The best places in Ames for a creative first date

First dates can be tough, but the Ames area has some very romantic (and impressive) settings. 

Kaylee Brown

We know that dating isn’t like it is in the movies. But you may daydream about wanting someone to hang from a Ferris wheel until you agree to go out with them. Or maybe standing outside your window with a boombox playing your favorite song.

Unfortunately, not everyone feels this way. But there are a few things we can all do to make spending time with that special someone feel more like the movie instead of, “Hey, do you want to come over and watch a movie?”

If you’re a DIY queen/king, set out for a picnic.

A picnic is an easy out, especially if you’re not a good cook. Pick up some take-out or something to-go from your favorite restaurant or one you’ve been meaning to try. A good option is sushi or salad because you don’t need to worry about keeping it warm if you’re picking it up in advance.

Then you’ll need a blanket and a good spot in nature.

Try the stairs of Beardshear Hall, the front entrance of McKay Hall (for when it’s cold) and really any green space on campus for a good spot to spill your darkest secrets to someone you barely know!

If you’re the outdoorsy type, take a stroll along the High Trestle Trail.

This is applicable to those who have a car. This beautiful walking trail lies just around 25 miles outside of Ames. Make sure to grab your walking shoes, as the blue light portion of the bridge is quite a hike from the parking lot! If you love wildlife and are up for a little bit of an adventure, this is the place for you!

If you’re an early bird who gets the worm, get your morning pick-me-up at Lockwood cafe.

This super cool spot located on Reliable St. in Ames is a cozy spot to get even cozier with your date. Lockwood Cafe has a very artsy and eclectic vibe that will be sure to generate some good conversation. The coffee is also a favorite among the Ames community. It opens at 8:00 a.m. and closes at 3:00 p.m., so you want to make sure you set your alarms!

If you’re a night owl, try the Maintenance Shop.

Located in the basement of Memorial Union, the Maintenance Shop is a great option for a night out! On Tuesdays, they host Open Mic Night at 8:00 p.m., which is FREE! If you have a single dollar to spend, they host the Grandma Mojo’s Improv Comedy Group every other Wednesday at 8:00 p.m.

The Maintenance Shop also has popcorn and drinks available for purchase. You can see more on their calendar of events.

Dating is hard as it is; let’s not make it any more difficult than it needs to be.