One of the trickiest parts about dating apps is figuring out the right time to suggest going on a first date with someone you’ve been talking to. Sometime after you discover your shared love of the Marvel franchise but before you realize he’s a Cardinals fan, there comes a moment when you should probably stop chatting, put your phone down, and get a real life activity on the books.
If the thought of leaving the internet’s forgiving embrace to navigate a sea of eyeliner and potential awkwardness gives you pause, you’re definitely not alone. Lucky for you, we’ve gathered a list of places in Kansas City that are sure to deliver a cozy atmosphere while you break the ice and get to know your date.
Wine Walk on Delaware
If you have a hunch your date prefer the finer things in life, the Wine Walk on Delaware may be your ticket. On every third Saturday of the month from April through October, gather on Delaware Street for a curated seasonal wine tasting experience. The event runs from 5-8, giving you plenty of evening left to catch a late dinner if you’re feeling a connection.
Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
When in doubt, ask yourself: “What would Anthony Bourdain do?” In Kansas City, the answer to that question is unequivocally: eat BBQ. Lots of it. It may be nearly impossible to look presentable while eating ribs, but any date worth keeping around won’t judge. Go big or go home with the brisket, and don’t be shy on the sides.
One of the great things about baseball is that you can still enjoy it if you’re only halfway paying attention. If the Royals are in town, consider snapping up some cheap nosebleed seats at the ballpark, where you can enjoy light-hearted banter about getting picked last in P.E. as you sip an $11 domestic draft and munch on a questionable-at-best hotdog doused in mustard.
Alamo Drafthouse is a perfect date spot for film buffs, showing an ideal mix of current blockbusters, indies, and cult classics. Before your movie starts, grab a bite or cocktail at theatre’s in-house restaurant, the Chesterfield, named for the nightclub that housed Kansas City jazz in its heyday.
For a fun and potentially boozy day date, head to Char Bar. Extensive smokehouse options for brunch, lunch, and dinner will keep you nourished as you sip an impressive roster of rotating taps. If your date is up for some friendly competition, the beer garden hosts a variety of yard games from bocce ball to cornhole to croquet. Loser buys.
For a truly competitive prospect who identifies as more of an “indoor kid,” the arcade at Up/Down awaits. This place is all about embracing ‘80s and ‘90s nostalgia. All games cost 25 cents a piece, but if you and your date are two of the first 100 people to show up on a Friday, you’ll get a combined 40 tokens for free. Sounds like a totally reasonable excuse for you both to duck out of work early and play a lot of Nintendo.
J. Rieger Distillery Tour
If you’re looking for things to escalate quickly, consider booking a tour at J. Rieger, purveyor of fine Kansas City Whiskey. Tours occur monthly, and include an in-depth look at the distilling process plus a bunch of free samples at the end of the journey. This would be a shotgun way to kick-off a marathon day date.
Ambiance on the Water
We would classify this as the “go big or go home” option. After grabbing an early bite somewhere on Kansas City Country Club Plaza, board a Venetian-style gondola and take in the sights along the river.
Berkley Riverfront Park
If you’d like to hang out by the water but (understandably) don’t want to spring for a private gondola on a first date, pack a picnic to munch on at Berkley Riverfront Park. After you finish eating, stroll down the south bank and divulge about your sibling rivalry or five year plan. Just kidding.
For a date with a passion for burgers and live music, Knuckleheads is likely to provide. A full calendar of acts ranging from rock to bluegrass gives you plenty to choose from. This is a great option for the Spring, Summer, and early Fall, as the outdoor stage is best experienced on a warmer night.
Looking for a partner in crime to join you at one of these fine locales?