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  • Maddie LaBerge

5 Date Ideas in Phoenix, Arizona

At Saturday brunch, a friend of mine was asking for advice on where to go on his next date. He is not a Phoenix local and works tough hours, so he isn't meandering the city at will. While I am also not a local or meandering the city at will, I have done a fair share of things in Phoenix and always try to sniff out the best deals! So without further ado, here is my comprehensive list of five date ideas in Phoenix.

Phoenix Date Idea #1: Phoenix Art Museum

The Phoenix Art Museum is a top five Phoenix-area attraction for me and I think it should be for everyone. Not only is it a great place to walk around, view art and chat, it also has an amazing gift shop and a small café. Start with a latte and take time to walk around all of the exhibits. On the first floor, you'll find art from around the world, temporary art exhibits and "Instagrammable" pieces – helpful in gauging whether or not your date can be your personal photographer moving forward. In the large first floor galleries, view modern art and feel moved or snark about it together.

Upon writing this, I learned that "You Who are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies" by Yayoi Kusama was recently restored and moved to the first floor. It is by far, the most impressive and immersive exhibit I've encountered and I make a point to see it on every visit. It is the only Kusama infinity room in the American Southwest and in my opinion, one of the most magical art exhibits in North America. Points for being dark and romantic inside, an excellent first kiss location.

Phoenix Art Museum - Phoenix Date Idea

The Phoenix Art Museum has programs that can lower the cost of going:

  • On Wednesdays, admission is pay-what-you-wish from 3pm - 9 pm.

  • On PHXArt Fridays, live music, art-making workshops, and admission is free from 5pm - 9 pm on the following 2024 dates:

    • Friday, March 1

    • Friday, June 7

    • Friday, September 6

    • Friday, December 6

  • On PHXART Family Fundays, museum admission is complimentary from 10am - 5pm on the following 2024 dates:

    • Sunday, April 28

    • Sunday, June 30

    • Sunday, August 11

    • Sunday, November 10

*PHXArt Museum no longer offers complimentary admission and extended hours on First Fridays.

Phoenix Date Idea #2: FOUND:RE & Genuwine

Staying within the arts district neighborhood, you can find modern art with a zany flair over at the FOUND:RE hotel in downtown Phoenix. The FOUND:RE is a one-of-a-kind lifestyle hotel experience with details, designs, public spaces and amenities inspired by local contemporary art, culture, fashion and music.

If you're feeling flexible, they offer a free 45-minute yoga class on Sunday mornings in their art-adorned ballroom. After perusing some of the mixed media pieces, snag a coffee at Match Market & Bar inside the hotel lobby and take a quick four-minute outdoor stroll to local (& woman-owned!) wine bar, GenuWine.

GenuWine is a laid-back wine bar with local selections of wine (duh!), beer and food. The self-serve wine machines are always a fun surprise if you haven't used one before. There are good vibes, charcuterie and board games to keep things fun and light. I highly recommend the pretzel balls with the mustard and beer cheese.

GenuWine has a pretty good happy hour Monday - Friday until 6pm with:

  • $2 off Full Glasses of Wine

  • $2 off Small Plates

  • $5 Draft Beers 

Phoenix Date Idea #3: Valentine Brunch

Moving north to the Melrose District, the Valentine is an amazing brunch spot with a twist. Their playlist sets a chill, indie vibe and there is ample seating outdoors, indoors and in small conversation nooks but it's the back of the eatery that sets it apart from another Phoenix brunch spot. In the back of the building sits Modern Manor, a vintage modern furniture store. They have decor from the 1970s, eclectic office and dining room sets and art from eras across the last century. While most of this will be far out of budget for a date early on in a relationship, there are some clothing racks you can browse after trying every seat in the house.

Phoenix Date Idea #4: The Dinersaur

When planning out a date, being original always scores you more points on the thoughtful meter. This newly opened local bakery is sure to become a Phoenix mainstay – the Dinersaur. Have you ever heard of a banana breadasaurus? Well, now you have and I'm quite sure you'll be thinking about it until you can get your hands on one.

Look. at. how. adorable. they. are!!

Plus, dinosaurs are cool and none are harmed in the making of these treats.

Phoenix Date Idea #5: Culture Pass Around Town

I've said it once and I'll continue to scream it into the void, the library system is truly the bedrock of our society! Not only can you check out books, movies, music, audiobooks and unlock multiple free streaming platforms, you can also check out a Culture Pass. What is a culture pass? Here's the situation: A Culture Pass gives a library card holder FREE admission for two people at participating arts and cultural institutions.

This can be a little tricky to plan more than two weeks in advance since the passes are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and cannot be renewed or placed on hold. You can always see which passes are available and where at this link: Check which Culture Passes are currently available.

You can check out Culture Passes during library hours. At checkout, staff will give you a date-due slip admitting two people for one visit to that museum or cultural institution during the following seven days. You do not need to return the slip; it will expire on its own. Passes may be limited to general admission only. Special exhibitions may not be covered, and other restrictions may apply.​ Customers are limited to one pass per household at any one time, up to two passes per month.

As of January 2024, Cultural Passes can be checked-out for the following locations:

  • Arcosanti

  • Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

  • Besh Ba Gowah Archeological Park and Museum

  • Boyce Thompson Arboretum

  • Cave Creek Museum

  • Desert Botanical Garden

  • Desert Caballeros Western Museum

  • Gilbert Historical Museum

  • Heard Museum

  • Mesa Historical Museum

  • Phoenix Art Museum

  • Reid Park Zoo

  • River of Time Museum & Exploration Center

  • S'edav Va'aki Museum

  • Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Sedona Heritage Museum

  • Superstition Mountain Museum

  • The Arb at Flagstaff

  • University of Arizona Museum of Art


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