Creative Date Night Ideas in Erie, Pa.

Need some time with just the two of you? We have ideas!

January 26, 2023

Need a date night out in Erie? Don't we all? 

The occasional date nights out are important for parents to connect and focus on each other. Date nights can enhance your friendship as well as your emotional connectedness, Dianne Grande, Ph.D., a licensed clinical psychologist wrote in a Psychology Today article called "Date Night: Not a Luxury, a Necessity."

"Usually, the challenge for long-term couples is to get out of the routine that they have fallen into and put in some effort to make their lives together more fun and joyful," she writes.

So find a babysitter. schedule a playdate or recruit a family member or friend to take over kid duties for a few hours this weekend, and plan a great few hours away with your honey. Here are five ideas for creative dates in Erie:

Take a hike in Erie:

Find a trail to explore together by foot, on bike, or even on snowshoes — depending on the time of the year! Some of my favorite places to get out in nature: 

  • Asbury Woods: Take advantage of year-round nature opportunities at Asbury Woods, from hiking to Buttermilk Falls in the summer to renting snowshoes to enjoy the quiet trails in the winter.
  • Headwaters Park: This is one of my favorite trail systems in the area, with eight trails to explore. 
  • Presque Isle State Park: This is an obvious one, but there are so many trails to explore here it's easy to find one you haven't been on before! Or just take a walk along the lakeshore while searching for beach glass.

Where to eat in Erie?

After working up an appetite on the trail, stop at one of these great lunch spots:

Create in Erie!

Take a class together in Erie to get those creative juices flowing! In Erie you can find classes at places like:

  • Erie ClaySpace: Located in the PACA Building at 15th and State streets, ClaySpace offers classes like tandem throwing date night and handbuilt mugmaking.
  • Board & Brush: Create a wooden sign to display in your home.

Where to eat in Erie?

After creating your masterpiece, head to one of these Erie restaurants:

  • Picasso's: We had to include Picasso's here, just because of the name! Best sandwiches in Erie, Pa., hands down. Want something more romantic? Get your sandwiches to go and head out for a picnic.
  • Bar Rōnin: Owned by innovative and creative chef Dan Kern, this restaurant features contemporary Japanese Izakaya — and it's delicious. On your way out, stop by Icing on the Lake's vending machine next door for a memorable take-home dessert!
  • Bay House Oyster Bar & Restaurant: Enjoy fresh seafood, steaks, fresh oysters, indoor and outdoor dining at one of Erie's newest restaurants ...  all while viewing the beautiful bay view of Lake Erie.

Get out that stress

Life have you both feeling stressed out? Relax together! From throwing axes to couple massages — Erie has it all! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Spas: There are quite a few spas in Erie that offer couples massages. You can't go wrong at Panache Salon, Coventina Day Spa, and Monacella Massage.
  • Axe throwing: Want to REALLY get that stress out? Go axe throwing! You can enjoy a date night with some friendly competition at the BYOB Stumpy's Hatchet House in Liberty Plaza.
  • Archery Encounters: Located in the Millcreek Mall complex, Archery Encounters gives you a chance to try your hand at archery! Great for beginners to experts, and there is even a date night special.

Where to eat in Erie?

You'll want a nice relaxed meal in Erie after getting all that stress out! Try one of these for a casual, unrushed meal to enjoy together.

  • Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro: We love the menu that combines cooking techniques of Haiti and the American South at Pineapple Eddie's and how we can just relax and hang out in a booth to enjoy a nice slow meal.
  • Colao's Ristorante: Erie has its share of amazing Italian restaurants. I have a few favorites, but the neighborhood restaurant Colao's is at the top of my list!
  • Cork 1794: Beautiful cocktails and delicious entrees have made this restaurant an Erie favorite.
  • Samurai Kitchen & Sushi: By far the best and most innovative sushi in Erie.

Enjoy your favorite attractions... without the kids!

You probably always have kids along when you visit some of Erie's best attractions. So leave the kids at home and get out to explore on your own — you might be surprised how you enjoy places in a different way when the kids aren't pulling you in different directions. Here are some of our favorite places to visit again ... without the kids!

Where to eat in Erie?

Have a great brunch in Erie before heading out to your favorite attraction! Some of our favorite spots for brunch in  are:

  • Gem City Dinor features different specials each weekend — how can you resist the Steak Chalupas, Raspberry Chocolate Bread Pudding, or Mayan Hot Chocolate French Toast? You'll be back.
  •  Luminary Distillery features brunch every Sunday, including a Bloody Mary that has no rival.
  • Main Street Cakery Cafe in Erie ... avocado toast, 3-egg omelets and an irresistible bakery counter that guarantees you'll be leaving with some items to go.

Relive your early days 

Where was your first date in Erie? What did you love to do together when you were dating? For my husband and I? It was Calamari's! Here are some of our favorite classic Erie spots that are great for reminiscing about those early days.

Go bowling: Remember when you'd hang out with friends at the bowling alley? Take your partner back there — and perhaps meet your BFFs for a double date! Want to modernize it a bit? Go duckpin bowling! While Hooch and Blotto's is now closed, the restaurant is doing a quick turnaround and opening Quaker Steak and Lube in the location this Friday!

Play Port Arcade: Relive the good ol' days at Play Port, where you can play 100 video arcade games set on Free Play! You can even BYOB.

Go dancing: Take a dance lesson with Erie Ballroom Dance! There are group lessons and private lessons available.

Where to eat in Erie?

If the restaurant you enjoyed on one of your first dates is still open in Erie, head there! Some of the great longtime restaurants and bars in town we love:

  • Calamari's Squid Row: Near and dear to my heart as it was the spot of our first date (the third booth from the entrance) and Calamari's catered our wedding 18 months later.
  • Plymouth Tavern: Who doesn't know a couple who met at Plymouth Tavern?
  • Sneaky Pete's: This longtime "secret" Erie tavern is now an open secret, with delicious food and cocktails.