A Year of Date Nights in Pierce County

Explore the shore at Owen Beach. Photo courtesy of Russ Carmack/Metro Parks.


By Shelby Taylor

 lucky eagle casino logo NEW“A new voyage will fill your life with untold memories.” – Fortune cookie 

In twenty fifteen, embark on a 12-month journey of dates ranging from the traditional (movie nights and beachside picnics are accounted for) to the heart-pounding (yup, parasailing made our list!). Love Doctor SouthSoundTalk’s suggestions stretch from Federal Way all the way down to Lakewood, keeping it local while setting the mood for a year of romance:

Exterior of The Grand Cinema.
Enjoy the timeless date night activity of dinner and a movie in Tacoma.

Given that the weather outside can be frightful during this first month, opt for an indoor date night at the track. Lakewood’s Grand Prix Raceway is guaranteed to get your hearts racing with a 20-lap race on a surface wide enough for passing. The friendly competition will undoubtedly heat up on the long straights. Happy hour drinks on the winner?

Grand Prix Raceway
11015 Pacific Hwy SW
Lakewood, WA 98499

In February, do dinner and a movie with Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge and The Grand Cinema. Tacoma’s speakeasy is partnering with the South Sound’s home for independent, foreign, and local film, offering up two entrees, two desserts, two beverages, and two movie tickets for a steal at $85.

Other local cinemas showing the latest romantic comedy or nail biter of a movie (hey, any excuse to snuggle closer, right?) can be found here.

Maxwell’s Restaurant + Lounge
454 Saint Helens Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

Grand Cinema
606 S Fawcett Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

In the spring, ramble through one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons in the world at Federal Way's botanical garden.
In the spring, ramble through one of the largest collections of species rhododendrons in the world at Federal Way’s botanical garden.

Celebrate the start of spring with a stroll, hand-in-hand, through The Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden. Whether in drizzle or shine, every turn through RSBG’s vast garden reveals bursts of color. Early morning self-guided tours are perhaps the best way to take in the Royal Azalea, Flowering Currant, magnolias, and more, as not many are around, lending an air of magic. 

The Rhododendron Species Foundation & Botanical Garden
2525 S 336th St
Federal Way, WA 98003

Take in a game of mini golf at family-owned Parkland Putters, which is open full-time starting month four. Whether you choose an easy, medium, med-hard, or hard course, rest assured that each has a standout aspect — with the easy Boat course, for example, the two of you putt through a real life boat complete with engine down below!

Parkland Putters
10636 Sales Rd S
Tacoma, WA

The mellow month of May is best rung in with a hike around South Sound green spaces. Dash Point State Park is a favorite of couples, offering evergreen strewn trails to the right and sandy beach access to the left of I-5. After working up a sweat hiking miles of forested terrain, scoop up picnic makings from the car and dine on the shoreline. 

Dash Point State Park
5700 SW Dash Point Rd
Federal Way, WA 98023

Go out for burgers and ice cream in Tacoma.
Go out for burgers and ice cream in Tacoma.

Keeping with the theme of outdoor dates, adrenaline junkies should strongly consider taking flight with Pacific Parasail. The parasail provider has been making flights of fancy possible for more than a decade and even offers couples a chance to take off together. See Commencement Bay in a whole new way, and purchase a photo to mark the occasion.

Pacific Parasail
821 Dock St
Tacoma, WA 98402

Nothing quite says summer like a burger and ice cream. Carnivores and vegetarians alike should consider these hamburger hot spots to best satisfy their craving, and can cool off with local favorite Ice Cream Social’s cool treats. Look to the parlor’s rotating Market Strawberry and Roasted Banana flavors along with Vanilla Bean and Coconut Bean to escape to a tropical paradise.

Ice Cream Social
2914 6th Ave
Tacoma, WA 98406

Hit the water as a couple during steamy August. Kayak and stand up paddle board rentals dot local beaches in summer, with some even offering guided instruction on how to get the most out of your day on the Sound. Keep your eyes peeled for harbor seals!

Fawn over farm animals at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.
Fawn over farm animals at the Washington State Fair in Puyallup.

Do the Puyallup at the Washington State Fair when it rolls into town September 11. She’ll squeal at the cute as a button pigs, goats and other livestock on display, and he can show off his skills at a host of game booths. Be sure to nab a strawberry-smeared fair scone or two before you go.

Washington State Fair
110 9th Ave SW
Puyallup, WA 98371

Get out the lederhosen for October’s favorite festival at Oktoberfest specific events or by touring Tacoma craft breweries. Oktoberfest Northwest is your one stop shop for grub, including German fare, grog, and live bands. Wingman Brewers and Harmon Brewery, too, have Oktoberfest brews on hand to toast the season and the two of you.

Oktoberfest Northwest
Washington State Fair Events Center
110 9th Ave SW
Puyallup, WA 98371

Wingman Brewers
509 1/2 Puyallup Ave
Tacoma, WA 98421

Make a date out of giving back to the community together.
Make a date out of giving back to the community together.

Harmon Brewery
1938 Pacific Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

The couple who volunteers together, stays together. Brainstorm a way to give back that you’d both enjoy, and dedicate your time or talents during the month of Thanksgiving. Local charitable organizations from Metro Parks Tacoma to Catholic Community Services (more ideas found here!) look to volunteers to help make a difference in the communities they serve. 

While South Sound winter temps aren’t quite enough to freeze over ponds, downtown Tacoma hosts a makeshift ice rink throughout December. Bundle up, rent a pair of skates at Franciscan Polar Plaza, and glide along a track like two birds of a feather. Night skates are best for taking in the holiday lights.

Franciscan Polar Plaza
Pacific Ave & S 17th St
Tacoma, WA 98402

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