Our Top 4 Normanite Date Nights
We may be months away from Valentine's Day, but, come on, that’s not the only day of the year to plan out a romantic date - there’s also the day immediately after Valentine’s for all you procrastinators out there.
In all seriousness though, any day (or night!) is perfect for a date in Norman. There are plenty of local activities to choose from, for any couple, any season of the year. All that’s left to do is plan it out - and we’ve compiled our top 4 "Normanite Date Night" ideas to get you started!
For the Granolas
Work up an appetite by heading over to Norman’s very own indoor climbing gym for a little bit of bouldering or a relaxing yoga session - both at Climb UP! Either way, you’ll be making great memories together even before dinner.
These two eateries are Norman’s quirkiest little “hole in the wall” spots and must-do’s for any self-respecting hippie or hipster couple. While The Earth Café earns its granola reputation with its assortment of organic smoothies and all-natural selection of soups and sandwiches, Midway Deli (which also boasts a delicious array of soups, sandwiches, and more) lives up to the granola standard by sitting tucked away in the middle of a charming residential neighborhood.
A little sightseeing through the downtown area is not complete without a visit to STASH - a store which uses the wonderfully hipster, and true, tagline, “Good Things For All”. This treasure trove of handmade jewelry, beautifully arranged succulents, and one-of-kind natural body oils and moisturizers will have you feeling like you’ve just stepped into an upscale hippie market converted-greenhouse. The store also offers an assortment of clothing, from vintage tees to sweaters and scarves, as well as a variety of home decor - including throw pillows and blankets, candles, woven baskets, and more.
Cap off an amazing date with a drink at either Gray Owl or 405 Brewing Co. - or both, if you’re really feeling that adventurous! Nothing says “hipster” like bicycles hanging from the ceiling of a coffee shop, and, in conjunction with the awesome drink and bakery selection, that’s exactly what Gray Owl has to offer. As Norman’s first and only production brewery, 405 Brewing Co. does not disappoint. They offer a wide variety of local brews which each boast their own unique, rich taste you'll have to experience for yourself.
Classic Date Night
Cooking Lessons at International Pantry
Kick off the date with a little fun in the kitchen at Oklahoma’s oldest kitchen supply store right here in Norman! In addition to the largest selection of cutlery you’ve ever seen, The International Pantry also offers cooking classes to help sharpen (pun intended) your skills in the kitchen. Find out how to book your International Pantry cooking lesson here.
Don’t have time to prepare your own meal with cooking lessons? That’s okay! Blu and Blackbird are the perfect fit for any couple in the mood for fine dining and a romantic atmosphere. While Blu offers a diverse menu with options ranging from scrumptious seafood all the way to mouth-watering pizza, Blackbird tends to focus on a variety of classics - from burgers and salads, to tacos and nachos - but with an upscale, modern twist. Both are prime spots to explore Norman nightlife - with Blu right at the edge of Norman's historic downtown and Blackbird on the corner of Campus Corner.
What’s more classic than dinner and a movie? No need to reinvent the wheel here! Whether it’s a trip to Norman’s Hollywood Theaters to see a movie, or to to downtown’s historic Sooner Theatre for a local play, each idea is bound to entertain.
Wind down the night with a trip to Apple Tree Chocolate (open till 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays!) and give in to your sweet tooth as you peruse the selection of handmade chocolates and, of course, caramel apples!
High School Sweethearts
Who said dates have to be fancy and expensive to be meaningful? Sooner Bowling is the perfect spot to have some fun, regardless of your budget. Whether you bowl a few strikes or make the Guinness Book of World Records for the most gutter balls, you’re sure to start off the date with a few laughs.
Throw it back to your high school days (unless, of course, you’re actually still in high school…then maybe you could also convince your parents to pay for this entire date - score!) with a visit to either one of Norman’s local drive-ins. Both historic fixtures in Norman, these drive-ins are have their own unique style you won’t want to miss out on. Be sure to grab a “Sprittle” at Classics or the best milkshake you’ve ever tasted at Sooner Dairy.
Take in the sights and sounds as you both enjoy a relaxing walk through the trees. Both Sutton and Thunderbird offer areas for moderate hiking - i.e. no changes in elevation - on paths that’ll take you right past beautiful bodies of water. Sutton sits at the north end of the city and boasts a 1.3 mile loop around a pond, while Thunderbird includes a plethora of trails next to the scenic lake, located at the eastern most edge of Norman.
Round out the date with a trip to Campus Corner - where you can find any sweet you’ve ever craved! From handmade popsicles, to ice-cream sandwiches, to cookies and donuts at anytime, day or night, Campus Corner is the place to be for your sweet tooth fix.
What better way to start off a rainy day date than a trip to the museum? Both on the beautiful campus of The University of Oklahoma, these two museums attract tourists and Normanites alike. While Fred Jones includes beautiful pieces from artists including Degas and Van Gogh, Sam Noble will give you and your date the chance to explore the natural history of Oklahoma while standing face-to-face with the eyes of ancient Turkish mosaic portraits, real dinosaur skeletons, and more.
Don’t lie - sipping coffee with a hot brunch on the way while watching the rain fall with your date across the table is just the kind of rom-com scene you’ve always wanted. Head downtown for the widest selection of diners and coffee shops you’ve ever seen in a half-mile radius. Want trendy and modern? Head to Syrup or Gray Owl. Enjoy the “mom and pop” scene instead? Stroll over to The Diner or Hassler’s. Searching for something a little more upscale? Try Fancy That. Or maybe you’re looking for a unique spot to enjoy both a cup of joe and a little wine - Michelangelo’s is your place.
Get Artsy: Be Wild for Art - Wine & Palette - Pinot's Palette Norman
Viewing priceless works of art earlier in the day will have you and your date craving to pick up a brush yourself! Head on over to one of Norman’s many “paint by numbers” studios for a chance to make even more memories, and art of course, on your effortless rainy day date.
While Crimson and Whipped Cream is widely known for their coffee, mochas, and lattes, their bakery items are just as delicious! From their Banana Nutella Coffee Cake to their German Chocolate Cupcakes and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, this is the perfect spot to cozy up with your date on a wonderfully rainy evening.
- Olivia Taylor, VisitNorman Digital Media