Romantic dates come in different flavors. Some like the VIP treatment, others are into action-filled activities, and then there are those who prefer peaceful moments. Here is a list of creative and unique ideas for romantic dates during all seasons in the Princeton region, New Jersey, and the tri-state area.
Food and Drink
A twist on “classic” romantic dates
- Sunday in Princeton – Peacock Inn Brunch, walk through Prospect Garden and Princeton University campus and take “selfies”, go to Princeton University Art Museum, walk through town.
- Vineyard and Winery Excursion – Tour Crossing Vineyards and Winery, and get private wine tasting. Additionally, partake in an event, such as Snap and Sip (photo lesson and tasting).
- Brunch and Art – Rat’s Restaurant offers a premium buffet and a special action (e.g. carving or made-to-order) station. Walk off meal by strolling through Grounds for Sculpture.
- Outdoor Dining – Start with tapas and a drink inside at Mediterra Taverna, move to outdoor table with view of Palmer Square West and fountain. After dinner, eat Bent Spoon ice cream while strolling through town.
- A Day in New Hope – Stroll along the Delaware, have a New Orleans lunch at Marsha Brown, go gallery hopping, and take a 45 minute steam engine train ride on the New Hope Railroad.
- Multi-Course Dinner – elements, Princeton’s most upscale restaurant rivaling some top New York restaurants. Choose from the Weekday Four-Course, Saturday Five-Course, (12-course) Chef’s Tasting, or (17+ course) Grand Tasting menus, which requires a reservation a week in advance. Allow three to four hours for tastings.
- Beer Flight – Enjoy a selection of micro-brewed beer at Triumph Brewery with house-made pretzels.
- Princeton Pub Crawl – Princeton Tour offers a pub crawl in town that will satisfy beer fans.
- Poetic Picnic – Bring picnic basket to Greenway Meadows Park for dining al fresco, return basket to car, go for walk on Poetry Trail reading poems along the way.
- Coffee Tour – Backstage pass to Small World Coffee. Learn how they select, roast and blend beans, plus participate in coffee tasting.
- Progressive Dining – Eat your way through Princeton. Start by eating tapas at Despaña, main course at Blue Point Grill, ice cream at Halo Pub.
- Tea for Two – Infini-T Cafe offers Fair-Trade teas, and also gluten-free, Kosher, vegan, and vegetarian goodies. Relax in cozy atmosphere and enjoy conversation. Continue chat walking through Pettoranello Gardens in Community Park North.
Active or creative entertainment that might make you feel like a kid again
- Private Drive-In Movie – Buy, rent or borrow portable projector and connect to smart phone, tablet, or laptop. Project movie on white garage door, screen, or white sheet draped over something. Park car on driveway, and you have personal “drive-in” theater. Buy two car hop trays for snacks, or put food on tray table on lap to have dinner and a movie. Don’t forget the popcorn.
- Virtual Getaway – Watch a YouTube video featuring scenery from you favorite romantic destination, i.e. Hawaiian beach or Paris café (mute sound), play music from that region, and have snacks or a meal and drinks from that location.
- Snow Fun – Buy carrots and charcoal briquettes ahead of time and build snowman. Afterwards, have snowball fight, then come in for hot drink and warm up by fireplace. If you don’t have a fireplace, crank up heat and watch a fireplace video on YouTube.
- Geocahcing – Basically a scavenger hunt. There are a few geocaches in downtown Princeton and others throughout town. Do a run-through the ahead of time and add personalized final clue for your date leading them to special location of your choice with a surprise awaiting them.
- Cycling – Have a light breakfast, then take leisurely bike ride around town, or go for a more challenging cycle tour. Best in the spring or fall.
- Photo Walk – Bring cameras or smart phones along to take photos of the campus, along the D&R Canal in Kingston, or get museum pass from Princeton Public Library and go to Grounds for Sculpture.
Hectic schedules call for a time to unwind.
- Spin Some Vinyl – Head over to Princeton Record Exchange, choose LPs, bring them home and dance to Motown, sing to the Beatles, or listen to Miles. If you don’t have a turntable, look for one there.
- Fall Foliage Driving Tour – Take one of the longer tours listed here and add music and a beverage, or a picnic basket.
- Sleigh Ride – Go on a one horse open sleigh ride for two at Pocono Country Carriages
- The Beach – Spring Lake has clean sand and new boardwalk after Sandy. Beverages allowed, but no alcohol. Eat on boardwalk or at pavilion. Quieter beach in idyllic setting.
Looking for an adrenaline rush?
- Helicopter Ride – Take an exhilarating ride over Manhattan with Helicopter Flight Services for spectacular views of the city.
- Test Drive – Dress casually chic, bring driving gloves, go to various dealerships and test drive luxury sports cars (i.e. Porsche, BMW, and Lotus).
- Four Wheeling – Get you hands on an ATV from NJ ATV Rentals and feel the rush riding through their 2-acre property.
- Flight Around Princeton – Pilot plane for a while with license pilot next to you who will take off and land from Princeton Airport. Add date as additional passenger to enjoy the view with you (must inquire about it when booking).
- James Bond Night – Rent an exotic “Bond” car (i.e. Aston Martin or Bentley) from Prestige Luxury Rentals. You can either pick it up in Springfield Township or have them deliver it for a fee. Drive to Borgota, Harah’s or Caesars, and in the spirit of Bond, dress up and play baccarat. If that’s not your game, try Black Jack or roulette.
- Mushing Around– Arctic Paws Dog Sled Tours will provide thrilling ride through the snow. After your adventure, head to Sky Top Lodge for afternoon tea 4:00 – 5:00 PM in their lobby if you take the afternoon tour.