Summer is the time to spread your wings, embrace adventure and welcome romance. For those of us that can’t swing a weekend get-away to Saint Barts, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Nashville on the cheap. We’ve given you a fresh, fun list of date night spots that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Grab your beau and take a look at our ideas for summer lovin’!
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Nothing says date night like a feature flick! Belcourt Theatre, a historic venue in Hillsboro Village, composes a weekly line up of films that includes everything from box office hits to independent documentaries to foreign films. The theater is beloved for its vintage charm and its selection of gourmet concessions that includes craft beer, wine, spirits and specialty sweets.
Frist Center for the Visual Arts
This art deco landmark curates compelling shows that feature local and internationally renowned artists. The Frist does not have a permanent collection, but brings traveling exhibitions from some of the most established art institutions throughout the country. On display now is Pattern Recognition: Art and Music Videos in Middle Tennessee. Spend your Sunday soaking up these great works and top off the afternoon with a tasty lunch from The Frist’s Cafe.
Shakespeare in the Park
This is free entertainment at its finest! Enjoy Shakespeare’s quips and listen to sensational scores presented by some of Nashville’s finest thespians and musicians. As you like it, accompanied by Americana musical compositions from local songwriters, will run from August 10 through September 17 in Centennial Park. Admission is free but a $10 donation is suggested. Pack a picnic or enjoy bites from the featured food trucks parked along the premises. www.nashvilleshakes.org
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Decorated an award-winning gardens, Cheekwood is the ideal spot for a Sunday stroll or afternoon picnic. The fifty-five acre property is home to Japanese gardens, a Botanic Hall and library, a historic Mansion, and countless other breathtaking gardens, fountains, and statuaries. Cheekwood also houses a gallery that hosts permanent collection and visiting exhibits. Adult admission is $20. Visit their calendar for a list of shows, lectures, and events.
Blue Bird On The Mountain
Star gazing is enough to make most of us giddy. But watching the sun dip as the stars align behind a live concert would make me weak at the knees! Bluebird On The Mountain is a live concert series hosted by Vanderbilt University at the portico of their Dyer Observatory. Guests are invited to bring blankets, chairs, and snack of choice to watch incredible live music performances. Bluebird on The Mountain charges $135 per car, so carpooling with other couples is a great way to split the cost. Tickets are available for September and October performances only, just in time for the first breath of cool air!
Saffire + Music City Roots
Set in the historic Franklin Factory, Music City Roots is a live two-hour radio show that features innovative interpretations of Americana traditions across all genres of music. Rock, bluegrass, jazz and alternative acts have all had their place on this encompassing stage. Make a night of it and enjoy Saffire’s pre-show dinner package. For $30 you’ll receive a ticket and enjoy a savory selection from their pre-show dinner menu. saffirerestaurant.com/saffiremusic-city-roots
Nashville is named Music City for a reason– the abundance of live music around town is pretty remarkable! Most Nashvillians have either experienced the Bluebird Cafe or added it the bucket list of must-see local attractions. But if you want to shirk the long line, head to one of these venues to enjoy live music from local talent on the cheap.
BEVERAGES & BITES
Italians know a thing or two about dining, wining, and romancing. DeSano Pizzeria right off of Broadway serves up some of the best Naples-style pies in town. The casual pizza bakery is BYOB and is the perfect place for first-date twosomes or seasoned daters. Bring a bottle of wine, split a pizza and round off the evening with a homemade cannoli … and that’s amore!
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip
A throwback to the early days of summer lovin’, Bobbie’s Dairy Dip is a retro burger joint beloved by longstanding locals and transplants alike. Known for classic favorites like burgers and dogs, sky-high sundaes, and chocolate-dipped ice cream cones, Bobbie’s is always packed during the summer months. But don’t fret, the line never lingers thanks to quick counter service and plenty of outdoor picnic seating.
Have a sweet tooth? Stroll through Sevier park then cool down with one of 12South’s fabulous selections of frozen treats. A perennial favorite is Las Paletas. These gourmet Mexican popsicles feature cream-based and juice-based pops with far-out flavors like pineapple and chili, spiced mango lassi, and guava cheesecake. If you’re looking for something truly indulgent, head to Jeni’s for some seriously luscious scoops of ice cream. The Brambleberry Crisp is currently trending among our SB staffers!
Olive & Sinclair
Skip dinner and head straight to dessert! The master chocolatiers at Olive and Sinclair offers tours of their East Nashville factory on Saturdays from 10 – 5. These Southern artisans are known for their “bean to bar” chocolates which are sourced from only the highest quality ingredients. Purchase a $5 general admission ticket and you’ll get sneak peak at the inner workings of the factory and get the sample some of the finest cocoa-based confections in town.
Craft beer connoisseurs will revel in this dating option. Yazoo Brewery offers weekend tours that educate guests on the history of the brewery and the different styles of beer that they brew. The $8 ticket includes the guided tour, tastings of several beers, and a souvenir logo glass. Each tour can accommodate 12 – 20 people, so gather your friends for a group date and take the evening into the tap room for a taste of the full menu.
For more great date ideas, visit our SB guide!