Date Night in the OC: Places and Ideas


December 1, 2016

Searching for first date ideas? Or maybe change up your current date night routine in Anaheim and Orange County? We’re here to help you navigate through an abundance of special and unique date night ideas within Anaheim and Orange County. Here are a few ideas to make your evening truly magical.

Budget-friendly Date Ideas

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  • Small Bites or Drinks at the Anaheim Packing District: Not sure what your date likes or, for that matter, doesn’t like? No problem! The Packing District offer dozens of spots to grab a bite, a few drinks, topped off with a casual stroll through downtown Anaheim.
    • For example, grab a handheld dessert from Pop Bar, Han’s Homemade or Crepe Coop and stroll through Farmer’s Park. Pull up a chair and enjoy the vibe as an eclectic array of artists and bands play into night. Great libations can be found at the Hammer Bar, Anaheim Brewery, Unsung Brewery (In MAKE across the street) or the elusive Blind Rabbit Speakeasy. More info here.
  • Crawl Through Local Art and Culture: Four times a year, local artists, crafters and DIY enthusiasts converge on Center St. in downtown Anaheim for the inspiring and creative Art Crawl Experience.
    • Added bonus: End your crawl at MUZEO. Usually, the museum will open its doors free of charge for all ACE participants.
  • Try not to ‘fall’ in love at Anaheim Ice: Bad pun, sorry. Head to this Frank Gehry-designed rink (also the practice facility for the Anaheim Ducks). Hold hands and skate like you're in a winter wonderland. Then ditch the ice for our beautiful SoCal weather. Sessions are $10 and skates are rented for $3.
  • Relax Over Coffee at Gypsy Den Café + Bar: Sip on specialty coffees while you take in a lively and vibrant atmosphere of Center Street's Gypsy Den Café + Bar. Gypsy Den has a variety of affordable, healthy snacks and drinks for you and your date. Make sure to check their website for events like open mic night, usually happening on the weekend!
  • Beer Flights at a Local Brewery: We’re a big proponent of discovering new tastes alongside your significant other. Individual beer flights aren’t expensive and are a perfect conversation starter. Most Anaheim breweries offer flights—here are some of our favorites:
  • Anaheim Brewery
  • Bruery Terreux
  • Bottle Logic
  • Unsung Brewery
  • Noble Ale Works

Top Spot for a Date Night

  • Anaheim Packing House: This two-level foodie haven features a large central atrium with communal dining surrounded by innovative culinary purveyors. Enjoy a variety of tastes, from flavorful international cuisine and down-home southern comfort fare to artisan coffee and handcrafted desserts. Pro tip: Call in and reserve a spot at the Packing House's Blind Rabbit for a more romantic and secluded escape. More info.  
  • THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon: Top notch steaks, fine dining, line dancing, endless wine selection and quintessential southern amenities can all be found at THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon. Whether it's a special anniversary dinner, first date or anything in between—THE RANCH Restaurant & Saloon will never disappoint.
  • 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
  • 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 as far as Catalina Island and the LA skyline from the patio. More info
  • Las Brisas Restaurant (Laguna Beach): Eat an amazing meal while overlooking the Pacific Ocean! Especially romantic for brunch or a late dinner. More info

Entertainment/Other Date Ideas

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  • AMC Downtown Disney: Movies are a great date night idea especially if you can agree on the same one! This theater located in the Downtown Disney District is surrounded by great restaurants and bars. Start with drinks at Catal Restaurant's outdoor UVA bar and then watch the Disneyland fireworks before heading to your movie. 
  • Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament (Buena Park): A classic date night option in Orange County! Have a little fun with your date at this live dinner theater where you cheer on your knight while eating a medieval meal with your hands. 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.