Whether you’re bumbling away on dating apps and need a good place for a first date, or you’ve fallen into a predictable routine with your boo, date nights should still be exciting! Whether it involves throwing an axe or throwing back a few, Charlotte has plenty of date night options to keep you and your date entertained.

10 Date Night Destinations in Charlotte

Axe Throwing at Lumberjaxe

933 Louise Ave., Ste. 108, Charlotte, NC 28205 • (704) 777-4929
Hours: Thursday and Friday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

You and your date can throw axes at a target and drink at the same time. For real. Owner Scott Gladd came up with the idea for the axe throwing facility thanks to his background as a Boy Scout. Apparently, urban axe throwing is a legit sport in Canada, and when Scott read about it, he knew he wanted to bring it to Charlotte. He and his wife Ashleigh run Lumberjaxe together, and she told us, “This is a great date night spot because it provides a unique and axeillerating (Sorry! Had to!) activity that everyone will love! It helps take the stress out of first dates or the stress out of finding something new to do with your current significant other.” Don’t worry, though — you’re not on your own. You get a dedicated axe coach who will teach you some standard throws, some fun throws and will help run you through a few games!

SB TIP: Make a reservation! They’ve been booked solid every weekend since opening.

For an unconventional date night, head over to Lumberjaxe. Image: Lumberjaxe

Escape Rooms

Are you addicted to “Dateline”? Love a good thriller? Escape rooms are the thing for you. There are a number of these places in Charlotte offering themed rooms of all kinds — from “Grandma was a Russian Spy” to “A Creepy Cabin in the Woods” — where you and your date can either team up with some strangers or make it a couples’ night out as you all work together to solve clues to get out of the room. It’s a great way to see how you work (or don’t!) together under pressure. The owners at Exit Strategy, one of the first escape room facilities in Charlotte, tell us they’ve actually had several proposals on site.

SB TIP: Shop around and check out all of the different rooms available. You may prefer one theme over another.

This couple took it one step further than date night — a proposal upon escape! Image: Exit Strategy

The U.S. National Whitewater Center

5000 Whitewater Center Pkwy., Charlotte, NC 28214 • 704-391-3900
Hours: Main gate is open 365 days a year from dawn til dusk. Certain activities have different hours. Check the website for details.

This is the place to be in the summer in Charlotte. The walking trails and other activities make for a great day date, but if you want to kick things up a notch, plan to spend a cool evening at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC). Our vote is for their Adventure Dining excursions. In the summer, you can paddle to your dinner table, and in the fall, you can zipline and dine. Marketing Director Adam Bratton says, “Adventure Dining has always been a popular option for date nights as couples have the ability to share an experience above and beyond the standard and typical sit-down meal. The blend of an active element paired with a chef-inspired and off-menu meal provides an alternative and approachable option for those looking for something new.”

SB TIP: River Jam is another fun option at the USNWC. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the summer there’s a concert on the lawn just as the sun sets (from around 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.). Grab a blanket or some chairs and go enjoy. You can buy food and drinks on site.

Spend your summer evening paddling to a chef-inspired outdoor dinner. ​​​Image: U.S. National Whitewater Center

Sushi Rolling Classes at Essex

101 S. Tryon St., Ste. 14, Charlotte, NC 28280 • (980) 406-3957

One of Charlotte’s most popular restaurants is combining two favorites: cocktails and sushi. Grab your date and learn how to roll your own California roll and spicy tuna roll. Once you’ve got those mastered, you’ll learn how to make two custom Don Julio cocktails. The Uptown eatery hosts several of these classes a year, so just keep an eye on the events calendar on the home page of their website.

Learn how to roll your own sushi, then enjoy the delicious products of your hard work at Essex’s sushi rolling class. Image: Essex

Films on Tap

It doesn’t get any better than beer (actually, several beers) and a movie. Films on Tap pairs local craft beer with short films. Every ticket comes with a flight of beer handpicked by the filmmakers to complement their film. The last event was held at Resident Culture brewery in NoDa, but they purposely rotate around. Check their website or social media channels to find details on their upcoming pairings.

Romantic Dinner at Stagioni

715 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28207 • (704) 372-8110
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Stagioni in Myers Park is one of the most romantic restaurants in the Queen City thanks to the old Tuscan villa-style mansion, the unusual red lighting and a speakeasy-style bar. Regularly written up as one of the best chef-inspired menus in the city, this is a great date spot. Make sure to get dessert — maybe even share a few. From the cereal milk panna cotta (literally corn flakes and marshmallows) to the Nutella ganache, everything on the dessert menu is to-die-for.

Enjoy patio seating for your next date night at Stagioni. Image: Stagioni

Shared Plates at Good Food on Montford

1701 Montford Drive, Charlotte, NC 28209 • (704) 525-0881
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This perennial favorite offers a tasting menu that is so good you’ll want to taste the entire thing. But if you and your date don’t think you can do a full sweep, at least make sure to try the falafel, the gnocchi and the Korean beef.

SB TIP: They don’t take reservations, but they are a part of the NoWait App and trust us, you’ll want to use it. There is always a wait – it’s just that good.

The falafel is a Good Food staple for good reason. Image: Good Food

A special occasion at Barrington’s

7822 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC • (704) 364-5755
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

This is where you go to celebrate an anniversary, promotion or birthday. Barrington’s is likely more for the seriously dating and/or married crowd. At this romantic restaurant, you can dive into deep conversation over a great dinner from one of the Southeast’s best chefs. Owner Bruce Moffett says, “It’s an honor to have become known as an establishment for special occasions, such as anniversaries. I think the intimacy of the restaurant lends itself to that. Here, you’re not in the middle of a loud dining room with 100 other people. We can fit only about 40 people in the restaurant at a time, so you can really enjoy a nice conversation over dinner.”

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Cheers to a romantic date night out! Image: Barrington’s

Compete at Lucky’s Bar and Arcade

300 N. College St., #104, Charlotte, NC 28202
Hours: Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.

It’s all fun and games when you step back into the ’90s at Lucky’s Bar + Arcade at Sixth and College streets. You and your date can battle it out at vintage video games like Pac-Man and Xbox, or you can play the classics like pinball, skee ball, air hockey, foosball and more.

Go See a Charlotte Knights Game

324 South Mint St., Charlotte, NC 28202 • (704) 274-8300
Check the website for schedule.

You don’t even have to like baseball to have fun at a Charlotte Knights game. The BB&T Ballpark in the heart of Uptown is regularly voted one of the best minor league ballparks in the country. There are great food and drink options and a spectacular view of the skyline. And there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.

Catch a game with a view at the Charlotte Knights games. Image: Charlotte Knights

SB TIP: After every Friday night home game there’s a free (and pretty great) fireworks show. Image: Charlotte Knights

Enjoy your date wherever you end up!

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