January 19, 2018

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Updated: January 9, 2019

Every year I write a Valentine’s Day post, and this post from Valentine’s Day 2018 still has some great, timeless date ideas. I’ve updated it for 2019 with current shows in Omaha that have a bit of a romantic spin to them, too. Most of these ideas, though, work for date nights any day of the year. If you’re looking for specific types of dates, below, I offer some ideas for splurge-worth nights out, night outs for cocktail drinks, and free date night ideas.

Omaha Valentine's Day Date Ideas - Plan a unique date night for Valentine's Day with tips on splurge-worthy nights out, free date night, and more ideas #Omaha #Valentines

Date Night Splurges

Tasting Menu Dinner: Make a reservation for a restaurant like V. Mertz or Au Courant Regional Kitchen, and then opt for the tasting menu. I’m recommending those two since I’ve been to both recently, can vouch for their quality, AND if you have the Together A Greater Good app (TAGG), those restaurants will donate 5% of your receipt to the charity of your choice. Tasting menus are meant for slow eating, so dinner is your whole night out, probably.

Tip: Both places have menu items, so you don’t have to do the full tasting menu.

“I and You”: I love BlueBarn Theatre, so any time they have a show running around Valentine’s Day, you know I’m going to suggest it. “I and You” is said to be an “ode to youth, life, love, and the strange beauty of human connectedness.” The closest performance to Valentine’s Day is on Feb. 15, 2019. Get your tickets at bluebarn.org.

“The Elixir of Love”: Opera Omaha is performing “L’Elisir D’Amore” (AKA “The Elixir of Love”) on Feb. 15 and 17, 2019 at the Orpheum Theater. It’s an update to Donizetti’s glittering bel canto opera, and is described as a light-hearted rom-com about young love at an American high school in the 1980s. If you’ve never been to an opera before, it would be a good intro. Tickets are available online through TicketOmaha.com.

Dinner at Lauritzen Gardens: Have dinner in one of Omaha’s most beautiful settings: Omaha’s botanical garden. There’s a Valentine’s Dinner planned for Feb. 14, 2019. Along with a fixed-price dinner, you’ll have the opportunity to stroll the gardens. Reservations are required and space is limited.

Valentine Tea & Chocolate Tastings: Chocolate Abeille has several Valentine Tea & Chocolate Tastings coming up, and they include Harney & Sons “Paris” tea, finger sandwiches, scones with cream and preserves, mini desserts (and, of course, chocolate). Sessions are Jan. 29, Feb. 5 and Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

Date Night Drinks

It’s very rare that Mr. Wonderful and I go out and simply hang out over a drink. But it has happened. I think three years ago. Anyway…

Challenge The Bartender: It’s going to sound funny suggesting you go to a wine and booze shop for a date, but hear me out about going to Spirit World at Aksarben Village. I recommend you order some food, sit at their little bar, and have the bartender make you a new-to-you drink. When I told the bartender I didn’t like gin, he set out to prove me wrong. And I’m glad he did. Read about our date night at this locally-owned store here. Spirit World is another participating TAGG restaurant, so don’t forget to scan your receipt so 5% of your night out can go to charity!

Specialty Drinks: OK, even more rare for us is to go to a fancy craft cocktail bar and spend more than $10 on one drink. But, The Berry & Rye in the Old Market will wow you with their drinks. And the atmosphere is ideal for a date night. If you’re looking for unique places for a drink in Omaha, I’ve heard great things about the tiki bar Laka Lono Rum Club (which is just a stone’s throw from The Berry & Rye in the Old Market) and Omaha’s own speakeasy, Wicked Rabbit (you have to go through a cigar store and say the magic word to enter in the hidden bar).

Have A Free Drink Together: Download Libate, a local app that has a free or membership version. If you each have the app, you can go to one of the participating restaurants or bars and enjoy a complimentary drink. Oh My! Omaha readers can get a month FREE if you enter the coupon code OHMYOMAHA after you download the app!

Not a drinker? If you’re looking for healthy date night ideas, revisit this old favorite, 7 Healthy Date Ideas In Omaha.

Free Date Night

Heart and Soul: Valentine’s Day @ Joslyn – Live music by
Edem Soul Music will be from 6 to 8 p.m. in the museum’s atrium. The performer sings in her native language, called “Ga,” originating from the Ga tribe of Ghana, West Africa, and plays the harp and ukulele. She received the 2017 Omaha Entertainment and Arts Award for Best Soul Artist and was the Omaha Capitol District’s Musician in Residence in 2018. While the performance is free, if you wish to see the exhibit “30 Americans” or hear the gallery talk at 5 p.m., you’ll need to pay $5. Food and drink available
for purchase.

Free Things To Do On Valentine’s Day: Ever since my penny-pinching days working at a newspaper, I’ve maintained a mental list of free things to do in Omaha. Some of my favorites make memorable date nights, including visiting KANEKO, which has a special exhibit called “Human Condition” that’s FREE to see. Check their hours, first, to see how late they’re open on Valentine’s Day. There are galleries near KANEKO that may be open that night, too, and you can stroll through them for FREE. Check out Bemis Contemporary Art Center, Artist Co-Op, or visit the shops at The Passageway.

– If you want more budget-friendly ideas, I suggest you read the post Cheap Date Nights In Omaha.

Your turn: What are you doing for Valentine’s Day? Where do you recommend others go for Valentine’s Day?

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February 1, 2017

Unique Dates For Valentine’s Day In Omaha

Editor’s Note: This post is from 2017. Click 2018 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas to see current ideas!

Looking for a unique night out for Valentine’s Day in Omaha? Me too.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for dinner and a movie. But, I like novel dates more. Like painting and drinking together. Or maybe a less boozy (here are 7 healthy date night ideas). Or cheap, that’s good too (here are cheap date ideas in Omaha).

So, what’s going on this month that would make for a unique date for Valentine’s Day? Here’s a list of things that sounded great to me:

Unique ideas for Valentine's Day dates in Omaha

Early Valentine’s Day Dates

Omaha Culinary Tours – Wine and Chocolate Event

When: Friday, Feb. 10, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Old Vine Wine & Spirits, 3821 N. 167th Court

What: Try wines from Old Vine Wine & Spirits paired with chocolates from The Chocolate Poet.

Cost: $40 per person

Opera Omaha’s “Cosi fan Tutte”

When: Friday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 12, at

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: It’s one of Mozart’s masterpiece operas. Here’s the description: In a quest to disprove that all women are fickle, two scheming men test the devotion of their fiancées. As faithfulness is wagered, the deck is stacked with deception. Love is tested and lives are tangled when the women are unknowingly tempted by the other’s lover. Will the contest prove to be more than fun and games?

Cost: $15-$99 per person

“The Dinner Detective – Valentine’s Show”

When: Feb. 11, 6 to 9 p.m.

Where: Doubletree Hotel Omaha Downtown, 1616 Dodge St.

What: This is a murder mystery dinner show, where you dine on four courses while attempting to solve the crime.

Cost: $59.95 plus tax per person

Sweethearts Love Nature

When: Feb. 11, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: Hitchcock Nature Center, 27792 Ski Hill Loop, Honey Creek, Iowa

What: Couples can enjoy hot cocoa and a warm fire at the lodge at night then hit the trails for a special, guided night hike or take a more private hike together along a lit trail.

Cost: FREE, but you must pay daily park admission, which is $2 per vehicle, or purchase an annual pass for $10. Pre-registration is requested ensure adequate staffing and supplies are available.

Eko Nova: Wine & Chocolate

When: Monday, Feb. 13, 7 to 9 p.m.

Where: KANEKO, 1111 Jones St.

What: You hear innovative live music while samplying wines from Lange Winery paired with chocolate from STAM Chocolaterie.

Cost: $30 a couple or $20 per person.

Dates On Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Dinner

When: Feb. 14, 6 p.m.

Where: Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St.

What: Dine on a fixed-price dinner and then stroll through the gardens, conservatory and Nature Connects: Art with LEGO® Bricks.

Cost: $55 per person

Beginner ballroom Dance Lessons

When: Feb. 14, 7 to 7:45 p.m.

Where: Vintage Ballroom, 614 S. 11th St.

What: Every Tuesday, this place offers FREE beginner ballroom dance lessons (think waltz, swing and salsa).

Cost: FREE, no reservations needed

“Sabrina” Screening

When: Feb. 14, 7 p.m.

Where: Film Streams at Ruth Sokolof Theater, 1340 Mike Fahey St.

What: This is a screening of the original film starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.

Cost: FREE (but you’re going to want to reserve tickets ASAP before they run out)

“Elvis Lives”

When: Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Orpheum Theater, 409 S. 16th St.

What: This show features hand-picked finalists from the worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. I saw part of the show the last time it was in Omaha and if you’re an unabashed Elvis fan, it’s SO good.

Cost: $35-$65 per person

Late Valentine’s Day Dates

You didn’t forget. You’re fashionably late.

Omaha Culinary Tours – Wine and Dine Event

When: Feb. 17, 6 p.m.

Where: Old Vine Wine & Spirits, 3821 N. 167th Court

What: Enjoy wine paired with a variety of food. (I’m waiting for more details on this)

Cost: $50 per person

Hot Club of Cowtown

When: Feb. 17, 8 p.m.

Where: 1200 Club inside the Holland Performing Arts Center, 1200 Douglas St.

What: Western swing trio performs in one of my most favorite music venues in Omaha, the 1200 Club. Think candlelit tables, table service, and great music.

Cost: $35 per person

Salsa Fridays at Gusto Cubano

When: Feb. 17, 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: Gusto Cubano, 7910 Harrison St., Ralston, Neb.

What: DJ Blandon Joiner sets the atmosphere for a night of dancing.

Cost: $7 per person (if you dine at the last dinner seating of the restaurant, you don’t have to pay the cover)

Share your ideas and tips by leaving a comment!

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February 8, 2016

7 Valentine’s Day Dates In Omaha

This post is from 2016! Click Valentine’s Day Dates 2018 to see this year’s tips.

Less than a week until Valentine’s Day and you still don’t have plans? No worries. Here are some ideas for you to plan a memorable Valentine’s Day in Omaha:

Valentine's Day Omaha

Dates That Are A Little Different

A bonus for all three of these date ideas is that the meal is already taken care of at the event! Yay for lazy planning.

Canvas and Cabernet’s Paint Your Date

Perfect for: Creative couples

We did this last year and had a lot of fun (read about it and see my masterpiece here)! Pretty much, you paint an abstract portrait of your date while sipping wine and enjoying appetizers. No painting skills required whatsoever, they walk you through it. The session on Valentine’s Day is sold out but if you hurry you can book the Friday night session! Cost is $100 per couple and includes wine, appetizers and your supplies. More details here


Alamo Draft House’s “The Big Lebowski” Quote-Along

Perfect for: Obviously, you’re not a golfer

Both of you are going to have to be fans of the movie otherwise this night is not going to end well. The movie is at 7 p.m. on Sunday (another show time is on Monday, but that kinda misses the point of this Valentine’s Day post), and you’ll want to reserve your seats ahead of time. Tickets are $12 each. Reserve seats here.


Love At The Zoo

Perfect for: Smarty pants couples and/or fans of the zoo

This 21+ light-hearted event at the zoo’s aquarium will include food, drinks, special animal encounters and, here’s the kicker, a presentation about the courtship, romance and reproduction of animals. Interesting, eh? I think it’d be fun to enjoy the aquarium after-hours regardless, but throw in some random animal facts, and I’m ready to get my nerd on. Tickets are $75 per person. More information or reservations can be made here


See A Live Performance

You know I love live theater, so I had to include a bunch of the productions on stage in Omaha this weekend:

Opera Omaha’s “The Girl of the Golden West (La fanciulla del West)”

Perfect for: Couples wanting to go somewhere dressed to impress

You want dramatic love? You want to impress your date with a gorgeous venue. You head to the opera at the Orpheum. This opera is set in the saloon of a California Mining town during the Gold Rush, so you’ve got the grit of a grand Western combined with the beautiful melodies Puccini is known for. Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $19 – $99 and last I checked, you can get some good seats together at that $19 price! Tickets are available at Ticket Omaha


Omaha Community Playhouse’s “Caroline, Or Change”

Perfect for: Couples entertained by musical theater that makes them think

This Tony-winning musical is about an African-American maid working in Louisiana during the Civil Rights Movement. This weekend is opening weekend and you can see performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $40. Get your tickets at Ticket Omaha


An Afternoon With Garrison Keillor

Perfect for: Couples who want to laugh

Garrison Keillor is not romantic by any means, but he’s pretty entertaining so it will be an afternoon you’ll remember. He’s brought the pianist from “A Prairie Home Companion,” too. Show starts at 3 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center. There aren’t a whole lot of seats left and most are $60 so hop to it if you want to see him! Tickets are available at Ticket Omaha


Blue Barn’s “Frost/Nixon”

Perfect for: The Anti-Valentine Couple

Nothing’s screams date night like a play about an interview between a British talk show host and a disgraced Richard Nixon! Just kidding. But, here’s your chance to see the new home to Blue Barn Theatre and see acting at its best. The Friday and Saturday performances of the show’s opening weekend sold out, so I take it as a sign that this show is great. Tickets start are about $30 and you can get them here


Now, I’m leaving the restaurant listing up to you! Please share your favorite date night restaurants in the comments.