Talk about a wild date. No need to jet off to Africa for a safari when you can get up close and personal with the exotic animals at this wildlife preserve situated 75 miles southwest of Dallas. Guests can explore 1,800 acres from the comfort of their car and encounter a variety of wildlife, ranging from giraffes to rhinos, zebras and emus. Want to take the experience up a notch? Then book one of Fossil Rim's Single-Group Safari Tours for 1-10 people, which takes guests along the 7.2-mile Gosdin Scenic Drive as well as onto roads where the self-guided tours are not allowed to go. Private tours are priced at $500 for the group. Self-guided tour admission is $19.95 for children and $24.95 for adults.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a magical place for animal lovers.
Ilene's expert tip: Note that all tickets must be purchased online before coming. Private tours should be booked as far in advance as possible.
For those who like urban adventures, there's not a better way to see downtown Dallas than with a two-hour gliding tour with Segway Nation. Tours are offered 6 times a day and include visits through all the famous Downtown landmarks such as Thanksgiving Square, Dealey Plaza, and the 6th Floor Museum. Ideal date night activity? A Segway ride through the Dallas Arts District after the sun goes down. There are no special skills required and they'll teach you all you need to know to get rolling. The tours are open to anyone over the age of 14, though riders under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian co-sign a liability waiver and be on tour with them. Reservations are a must.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Rolling through Dallas on a Segway is a blast whether you're a visitor or a local.
Ilene's expert tip: For a limited time, all tours are being offered for $59 when booked online.
Whether you're a pro golfer or have never swung a club before, TopGolf is an ideal date night spot for couples who enjoy engaging in little friendly competition. This massive golf entertainment complex features 70 climate-controlled hitting bays equipped with a variety of high-tech games that use Toptracer technology allowing guests to track the path of every golf shot via a real-time display on an HD screen. Oh, and did we mention that each bay comes with a host that provides food and drink service? As for Covid-19 safety precautions, expect to find safely spaced hitting bays with screen dividers placed between each bay. Guests are also required to wear face coverings around the venue when not at tables or bays.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: TopGolf is a terrific date night spot for those who want to drink, eat and engage in some spirited competition.
Ilene's expert tip: TopGolf game play is only $15 per person from 10 a.m.- noon, Monday through Friday. All game play is half price on Tuesdays.
A date night movie is always a popular option, but in times of COVID-19, going to an indoor theater can be risky. Enter the Rooftop Cinema Club, a pop-up drive-in theater featuring a movie under the stars experience near downtown Dallas. There are two screenings per night, seven nights a week and parking spots are assigned on a first come first serve basis. Though the Dallas location isn't on a rooftop, it is positioned in a grassy field with downtown Dallas' skyline views as the backdrop. Guests can purchase food and beverages on site or are welcome to bring their own. Tickets are $22-$35 per vehicle, though some screenings go for as low as $5. Note that face coverings are required if you leave your car to go to the restroom or pick up concessions.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Rooftop Cinema Club offers a safe and fun alternative to traditional movie theaters.
Ilene's expert tip: Section A tickets are closest to the screen. Sign up for a free membership and receive a voucher code for 10% off your first ticket.
Romantic movie dates are all well and good, but how about taking your date to a cinematic experience where you can actually step into the story? Enter Dreamscape Immersive, sort of a cross between a cinema and theme park ride which with the aid of body-mapping and real-time motion capture technology, participants can interact as full-body avatars within a virtual 3D environment. Tickets are $19.99, and each adventure, from beginning to end, takes approximately 35 minutes (including check-in and gearing up). COVID-19 safety protocols in place include thoroughly cleaning all gear and equipment before each use. There is also a mandatory mask mandate for employees and guests. Best of all, if you purchase more than one ticket, you are guaranteed a private VR adventure.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Dreamscape is ideal for those who want to take their date to the next level.
Ilene's expert tip: It's best to purchase tickets online in advance as showings tend to book up quickly. Dreamscape is located at NorthPark Center on level two between Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.
Looking for a perfect place for a picnic? Look no further than the Dallas Arboretum, a stunning horticultural oasis overlooking White Rock Lake. Here, visitors can stroll through 66-acres of immaculately landscaped gardens filled with an endless parade of seasonal blooms, ornamental shrubs, trees, and eye-catching water features. There's also usually a packed events calendar, ranging from art shows to concerts and seasonal festivals. Don't miss the annual Dallas Blooms festival during the spring, when over 500,000 blooming bulbs and annuals blanket the entire park with a vibrant display of color. Note that at this time, masks are required for guests ages 5 and over and all tickets must be reserved online.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Dallas Arboretum is a shoo-in for romantics who enjoy being in nature.
Ilene's expert tip: From January 2 through February 28, tickets for adults are only $5. Note that the Arboretum is listed on Dallas CityPASS.
They say chocolate is an aphrodisiac, so what better way to seduce your date than with a chocolate crawl through four of the city's dreamiest chocolate boutiques? Tours last approximately 3.5 hours and include samples from four of Dallas' top sweet shops. Not into chocolate? No problem. The company also features walking food tours; barbecue and brewery tours; taco and margarita excursions and more. And with COVID-19 in mind, Dallas By Chocolate is presently offering its tours by motorcoach (capacity restricted to 20 maximum and all seating socially distanced) as well as via your own vehicle. Several special tours on tap for Valentine's weekend include one where guests will be instructed to drive to a specified scenic location and be indulged with delicious treats and beverages. Ticket prices range from $31 to $70 per person.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Dallas by Chocolate is the best way to explore Dallas' culinary side.
Ilene's expert tip: All guests are required to wear masks or face shields when in any inside space and not eating.
Strolling through Mother Nature is nice and all but galloping through it is infinitely better. Widowmaker Trail Rides provides small groups of novice and experienced riders alike guided horseback rides along the scenic shores of Lake Grapevine, located just 30 minutes from downtown Dallas. Trails wind through 1000-acres of stunning landscape that includes everything from lush forests to meadows, hills, and creeks. The two-hour rides are priced at $100 per person and are offered year-round by appointment only. Even better? Most of the rides end up being private ones.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: It doesn't get any more romantic than a sunset horseback ride along the shores of Lake Grapevine.
Ilene's expert tip: Depending on the schedule, private rides can also be arranged.
Nothing says love like an adrenaline rush. Just minutes from downtown Dallas lies Trinity Forest Adventure Park, a seven-acre combination obstacle course and zip line park boasting over twenty zip-lines which are spread out over six aerial obstacle courses. The courses are all self-guided to allow everyone to move at their own pace, but it's important to watch your time since tickets are only valid for three hours. The price for a 3-hour adventure tour is $54.95 for ages 16 and up. Note that reservations are required.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Trinity Forest Adventure Park is great for those who enjoy active dates.
Ilene's expert tip: Guest will submit to a temperature scan at check-in and will be required to wear a mask when in close proximity to another person.
There is nothing more romantic than a gondola ride through the canals of Venice. But if you can't swing a trip to Italy, the next best thing is to book a private gondola ride through the waterways of the Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn. Gondola Adventures offers plenty of options for making it a date to remember, ranging from one-hour classic tours to dessert, pizza, breakfast, and Italian dinner cruises. Plus, they offer a variety of ways to ramp up the love factor with specialty enhancements like scattered rose petals and special messages delivered in a decorative bottle. Prices start from $155 for two people.
Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Nothing spells romance like a gondola ride on a canal.
Ilene's expert tip: Be sure to reserve in advance, and also request a singing gondolier.