The Best Off-Beat Date Ideas in Seattle

Seattle Glass Blowing Studio in Washington

TripSavvy / Noah Kreyenhagen

Seattle has no shortage of romantic date spots—view points and waterfront restaurants are plentiful, theaters with musicals, plays and headliners are located throughout the downtown core and beyond, and there are waterfront strolls in every direction. But sometimes you just want something different for date night. Something fun. Something maybe a little quirky. Something different!

Fortunately for you, Seattle has got off-beat date ideas galore, whether you want to bring out your inner kid, see a unique dinner show, try your hand at glassblowing or something else off the everyday radar.

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Central Cinema

Central Cinema
Central Cinema

Movie theaters generally all offer a similar experience—a first-run film, maybe second-run or indie at some theaters. Usually a pretty limited food selection, and maybe some basic beer or wine choices if you’re lucky. Central Cinema seeks to shake that up. Films are not typically found at other theaters (at least not within the last few years!) as the selection is comprised of films that came out years ago—watch “Amelie” or “Moulin Rouge” in style. Even better, the theater has a fairly strong menu that goes well beyond popcorn and goopy nachos. Kick back with polenta tots, a baguette and cheese, a sandwich, pizza or a salad instead (and lots of other stuff, too).

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The Dinner Detective

Dinner Detective Seattle
Presidio of Monterey

Ever wanted to go to a murder mystery dinner show? Well, you can do just that. The Dinner Detective serves up a meal while a murder mystery unfolds around you. There’s some audience interaction and a meal with a few different entrée selections (including usually a gluten free and/or vegetarian option). The show wraps in some humor, some dramatics and some sleuthing prowess.

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Emerald City Trapeze Arts

Emerald City Trapeze
Matthew Ragan

Emerald City Trapeze Arts is the place to go if you have an inner circus performer just waiting to be set free as you can take classes to learn trapeze arts. It’s also a unique date night destination. Trapeze students put on shows throughout the year to showcase their skills on high-flying trapeze acts as well as ground performance. Even better—shows are free!

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Family Fun Center

Mini Golf
Austin Kirk

The Family Fun Center might not immediately sound like a date idea, but if you want fun, this place has got it. Just skip right past the kiddie rides and instead go for the batting cages, bowling lanes, bumper boats in warmer months, go karts, laser tag and mini golf. Be warned, there are plenty of kids and families around (of course) so you do have to roll with the atmosphere, but if you don’t mind, this place is a lot of fun.

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Sure, you could actually go skydiving for a date idea, but skydiving out of an actual plane is expensive and usually involves a drive out of the city. For adrenaline junkies, iFly could be just the ticket. Located just 10 to 15 minutes south of Seattle in Tukwila, iFly serves up indoor skydiving in style (and at a much more reasonable price than jumping out of a plane will cost you). If you’re a little nervous, don’t be. Whether you’re a novice or have lots of experience, a flight instructor is with you the entire time. Since you won’t actually be in free fall (just floating on a column of air), your stomach should be nice and steady for dinner or a drink afterward, and there are plenty of restaurants in Tukwila to pair with the experience.

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The Laser Dome

Laser Dome
Rosa Menkman

The Laser Dome is located in Pacific Science Center at Seattle Center and is tough to beat if you can’t resist bright, shiny objects. The dome measures 80 feet in diameter, making it the largest domed laser theater in the world. Shows mix laser performances with music, usually from a selected artist (and, yes, Pink Floyd makes regular appearances). Look for matinee shows if you want to save some dollars on admission.

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Rat City Rollergirls Bouts

Rat City Rollergirls

There’s no shortage of professional sports teams to see in Seattle, but roller derby is its own kind of beast. If you want something unique, give it a chance. Bouts (what games are called in the roller derby world) can seem chaotic at first, but there’s method to the madness and it doesn’t take long to catch on. It’s a different sort of sport, but can be a lot of fun to learn together on a date as you watch the women battle and jockey for position, crashing into each other, all while on skates.     

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Seattle Glassblowing Studio and Gallery

Seattle Glassblowing Studio in Washington

TripSavvy / Noah Kreyenhagen

Seattle is known, as is the Northwest overall, for its glassblowing scene. Kicked off in large part by local glass artist, Dale Chihuly, glassblowing has taken off in a big way in Seattle and beyond. A number of glass studios in town offer guests the chance to make a glass piece of your very own. Seattle Glassblowing Studio and Gallery is one of these and has a few different private and group classes where you can choose if you want to blow the glass yourself or just sculpt it, take a private lesson or even take an extended weekend workshop.

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Shorty's Seattle

If you like dive bars and vintage pinball, Shorty’s makes a great lowkey, casual date night. Play a few rounds of pinball or some old arcade games. Don’t expect a high-brow menu—there are hot dogs with various toppings, organic TV dinners, beer and a full-service bar. Play some old pinball machines, but equally as nifty is the fact that tables at the booths have vintage pinball table tops for tables.

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Teatro Zinzanni

Cirque acts
DirkJan Ranzijn

Teatro Zinzanni is what you get when a Cirque show crosses with a multi-course dining experience. It’s dinner theater the likes of which are unseen anywhere else in Seattle. The show includes acrobatics, comedy, music and more, while dinner includes soup, salad, an entrée and dessert. How can you go wrong? You pretty much can’t.

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Escape Rooms

Seattle escape rooms

Hero Images/Getty Images


Escape rooms have popped up all over Seattle and provide a unique and fun evening, as well as a way to test the mettle of your date. Escape rooms involve entering into a set and solving clues in order to get out again (if you really can't solve the clues, don't worry, they will let you out if you ask nicely). With so many escape rooms in the area, look around and choose the set and situation that most appeals to you.

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