Alright, friends. Let’s say you’ve picked up a new boo just in time for Christmas, or you both have swiped right on your dating app du jour and need some decent date ideas.

Well, I have your back. Here’s the thing about this list. There are a lot of great date ideas around town, but since it’s winter, we wanted to keep it kinda self-contained, limit the exposure to elements, and keep the budget in mind.

So let’s dive right in.

11. Motown Museum

It blows my mind every time I talk to people who live here who haven’t been to this place. And it is very often, especially when I run into people from the ‘burbs. It’s just $15 for a ticket into a crucible of music history and the tour guides have so much energy, it’s like your own personal Motortown Revue. Winter is the perfect time to check this one out. If you say you love Detroit and haven’t been to this place, for shame! and go fix that right away with your squeeze. More here.

2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208

10. Board Game Night

Do you have a competitive spirit? Wanna see what your date is really like? The Loaded Die has a variety of game nights in the city and in the suburbs. They’re free to play, but of course, pick up a tasty beverage at one of their many establishments they’re holding games. They sell the games over at the Rust Belt Market, too, so if it works out really well you can get what you played as a gift down the line. You can find them at the Rustbelt Market, BREW Detroit, Dragonmead, and quite a few other places on different nights.

Multiple locations.

9. The Belle Isle Aquarium + Whitcomb Conservatory

Belle Isle Aquarium

This is a great winter date idea because one, they’re really near each other. Two, they’re both heated (and the Conservatory will warm your bones on a chilly day, there are spaces that are warm like a desert or a rainforest), and they’re both inexpensive.

The Belle Isle Aquarium is at 900 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI 48207. The Conservatory is right next door.

8. The Dossin Great Lakes Museum

If you or your date has a nerdy streak, the history and beauty of Detroit’s shipping history is something to behold. They have the Gothic room from the beautiful U.S.S. Detroit, the pilot house of a freighter, and much more. More here.

100 The Strand, Detroit, MI 48207

7. John King Books

This is, pardon the pun, best for the bookish sort. It’s Michigan’s largest used book store and their million plus volumes are right here in Detroit. And if you both get a book, you’ll have a momento from a great date. More here.

901 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI 48226

6. Catch A Movie At A Local Theater

You have a few choices! Cinema Detroit. The Senate. The Redford Theater. If you’re feeling artsy, the Detroit Film Theater at the DIA. Just don’t do a movie as a first or second date. It’s generally not a great idea and kinda awkward. The ticket prices are generally really affordable.

Multiple locations.

5. Friday Nights At The DIA

The Detroit Institute of Arts. Daily Detroit File Photo.
The Detroit Institute of Arts. Daily Detroit File Photo.

A good standby if you don’t know what to do on a Friday night. If you live in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb counties, it’s also free to visit. There are always different programs like drawing in the galleries, musical acts, and more. More here. 

5200 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202

4. Fisher Building Tour 

The Fisher Building from the third floor
The Fisher Building from the third floor

The Fisher Building is on par with anything you’d see in any city around the world. It’s drop-dead gorgeous, and having road-tested and taken this tour as a date before, I can tell you it was an awesome one. Here’s a double bonus: The Fisher Building has not only gone through a bit of a restoration, they have seriously upped their retail game in the last year or so. Wow them at the Peacock Room or Yama, or hop across the street to the new Avalon Biscuit Cafe. More on the tours here.

3011 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202

3. Pie & Coffee

Have a sweet slice of Sister Pie in West Village, then grab coffee at Red Hook. Both places are cute as a button. Great if you’re a morning person.

Sister Pie: 8066 Kercheval Ave, Detroit, MI 48214

Red Hook: 8025 Agnes St, Detroit, MI 48214

2. Live Comedy

via Go Comedy! Facebook Page

Both of these options aren’t in the city proper, but darn, darn close. You should give Planet Ant a spin in Hamtramck, or one of the fab shows at Go! Comedy. I’ve been to both and can tell you they’re a different twist than some expensive show at the Fox and I had just as much fun. Both are good anchors for a longer date night as Planet Ant is Hamtramck, and Go Comedy! is in Downtown Ferndale.

Go Comedy!: 261 E 9 Mile Rd, Ferndale, Michigan 48220

Planet Ant: 2357 Caniff St, Hamtramck, MI 48212

1. See All The Lights Downtown

OK, so here’s the thing. Downtown Detroit used to be holiday central way back in the day. And now, it kinda is again. There’s a beautiful Winter In Detroit market in 1001 Woodward, Cadillac Square, Spirit Plaza AND Capitol Park (yes, there’s bar stops, too). There’s the giant Christmas tree. There’s the ice rink in Campus Martius, if you’re the skating type. There are holiday lights everywhere. Be sure if you’re going to do the holiday market you pop by on the weekends or close to after work. Did we mention Carriage Rides? Yeah. All the things through Christmas. Go check that out. 

Campus Martius: 800 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

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