This post — with more than seventeen East Bay date night ideas — is sponsored by UrbanSitter.com.
Over the past three years of running this community website, we have profiled dozens of parents and asked them about their favorite picks and places in the East Bay. Today, I'm happy to share your collective favorite date-nights! Not surprisingly, there's a big emphasis on food.
Do you have any more great ones to share in the comments? Please do!
Let's do something special
Polly's favorite date night is pictured. She says: We pack up the truck with a big blanket, two cheap, low-slung lawn chairs, and a thermos of hot chocolate. Grab fresh fruit from the farmer’s market, pick up bread, cheese, and olives from Cheese Board, and get a split of wine from North Berkeley Wine Company. Drive up to the parking lot terraces above the Lawrence Hall of Science, park the on the highest terrace with the truck bed facing out to the bay, and then set up the lawn chairs. Hunker down to watch the sun set, the bay become iridescent, the lights twinkle on, and the stars slowly emerge as we have long conversations about anything and everything, as if we were a-courtin’ long, long ago. Cheapest date night ever; bar none always the best.
Tiana says: My husband and I go bowling any chance we get. We both got our own shoes several Christmases ago and I got my own ball as an anniversary gift. I not-so-secretly dream of becoming a professional bowler. Anyway, the closest alley is Albany Bowl and we usually grab a drink before playing a couple games. Albany Bowl has great specials after 9pm on some nights, so our date nights end up being pretty cheap.
Tamsen agrees: Albany Bowl with a big group of friends for a night of free bowling we’ve won from the weekly business card raffle. Add beer and a dress code!
Ryk says: We seem to make a point of going somewhere different every time, usually to hear a band in the city. The last ones I can remember have been at the Make-Out Room. the Great American Music Hall, The Independent, Cafe du Nord. It’s fun to plan the music but then leave the dinner and drinks up to chance. The First Friday Square Dance with the Squirrelly String Band at the Niebyl-Proctor Library on Telegraph near Alcatraz is a good time, too.
Andrea says: My fave date night is not a night at all! My husband and I recently escaped on a Sunday afternoon with our tennis rackets in hand. Even though neither of us have played in 20 years, we had a blast hitting the ball back and forth at the Live Oak courts. Then we walked to Lush (in Epicurious garden) and had their dreamy fresh mint chip ice cream. It was good old-fashioned fun. And I wasn’t exhausted since it was 2pm!
Katrina adds three more favorite date destinations:
#1. Hot tub at Piedmont Springs, then dinner at Oliveto.
#2. Walk around Lake Merritt, then massage the Foot Spa and Tea Bar.
#3. For daytime dates, we love riding our bikes up Tunnel Road into Tilden Park.
Focus on the food
Becky says: Wood Tavern. 2 words- Pork Chop! (and burger). You can even bring the kids if you go early- like 5pm. They are awesome with the kids and even offer them crayons. But for date night- leave them home.
Suzanne says: Corso on Shattuck is a new favorite – the food is phenomenal and it’s very close to home for us. We also love to see shows at the Greek and pick up great take-out (Urbann Turbann or Gregoire) to take with us.
Dinner and a Movie
Amalia says: Cerrito Theatre is a very efficient date night – you can eat while you watch the movie, and the seats are very comfortable. They also host twice-monthly Bringing Up Baby nights, for new parents.
Rachel says: My husband and I are movie snobs/enthusiasts and our favorite date is a movie at California Theater on Kittredge. They always seem to be showing the movie we want to see and something about the theater’s enthusiasm gets the best of us. Before every movie, a staff member comes out to introduce the show! Something about this little touch really adds to our movie-going experience. Plus, we always know that we’re sharing the movie-viewing experience with other enthusiasts since this theater seems to attract that kind of crowd. It doesn’t hurt that it’s near one of our favorite restaurants, Angeline’s Louisiana Kitchen. Yep, that’s the perfect date night for us!
This post is sponsored by UrbanSitter.com, one amazing resource for finding, booking, and paying babysitters that your friends like and trust. We and our friends have had very good luck using it. All picks for date night locations are from our community of parents. We want you guys to have a date night so badly that we created a four-part series of where you can go when it's dinner out, just dessert, fun activities or only drinks.
Read more about UrbanSitter on Rookie Moms.
[Photos: Skyline by LesbianDad.net, Wine glasses at the Oak Tavern via Yelp, Hand holding made by Whitney]