Love is always in the air in the Heart of Dixie! If you’re looking to pad your idea arsenal for future dates, this list is for you. From daytime outings and budget-friendly options to creative activities and, of course, the best traditional suggestions to wine and dine your date in style, make the outing unforgettable with these fun ideas!
Fun Dates in Birmingham
Daytime, Budget-Friendly Dates (sans alcohol)
A great date doesn’t always have to include a five-course dinner, drinks, roses, chocolates and the accompanying pressure of all those expectations.. And maybe you’re the more easygoing type that doesn’t fall for that same old song and dance anyway! Take a hand-in-hand stroll, grab a cheap eat and laugh together under the sun. These daytime dates are low-cost, lighthearted, casual and just right for those celebrating sans alcohol.
Railroad Park & the Rotary Trail
Meander through Railroad Park and the Rotary Trail hand-in-hand with your date. Stay relaxed and take time to enjoy nature, bring the pups and let them run free, or even bring a Frisbee and have some active fun! You might even catch a large group dance or yoga class to join in on. There is also the fun, low-cost option to rent a Zyp Bike, $6 for 24 hours, and ride through these downtown parks and beyond, taking in the sights of the city, people-watching and falling more in love! These dates are ideal for nature-loving, easygoing fans of downtown Birmingham looking for an active way to celebrate that new relationship you want to keep light and fun.
Spend the day exploring Pepper Place’s eclectic shops and restaurants. Start your morning with a delicious latte from the Red Cat Coffee House, then head to the Winter Farmers’ Market at Pepper Place Pop-Up, a colorful array of food vendors and farmers, featuring a full selection of fresh produce, meat, eggs, cheese, bread, honey, nuts, coffee and doughnuts. After your snack, stop by Charlie Thigpen’s Garden Gallery for gardening goods, if you lovebirds want to continue the outdoorsy fun. If you’re looking to feather your nest, head to Richard Tubb Interiors for some home inspiration, or perhaps you’re feeling adventurous enough for an aerial yoga class at Aero Joe! When you get hungry for lunch, grab a patio spot at Cantina for some authentic Mexican food or at Bettola for some unforgettable Italian fare. Then, end the date with a matinée performance at Pepper Place’s own Terrific New Theatre!
Food truck exploration
Turn your date into a culinary exploration of the city without breaking the bank by hitting up the multiple food trucks roaming around the city. Find one that fits both of your cravings or grab a sampler from a few trucks for a fun and food-filled day. With everything from seafood to tacos and barbecue to pizza, Birmingham’s food truck scene is as delicious as it is eclectic. Our Ultimate Guide to Birmingham Food Trucks will tell you all you need to know!
For some intellectual stimulation on your date, grab your beau and head to one of Birmingham’s stunning, state-of-the-art museums. Appreciate the powerful creativity on display at the Birmingham Museum of Art, or take a walk through history at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Get playful at the McWane Science Center, where the IMAX films are astonishing! And, last but not least, the Birmingham Zoo and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens also make for an easy, budget-friendly and romantic date.
Explore the Spirits of the City
If you and your date need to unwind and relax, Birmingham has got you covered. From craft breweries and dive bars to posh happy hours and even a speakeasy, the watering holes of the Magic City are perfect for those looking to bring a little bar-hopping fun to their love celebration.
Some boast that the feather in Birmingham’s cap is the hip and hopping local craft brewery scene, which is one that some attribute to the revitalization of downtown. Start your brewery tour off with an IPA and a game of cornhole at Good People. Then, head to Trim Tab and grab yourself an extra fruity-and-tart Raspberry Berliner Weisse. Then venture to Cahaba Brewing for a taste of some scrumptious eats from the food truck du jour with a side of arcade games to keep things light and fun. You might get lucky with some live music too!
The night’s not over yet — head over to Avondale and enjoy a Miss Fancy’s Tripel Belgian ale in the most relaxing al fresco beer garden among the twinkle lights. Cap off the night by trying out the city’s newest breweries: Red Hills, an inventive half-outdoor haven with a family-friendly atmosphere; Ghost Train Brewing Co., where live music abounds; or The Sour Room at Avondale, where you can taste a full list of funky and sour wild ales.
The Marble Ring & Avondale
If you’re looking to hunker down and gaze into your date’s eyes surrounded by glamorous Gatsby-esque decor, The Marble Ring speakeasy is the joint for you. Perched atop Fancy’s on 5th, this speakeasy is dimly lit, tucked away and mysteriously romantic. Relax in a comfy chair and sip the night away while feeling like the only two in the room. Steal away to Saturn for a live concert in an uber-hip setting, or, if you’re lucky, there might be an al fresco concert at Avondale Brewery across the street! Then, grab a dog at Hot Diggity Dogs or head down to Fancy’s, MELT, Hotbox at Parkside Cafe, Post Office Pies, Taco Morro Loco or SAW’s for a tasty bite to finish off the night.
Tired of getting gussied up for this and that? Looking for a salt-of-the-earth, blue jeans-friendly night of conversation and libations? Stay true to the locals, and take your date on a tour of Birmingham’s favorite dive bars. From the Upside Down Plaza and The Nick Rocks to The Red Lion Lounge and Marty’s PM, there is a dive for every type of couple — and they all share a come-one-come-all atmosphere, where judgment is left at the door and the night is just about having some much needed fun among fellow Birminghamians! Check out our Guide to Birmingham Dives.
Happy hour hopping
Grab a few drinks, try out some classic Birmingham joints and save some money by happy hour hopping through the city. Plenty of spots have happy hours, in perfect timing with the end of a work day. We suggest Babalu, Dyron’s Lowcountry, Mafiaoza’s, FoodBar and plenty more! Check out our guide — organized by neighborhood and day of the week — to all the best Local Happy Hours in the city.
Dinner to Remember
If you’re going for a traditional date, it’s important to make your dining experience stand out among the rest. Celebrate your love with some of the best culinary experiences Birmingham (and the country!) has to offer. Your dining bucket list must include a meal from one of Birmingham’s award-winning chefs, as well as the up-and-comers surrounding the acclaimed greats. The most noted Birmingham culinary creative is renowned Chef Frank Stitt, “The Godfather of Southern Cuisine.” And what better way to experience edible luxury with your beloved than to make a reservation at one of his eateries: Bottega Cafe, Bottega Restaurant, Highlands Bar and Grill or Chez Fonfon. Or head up the street to award-winning Chef Chris Hastings’ Hot and Hot Fish Club or his new eatery OvenBird at Pepper Place.
Acclaimed Chef Chris Dupont will also make music for your mouth at Cafe Dupont, an unforgettable white-tablecloth dining experience in downtown Birmingham. And if Italian dining a la Lady and The Tramp‘s famous kissing scene is on your list, head to GianMarco’s or Bettola for swoon-worthy Italian eats. Exceptional dining is dotted throughout the city with FoodBar and Satterfield’s in Cahaba Heights, Daniel George and Dyron’s Lowcountry in Mountain Brook, and Bamboo on 2nd in the Loft District — each offering gorgeous appetizers and entrees to have you falling in love with food (and your date)! No matter where you book your reservation, make sure to start your dinner with the aphrodisiac-laden oysters — ooh, la la!
Stroll through the Theatre District
If you and your love are more about exploring the art and history of Birmingham, a stroll through the Theatre District will make your celebration completely divine. Read about the fabulous history of this recently revitalized area in our Guide to the Theatre District, and then book tickets to a show at one of the theaters for the full experience. Before the show, grab a bite to eat at the newly opened Pizitz Food Hall, then walk off the pounds with a stroll through the neighborhood. Take in the beauty of historic Lyric Theatre, Alabama Theatre, Red Mountain Theatre Company and more. Then, head to your show and celebrate your love for artistic talent!
Create something your sweetheart will never forget by attending a ceramics, painting or pottery class at local Birmingham galleries and craft stores. Cahaba Clayworks and the Red Dot Gallery offer pottery classes for all, and MAKEbhm has a vast selection of classes, from painting to ceramics. Finally, Do It Yourself Crafts in Homewood is a casual, relaxed space where couples can create anything from coffee mugs to flower vases painted and personalized for your date. Or, if you and your beau aren’t the “maker” types, but enjoy cutting a rug, take a ballroom dancing class at Magic City Ballroom, or give your pipes a workout as you practice a vocal duet under the tutelage of the experts at the Amy Murphy Studio. Or give yourselves the gift of laughter with an improvisation class with Positively Funny Improv! And if you’re not in the market for being onstage, enjoy the show from the audience and catch a comedy show at the Stardome. Nothing cultivates a feeling of closeness quite like laughing together!
Do something he’ll love
Make the date totally about him! Schedule a paintball lesson or head to the shooting range. Then, take him to a sports bar like Billy’s Sports Grill or Moe’s Original Bar-B-Que, where he can watch his favorite game on the big screen. Or, heck, catch a live game in the Magic City! Samford University, UAB and Miles College all have women’s and men’s basketball games throughout the year, so it’s the ideal sit-back-and-relax type of celebration. This date is especially perfect for that couple who bonds over a shared love of sports! Either way, you’ll have fun making him happy, and he’ll appreciate how thoughtful you were.
Explore a new Alabama neighborhood
Plan a weekend getaway to immerse yourself in one of Alabama’s charming towns, a place where you and your sweetie can explore and discover the unique corners of our great state! From Mentone to Fairhope to Mt. Laurel, the options are nearly endless, and you’ll never tire of trying out new boutiques, shops and eateries outside of our city. See our guides to some fabulous Birmingham Neighborhoods here.
Stay in and cook
If you’d rather skip the night out and create something delicious and special from home, there’s nothing more romantic than cooking with your beau or surprising him with a home-cooked and totally impressive dish. We’ve got some awesome recipes to help you create the perfect meal, from soup to nuts! Bon appetit, lovebirds!
Have a romantic and happy time on your next date!