Distinctive dates

Switch things up with these unique date night ideas

By Michelle Talsma Everson, February 2020 issue.

Whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day, Singles Awareness Day, or anything in between, it’s time to have some fun. You can only get dinner and see a movie so many times.

To help, we’ve rounded up some of these unique date ideas — perfect for a romantic night out or a get together with your BFF. We hope you find something that makes you want to swipe right!

Get Messy

Who doesn’t love to get messy and color outside the lines? Phoenix is home to Pinspiration, the world’s first DIY, Pinterest-inspired art studio and wine bar and designated Splatter Room. Couples can take part of a Bachelor-esque date night by donning goggles and protective clothing and go wild with splatter paint in the splatter room. The Splatter Night Date package includes one large or two small canvases, a glow in-the-dark upgrade, chocolates, and champagne for $99. For more information, visit pinspiration.com or call 480.636.8010.

Cosmic Cocktails at From The Rooftop

Downtown Phoenix’s newest rooftop bar is celebrating Pisces in a big way. From The Rooftop at Cambria Hotel Downtown Phoenix is hosting an evening of guided stargazing, tarot card readings, Pisces-inspired cocktails and music from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on February 26. Bring your favorite Pisces and enjoy 360-degree views of Phoenix at FTR’s second Cosmic Cocktail event of the year. Visit cambriahotelphoenix.com to learn more.

Mystery in the Museum

Every season the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) unleashes another Mystery in the Museum. Guests will enjoy an evening filled with curious puzzles, brainteasers and riddles. Will you be able to crack the code? Cash bar throughout the evening and light bites to follow. Visit smoca.org to learn more, including specific dates and times.

Channel your Inner ANIMAL

Scorpius Dance Theatre brings ANIMAL back to Phoenix audiences. An original show created by Scorpius’ Director, Lisa Starry, it is inspired by her love of animals and passion for their well-being. ANIMAL explores the relationship we have with animals, as well as their social interactions, physicality and movement. Overall, a lighthearted and entertaining show, Starry is also taking the opportunity to provide awareness and support for animals in our community and globally. A portion of ticket sales will benefit local animal charity, Lost Our Home Pet Rescue. ANIMAL is being presented at the Madison Center for the Arts on February 7 and 8. Learn more at www.scorpiusdance.com.

See a Show

Join the greatest rock and roll jam session in history now through February 16 at The Phoenix Theatre Company. “Million Dollar Quartet” follows the story of Elvis Presley, Jonny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis when they cross paths for a night of musical magic. Audiences get a behind-the-scenes look when the rock and roll legends produced an impromptu record that changed music forever. The Phoenix Theatre Company offers more than just a show with cocktails at the ArtBar + Bistro. Enjoy a Real Wild Child, a blend of Jack Daniels, Mas Mole bitters and ginger beer or The Million Dollar Margarita. Visit phoenixtheatre.com to learn more.

Foodie Fest

Presented by Davisson Entertainment, the PHX Vegan Food Festival returns for its fifth anniversary. New this year, the festival will be offered from day until night! The PHX Vegan Food Festival will showcase more than 100 of the state’s most beloved vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants, food trucks and vendors, as well as some out of town favorites. Restaurants, bakeries, food trucks and food and beverage artisans will be selling their delicious creations. In addition, product vendors will be showcasing and selling their vegan-friendly offerings. There will also be a Zen Zone featuring yoga classes and three stages featuring a full day of live and local music, presented by The Listening Room Phoenix. The event is held at Margaret T. Hance Park on February 29. Visit www.phxveganfest.com to learn more.

Seek the Spirits

Arizona is underrated when it comes to its beauty and history and Spirit of Arizona Tours will show you why. The new company launched last year with 10 different tours across the state, from historic day trips to Jerome and Tombstone to the eerie Murders and Mysteries tour in Phoenix. You hop on a 14 passenger bus and experience a private tour – and it’s BYOB. The owner, Jarrod Riddle, is a Mesa native and has been a historian and tour guide for nearly a decade – previously working for Arizona’s most well-known tour companies. For more information, visit spiritofarizonatours.com.

Art on the Wild Side

Taking place through May 31, this art exhibit at the Phoenix Zoo will feature three different artists: Lucy Dickens, Anne Peyton and Joye DeGoede. Through this rotating exhibit, guests can engage in the Zoo’s mission to care for the natural world while being inspired by nature and animals. Art is available for purchase and Zoo admission is required to visit the Savanna Gallery. Visit phoenixzoo.org to learn more.


The Farm at South Mountain is hosting the perfect pre-Valentine’s activity to share with your plant enthusiast lover or friend. Enjoy a beautiful outdoor class on Sunday, February 9 from noon until 2 p.m. and get your hands dirty while learning the secrets of an ancient art form of bonsai. This beginner’s plant workshop will focus on utilizing succulents to create a living piece of art and includes all materials needed to create two kokedamas to take away. Expert plant care and maintenance will also be covered. Visit www.thefarmatsouthmountain.com to learn more.

Get Your Kicks

Looking to have fun while sweating and learning valuable safety skills? At EVKM Self Defense & Fitness, located in Tempe, you and your date can learn how to punch and kick while practicing how to handle yourself in potentially scary situations. EVKM teaches the art of Krav Maga, which was developed by the Israeli military, and is a popular activity for couples to learn together. No need to be intimidated to jump right in, there are beginner-only classes that are perfect for an action packed date night together that might one day save your life. Visit evkmselfdefense.com for more info.

Visit the Titanic

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition takes you on a journey back in time to experience the legend of the Titanic. The galleries in this fascinating exhibition feature real artifacts recovered from the ocean floor, 120 of which have never been seen in Arizona, along with reconstructions of the ship’s interior and personal stories of the passengers and crew.  Learn the real story of how one of the greatest engineering marvels became the most famous maritime disaster of the 20th century. Find out more at TitanicAZ.com.

Trivia Night @SMoCA

Local comedian Anwar Newton hosts an evening of movie, TV and music references that will test everyone’s pop culture IQ at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA). Drop some knowledge on the SMoCA team to win prizes and become trivia champions. Attendees’ first drink is on the museum. Visit smoca.org to learn more, including specific dates and times.

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