Summer gives us the energy to get out as much as we possibly can. After bundling up for the cold for what seems like half the year, it’s a breath of fresh air hitting the town with someone special. Planning a date can sometimes feel tedious, so we’re going to handle things for you. Here are some summer date night spots worth planning with a loved one, friend, or family member!
Nothing beats an evening either starting, consisting, or ending with a great cocktail. If you’re more of a beer or wine drinker, there’s options for you too!
A great start to the evening is Happy Hour at Hamilton Walker’s. Monday-Friday, half priced appetizers give you a little fuel to get the night going from 3-6 p.m. A handful of cocktails and wines are also half priced, so it’s a wonderful way to save some money at the start of your date. Consider a trip over to 25 O’clock Brewing as well. They run music nearly every night at their location in Urbana, as well as daily deals on beers and ciders. They’re right at the bank of Boneyard Creek, making for a wonderful view as you drink their locally brewed beers. They host a lot of local art as well, which is great for the visually minded loved one in your life.
Another great place to grab drinks is Alto Vineyards. Between Food Pairing Fridays, Dollar Off Tuesdays, and regularly scheduled concerts and food trucks on Saturdays, any night of the week is a great time to grab a glass of wine (minus Mondays, when they are closed!) While we’re talking wine, a tasting at Crudo is sure to be a hit with any wine lover. With cocktails as well as options for whites, reds, and blends, everyone can find a new favorite at this elegant location. Lastly, beer lovers can grab local craft favorites from the Blind Pig Brewery in the heart of downtown Champaign. Where better to kick off the night than the center of a ton of great restaurants and attractions?
A number of wonderful food date spots are across the greater Champaign County area. Given that Champaign was rated Greatest Midwest Food Town, it’s no surprise a ton of perfect options sit in the downtown area. Explore outside C-U, and you’ll find even more great flavors!
Seven Saints is always a favorite, especially during the summer. Right near all the action for Friday Night Live, you’ll be surrounded by amazing music, and then once the event ends at 8, you can catch music live on the restaurant’s patio. It’s a great date spot for music loving couples. Moving over to Mahomet, no matter what you’re feeling for dinner, JT Walker’s is likely serving it along with their craft beers. From tuna wraps to Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, there’s literally every flavor imaginable on their eclectic menu. With pub favorites and specialty entrees, you and your date can find something you’ll both fall in love with. Lastly, the best of Swiss & European cuisine, plus a cozy night out, await at the Bread Company. From fondue to pizza, and even elegant pasta dishes. They do a great breakfast too, if you’re looking for a day date.
Dinner and drinks are great, but what about taking a special someone out to a magical spot to spend quality time together? There are some amazing options here in the greater Champaign County area!
Looking for a creative spot to take your sweetheart? Allerton Park and Retreat Center recently started offering The Dome. This unique pop up location includes chairs, heat in the winter or a mosquito net in the summer and can be rented for an intimate evening or a fun mid-day weekend date. If you’re wanting to move a bit more, you can hike Allerton’s 14 miles of trails, as well as a number of trails in the area. The Busey Woods are a fun place to explore with a loved one, as is the 38-acre Porter Park walking area, Pipeline Trail.
If you’re not afraid of meeting some new people, finding a time to ride the Slow Ride Pedal Tour mobile bar is definitely an Outside of Ordinary experience! It’s one of the few pedal pubs in the state, and a ton of fun for group dates. Lastly, fun on the water is waiting to be had at the Lake House in Crystal Lake Park. Grab a pedal boat, and ride next to your special someone as you enjoy a beautiful day outdoors!
Hopefully you have some great date nights ready to go next time you need some inspiration. Have an idea or favorite spot we didn’t mention in this blog? Let us know by tagging us in a photo of your favorite summer date night spot on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! Make sure to use the #OutsideofOrdinary hashtag as well to get entered to win a free t-shirt! Have fun celebrating summer lovin’ in the greater Champaign County area!