May 17, 2012

Most of the time when my husband suggests we go on a date (or, more likely, when I suggest we go on a date), I know what's to follow: '€œSo... dinner and a movie, then?'€

We seem to be inept at coming up with a variety of date night ideas, which is pretty ridiculous when you think of all there is to do in Orange County. Not only is the OC a great location for family outings, it's also perfect for keeping couples entertained.

So I've compiled a list of some great date night ideas and locations in Orange County so the next time you or I are fresh out of ideas, we have something to refer to (surely we can do better than dinner and a movie).

Budget-friendly date ideas:

  • Baseball game at Angel Stadium (Anaheim): Nosebleed seats can come as cheap as $12; watch for promotions on their website. Fridays nights offer a free fireworks show after the game for an added (and romantic) bonus.
  • Tide pools at Crystal Cove (Between Corona del Mar & Laguna Beach): Explore 3.2 miles of underwater beauty, or take a hike through 17 miles of stunning wilderness. It's the perfect option for an active couple. More info
  • Maverick Theater (Fullerton): For a cheap night at the theater, head to the Maverick Theater. They have affordable prices and student discounts. Want to laugh? Check out their Improv Shmimprov for only $5 on Fridays and Saturdays at 11p.m." 

Top date night restaurants:

  • The Twisted Vine (Fullerton): If you're a wino, check out this wine bar that has a great menu to accompany your drinks. Perfect for a romantic night out. More info
  • Las Brisas Restaurant (Laguna Beach): Eat an amazing meal while overlooking the ocean! Especially romantic for brunch or a late dinner. More info
  • Gabbi's (Orange): This restaurant has stand-out mexican food near the Orange Circle. Because of its great historic location in Old Towne Orange, you'll want to take advantage of the antique shopping before or after your meal. More info
  • Orange County Mining Company (Orange): After a long drive up a huge hill, you'll find that the view here is unbeatable; on a clear day or night you can see the LA skyline from the patio. More info

Entertainment/Other date ideas:

  • South Coast Repertory (Costa Mesa): If you love the theater, the South Coast Repertory is close, affordable, and surrounded by some great restaurants." 
  • The Improv (Brea and Irvine): Laugh it up with some of your favorite comedians at the Improv." 
  • UltraLuxe Cinemas (Anaheim): Sometimes movies can be a great idea (especially if you can agree on the same one!). This theater at the Gardenwalk has a 21-and-over section where they serve beer and wine. Start with some drinks in the lounge area, and watch the Disneyland fireworks before heading into your movie. More info
  • Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament (Buena Park): An oldie, but a goodie. Have a little fun with your date at this live dinner theater where you cheer on your knight while eating a messy medieval meal. More info
  • Catalina Island: Although the beaches in Orange County are nice, heading to Catalina Island gives you a little more privacy and a whole lot of beauty. Walk around the shops, rent a golf cart, and enjoy a romantic dinner right on the water '€“ then return home the same day!
  • Balboa Pier (Balboa Beach): Nothing is more romantic than a walk on the pier, a little ice cream, and perhaps a ride on the ferris wheel. "