The holidays are busy, what with pending travel, holiday shopping, trips to see Santa and family overload. So it’s important to make a little time that’s just for you. If you’re looking for a holiday date night in Denver this winter, here are some ideas, from the romantic to the ridiculous.
There are way too many delicious Denver restaurants to give each one its own space on this list, so here’s a quick rundown of a few date night-worthy spots:
Frasca Food and Wine — The paradigm of Italian food and wine (specifically northern Italian) in Denver from Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey.
Morin - Inventive French cuisine is best eaten in either a four- or seven-course tasting menu
Fruition Restaurant - Strong embrace of local farm to table food and chef Alex Seidel is also this year’s winner of the James Beard Award for best chef in the Southwest.
Acorn - Eclectic dishes best designed for sharing on a menu that never stays the same for long.
Bar Dough - One of the best Italian restaurants in the city masquerading as just a neighborhood spot. Get. Some. Pasta.
Uchi Denver - Newly opened Rocky Mountain outpost of the beloved Austin sushi institution.
Corrida - Part steakhouse, part pinxtos (Basque tapas) emporium in Boulder.
Coperta - Southern Italian cuisine, expertly prepared.
Safta Restaurant - Israeli food from one of its best known chefs, Alon Shaya. It’s Shaya’s first restaurant to open outside of New Orleans.
Start your night with a few turns around the Downtown Denver Rink in Skyline park. It’s right in the middle of the great food and shopping on the 16th Street Mall, so you can pop right into a romantic dinner after you’re done. And skates are only $8 to rent, so it’s a cheap date for sure.
The always excellent drinks and always kitschy barware make the Miracle pop-up bar, this year at Avanati Wolf Bar, a holiday joy. Find your ugliest sweater and you’ll probably match the glass you’re drinking out of.
There is something that is classic Christmas about the feel of the Terminal Bar at Union Station. The bright white walls, deco architecture and massive Christmas tree will leave you feeling like you just stepped into a Hallmark Channel movie.
TubaChristmas: Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it. Hundreds of tuba players from all over the area join forces for a bass version of all the big Christmas hits on December 16. The concert is a little early—it’s at 12:30—so you can make it part of a whole day out.
Holiday shopping isn’t always fun, but it can be. Denver’s flea market has several special holiday weekend events at Union Station Plaza that will have some things you want and even more things you never knew you needed.
The precision and strength of the Moscow Ballet is coming to Denver for one weekend on December 7-8 to showcase Tchaicovsky’s Christmas classic.
The Santaland Diaries were the hilarious stories that brought David Sedaris to prominence and the theatrical version is just as good. It’s back for another holiday run at the Jones Theater.
The museum’s Untitled Final Fridays events are on hold until January (but when they start again, they make wonderful date night activities), but you can still stay late on Fridays with the museum open until 8pm. Check out the Rembrandt and Claes Oldenburg exhibits before they end on January 6.
Take a stroll through the woods and gardens and see the lit up for the holidays. You can stop along the way at yurts and warm up with cocoa and cider in an idealized version of a Christmas evening.
Brewery Crawl in River North
Denver has almost the greatest number of breweries per capita in the country. They also have some of the best. River North is the de facto brewery row, so head over and grab a seasonal draft at Epic, Ratio, Our Mutual Friend and all the rest.