Despite what the song says, boys just want to have (at least as much) fun as girls do. So why do so many parent date nights slip into the routine rather than the unique? This year, let’s shake that up a bit with a just-in-time-for-Valentine’s-Day date night at one of our favorite Seattle spots. We’re talking cooking classes, axe throwing and adventure parks that will get the old heart pumping. Who knows? You just might find a new normal.
Nordo's Room Service
What if your night out was actually a night in? And it was planned by someone else? That's the idea behind Cafe Nordo's at-home experience kits—Nordo's Room Service. Produced by Seattle-based artists and packed with freshly-made treats, these mystery adventures offer a truly unique experience. There are three experiences to choose from ("Do Not Disturb", "The Witching Hour" and "Curiouser & Curiouser: The Interrogation of Alice") which include video presentations to take you step by step in your adventure, specially curated desserts, non-alcoholic themed drinks (with suggestions on how to spike them) and keepsakes. Boxes can be picked up at Cafe Nordo or they can be shipped directly to your home. All locally picked up boxes can also add-on wine or select Nordo-produced food items-like a charcuterie board featuring Olympia Provisions Charcuteries.
109 South Main St.
Seattle. WA 98104
Catapult Adventure Park
Who says that trampoline parks need to be for kids only? Catapult Adventure Park offers 18 different experiences and some not for the faint of heart. Each one has its own intriguing name like the Launch Zone, Tube-Topia, Strobe Zone, The Paw Pit and Giant Cat Tree. Who know what kind of challenges you and your better half will face with names like that. After all of that running, climbing and jumping around, you’ll need a full snack bar to refuel. They’ve got what you need there, serving up pizzas, wings, cheesy bread sticks, Cinnabon rolls, cookies, brownies and more.
Hours: Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. noon-9 p.m.
35025 Enchanted Pkwy S.,
Federal Way, WA 98003
Everett Improv Happy Hour
Just waking up after many months of closure due to Covid, Everett Improv encourages you to get off the couch and challenge yourself in front of a crowd. Although the 50% off alcohol sales might be enough some couples to try out Everett Improv's Happy Hour, it's really not about the drinks. Held each Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., this happy hour is all about playing ridiculous games for the sake of playing them and learning a few things too. This venue also offers more traditional courses all year long as well.
2610 Colby Ave.
Everett, WA 98203
Blade & Timber Axe Throwing
Because nothing says "I love you" like a little head-to-head axe throwing competition, you've got every reason to plan your next date night at this Seattle hot spot. Come as a pair or bring your besties to experience a date night that's not easily classified. Book a private lane if you've got a big group or plan to share if it's just the two of you. Then come prepared to learn the ropes from a certified coach who will walk you through how to throw the axe and score the game. Closed-toed shoes are a must to play, but the buffalo plaid is optional. Outside food is a welcomed addition here, but you can also opt for low-key snacks they sell on-site. Blade & Timber became the first axe throwing venue in the state of Washington approved to serve beer, but don't go crazy. Guests are limited to two beers while throwing axes!
Hours: Mon.-Wed., 4-9 p.m.; Thu., 4-10 p.m.; Fri., 2-11 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. and Sun., noon-8 p.m.
206 Broadway E.
Random fact: a "flatstick" is slang for a golf putter. At Flatstick + Pub, couples can combine one of America’s favorite activities with a bar. Each Flatstick Pub location has a similar look and feel highlighting the art of local artist, Ryan ‘Henry’ Ward. But each offers a unique and completely different experience. Expect to find a highly creative nine-hole course with various “water hazards” and obstacles to avoid like beer kegs or whimsical creatures. Ready for a date night bonus? Flatstick Pub is also home to the original Duffleboard, a tabletop version of mini golf. This twist on the game was created by the owners of the pub and requires a special handheld putter. This game is just as simple and can be played by people of all skill levels. Score!
Insider tip: All Flatstick locations offer beer, wine, cider and soft drinks and will most certainly offer a good time. However, if you'd like to enjoy a meal with your game, the South Lake Union location is the best choice as it features a restaurant overseen by Ethan Stowell Restaurants featuring brick oven pizzas and pub classics such as chicken wings, jalapeño poppers and fried mushrooms.
Hours and prices vary by location.
15 Lake St., Suite 100
Kirkland, WA 98033
240 2nd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98104
South Lake Union
609 Westlake Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98109
Tacoma (coming soon)
809 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Remember when roller skating was cool? It still is at Pattison's West. Only now you can hang out with the cool kids during Adult Skate Nights. If it has been a while since you last laced up a pair skates, you'll be surprised to see how much things have changed. One of the highest regarded skating rinks in America, Pattison’s West features a state-of-the-art music sound system, LED lighting and a super smooth maplewood rotunda skate floor. The first Saturday of every night is set aside for Sip & Skate Nights featuring what Pattison's calls "an adult variety of music and adult beverages" (beer and wine) giving a new meaning to "snack bar." The rink also offers Adult Rhythm Skate Nights on Sundays and Wednesdays featuring R&B, Fund, House and Hip Hop music.
Sip and Skate Hours: 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m.
Adult Skate Hours: Wed., Fri. & Sun., 8:15-11 p.m.
34222 Pacific Hwy. S.
Federal Way, WA 98003
The only thing hotter than molten steel is smashing that metal into lifetime memories. Wait, isn’t that also called blacksmithing? For date night? Sure! This is all about playing with fire and gigantic tools (the kind of thing your six-year-old dreams about) and making stuff like horseshoe knives, bottle openers, garden art and even Damascus stainless steel rings. Or use your creativity and immortalize your beloved in iron. Impress guests with a medieval cheeseboard and knife, or bust out chop sticks and wasabi bowls that look like props from Game of Thrones. Anything’s possible. If you can think it, you can forge it. No phones, no computers. Just fire, hammers and gloved hands. And anvils. Don’t forget the anvils.
Hours: Public and private classes between three and eight hours in length are offered Mon.-Sun., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
3600 E. Marginal Way S., Studio 8
Seattle, WA 98134
Have a fun date night and help protect sea life at the same time. That is the goal of Ocean5. Named after the five great oceans of the earth, this entertainment hub goes above and beyond bringing sustainable practices to the entertainment industry, including decorating with carpets made from recycled fishing nets and using locally sourced and reused building materials. However, they know that having fun is just as important. Laser Tag is a really big deal here. Ocean5 features a two-story laser tag arena that can accommodate up to 40 people per game. (Not that you would bring 38 people on your date night, but it's nice to know that you could.) They offer both regular 10 Pin Bowling as well as Duckpin where everything is the same but smaller. Psst! Fans of the sport think it's twice the fun. The game room here also features over 50 classic games and after 10 p.m., it’s adults only.
Insider tip: Ocean5 offers special events like Paint & Sip nights, rock 'n' roll bingo, concerts, football Sundays, Wine Down Wednesdays, comedy nights and more. Also located on the Ocean5 premises is Table 47, a restaurant and bar featuring over 40 beers and wine on tap, as well as specialty cocktails. The food is special, too. Diners can expect to find pulled pork sliders, crispy Brussels sprouts, flatbreads, burgers, Chimichurri steak, baja shrimp tacos and more on the robust menu.
Hours: Wed.-Thu., 3-9 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., 3-10 p.m.; Sun., 3-9 p.m.
5268 Point Fosdick Dr.
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
The goal of Vertex Arena is to connect people through the power of play and provide experiences that are both engaging and healthy by encouraging people to move around. They say that people who come here get a chance to “express their true inner eccentric through jump and movement, connect with their fellow man through lighthearted competition and relax with a shareable food experience.” You can’t beat that. Vertex Arena is also a place to feel like a kid again with a variety of trampolines, Nerf guns, bows and arrows, dodge ball, a ninja course and virtual reality chamber. Who wouldn’t want to freefall into a pool of foam squares, play a game of basketball while bouncing off a trampoline, play a game of tag with Nerf products or balance on an obstacle course?
Good to know: Recharge at the Sideline Restaurant & Bar featuring freshly made thin crust pizzas, sliders, sandwiches, fish & chips, chicken wings and more, plus a list of beverages that range from Jones Soda to craft cocktails.
Hours: Wed., 2-7 p.m.; Thu., 3-7 p.m.; Fri., 3-8 p.m.; Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
10700 231st Way N.E.
Redmond, WA 98053
Bowlero/Garage Billiards & Bowl
Bowling has changed a lot since Fred and Barney’s bowling league days. And Bowerlo has helped to change the recreational sport’s image with the exception of those shoes. Today, these centers feature the latest technology in bowling but with a retro feel. It’s hip without being silly. The lounge areas and sports bars feature oversized shareables and signature cocktails. And the Lynnwood and Tukwila locations features 40 lanes and arcade games for the kid in you. The Garage Billiards & Bowl location is slightly smaller with just 20 lanes, but also features 25 pool tables, outdoor seating and a fire pit.
Hours and prices vary by location.
1222 164th St. S.W.
Lynnwood, WA 98087
Bowlero South Seattle
100 Andover Pkwy. W.
Tukwila, WA 98188
Garage Billiards & Bowl
Seattle, WA 98122
The Field Trip Society
We experience pangs of envy when the kids go off to the Seattle Aquarium and MoPOP and MOHAI. They get to spend the entire day learning and exploring and wondering. Why do kids get to have all the fun? Enter Field Trip Society, experiential event planners who produce academic excursions for adults. Their motto is “Semper Quaerens” (Always Searching), and that translates to a mind-boggling array of potential outings for curious couples who love to learn. Want to acquire the knowledge of how to make pies, or the history of caviar, or how to forage for mushrooms, or fly fish, or star gaze? Field Trip Society has you covered. No permission slip required. The Field Trip Society locates passionate experts who are excited to convey their know-how to eager acolytes. Small class sizes and informal classrooms make it fun for everyone. Frequent venues include pubs and restaurants, because if you’re going to learn to macrame, wood-fired pizza and a glass of Syrah couldn’t hurt.
Field Trip Society
Mox Boarding House
If you're a game player–any type of game player–you’ve got to visit Mox Boarding House. It’s a perfect venue that can accommodate any type of date whether it’s just you and your significant other, a double date or even (sigh) a date night out with the kids. No really. This place features every kind of board or role-playing game you can imagine. Simply check them out from their library for free while dining in their full-service restaurant or enjoying drinks in the bar or a simple dessert for two. And if you fall in love with the game, you can purchase it in their retail store. Just remember, the one who wins the game has to put everything back in the box like you found it.
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m.-midnight; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-midnight
5105 Leary Ave. N.W.
Seattle, WA 98107
13310 Bel-Red Rd.
Bellevue, WA 98005
Always wanted to play drums, bass or drumandbass? Dusty Strings is where souls soar on the wings of music. Grab your partner and find your mutual melody. Dusty Strings gives group and private lessons for the musically inclined or curious. Private lessons provide the most individual attention, and they’re the best choice if you prefer learning two-on-one. Or hold hands, take a deep breath and brave a group class. They are fun, welcoming and stress-free. In this safe group environment, couples bring their instruments and dive in, gaining confidence playing music together. Teachers might encourage an electronic tuner, picks, staff or TAB paper, a capo, music stand, foot stool, recording device or other items. No idea? No problem. Just call or email the friendly staff and tell them you are a musical noob and they will guide you. The best part is choosing from a vast list of obscure instruments (think: bouzouki, button accordion, concertina, dobro) and giving them a try with someone you love. Isn’t being a couple all about making beautiful music together?
3406 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, WA 98103
Let’s face it, no matter how athletic and active you were before kids, having a Little or two at home makes workouts just a tad more, well, work. Why not grab your spandex and your sweetie and head to Edgeworks for an exciting evening helping each other balance, stretch and climb your way to the top? Dubbed “The Climbers’ Gym,” Edgeworks offers many beginning climbing courses every week at all three locations. Learn the basics including climbing safety checks and belaying (climber-speak for managing the climber’s rope). The student-teacher ratio is always 4:1. Absolutely no experience is necessary and all gear can be rented on site. The best news is, all classes include a two-week membership that will allow you (and maybe your kids, next time) to come back and test out your mad climbing skillz. What better and fun way to get your sweat on with your significant other?
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 6 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
15600 NE 8th St, Suite C-1
Bellevue, WA 98008
2839 N.W. Market St.
Seattle, WA 98107
6102 N. 9th St., Ste. 100
Tacoma, WA 98406
Hot Stove Society
Has your dinner routine fallen into the same ho-hum category as laundry, unloading the dishwasher and vacuuming Cheerios out of the minivan? Luckily, the wide (as in enormous) variety of jaw droppingly delicious cooking classes at Hot Stove Society will turn ho-hum into hot tamale in seconds. Founded by beloved Seattle restaurateur Tom Douglas (who sometimes shows up to teach a class), Hot Stove offers the freshest, fun and most downright delicious cooking classes this side of Le Cordon Bleu, at a fraction of the price. Classes such as Potsticker Love with Hsiao-Ching and Knife Skills will bring your cooking game up a notch, but we’re partial to the classes that let you snuggle up with your favorite adult while you cook. Along with classes like Wine Press and Tom Douglas’ World Famous Triple Coconut Cream Pie, you really can’t go wrong planning the perfect date night with Hot Stove Society.
Insider tip: Classes fill up quickly, so if you see a class that sounds interesting sign up now!
2000 4th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
As if you needed yet another reason to get out and enjoy Seattle's spelndid scenery, the folks at Cycle Saloon have found one for you. This crazy contraption seats 16 guests who peddle around the streets of Ballard on various pub crawls or brewery tours. It will surely make your kids jealous, but tough nuggets kiddos, parents need their exercise. Despite its name, riders don’t actually drink and drive (drinking on the bike is the same as drinking in public and carries all the same consequences under the law). But during this excursion, you don’t have worry about driving at all. That's because each oversized bike comes with its own driver. There are five pedaling seats on each side of the vehicle, a bench in the back that seats three non-pedaling guests and one standing spot in the middle for what they've deemed for the “dancer.” And guess what? You can bring any food and non-alcoholic beverages aboard as well. You can book individually or as a group. Just remember...all riders must at least 21 years of age and all peddlers need to be at least 5’3”.
Insider tip: The company also operates the Cycle Saloon Pontoon which operates with the same principle on water taking you around South Lake Union. Although dubbed the "booze cruise,” the pontoon doesn’t make any stops for liquor during its 1.5 hour tour. Even so, you still must be 21 to hop aboard.
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., year-round.
Cost: Cycle Saloon is $30/person or $360-$400 for a full bike; Cycle Saloon Pontoon is $375-$425 for a full pontoon
The Cycle Saloon
—Jeffrey Totey, Natalie Compagno & Allison Sutcliffe
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