Get Outside for a Wintry Date Night

By: Karen Dybis | January 28, 2022
Skating at Campus Martius

What happens when you are desperate for a date night with your partner and the pandemic is still going? That is when you get creative and look for outdoor places to visit or enjoy a meal together without having little kids or pets underfoot. 

Thankfully, Metro Detroit is full of places that are ideal for easy-to-execute date nights for couples of all kinds. If you love being outdoors, there are unique igloo dining adventures or places where you can hold hands while skating along, like Campus Martius. If you want to enjoy the night air as well, there are cool walks or fun events where couples are welcome to participate in a way that makes you feel like you’re the only ones there. 

For a good outdoor date, you may want to call ahead to make reservations, especially on weekend nights. Some of the outdoor seating areas may not have outdoor heaters or insulated igloos, so bring some mittens and hats if you are going to be there for a few hours. You also will want to think about what kind of activities you can include for the date night, so check ahead to see if they have any fun activities, such as trivia night included. 

You may have to be creative right now with the coronavirus pandemic affecting staffing and restaurants’ ability to stay open longer hours. But as long as you are patient and just happy to be out of the house and away from your offspring, you’ll likely have a wonderful time in the many Metro Detroit locations that offer food and outdoor fun at the same time. 

Here are five places that you can enjoy an outdoor date night as well as some snacks or even a full meal if you are interested in getting out this winter. 

Belle Isle

With a slow speed limit, open water views and great places to stop and warm up, Belle Isle makes for an ideal outdoor date location. You can drive in and admire the view from the Scott Fountain, cruise by the new Piet Oudolf garden, catch a glimpse of the koi and other fish in the aquarium and snuggle up by the orchids inside the conservatory. It’s a great way to get a walk and spend some quality time together.


Downtown Detroit

With so many new shops and restaurants, there is always something going on in downtown Detroit. You can park in the Z lot and see if there are any new murals to check out. Then, head outside to have a drink at the Skip. If you’re hungry, go around the corner to Mootz for some New York pizza. All in all, you can walk until your two hearts are united and you’ve gotten enough time out of the house to feel like it is time to go home again.

Riverfront walk

There are few things as romantic as a waterfront view, and the Detroit River has never been more beautiful than it has been since the RiverWalk was developed. You can start with a cruise by the General Motors building, head into Cullen Plaza, watch the freighters pass along the new beachfront and even have a drink on the barge if it is open that night. 

Eastern Market

If you cannot get away at night, then a morning or afternoon getaway date at Eastern Market is just the right fit. You can enjoy the beautiful vendors who have everything from food to fresh produce to flowers if the timing is right. You also can enjoy coffee or a full meal at one of the local restaurants. Head into Well Done Goods for some shopping and you’ll go home feeling refreshed and ready to take on those toddlers once again.

Ford-Wyoming Drive-In

Not many people think about going to a drive-in theater in the winter, but the classic ozoner known as the Ford-Wyoming Drive-In theater is open all year around. You can get some food from the concession stand, enjoy a beverage in your vehicle and watch the night sky before the movie starts. Best of all, with the nighttime starting around 5 or 6 p.m. during the winter, you can enjoy the movie without falling asleep–something that is likely to happen if you’re a tired enough parent trying to have a date night.