Have a date night coming up and don’t know what to do with your night out in Omaha? Here are a ton of Omaha date night ideas. This list includes romantic restaurants, active date ideas, and great neighborhoods to simply explore together.
Update: This post was first published in October 2019. It was last updated in July 2021 to reflect closures.
Omaha restaurants & bars for dates
Some of Omaha’s most romantic restaurants are in the Old Market, including V. Mertz and La Buvette. For Midtown, I recommend places like Dario’s Brasserie. Out West? Try either Dolce or Dante Pizzeria.
For more ideas, here’s a list of more romantic restaurants in Omaha.
Quirky restaurants for a date
Looking for something less formal and something even a little weird for a date? Here are 15+ quirky restaurants in Omaha. Need a starting place? Try the monster movie themed restaurant and bar, Monster Club.
Try out a new game at Spielbound for a casual and fun date night. Spielbound has both a café and a bar, so this makes for a good afternoon or evening date spot.
I love a good wine pairing dinner. My go-to spot is the Sage Bistro at the Metro Community College School of Culinary Arts.
Throughout the school year, there are pairing meals, and not just pairing wines with food. I’ve been to a margarita and tapas dinner as well as one that paired Irish spirits.
Sometimes you just want to find a date night restaurant that’s low-key and comfy. My go-to restaurant for that kind of date night is the Crescent Moon.
Just have time for a one-drink date? Make is somewhere memorable like the speak like the Old Market tiki bar Laka Lono Rum Club, The Wicked Rabbit (a speakeasy), or go for the retro feel of the Blackstone bar like the Red Lion Lounge.
Fun Omaha date ideas
See live theater
We’re lucky to have a ton of theater companies producing shows almost year-round. Not sure where to start? Some of my favorites include Bluebarn Theatre, Omaha Community Playhouse and Apollon Art Space.
Durham Museum after-hours
If you are both history buffs, The Durham Museum is an obvious, low-key daytime date. However, you can plan unique experiences by doing a history trolley tour together or one of the after-hours themed nights.
Any time of day, a trip to the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is always a nice, no-pressure date. However, the zoo plans after-hours events throughout the year for adults that are unique and memorable. Think comedy, food trucks or even camping.
Playful competition might be a good thing, right? There are eight places to play putt putt golf in the Omaha area.
There are two local venues that are sure bets for comedy every weekend: Funny Bone Comedy Club and The Backline. You may catch occasional touring acts at The Orpheum Theater or The Holland Center, as well.
The Backline is going to be the most affordable option.
See how creative or smart your significant other is under pressure. It may be a less frustrating experience if you do a couples date to an escape room. You get one hour to figure out all the clues to get out of the room. The only one I’ve tried is Get Out Omaha – it’s a lot of fun!
Favorite concert venues
I think the best date night venue for music is the 1200 Club at The Holland Center. Picture it: Candle-lit tables in an intimate concert hall and absolutely amazing performances.
My husband and I have seen great shows at Stir Concert Cove at Harrah’s in Council Bluffs, Iowa, as well as SumTur Amphitheater in Papillion, Neb. Check the concert lineup to see if one appeals to you (both venues are seasonal, obviously).
Free concerts – Summer is the best time for free dates, especially thanks to the many free weekly concert series around Omaha. My favorite is Jazz on the Green at Midtown Crossing. Pack a picnic (with wine or beer, if you like), bring chairs, and enjoy the world-class show.
I maintain a list of 100+ free concerts (and movies) every summer. Check out that list here.
Ideas for cheap Omaha date nights
Movies and concerts aren’t the only inexpensive date options in Omaha. Read on for date inspiration that’s either free or low cost.
Joslyn Art Museum
Beautiful art in an iconic building in Omaha? Joslyn Art Museum a classy date. And the best part is, it’s FREE. The restaurant at the Joslyn is going to be a little pricey if you’re on a budget.
If the weather’s nice, pack a picnic to enjoy in the outdoor sculpture garden.
Related post: There are more museums and galleries with FREE admission. Find them among this list of 20+ museums you should visit in Omaha.
First Friday Art Events
Visit a lot of galleries at once during First Fridays events in Benson and the Old Market. The FREE monthly events showcase a variety of artists and styles, and there is often complimentary food and drinks at galleries.
Omaha Community Playhouse offers a series called Alternative Programming. It’s completely FREE to attend. Usually it’s a staged reading and sometimes it’s an finished script, sometimes it’s a chance to peek inside the creative process of developing a script.
Shakespeare on the Green
Over a few weekends in June and July, Nebraska Shakespeare presents two outdoor plays. Admission is FREE, and if you pack a picnic and bring your own beverages, you can have a positively lovely night without spending a penny (unless you want to donate!). *Shakespeare on the Green is canceled in 2021.
Storm Chasers game
You can get pretty cheap berm tickets (seating on the grass) to Omaha Stormchasers games. Save money on parking by parking in the gravel lot for FREE. And time it with a promo and your ballpark dinner or drinks could be pretty cheap.
Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewery
For the price of a glass of wine (or bottle), you can sit outdoors at Soaring Wings with a serene view and a FREE live concert on select nights at this winery in Springfield, Neb. Check the calendar first before you go, as some nights aren’t free.
Half-day dates in Omaha neighborhoods
Want to spend more time together than just a meal or concert? These date ideas have recommend places for a meal and things to do in a few of Omaha’s popular neighborhoods:
The Benson date
For this neighborhood, it’s all about low-key fun with surprisingly good food options. For casual dinner out, try a slice at Virtuoso Pizza or head to the Benson Brewery or Barchen for a good beer and food combo. For a meal to impress, get reservations at Au Courant or Yoshitomo.
It’s easy the whole evening in Benson, especially if you see a concert at The Waiting Room. No concert? I think it’s fun to get a drink and play games at The Beercade.
The Dundee date
It’s more than just bars (though those are nice). I recommend lunch at Dario’s, it’s upscale enough to make you feel like you’re on a date, and they serve the best french fries in town.
Dario’s has an impressive offering of Belgian beer and outdoor seating.
If you want something more low key, New Amsterdam has darn good falafels and fries. Around the corner is the Dundee Dell (re-opening soon), where you can order some tasty fish and chips and if you’re into it, sample one of the many scotches they’re known for.
Cap the afternoon off with ice cream at eCreamery. If you have more time, go see a movie at the Dundee location of Film Streams or see a performance at Omaha Community Playhouse.
The Old Market date
If it’s summer time and before 1 p.m., stop by the farmers market located at 11th and Jackson streets. Sample some goodies, maybe nudge your date to buy your some flowers, and listen to some live music.
For lunch, pick a restaurant with an outdoor patio, such as Stokes, Upstream Brewing Co. or Plank Seafood.
Walk off lunch and visit some stores – there are plenty of second hand shops, Homer’s for music lovers, City Limits for fun, and the Old Market Chocolate Shoppe. Don’t miss out on Hollywood Candy, where there’s an old school pinball arcade hidden inside. I’m also a fan of browsing Jackson Booksellers, a large used book store.
The Old Market is quite charming any time of day. For evenings in the summer, nothing beats sitting outdoors and people watching. If you want to enjoy drinks outdoors, head to Upstream Brewery (there’s an upstairs patio that has seating in addition to the patio in front), La Buvette, Brickway Brewery, or Mr. Toad.
Romantic day trips for couples
Get out of town for these next dates. Plan on a whole day to do any of these dates:
Take a little day trip to Ashland, Neb. for a unique date. You have a couple of options once you exit Interstate 80. If you feel like hiking, sitting by a lake, zip line, or if you planned ahead, horseback riding, head to Mahoney State Park or Platte Rive State Park.
If you don’t want to be THAT active, take a drive through Wildlife Safari Park. It’s a drive-through safari with a few stops to get out and hike and see some animals.
Your dining options in that area are limited, but luckily, the drinking options are not. Naturally, I have located wineries nearby, and I recommend you check them out.
Cellar 426 has a great view, lovely wine and cheese and crackers, so I like them. It’s fairly close to Mahoney State Park.
Heading into Ashland, you’ll find Glacier Till Vineyard. I highly recommend trying the cider there (more so than the wines). Glacier Till has a full menu of food, too.
Honey Creek, Iowa
This takes a little preparation on your part, but it’s worth it to visit the Hitchcock Nature Center in southwest Iowa (about 20 minutes east of Omaha).
Pack a picnic and plan on exploring the Loess Hills together. The views are lovely and the trails are rarely busy.
On your way home, you can stop at Loess Hills Vineyard and Winery in Crescent where you can stop sample some wine (skip the reds).
If ice cream is calling your name, stay on Old Lincoln Highway heading south. You’ll come up to Christy Creme on your left as you enter Council Bluffs.
Mt. Crescent, Crescent, Iowa
If you’re outdoorsy types and don’t mind the cold, you can head about 20 minutes north east of Omaha to Mt. Crescent.
You can take a break from skiing at the renovated lodge that’s home to the Mountain Cafe & Bar. Being me, I’d stay indoors but there is an outside firepit and where you can roast marshmallows.
In the summer, Mt. Crescent has a zipline you could try, as well.
Tip: Mt. Crescent is close enough to Honey Creek activities to combine the two days.
Nebraska City, Neb.
The fall is the ideal time to plan a day trip to Nebraska City. If it’s early all, head to an apple orchard like Kimmel.
If it’s October, head to the Arbor Day Farm Tree Adventure for an easy hike through the forest, a run through the new Tree Village, and then end the adventure with a wine tasting at the nearby Apple House Market.
Hungry? There’s a barbecue place at the Apple Market. Don’t skip the apple pie a la mode for dessert.
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I’d love to hear your favorite date nights in Omaha! Please leave a comment with your recommendations.