Date night ideas for every type of Lakelander

Got a hot new fling? Hoping to spice things up with your longtime partner? We’re here to help plan your next date in Swan City.


Any place in Lakeland can be romantic with a little creativity.

Photo by @carlycashman3

Table of Contents

Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to LALtoday.

Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons (and saved his kids a lot of time).

Regardless, whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 20+ local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.

For the ones who want a night out on the town

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Cigar lovers can visit the humidor for their next selection at Lakeland Loft.

Photo by @LakelandLoft

  • Snag tickets for the next production at the Lakeland Community Theatre.
  • Enjoy live music, go line dancing, or take the stage for karaoke at Union Hall.
  • Looking for a swanky evening? Stop by Lakeland Loft for live jazz every Friday and Saturday night + premier cigars, hand-crafted drinks, and elevated views of historic Munn Park.
  • Step up your classic dinner and a movie by seeing a film at the historic Polk Theatre or getting cozy at the Silvermoon Drive-In.

If the way to their heart is through their stomach

The Terrace Grille's dining room has plush orange chairs, large windows, and two glasses of white wine on the table.

Celebrate your next special occasion at The Terrace Grille’s newly renovated dining room.

  • For those who want to feel a little fancy, enjoy a white tablecloth and candlelit dinner at Nineteen61, which has been featured in Best of Central Florida for fine dining four times.
  • The Terrace Grille, located in downtown Lakeland’s historic Terrace Hotel, was named a winner of the OpenTable Diners’ Choice award for 2023. Bring your date for fine dining, craft cocktails, and desserts.
  • Wine aficionados and lovers of Italian cuisine will feel right at home at Scarpa’s Italian Restaurant.

If you love the great outdoors

The sun is rising over a hazy horizon.

Watch the sun rise and set at your favorite Florida trail.

Photo by @slowride13

  • Fall in love with Lakeland’s natural beauty on one of these local hiking trails.
  • Swing into your new romance at one of our beloved public parks.
  • Sit beside one of Swan City’s iconic lakes and impress your date with its history.

For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)

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Test your knowledge during trivia night at The Brass Tap.

Photo by @btlakeland

  • Level up your dating game at Rec Room, which has nightly deals on drinks, game cards, and more.
  • Nothing sets a date apart like some friendly competition — test each other’s wits with a game of trivia around town.
  • Play a round of simulated sports at The Back Nine while enjoying craft cocktails and fresh bites.
  • Challenge your partner to a game of mini golf or arcade games at Family Fun Center. This also makes for a great double date — see which couple wins the most tickets, and the other buys dinner for the group.

If you’re really hoping that it works out

A silhouetted runner on Lake Hollingsworth at sunset

There’s nothing like a sunset run around Lake Hollingsworth to get the blood pumping.

  • Head to Lake Hollingsworth or Bonnet Springs Park for your next walk, jog, or run with a partner — those trails are ~3 and ~2 miles around, respectively.
  • Join Fleet Feet for a weekly fun run every Tuesday at Swan Brewing.
  • Show them you’re ready to do the heavy lifting a relationship requires at one of Lakeland’s gyms — from cardio to yoga, weight training, and more, there’s something for everyone.

If you want an “old fashioned”-style date

A cocktail at revival bar.

Try a handcrafted cocktail from Revival Bar.

Photo courtesy of Revival Bar

  • Revival has an entire menu for old fashioned varieties — our favorites are the duck fat and the miso-maple old fashioneds.
  • Reserve a free tour of Lugo’s Craft Distillery to sample premium craft rums.
  • Visit each of Lakeland’s happy hour spots until you and your date find your new favorite.

If you wanna show off by knowing all the hottest events in town

  • Shameless plug: Sign up for our free daily newsletter, where we call out our top picks of things to do around town. Your date doesn’t have to know we’re behind it, you can take all the credit.
  • Stay up-to-date on the coolest local events around Lakeland with our events page (and check out this guide for our tips on navigating the page).

What did we miss? If you know a perfect date spot that’s not on the list, guide us in the right direction using this survey.

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