Your Guide to Great Summer Date Ideas in Cincinnati

All the date night ideas you didn’t know you needed, all compiled into one handy list and updated all season long.

Whether you are in a fresh relationship, a steady one, or have been married for years, dating should remain the same: fun and exciting. While dinner and a movie might be a staple, try spicing things up with this list of fun date night ideas happening around the tri-state, which we’ll update all summer long.

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Experience one of the world’s most renowned artists like never before. Step into one of Vincent Van Goghs paintings with this 20,000-square-foot light and musical encounter that projects the artist’s most captivating works across two stories. June–August, 18 W. Fourth St., downtown. Adults $34.90 adults, children $19.90. 

Photography By Dan Swartz for Exhibition Hub & Fever

Candlelight Concerts

Enjoy a variety of different, intimate orchestral concerts bathed in candlelight. At The Transcept, attend your favorite Taylor Swift setlist, or go for a more classic option with Vivaldis Four Seasons. Witness a rock tribute at Rhinegeist Brewery with symphonic tributes to The Beatles and Queen. May–July, tickets $25. 

Summer Cinema at Washington Park

This free movie screening in Washington Park brings a fresh take to dinner and a movie. Dust off your lawn chairs and pack your favorite blanket because this might become a primary date night for the summer. While movies start at 9 p.m., you and your significant other will want to get there early to enjoy the onsite bar and food trucks. Find the 2022 movie lineup hereWashington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine.

Photograph courtesy Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

Shakespeare in the Park

This free summer event brings the Bard’s works to life in 40 area parks July 15 through September 4. Attracting over 10,000 patrons each summer, this event is a date night go-to for people across the city. This year, the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will be presenting the show, Twelfth Night.  

StoneBrook Winery Sunset Cruise

Enjoy this unique Ohio River experience with BB Riverboats and StoneBrook Winery, where guests will enjoy a buffet dinner, StoneBrook wines, live music, and a gorgeous sunset as they coast down the river. All seating is reserved. BB Riverboats, 1 Riverboat Row, Newport. Adults $69, children $51.

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden 

The second-oldest zoo in the United States and home of the world-famous hippo Fiona, a visit to the Cincinnati Zoo is a quintessential summer day date. Find your share of fun while seeing your favorite animals and basking in the romantic tranquility of the gardens. 3400 Vine St., Avondale. General admission $22.50 – $28.50 for ages 13-61 and $16.50 – $22.50 for ages 62+. 

Rockin’ The Roebling

Moerlein Lager House presents this free concert series every Thursday this summer. Listen to Cincinnati bands while indulging in some soft pretzels and beer cheese and sipping on a cold crisp beer. Pack a blanket for when you’re done eating so that you can listen to the bands as you lounge on the Schmidlapp Event Lawn in Smale Riverfront Park. Find the full lineup of artists here. Food and beverages for purchase upon arrival. Thursdays May 19–Sept 1, 6–10 pm, Smale Riverfront Park, 166 W. Mehring Way. Free.

Krohn Conservatory Butterfly Shows 

Now through June 19, feel as if you have stepped into the Ancient Egyptian Gardens as you are immersed in the Butterflies of the Nile” experience. As you walk around the lush palms and flowers of what the ancient gardens used to be like, youll enjoy the colorful butterflies as they float gracefully around you. Tickets are available for purchase onsite or on their website. Capacity is limited in the showroom, so plan accordingly. Wednesday March 16-June 19, 10-7 pm, Cincinnati Parks, 1501 Eden Park Dr. General Admission $10 for ages 18+.

Salsa on the Square 

Get your hips moving with this spicy live music event. Each week there will be a different live local and regional Latin band offering a variety of styles including Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, and Latin Jazz. There will also be local dance instructors hosting large dance classes for those wanting to learn a new skill. Work up an appetite from all the dancing? Enjoy the tacos, tostadas, guacamole, and bar services provided by Mazunte. Food and beverages are available for purchase upon arrival. 

Every Thursday, May 5-Sept 30, 7-10pm. Free to the community. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St.

Summit Park Observation Tower

Offering a variety of events and opportunities throughout the summer – the observation tower makes for a great date night to catch a sunset or shop local goods at their Wednesday farmers market. Into fitness? Try yoga, Zumba, or line dancing classes through the end of September. Year-round, Monday-Thursday 7am-9pm. Friday-Sunday 7am-10pm. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Rd.

Photography by Claire Poirier

Analog Coffee Bar at Carabello

Bringing you a chef’s table experience of coffee mocktails, Carabello provides a specialty coffee bar within its main coffee house. Set up a reservation with your partner for a night full of curated coffee tasting and desserts. You will hear all about their current coffee selection and what makes their menu unique. Their current menu focuses on the herbs and flowers of spring, and new menus roll out every six weeks. Only six seats are available at the Analog bar. Year-round. Thursday-Saturday, 10 am–5 pm. Newport, 107 E. Ninth St. Prices vary. 

Movie Nights at Nightlight 

Looking for a movie night exclusively for adults? NightLight is your go-to destination for the citys finest local food trucks, craft beer, and wine. Featuring classics like, The Breakfast Club,” and Fight Club,” this 21 and up cinematic experience will leave you with a full stomach and a full heart. Make sure to get there early with your blankets and pillows to set up your movie-watching spot and groove to the pre-movie DJ. Food trucks vary each event. Food and beverages additional cost upon arrival. Thursdays June 16-October 14, 6:45-11 pm. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way. General admission $9.99, early entry $14.99. 

Picnic Around Town

We may not have a beach along the coast, but the Ohio River will do. Grab a blanket, your favorite snack or meal, and picnic down by The Banks. It’s the perfect way to spice up a lunch or dinner date, while staying budget-friendly for those looking for something cheap. Wanting to escape downtown? Try a picnic in Ault Park with its beautiful greenery and lush trees.

Kings Island Summer Concert Series

Kings Island’s summer tradition is even better this year—for the first time, you won’t have to purchase park tickets in order to attend these shows. This summer’s schedule is packed with performers, including the Avett Brothers, 3 Doors Down, and many more. However, if you’re looking for both concerts and coasters, the park is perfect for a thrilling night out. Tickets available after 5 p.m., with free parking

16-Bit Bar & Arcade and Pins

With over 50 classics available to play, you can 1v1 your date while sipping on a video game-themed cocktail. Plus, if you drink, you can play any of the arcade games for free. Happy hour is every Monday-Friday until 7 p.m., with $2 off signature cocktails, drafts, and wine. 16-Bit is also housed in Pins, so you can enjoy some duckpin bowling, pinball, foosball or ping pong if the screen isn’t your style. 1124 Main St., Over-The-Rhine

American Sign Museum

Have a nice night out with tons of neon signs, perfect for photo ops. Explore displays of nearly 100 years of American signage at one of Cincinnati’s most Instagram-able destinations. You can also do an audio tour while walking throughout the museum for a glimpse into history. 1330 Monmouth Ave., Cincinnati. Adults $15 , Youth $10.

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