City Guides

29 Best Date Ideas in Raleigh in 2024

Published on Jun 14th 2024
date ideas in Raleigh

It’s time to start thinking about fun and unique date ideas in Raleigh, North Carolina. Whether you’re ready to hit the dating scene again, or take your partner out, no more boring coffee dates. We’re leveling up. 

How is Raleigh for singles, anyway? Is Raleigh a good place for dating? It certainly can be if you’re willing to think outside of the box. It’s a vibrant city with plenty of unique things to do.

Not sure where to start? Read on for our favorite date ideas in the Raleigh area.  

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Fun and Tasty Dinner Date Ideas in Raleigh

1. Take a Cooking Class Together

Join a cooking class and learn new culinary skills together with this fun date idea in Raleigh. Choose cooking classes in Raleigh that focus on your favorite cuisine and spend the evening chopping, sautéing and tasting under the watchful eye of a fantastic chef.

Not only will you learn new recipes, but you'll also enjoy a fun and interactive evening together. You may even find a new favorite date night meal.

cooking classes for couples in Raleigh
via Classpop!

2. Have a Food Truck Feast 

The Raleigh food truck scene is impressive, to say the least. Gather at a food truck “rodeo” or park and indulge in a variety of different cuisines. You'll find something to satisfy every craving.

Enjoy the casual vibes and try new foods together. This is also one of the most fun double date ideas, and giving you more people to trade bites with. 

3. Go on a Local Food Tour 

Not sure where to take a date in Raleigh, NC? Instead of one eatery, try several. Embark on a guided (or independent) food tour of Raleigh's culinary hotspots.

Visit local restaurants and bakeries, sampling the best of the city's flavors. If you’re doing a self-guided tour, consider focusing on one neighborhood or one “type” of food, like a dessert food tour. 

4. Get Fancy at Pimiento Tea Room

Treat yourselves to an afternoon tea at Pimiento Tea Room. If you want a “classic” experience, you can savor delicate sandwiches and pastries in an elegant setting while you enjoy the sophisticated atmosphere.

However, Pimento also functions as a full restaurant (with cocktails,) so if tea isn’t your thing, you can still have a wonderful night out.

5. Have a Foodie Frenzy at Transfer Co. Food Hall

If you and your date can never agree on what to eat, Transfer Co. Food Hall is the place for you. You can grab several meals from different vendors all under one roof and share them for a serious feast.

According to Belmont University, food sharing is significant in a romantic relationship. Get the ball rolling from the first date by sharing bites with your new partner.

transfer co food hall in Raleigh
via Transfer Co. Food Hall

6. Enjoy an Omakase Dinner

If you’re looking for an elegant date idea in Raleigh for foodies, try an Omakase at M Sushi in nearby Durham. A chef will create a customized, multi-course meal just for you and your date.

Trust in the chef's expertise and enjoy the surprise of each new dish. This unique culinary adventure is sure to impress both you and your date.

Artsy Date Ideas in Raleigh

7. Plan a North Carolina Museum of Art Visit

Are you and your date creative types? Immerse yourselves in the world of art at the North Carolina Museum of Art. It holds a diverse collection of works from around the globe.

Stroll through the galleries to check out everything from ancient sculptures to contemporary installations. Then, take a romantic walk through the beautiful gardens outside.

8. Check Out the First Friday Art Walk

Experience the vibrant art scene in downtown Raleigh on the First Friday Art Walk. Explore local galleries, studios and exhibitions with your date as you discover unique artwork by emerging and established artists.

This is a great first date idea in Raleigh, but it’s also fantastic for established couples who may want to pick up a new piece of local artwork for their home.

9. Watch a Raleigh Little Theatre Performance

Catch a play or musical at the historic Raleigh Little Theatre, a local cultural institution that’s one of the oldest active theaters in the entire country.

If you love a good show, this may be the right date idea in Raleigh for you. Whether it's a classic drama or a modern comedy, this date idea is sure to delight.

performance date idea at raleigh little theatre
via Raleigh Little Theatre

10. Get Creative at Artspace

Unleash your inner artists at Artspace, a local hub for creativity and self-expression. Explore the studios, attend a workshop or simply check out the work of other artists while you’re there.

Whether you're seasoned artists or curious beginners, this date idea is sure to fuel your creative spark.

11. Check Out Theatre in the Park

Enjoy a magical evening of outdoor theatre at Theatre in the Park. You’ll see local performers bringing classic shows to life.

Bring a picnic, spread out a blanket and settle in for some fantastic local entertainment in the great outdoors. 

12. Take a Metalwork Class Together

Looking for a new artistic venture? Get hands-on and creative with a metalwork class.

You'll learn the basics of working with metal and create your own unique piece. This is a fantastic date idea in Raleigh for any couples who prefer to bond over new activities and skills. 

13. Visit the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh

The Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh is a fantastic spot for a daytime date in Raleigh. This museum has no full-time pieces within it.

Rather, the museum transitions between various exhibitions and installations. That means this is a reusable date idea in Raleigh because there will always be something new to see.

date idea at contemporary museum of art Raleigh
via visitRaleigh

Summer Date Ideas in Raleigh

14. Enjoy Summer Concerts at Red Hat Amphitheater

Listen to live music under the stars with your date at the Red Hat Amphitheater. This outdoor venue hosts a variety of summer concerts, from rock to pop to country. There’s something for everyone.

Spread out a blanket, enjoy some snacks and sing along to your favorite tunes while you enjoy each other’s company. The lively atmosphere and great music make for a fun and romantic date night in Raleigh, North Carolina.

15. Stroll Through the Raleigh Rose Garden

What are the most iconic first date ideas in Raleigh? Well, you can’t go wrong with a romantic stroll through a garden of the most romantic flowers: roses! It features over 1,200 roses and a variety of other plants and flowers.

This peaceful oasis in the heart of the city is the perfect setting for a relaxing and intimate date.

16. Cozy Up at an Outdoor Movie Night

There are several great places to go for an outdoor movie night in Raleigh during the summer. See what’s playing and catch your favorite film with your date on a balmy summer night.

This is one of the best summer date ideas, and it’s super low-stakes and fun. Bring a blanket and your favorite snacks, and enjoy a cozy night out with your date.

17. Have Fun at the World of Bluegrass

Experience the best of bluegrass music and culture at the World of Bluegrass festival in Raleigh. This annual event features live performances and workshops celebrating this iconic American music genre.

Enjoy the lively vibes, try some delicious food and drinks and jam out to the beat with your date.

World of Bluegrass Festival Date Idea Raleigh
via visitRaleigh

18. Check Out the State Fair

If you’re looking for a romantic date night in Raleigh, North Carolina, consider checking out the state fair. It’s the perfect summer event for a blossoming romance (or a seasoned couple).

You and your date can hold hides while riding rides, eat fried snacks and play carnival games to win each other prizes. Whether you’re a teen or an adult, this is a great date idea in Raleigh for the summer. 

19. Go Kayaking

Summer is the perfect time for active date ideas in Raleigh. Paddle around and enjoy the scenery with your date with a kayaking adventure. Rent kayaks and explore the Neuse River or one of the many nearby lakes.

This fun date idea is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors together.

20. Enjoy a Sunset Picnic 

Looking to put your newfound cooking skills to good use from those cooking classes you took? Take your date on a lovely sunset picnic. A romantic picnic is one of the best last minute date ideas you can set up.

Find a spot on the lake or in one of Raleigh’s many wonderful parks. Lay down a blanket and your food and make an evening of it. This date idea may be simple, but it shows you put thought and effort into something romantic. 

21. Walk Around the JC Raulston Arboretum 

Take a leisurely stroll through the beautiful JC Raulston Arboretum for your next summer date idea in Raleigh. It features over 10 acres of gardens, trails and scenic views. This is a great place to check out local plants and wildlife, and it’s peaceful and quiet.

JC Raulston Arboretum Date Idea Raleigh
via This Is Raleigh

Unique Date Ideas in Raleigh

22. Visit Animals at Spring Haven Farm

Spend a sunny afternoon at Spring Haven Farm for your next date idea in Raleigh. Here, you can interact with friendly animals like goats, sheep and cows.

Take a nice stroll around the farm, feed the animals and enjoy the peaceful and adorable vibes. This date idea is perfect for animal lovers and anyone who’s looking for a relaxing outing.

23. Check Out the Duke Lemur Center

If you and your date love animals, here’s another unique date idea in Raleigh, North Carolina. Get up close and personal with the adorable lemurs at the Duke Lemur Center. This is one of the best unique day date ideas in town.

Take a guided tour and learn about these fascinating primates, their habitats and conservation efforts. This unique date idea is both educational and entertaining. You'll leave with a new appreciation for these cute critters.

24. Go Indoor Skydiving

Experience the thrill of skydiving without jumping out of a plane at an indoor skydiving facility like Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving. You'll both get to float and soar in a safe and controlled environment while instructors guide you every step of the way.

This date idea in Raleigh is for couples who love facing their fears and it is sure to get your hearts racing.

25. Visit the Museum of Natural Sciences

Explore the wonders of science and nature at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, the oldest museum in the state. Discover exhibits on dinosaurs, butterflies and the natural world while you check out interactive displays and experiments.

This date idea in Raleigh is perfect for curious minds and anyone who loves learning something new together.

NC Museum Natural History Raleigh
via visitRaleigh

26. Go on a Spooky Ghost Tour

Embrace the spooky side of Raleigh on a ghost tour that will take you to haunted sites and share interesting (and sometimes scary) tales of the city's past.

Hold hands with your date and brave the unknown together. Ghost tours are perfect date ideas in Raleigh for spooky season, but they’re fun year-round. 

27. Go Throw Some Axes

Unleash your inner lumberjacks and try your hand at axe-throwing. This fun date idea in Raleigh is a trendy way to bond over a new experience, and you'll both be laughing and cheering each other on.

The Crazy Axe is one of several venue options for this unique date idea in Raleigh, North Carolina.

28. Get Competitive at Boxcar

Engage in some friendly competition at Boxcar, an arcade bar in Raleigh where you can play a variety of both modern and old-school arcade games. This fun and lively date idea in Raleigh is perfect for couples who love games and a good challenge.

This is one of the best Indoor date ideas in Raleigh, North Carolina because it’s low-stakes and it gives you an activity to bond over, but you can also sit and chat over a few drinks when you’re ready for a break. 

29. Play Mini Golf at ParTee Shack

Mini golf is a classic date idea in Raleigh that's always going to be a hole-in-one. If your date likes a bit of healthy competition, this is one of those chill date ideas you can use any time.

At ParTee Shack, you'll find colorful obstacles (including a zip-line,) challenging holes and an overall fun atmosphere that's perfect for a lighthearted date. Whether it’s your first date or an anniversary, this one is a winner. 

ParTee Shack Raleigh Date Idea
via ParTee Shack

Now that you have some unique and fun date ideas in Raleigh for couples, which one will you try first? You have 29 great options to mix and match on your next date night, so it’s time to have fun! 

For even more fun date ideas, check out other experiences happening on Classpop!