Make the most of date night in Ames


Photo:Tim Reuter/Iowa State Daily

Ada Hayden Heritage Lake has perfect date spots for a picnics or casual walks.

Lindsey Schwarck

Sick of your typical dinner-and-a-movie Friday night routine? Enjoy the warm weather and keep your summer romance sizzling with fun ideas for dates around the Ames area.

1. Have a picnic: Pack a picnic basket and blanket for a relaxing afternoon at Ada Hayden Park. After lunch, soak up the sunshine by flying a kite, playing Frisbee or taking a stroll around the lake.

2. Take a road trip: Whether you’re taking a day trip or making a weekend getaway, compile a CD of summer tunes and hit the open road. Try visiting some of Iowa’s attractions along the way, like the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, the Villisca Ax Murder House or the world’s largest truck stop!

3. Play games: Grab another couple and head to Perfect Games! With bowling, laser tag and more than 60 arcade games, there is plenty for couples to do there. After you’re done, the losing team can buy supper at Kingpin Pizza!

4. Go to the Iowa State Fair: During the day, wander the streets and try your hand at classic boardwalk games (brownie points for winning a stuffed bear!). At night, enjoy your favorite food on a stick and take in a view of the city from the top of the Ferris wheel.

5. Restaurant crawl: Can’t decide where to eat? Why not hit all your favorite restaurants around Ames? Kick off the night with cocktails or appetizers and then head across town for the main course. If you still have room, grab an ice cream treat for a late-night snack.

6. Ice skating: Beat the summer heat and head to the ISU Ice Arena. The rink is often less crowded in the summer, and it offers weeknight deals to make skating with your date fun and affordable.

7. Wine and dine: For a day of taste-testing and relaxation, start by attending the Ames Farmers’ Market full of fresh produce and baked goods. Then visit Prairie Moon Winery, which is northwest of Ames. Explore the vineyard and sample some of the locally produced wines and snacks

8. Throw a party in the park: Visit and mark your calendar for upcoming outdoor concerts and live performances in Bandshell Park near Main Street.