If you can’t get the words to “Baby Shark” out of your head, you need a break. In fact, you need a date night! Sure, dinner and movie would be nice but how about something a bit more adventurous? From cruising around Lake Union on a donut boat to cruising the streets of Ballard in search of the city’s best breweries, scroll down for 11 unique date night experiences sure to ignite the flames of love with your sweetie.

photo: Jeff Totey

Seattle Donut Boat Co.

Because picnics in the grass are so yesterday, impress your significant other with an experience they'll 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 4 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 all 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.

Seattle Donut Boat Co.
1001 Fairview Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Online: seattledonutboat.com

Dates: Mid-March to end of September
Times: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., 1 p.m.-3 p.m., 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m., 6 p.m.-8 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.-8:45 p.m. (one hour Sunset Cruise)
Cost : $200 for two hours or $125 for one-hour sunset cruise


Cycle Saloon

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.

The Cycle Saloon
Online: thecyclesaloon.com

Cost: Cycle Saloon is $30/person or $360-$400 for a full bike; Cycle Saloon Pontoon is $375-$425 for a full pontoon

photo: Lawless Forge

Lawless Forge

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!

Lawless Forge
3600 E. Marginal Way S., Studio 8
Seattle, WA 98134
Online: lawlessforge.com

Hours: Mon-Sun, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (by appointment only)

photo: Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew

Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew

Beer. Seattle makes it, everyone drinks it, the world is a better place. But what if we could somehow unlock the code to this elusive elixir and procure the formula to the divine drink from the beerluminati? Gallagher’s Where-U-Brew is the place to turn ale-centric aspirations into liquid delights. Call ahead of time to reserve a kettle. First consultation takes two hours—perfect for date night. Brainstorm with the friendly Gallagher’s staff and specify a blend. Name check your favorite, is it a mellow amber, crisp pilsner, dark ale or dry-hopped IPA? Gallagher’s will help translate your mouth’s wishes into an action plan.

Two weeks of fermentation later: boom, bottling. Be there to lovingly pour every ounce into every bottle, taking full ownership of your alcoholic ambrosia. A full batch provides 135 bottles of farm fresh brew to accompany visitors home—more than enough to last a week or three! So the next time the kids are buggin’ let them know, for date night, Mommy and Daddy made a secret home brew. And now we’re gonna drink it. 

Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew
180 W Dayton St., Ste 105
Edmonds, WA 98020
Online: whereubrew.com

Hours: Tue.-Fri. 2-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Mondays.

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
Online: fieldtripsociety.com

photo: Salsa N’ Seattle

Salsa N’ Seattle

Nothing that can be enjoyed in public is more intimate or sensual than dance. Join Victor and Julia on a sexy, global dance tour while wooing your mate like you’re still freshmen on the Ave. Salsa is the inspiration for this studio but if that doesn’t convince, choose from Bachata, Bollywood, Hip Hop, Kizomba, Mixxedfit and more. Salsa classes run as a four-week series; couples can join on the first or second class of any series and the first class at the studio is always free!

Impress your mate with your knowledge of Bachata or Kizomba. Bachata is an African/European rhythm that originated in the Dominican Republic. It accents salsa moves and creates a whole new vibe without being intimidating. Kizomba—and who doesn’t want to say Kizomba—was created in Angola, part traditional Angolan semba and part zouk music from the French Caribbean. It is both a dance and music style and encourages close partner connection. Cue sparks flying!

Julia and Victor, from St. Petersburg and Mexico City, are charming and welcoming, and have been teaching salsa since they opened. They invite guests to have fun, meet interesting people, learn from the most talented instructors teaching today and dance! When you step into their studio, prepare to enter a world of global dance culture and international mystery…right here in Seattle.

Salsa N’ Seattle
2000 S. Jackson St.
Seattle, WA 98144
Online: salsanseattle.com

photo: Dusty Strings

Dusty Strings

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.

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?

Dusty Strings
3406 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Online: dustystrings.com

photo: Todd Gardiner

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.

Jet City Improv
5510 University Way N.E.
Seattle, WA 98105
Online: jetcityimprov.org/classes/dojo

Hours: Mondays from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.). View upcoming classes here.
Cost: $12/person; $36 punch cards available for four admissions 

photo: Truc Allen Media

Stone Gardens

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. and Fri. from 7-9:30 p.m.) and two afternoons on the weekends (Sat. and Sun. 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 spouse?

2839 N.W. Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
Online: stonegardens.com/seattle

15600 N.E. 8th St., Ste. C-1
Bellevue, WA 98008
Online: stonegardens.com/bellevue

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)

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
Online: hotstovesociety.com

When: Classes occur on various days and times and rates vary. Click here for the list.

photo: Michael Doucett

Teatro ZinZanni

Admittedly, there are nights when finding the energy to participate in a class is too much for busy parents. For those nights, when you just want to watch someone else do the work (and who could blame you!), take in the latest and greatest Teatro ZinZanni production—a three-hour playful romp with plenty of whimsy, joy and LOL moments to last you until your next date night. During a Teatro ZinZanni experience, you and your better half get to enjoy the comedy, songs and aerial arts of this over the top, under the big top production that includes a decadent meal and wine flights, as well talented performers who might have you rethinking your day job. Our favorite part? The real-life couples who perform in the show. See if you can spot them from your seats! Three cheers for wishful thinking!

Teatro Zinzanni
14200 N.E. 145th St.
Woodinville WA 98072
Ticket office: 206-802-0015
Online: zinzanni.com/seattle

—Jeffrey Totey, Natalie Compagno & Allison Sutcliffe


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