Editor's note: If you choose to dine at these restaurants, bring your mask and socially distance in accordance with public health guidelines.
“Where should we go to eat?” is a lingering question many face when planning a date night. Let’s face it, favorite places have been visited over and over, and the food isn't always exciting anymore.
With the stress of everything going on in the world, having an exciting and enjoyable date night is crucial to keeping the romance alive in a relationship. Skip the traditional dining and try one of these many places Columbia offers to get active with your date.
The Grand on Main
The Grand on Main has much more fun to offer than food alone. On top of a full-sized menu offering appetizers, salads, sandwiches, entrées and more, The Grand also has a range of activities to participate in.
This restaurant includes seven full-service lanes for bowling and a downstairs self-pour-style tap room that includes a pool table and arcade games. General manager Lindsay Newman said they offer "an upscale dining experience without that super upscale price" and that doing such activities can be a great way to get to know someone.
On top of bowling and games, The Grand holds live music on weekends and other fun events. Last year, the taproom hosted a Bachelor Night, where people came in and were able to view “The Bachelor” while enjoying drinks and games.
“We try to come up with things that could pertain to just about any crowd,” Newman said. “We do trivia on Wednesdays, and we pick different themes that can pertain to just about everybody, no matter the age and anything else.”
Between the full-sized menu and the numerous activity options, The Grand has a lot to offer customers to keep them having fun, new experiences.
“You’re not going to find anywhere that offers everything that we do,” Newman said.
Craft Axe Throwing
Craft Axe Throwing hosts several lanes where customers are able to compete at throwing axes, all while enjoying drinks from a list of craft beers and snacks.
Axe throwing can unlock someone’s competitive side and give them the chance to show off to their date or to just have a good time.
“It’s something that incites a little bit of competition, but it’s also a new skill that most people haven’t, you know, done yet,” marketing manger Hunter Gouty said.
Gouty said axe throwing is a lot of fun and easy to pick up on, thanks to help from instructors.
Throwing is available in 30-minute or hour-long sessions throughout the week, except for Mondays and Wednesdays.
On Mondays, people can choose from other objects to throw at the target, including throwing stars and throwing cards, and on Wednesdays it offers discounts for college students who bring in their student ID to throw for an hour.
When hour-long date nights spent in boring restaurants become too repetitive, Craft Axe Throwing is the perfect spot to take part in thrilling activities and enjoy some drinks.
Studio Cellar in the Vista allows you to create your own date night. This paint-your-own canvas art studio is a great spot to enjoy your favorite beverages, including wine and craft beer, while painting a canvas that will serve as a great memory for years to come.
Randy Weiss, husband of the owner, said Studio Cellar is the ideal place to come and enjoy a worry-free date night. With both classes led by instructors and freestyle workshops, Studio Cellar has an option for people at all skill levels.
"Our sole purpose is to show people that they can create a piece of art that they did not know they could do," Weiss said. “And in a sense, it’s actually therapeutic because for two hours you’re thinking about nothing else but your painting, and then when you get done, not only are you pleasantly surprised at what you were able to create, you also kind of let all your cares pass."
They also hold a monthly Date Night, which is the ultimate romantic and creative experience. With this option, instructors can assist two people in painting separate canvases that come together to form one picture.
The art venue located on Lady Street makes for an interesting venue, "with all the exposed brick and wood beams in the 100-year-old building," according to Weiss. This atmosphere has given Studio Cellar the chance to remain a painting studio and host events.