There are a lot of fun activities that make for perfect date ideas in Durham, NC.
From music to games to art, if you’re planning a date in Durham, there’s a large variety of great activities you can choose from. That’s why Durham is a very nice city to visit for couples. Whether you want to see a show, have delicious food with a view, enjoy a concert, or do something else, you can have a great time in the city.
To help you plan a fun and romantic date in the city, I made this Durham date ideas guide!
Date Ideas in Durham, NC
See a Show at the Carolina Theatre
The Carolina Theatre Durham is a theater that you can find in downtown Durham. It is a historic theater that dates back to the year 1926.
You can go here with a date to see a large variety of shows and performances. From concerts to comedy shows to movie screenings, you can see it all at the Carolina Theatre.
There are different types of film series. For example, there is a “Retro Film Series” during which you can see great classics.
The Carolina Theatre has a great concessions menu with many food and drink options. For example, you can get delicious popcorn at the venue. You can also get soft drinks, wine, beer, and other drinks here.
Address: 309 W Morgan St, Durham, NC 27701
Play Arcade Games and Have a Drink at Boxcar Bar + Arcade
Boxcar Bar + Arcade is an organization with three locations in North Carolina. One of these locations is in Durham.
You can go here to play all kinds of arcade games which is a very fun date idea in Durham. These include classic and modern arcade games, pinball machines, Skee Ball, and air hockey.
In addition to that, there’s a full bar where you can get all kinds of beverages and there’s a kitchen where you can get pizza and other food
An aspect that makes going on a date at Boxcar Bar + Arcade even nicer is that there are sometimes special events. For example, you can sometimes listen to live music when playing games and having food and drinks here.
Address: 621 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701
See a Baseball Game of the Durham Bulls
The Durham Bulls are a baseball team that competes in Minor League Baseball. The team is an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
The team’s home is the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, which is a ballpark that you can find at 409 Blackwell Street. Couples that love baseball, will enjoy attending a game of the team at this park.
In addition to that, the ballpark is used as the home for several teams of Duke University. For example, you can sometimes go to a game of the Duke Blue Devils here.
Address: 409 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701
Play an Escape Game at NC Escape
You can go to NC Escape to play an escape game with your date in Durham.
An escape game is an interactive, adventure game in which you have to escape from a room that you are locked in. By finding and deciphering clues and solving puzzles, you can find your way out.
When you solve the last puzzle, you can leave the room and win the game. It is a great game for a date as you have to work together a lot.
At NC Escape, you can play all kinds of different themed escape games. Some of these rooms can be booked for 2 players.
One of these games is “The Attic”, which NC Escape describes as being great for a date night.
The games at NC Escape vary in difficulty.
Address: 119 Orange St #101, Durham, NC 27701
Have a Delicious Pizza at Hutchins Garage
For a pizza date, you can go to Hutchins Garage, which is a pizza restaurant that you can find at 402 West Geer Street.
You can get different types of pizza here, including square and round pies. There are many specialty pizzas with unique toppings that are incredible.
In addition to that, you can get vegan pizzas at the restaurant that are made with vegan cheese that uses a coconut base.
The pizza restaurant has a great vibe as well and there are both indoor and outdoor seating options.
Address: 402 W Geer St, Durham, NC 27701
Bowl at Bowlero Durham
Bowlero Durham is a bowling alley that is located at 4508 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard.
The bowling alley is a great place to bowl, play games, and enjoy food and drinks, which makes it a great spot for a romantic date.
There are 32 modern bowling lanes that feature black lights.
You can also find a fun arcade at Bowlero Durham where you can play all kinds of arcade games, including old-school ones.
There’s also a bar where you can enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Address: 4508 Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707
See Art and Have Dinner at 21c Museum Hotel Durham
The 21c Museum Hotel Durham is a contemporary art museum and hotel that you can find in downtown Durham. It is located at 111 North Corcoran Street in the city of Durham.
At the museum, you can find a large space with contemporary art exhibitions that you can see during a date.
In addition to that, there often are events at the museum, such as guided museum tours during which you can see the exhibitions’ highlights and learn about the works and the artists. These tours are free but are first come, first served.
Besides going to the 21c Museum Hotel Durham for art, you can also go here for a romantic stay and to have incredible food for dinner at the Counting House restaurant.
Address: 111 North Corcoran St, Durham, NC 27701
Do a VR Experience at Augmentality Labs
Augmentality Labs is a venue that you can find at 3519 Witherspoon Boulevard. At this place, you can experience virtual reality which is one of the most fun date ideas in Durham.
At this VR arcade, you can play all sorts of multiplayer games in a “sandbox VR arcade-style setup”.
There are many VR headsets here that allow you to play a game in a virtual world together with your date. You can choose from a huge number of games and you can choose the session time that you like best.
Address: 3519 Witherspoon Blvd SUITE 104, Durham, NC 27707
Go on a Shopping Spree at The Streets at Southpoint
There are many places that you can go to in Durham if you want to shop during a romantic date, and one of these is The Streets at Southpoint.
This is an indoor mall where you can find more than 170 stores. The stores at The Streets at Southpoint are very diverse.
In addition to that, there is a movie theater at the mall and there are restaurants. So you can enjoy shopping, seeing a movie, and having dinner at this place.
You can find the mall at 6910 Fayetteville Road.
Address: 6910 Fayetteville Rd, Durham, NC 27713
Enjoy a Variety of Foods at the Durham Food Hall
The Durham Food Hall is a unique place where you can find several food vendors. There are 10 Chef-driven eateries at this food hall that have a menu that uses local and seasonal ingredients.
Because you can find these eateries in one space with a shared dining area, it is easy to try new cuisines during a date night.
In addition to that, the fact that the eateries are located in one building and that there’s a large variety to choose from means that you don’t have to worry about what food your date likes. You can go here and both have delicious food for dinner.
One of the eateries that you can find at the food hall is “Napoli Pizzeria and Gelateria”. Here, you can get incredible Neapolitan wood-fired pizza.
Address: 530 Foster St Suite 1, Durham, NC 27701
Get Amazing Donuts at Monuts
Monuts is a bakery that’s perfect if you’re looking for romantic things to do in Durham for couples.
Monuts is a bakery and cafe that started out as a donut stand. You can get amazing donuts here and there are many flavors to choose from. For example, one of the best ones is the apple cider donut.
You can also get all sorts of coffee drinks together with Monuts’ donuts, including a variety of delicious lattes.
In addition to that, Monuts has many other food options. For example, you can get great breakfast sandwiches, avocado toast, and much more at Monuts.
The bakery uses ingredients that are sourced from local farmers.
Address: 1002 9th St, Durham, NC 27705
Jump on Trampolines at Sky Zone Durham
Sky Zone Durham is a fun indoor trampoline park where you can find various attractions.
The park’s main attraction is the trampoline court where you can find wall-to-wall trampolines that you can jump on during a date.
Another attraction is the “Sky Tower”, which is a tower that you can jump from into the foam pit below for a soft landing.
There’s also a parkour zone where you can find all kinds of obstacles.
Another attraction is the “Skyslam”. This is an area where you can find a basketball hoop and trampolines that make it possible to dunk. There are hoops of different heights.
The “iWall” is a fun attraction as well. This is a motion sensor-controlled walk where you can play games while using your body as the controller.
Address: 1720 Guess Rd Suite 90, Durham, NC 27701
Go to a Performance at the Durham Performing Arts Center
A large variety of events take place at the center that you can attend during a romantic date night in Durham.
There are Broadway shows, comedy shows by well-known comedians, concerts, and many other types of shows.
When seeing a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center, you can enjoy pre-show dining. Close to the center, there are various restaurants that offer pre-show dining discounts and specials.
For example, the Counting House restaurant has a pre-show dinner service that starts at 5 pm from Tuesday through Saturday. You can also get brunch before a matinee on weekends at this restaurant.
Address: 123 Vivian Street, Durham, NC 27701
Have Food With a View at The Roof at The Durham
The Roof at The Durham is a rooftop patio that you can find at The Durham Hotel. It is a year-round place where you can have delicious food and drinks while enjoying a panoramic view of downtown Durham.
The food menu features seasonal items and food made with local ingredients. For example, the restaurant uses farmers’ market vegetables. You can also get house-made desserts at The Roof at The Durham.
The drink menu includes signature cocktails, craft beers, unique wines, and other drinks.
In addition to that, you can often attend special events at The Roof at The Durham. For example, sometimes there are live music events. You can also often enjoy rooftop yoga at The Durham.
Address: 315 E Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
Go to Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium and See a Football Game
Brooks Field at Wallace Wade Stadium is a stadium that has been the home of the Duke Blue Devils since the year 1929.
The stadium has a capacity of 40,004 people and is located on Duke University’s campus.
You can go here to see a college football game of the Duke Blue Devils.
The stadium has a good atmosphere and there are great concessions to choose from.
Address: 110 Frank Basset Dr, Durham, NC 27708
Golf at Hillandale Golf Course
The Hillandale Golf Course is an 18-hole golf course that opened in the year 1911. The golf course moved to its current location in the year 1961.
The golf course is the oldest golf course in the city of Durham. The golf course is open to the public and is great for all skill levels.
The golf course has four unique teeing areas and was designed by George Cobb.
You can also find “The Grill” at the Hillandale Golf Course. At this restaurant, you can get delicious burgers, sandwiches, pancakes, and much more after playing golf.
Address: 1600 Hillandale Rd, Durham, NC 27705
Do a Tour at the Duke Lemur Center
You can find the Duke Lemur Center in the city of Durham on the campus of Duke University. The center opened in 1966 and is all about the study, care, and protection of lemurs, a group of mammals.
There are more than 200 animals and 14 species of lemurs at the center.
During a date, you can do a guided tour of the Duke Lemur Center. There are different types of tours to choose from through which you can learn about the center’s work and the animals of the center.
When you want to do such a tour, keep in mind that you sometimes need to make a reservation several months in advance because of the popularity of the tours.
Address: 3705 Erwin Rd, Durham, NC 27705
Go to Milklab for Incredible Bubble Tea
Milklab is a great bubble tea and ice cream store that you can find at various locations in Durham. You can Milklab at the Durham Food Hall, The Streets at Southpoint Mall, and the Homestead Market Shopping Center.
At these locations, you can get incredible and unique flavors of bubble tea. For this, Milklab uses fresh fruit, the best tea leaves, and other quality ingredients. The matcha lattes of Milklab are delicious.
In addition to that, Milklab has all kinds of rolled ice cream options. For this, it uses a made-in-house ice cream base and fresh fruit. You can add as many toppings as you like to make the ice cream to your liking.
Address: 105 W North Carolina 54 Suite 265, Durham, NC 27713
Go to an Event at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens
The Sarah P. Duke Gardens are gardens that are part of Duke University. You can find various specialized gardens here.
Sometimes, you can go to an event at the Duke Gardens which is one of the most romantic activities in Durham. For example, there are workshops through which you can learn about gardening.
There are also festivals, concerts, plant sales, and other types of events that make for a great date!
Address: 420 Anderson St, Durham, NC 27708
See Art at the Nasher Museum of Art and Have a Drink at the Cafe
The Nasher Museum of Art is an art museum that is part of Duke University and you can find the museum on the campus of the university.
The museum’s collection consists of thousands of works by famous artists, such as Fred Wilson, Alma Thomas, and Robin Rhode.
The museum has an incredible collection of contemporary art from all around the world. The museum focuses on displaying works by diverse artists who have been underrepresented. You can also see works by artists from North Carolina and nearby states at the museum.
In addition to contemporary works, the museum’s collection includes works from many periods in time.
Besides that, there are temporary art exhibitions that focus on specific themes, artists, or regions.
When checking out art at the museum, you can also go to the Nasher Museum Café. You can get great drinks and food at this cafe.
You can also go to the museum during “Thursdays at the Nasher”, which is a series of free evening events during which you can enjoy live music, see film screenings, and experience much more.
Address: 2001 Campus Dr, Durham, NC 27705
Go to a Restaurant at Brightleaf Square
Brightleaf Square is a historic area in the city of Durham. The warehouses that you can find here used to store bright leaf tobacco. Now, the warehouses are in use for all kinds of restaurants and shops.
Brightleaf Square is one of the National Register of Historic Places within the Historic Brightleaf District. The historic setting makes Brightleaf Square perfect for a date.
One of the best date night ideas in Durham is to go to one of the restaurants that are located at Brightleaf Square. For example, you can get delicious pizza from Emmy Squared Pizza. You can also go to Clouds Brewing to sample great craft beer.
You could also check out AR Workshop Durham and join a creative hands-on class.
Enjoy a Concert at the Motorco Music Hall
The Motorco Music Hall is a music venue that has a capacity with a capacity of over 400 people. The venue offers a very intimate setting for listening to live music and enjoying music here is also one of the best things to do at night in Durham.
Lots of performances of live music take place at the Motorco Music Hall. For example, you can go to a performance of a band or an indie act here.
In addition to that, there’s a restaurant at the venue that is called “Parts&Labor”. At this restaurant, you can get all kinds of burgers, wraps, and tacos.
You can also find “the Veranda” here, which is a new space where you can enjoy delicious food as well, including many vegan options.
Address: 723 Rigsbee Ave, Durham, NC 27701
Have a Cup of Coffee at Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails
Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails is a European-style coffeehouse that you can find in downtown Durham at 359 Blackwell Street.
At this coffee shop, you can enjoy all kinds of high-quality, craft coffee drinks. You can also get unique cocktails and other types of specialty beverages at Press Coffee, Crepes & Cocktails.
In addition to that, you can enjoy sweet or savory food options here that pair very well with the drinks. For example, you can get breakfast crepes and sandwiches here that are made from scratch and that are made using locally-sourced ingredients.
The decor of this place is very beautiful, and the food looks incredible as well.
Address: 359 Blackwell St, Durham, NC 27701
Have Frozen Custard at Goodberry’s Frozen Custard
Goodberry’s Frozen Custard is a frozen custard shop with several locations in the Triangle area. This place dates back to the year 1988.
Goodberry’s Frozen Custard uses an all-natural recipe that is made from scratch. The frozen custard is made fresh every hour at each store.
The frozen custard is very creamy and delicious, and there are many toppings to choose from, including a variety of roasted nuts, fresh fruit, and sweets.
In addition to that, you can also get all kinds of other desserts here, including a banana split, sundaes, and milkshakes.
When you go here, you can also choose the “flavor of the day”, which changes daily.
Address: 3906 N Roxboro St, Durham, NC 27704
Go Axe-Throwing at Urban Axes
Axe throwing is a fun and romantic activity in Durham. You can do this at Urban Axes Durham. You can find this facility at 619 Foster Street in Durham.
You can experience the increasingly popular activity of axe-throwing at Urban Axes. This is very similar to throwing darts, but you use axes instead. You can throw axes at a wooden target and see who can throw best.
In addition to that, you can get beer, wine, and cider at Urban Axes.
When you want to go here it is recommended to book a session 24 hours before visiting, but is also possible to go here during first-come, first-served walk-in hours.
Address: 619 Foster St, Durham, NC 27701
Explore the Durham Farmers’ Market
The Durham Farmers’ Market is a farmers’ market that is located in downtown Durham. The market opened for the first time in 1999.
The market is dedicated to local products and this is a producer-only market. Everything that you can see and buy at the market comes from less than 70 miles from the market. There are more than 65 vendors at the market.
At the market, you can shop for fresh produce, but also artisanal foods and craft items.
You can explore the market during a date all year round. During the winter months, there’s a special “Winter Market”, and during Thanksgiving, there’s a special “Thanksgiving Market”.
Shop for a Book at Letters Bookshop
The Letters Bookshop is an independent bookstore that you can find at 116 West Main Street. The bookstore has beautiful decor.
The bookstore is focused on “gently used books”, new books, and other items. The bookstore has a wonderful selection of books, making shopping for a book here during a date a very fun experience.
You can also get a cup of coffee at the bookstore.
Address: 116 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701
Go to GRUB Durham and Have a Delicious Brunch
GRUB Durham is a restaurant that you can find at 1200 West Chapel Hill Street. The restaurant offers breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner.
You can get a delicious brunch at the restaurant that is served daily until 3 pm.
The breakfast/brunch menu has many options, including delicious breakfast sandwiches, breakfast bowls, a varied selection of breakfast breads, and breakfast plates.
You can also choose from a variety of smoothies, coffee drinks, and other beverages.
In addition to that, the restaurant has a cozy atmosphere.
Address: 1200 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
Explore the Restaurants and Shops of the American Tobacco Campus
The American Tobacco Campus is a complex in Durham that dates back to the year 1890. This is a former tobacco factory that was transformed when it was no longer in use.
Nowadays, you can find all kinds of restaurants, stores, and venues for entertainment at the American Tobacco Campus.
As a date, you can go to the campus and enjoy delicious food at one of the restaurants. For example, you can go to Joe’s and enjoy delicious Mexican food. You can also go to Queenburger for incredible burgers.
There are also events that you can attend when you go to the American Tobacco Campus. These events can be great if you’re looking for date ideas in Durham. For example, you can go to the Durham Night Market.
Go to the Museum of Durham History and Learn New Things
The Museum of Durham History is an interesting museum where you can learn about the history of the city. You can visit the museum for free.
At the museum, you can learn about the stories of the people and places of Durham through various exhibits.
For example, there is an exhibit about the early beginnings of the city. There is also a multimedia exhibit through which you can learn about the city through time.
In addition to that, you can sometimes attend an event at the Museum of Durham History. For example, you can sometimes enjoy a film screening at the museum.
Address: 500 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701
Have Dinner at Parizade
Parizade is an incredible restaurant that you can find at 2200 West Main Street where you can enjoy a romantic dinner date.
The restaurant uses high-quality ingredients to serve incredible upscale Mediterranean food.
You can choose from a variety of incredible pasta dishes, such as the “pumpkin gnocchi” pasta.
The restaurant also serves delicious desserts, such as the vanilla bean crème brûlée and the chocolate turtle cake.
Parizade also has an extensive wine list with wines from countries across the world, including France, Italy, and Greece.
In addition to great food and drinks, the restaurant also has a great ambiance and stunning decor. The dishes also look very beautiful.
Address: 2200 W Main St, Durham, NC 27705
Have a Delicious Italian Sandwich at Toast
Toast is an Italian sandwich shop that makes for a great date idea in Durham. This sandwich shop was founded in 2008.
Toast works together with local bakeries and farmers to make high-quality sandwiches, salads, and soups. The food that you can get here is all made fresh in-house daily.
You can get delicious hot grilled panini sandwiches on rustic Italian bread at Toast. Each sandwich combines delicious ingredients. For example, there’s one that contains portobello, fontina, arugula, and roasted tomato. There are also vegan options.
Besides that, you can get cold sandwiches, a set of two small toasts, and much more at Toast.
Every day, you can also always get two homemade soups at Toast, of which one is a vegetarian soup.
Address: 345 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701
Listen to Jazz Music at the Sharp 9 Gallery Jazz Club
You can listen to live jazz music at the Sharp 9 Gallery jazz club during a romantic date night. You can find this venue at 4608 Industry Lane.
This venue has a performance series with more than 100 concerts per year during which you can enjoy great jazz music from local, regional, and national jazz artists.
While you are listening to music at this place, you can wine or beers from the Ponysaurus Brewery.
Address: 4608 Industry Ln, Durham, NC 27713
Try Out Macarons at Sweets by Shayda
Sweets by Shayda is a lovely bakery that opened in 2014. The owner of the bakery learned the art of pastry-making in Paris, France, and decided to bring back the pastry culture to the Triangle.
You can go to this bakery during a romantic date to try delicious macarons in all kinds of flavors. You can also get other types of pastries at the bakery, including delicious croissants.
The pastries at Sweets by Shayda have amazing flavors and are beautifully decorated. In addition to that, the bakery has a beautiful interior that includes a wall with pretty pink flowers.
Address: 105 W Morgan St STE 105, Durham, NC 27701
Enjoy Delicious Food for Dinner at COPA
COPA is a restaurant that is located at 107 West Main Street. It is a great place for a romantic dinner date during which you can enjoy “Nuevo Latino” small plates and main courses. You can enjoy upscale, modern food from Spain, Cuba, and the Americas here.
At the restaurant, you can enjoy all sorts of tapas, including Caribbean empanadas, black bean tacos, and tostones. The main dishes include different types of gnocchi, paella, and stews.
You can also get delicious sandwiches and burgers at COPA.
The restaurant is also great if you want to have dinner before seeing a show at the Durham Performing Arts Center, which is also one of the most romantic things to do in Durham, as you can find it near the performing arts venue. You can get there in about 5 minutes.
Address: 107 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701
Go Indoor Rock Climbing at the Triangle Rock Club Durham
The Triangle Rock Club Durham is a great place to go for an active date during which you can go indoor rock climbing.
At the Triangle Rock Club, you can find various climbing walls, including a bouldering area.
If you want to learn how to climb, you can do various classes through which you can acquire new skills. These classes are great for a date as well.
In addition to that, it is possible to do fitness and yoga classes at Triangle Rock Club Durham.
Address: 1010 Martin Luther King Jr Pkwy Suite 400, Durham, NC 27713
Go to Bull City Burger and Brewery for Gourmet Burgers and Craft Beers
Bull City Burger and Brewery is a locally-owned restaurant that is located at 107 East Parrish Street in downtown Durham.
This is a great restaurant where you can have a dinner date during which you can enjoy a good burger, delicious fries, including sweet potato fries, and other dishes. You can also get great veggie burgers at the restaurant.
There are also great desserts to choose from. For example, you can get house-made ice cream and house-baked brownies at Bull City Burger and Brewery.
In addition to that, you can get great craft beers here. There is a rotating selection of more than 60 unique beers, including seasonal ones. You can see the beers that are currently on tap on the website of Bull City Burger and Brewery.
Address: 107 E Parrish St, Durham, NC 27701
More Durham Articles
Date Ideas in Durham Tips
The activities that I mentioned in this Durham date ideas guide are all great if you want to have a romantic time, but there’s a way to improve many of the ideas. You can go to a restaurant before or after your chosen activity. For example, instead of only going to a museum, you can first have lunch and then explore the museum’s collection. You could also first have dinner and then see a movie or see a live performance.
Durham Date Ideas Map
I hope you found some fun activities on my list of date ideas in Durham, NC! As you see, there’s a lot to choose from.