cycle Saloon Pontoon which operates with the same principle on water taking you around South Lake Union. Although dubbed the "booze cruise,” the pontoon doesn’t make any stops for liquor during its 1.5 hour tour. Even so, you still must be 21 to hop aboard.
Cost: Cycle Saloon is $30/person or $360-$400 for a full bike; Cycle Saloon Pontoon is $375-$425 for a full pontoon
The Cycle Saloon
—Jeffrey Totey, Natalie Compagno & Allison Sutcliffe