Reader Recommendations + Editor Picks for the best First Date Ideas in Orlando
“Where should I go for a first date?” is the question we get asked by readers most often. You want to make a good first impression, but also keep things light and casual. Then there’s the stress of planning an activity and hoping your date has a good time. No wonder those first date jitters are a thing…
To help you plan an epic night out, we reached out to our readers on Facebook and Instagram to retell their successful first date stories and share the special activities that won them over. And, of course, we sprinkled in a few tips and suggestions of our own along the way. These 50 first date ideas in Orlando are sure to be a slam-dunk.
Note: This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated with new ideas and reader recommendations.
1. Mini Golf
“Pirates Cove mini golf on I-Drive! Then we did some talking and had some ice cream. Our date anniversary is July 23 and we are going to go back 🙂 just got married this past April.”
“My now husband and I moved here for college many years ago. Our first date when we moved to town was Pirates Cove miniature golf and then walking around ‘Downtown Disney.’”
Tip: Mini golf isn’t just for kids; it’s an awesome first date idea! We also love Congo River Golf on I-Drive. Extend the evening by grabbing dinner beforehand (try Marlow’s Tavern or Tapa Toro), listening to live music at Tin Roof or riding the ICON Orlando. Here are a few more suggestions for an I-Drive date night.
2. Disney Fireworks
“Watching the fireworks from the Disney Polynesian!”
Tip: You don’t need to enter the theme parks to watch the fireworks. There are tons of places outside the parks to catch the nightly show. Disney fireworks are temporarily unavailable; check back for updates.
3. Epcot Food and Wine Festival
“Epcot! Food & Wine Fest and it’s been our anniversary date every year since!”
“Epcot! Food and wine festival. We go back every year. Same day — we plan around it.”
“Epcot! Drinking around the world.”
4. I-Drive Date
“We met at Cuba Libre and spent the night talking over drinks until the music got too loud. Then we wound up at Yardhouse since I was starving and sat on the patio watching the Orlando Eye. We even planned our third date on our first since we knew the second was inevitable lol.”
“Tapa Toro & The Wheel at ICON Park.”
5. Disney Springs Dinner
“Terralina Crafted Italian at Disney Springs. And now we are engaged!”
Tip: You could also design your own picnic basket to-go at Wine Bar George or follow one of these itineraries ranging from budget friendly to splurge worthy.
6. Escape Rooms
There are several Escape Rooms in Orlando to choose from, most clustered in the I-Drive area. Besides being a fun and engaging way to spend 60 minutes together, it’s a great way to see how your date handles pressure and how well he/she can think on their feet.
7. CityWalk Dinner + Drinks Crawl
Instead of choosing just one spot to dine and drink, visit multiple restaurants and bars. CityWalk offers plenty of options in a walkable hub. Follow our itinerary to get started.
8. Pinspiration North Orlando
Tip: For an out of the ordinary first date idea, Pinspiration North Orlando has a special Splatter Date Night package for $99 that includes a private date in the Splatter Room. You’ll create your own masterpiece on one or two canvases by flicking paint at the canvas. The package also includes a glow in the dark upgrade, chocolates and champagne.
9. Farris & Foster’s Chocolate Date Night
“Farris & Foster’s chocolates dip your own date night!”
Tip: Farris & Fosters Chocolate Factory in Baldwin Park hosts a special date night chocolate-making workshop on Friday nights at 7pm and 9pm. The cost is $34/couple and you’ll take home a pound of chocolate. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 407-770-1607. Psssst… you can bring your own wine 😉
10. Sak Comedy Lab
“Sak Comedy Lab. So much fun! 3 years later and we still make it a regular date night spot since it never gets boring.”
– Trisha L.
11. The Cloak & Blaster
“Cloak & Blaster. We had similar interests and played tabletop games to help break the ice.”
12. Enzian Theater
“We went to the Enzian and watched the Blair Witch Project. 19 years ago.”
Tip: Enzian Theater is one of our date night go-tos. Here are 8 ways to do date night at this Orlando gem.
13. Park Avenue
“Walked around Park Ave., the same place my husband proposed.”
14. Downtown for Drinks
“Aku Aku Tiki Bar – by World of Beer. First date with my wife. It’s small, but fun and a chill feel! Plus it’s right by Lake Eola if you want to walk! You never know, you could take a really great girl there and wind up marrying her.”
Tip: We also love The Courtesy (go over the top by booking two seats for the monthly cocktail class), Hanson’s Shoe Repair and Mathers Social Gathering. Or you could try a DIY Lake Eola pub crawl.
15. Resort Food Crawl
You don’t need to be an overnight guest to infiltrate Orlando’s amazing resorts for a date night. One of our favorite resort dates is a food crawl visiting multiple restaurants within one property. Check out our past itineraries for the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin and Gaylord Palms to get started.
16. Central Florida Ale Trail
If you’re both beer lovers, scan the Central Florida Ale Trail map and choose one brewery each to visit together. Pro tip: pick breweries in walkable areas (think DeLand, Winter Park and Downtown) so you can pair your brewery visit with a stroll to explore the local area. Updates are in the works for 2021.
17. ICEBAR Orlando
Reader @allixrenee cited this as a favorite first date in Orlando and we agree! They’ve got a super fun date night package with admission for two, reserved high-top seating, faux fur coat upgrade, drinks, dinner and dessert.
ADVENTUROUS FIRST DATE IDEAS
18. Salsa Class
“A beginners salsa class at Salsa Heat. It was a ballsy move on his part, but it worked.”
19. Ziplining + Zoo
“Ziplining at Seminole Aerial Adventures and then the Central Florida Zoo after. Totally worth it!”
20. Ice Skating + Ramen
“Ice skating at RDV followed by Sapporo Ramen (now Da Sun Ramen) for some amazing ramen.”
Tip: RDV offers public skating sessions almost every day of the week. The Friday & Saturday evening sessions are the best for date night. Admission is $16/person including your skate rental.
21. Airboat ride
It doesn’t get more Florida–or more fun–than speeding around in an airboat looking for alligators. Try it at Wild Florida and then stick around to check out a unique animal experience, like the new Giraffe Painting or Drive Thru Safari, too. We know it’s not the most romantic, but it is adventurous and unique and you’ll have loads to talk about over dinner after your ride.
22. 9 1/2 Hours in Disney Springs
“Our first date lasted 9 1/2 hours at Disney Springs. We had our first meet at the bar in Planet Hollywood. After a couple drinks and an app, we decided to walk around and do some shopping. Then we watched the 2nd installment of 50 Shades of Grey at the AMC. When the movie was done, we still wanted to hang out a little longer so we decided to get some dinner and talk more at The Boathouse. After that we walked along the path next to the water. We made our way around to House of Blues, then decided to sit outside at the bar at Splitsville and listen to the local performer play. What turned into a first meet at 2pm, ended around 11:30pm.
A year and half later, we still talk about that day and how amazing and lucky we are that we both swiped right on Bumble.”
23. Quintessential Downtown Orlando
“World of Beer Orlando for a pint, wandered through Thornton Park, picked Dexter’s Thornton Park (CLOSED) for dinner, still didn’t want the night to end, so after a couple laps around Lake Eola (he reached over and held my hand on the second lap!) we went to The Courtesy for cocktails and more conversation. A quick beer to see if we liked each other turned into a 6-hour night! Needless to say we liked each other and still do 3.5 years later! He’s a keeper.”
24. Aquatic Adventures
“Canoeing and swimming at Kings Landing during the day then Menchie’s and a sunset walk around Lake Eola :).”
25. Disney Date
“We parked at Disney Fort Wilderness and walked over to the pier where we caught the ferry to the park. On our boat ride, we watched the fireworks from Magic Kingdom on the boat. Then we rode the boat back and headed to Disney Springs for dinner. It was the best. We are both Disney fans and it was perfect. It was the start of many romantic Orlando dates.”
– Karina R.
26. Chef’s Table at the Edgewater / The Tasting Room
“Dinner at The Tasting Room in Winter Garden then drinks. Such a great night.”
27. DoveCote + Swan Boats
“We had dinner at DoveCote and then went on a swan boat ride on Lake Eola with the twinkling Orlando skyline as the backdrop.”
Tip: You can rent swan boats at Lake Eola from the dock by Relax Grill Sundays from 10am-7pm, Mondays – Thursdays from 11am-6pm and Fridays-Saturdays from 10am-9pm. The cost to rent is $15 per half hour.
28. Drinks + Winter Park Fish Company
29. Hillstone Winter Park
“Hillstone, drinks on the patio, watching the sunset. Perfect. 7 yrs strong and 1 year married!”
Tip: Check out our guide to where to dine with sunset views for more romantic sunset dinner ideas.
30. Vines Grille & Wine Bar
”Vines Grille & Wine Bar. He picked me up and when we walked in to the restaurant I saw he had set up a reserved table with roses on it. So romantic. We’ve been together 3 years now.”
31. Downtown Celebration
“Columbia Restaurant in Celebration. Delicious dinner and then we walked around the lake. He proposed in the same spot we kissed on our first date.”
“Antonio’s in Celebration.”
Tip: Here are a few more ideas for how to do date night in Celebration.
32. Bulla Winter Park
“Bulla in Winter Park. Happy hour at the bar is 🔥🔥🔥”
33. White Wolf Cafe + The Imperial
34. Animal Kingdom Lodge
“Dinner at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Then you can walk around the resort in the back and look at all the African animals they have. So much fun!”
Tip: Visit Jiko – The Cooking Place to try African cuisine before strolling through the resort to explore the Savannah.
35. Kabooki Sushi
“Kabooki Sushi and then Light Up UCF for ice skating.”
Tip: Light Up UCF is a seasonal event, but you can ice skate year round at RDV Ice Den.
36. Enzo’s on the Lake
“Enzo’s on the Lake. Still serves the finest Italian, and still worth every penny.”
Readers also recommend:
- Ole Red Orlando (@nslipko)
- Seito Sushi (@samira_sodjian)
- Cafe Tu Tu Tango (@surrahhh)
- Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen (@emmaj0216)
- Gnarley Barley (@itsbethanyb)
37. Prato + Gelato
Multiple readers suggested this charming Italian eatery for a first date and we have to agree. At Prato, you’ll feel like you’re dining at a trendy NYC restaurant. And you just can’t go wrong with pizza. After dinner, stroll down Park Avenue to Gelato-go for some of the best gelato in town.
38. Food Trucks
If you’re nervous about committing to an entire dinner, try attending a food truck event instead. The chill atmosphere is ideal for a casual first date. We love Tasty Takeover in the Milk District, which happens every Tuesday night. Check out our tips for planning a food truck date for more ideas.
39. Lake Eola Park
“No matter where they start, I feel like all first dates end up with a romantic stroll around Lake Eola.”
40. Lake Eola Surprise Picnic
“We had a surprise picnic at Lake Eola. Surprise because we agreed not to tell the other what we were bringing.”
Tip: Refer to our romantic Orlando picnic guide for the scoop on local companies like Orlando Picnic that will set up a romantic picnic spread for you at local parks.
41. Farmer’s Market
“Lake Eola Farmers Market! He later proposed at the park & we got married there too!”
Tip: We also love the Winter Garden Farmer’s Market on Saturdays from 8am-1pm.
42. Disney’s BoardWalk
“We walked around the Boardwalk at Disney…the sunset was beautiful, lots to see, and now we can go back and relive our first date with our kiddos.”
Tip: Disney’s BoardWalk is another fun location for a progressive date.
43. Bok Tower Gardens
Yes, Bok Tower Gardens is a bit of a drive from Orlando. But the scenic setting is extra romantic, the gardens are peaceful and quiet and admission is reasonable.
44. Movie Night at Leu Gardens
This is one of our favorite first date ideas in Orlando. Each month, Leu Gardens stays open late for a date night movie under the stars. Build your own picnic basket with provisions from Swine & Sons or East End Market before watching the movie. This way, you’ll both get to select food you enjoy. The casual setting quells some of those first date jitters while the experience is unique enough to make a great first impression. And don’t forget a bottle of wine! Check the calendar for upcoming movies.
Also try: Popcorn Flicks in the Park in Winter Park.
LUNCH + BRUNCH
45. Yellow Dog Eats
“Our first date was Yellow Dog Eats, he proposed on a walk by our house in College Park, and we got married at Citrus Club. We clearly <3 Orlando!”
46. Krungthep Tea Time
“Had a cute late lunch at Krungthep Tea Time and shared one of their brick toast desserts!”
47. Sunday in Orlando
48. Thornton Park
For a casual first date idea in Orlando, meet for brunch! Thornton Park is the perfect place to spend a Sunday and there’s no shortage of options for brunch. A few of our favorites are Soco Thornton Park and The Stubborn Mule.
49. Bountiful Farms Bistro
This local farm in Okahumpka is a bit of a drive from Orlando, but it’s totally worth it for the incredible food and unique setting. Bountiful Farms Bistro is open for lunch seasonally from October – May and reservations are strongly suggested. Food produced on the farm and by other local producers is the star of the extensive menu.
50. The Strand
The Strand is a cozy eatery in the Mills 50 District that’s casual yet refined. It’s a wonderful spot to meet for lunch or dinner. Check out the local murals after grabbing a bite.
Looking for more first date ideas in Orlando?
Check out these posts for more ideas:
- A Matchmaker’s Guide to Restaurants for a First Date in Orlando
- Orlando Date Night Ideas From First Date to Anniversary
Where was YOUR first date in Orlando?