Fun Date Ideas in New Orleans

It's easy to argue that the best dates are those that break the norm, seek adventure, and get the blood pumping. At least we think so...and that's why we're recommending the six New Orleans dates below. Whether this is your 1st or 101st date, you're sure to find these New Orleans outings to be an exciting and romantic way to spend time with your special someone.   

 

1. audubon aquarium of the americas

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas makes for a unique, visually stimulating (the museum, not just your beautiful date), and possibly educational outing. What better way to bond with your date than learning about the bizarre mating rituals of seahorses or the Kardashian-like drama within the aquarium's African Penguin colony? We'd be surprised if staring face to face with the aquarium's full grown sharks doesn't get that adrenaline pumping and conversation flowing.

Admission: $25-30 per person

Idea for after the Aquarium: Since you'll be right there, walk along the Mississippi River Boardwalk, ideally around sunset, and then stroll over to Sobou for a romantic dinner in the French Quarter. 

 

2. Kayaking at bayou saint john

Swamp kayaking near New Orleans.

Swamp kayaking near New Orleans.

If you're looking for an outdoorsy and active date within the New Orleans city limits, Bayou Saint John is an excellent choice! Hit the waters on either a kayak or paddle board and explore all this waterway has to offer. Plus, there's definitely nothing wrong with burning a few calories while you and your date enjoy each other's company on the water.

Kayak Rental: You can do 2 hour kayak rentals from Bayou Paddlesports (located right on the water) for $22/person. If you're willing to drive the kayaks a short distance and would like to rent for the whole day at a cheaper rate, Massey's rents single kayaks for $35 per day and tandem kayaks at $40 per day.  

 

3. hike at the barataria preserve in jean lafitte national park

A hiking date at the Barataria Preserve in Jean Lafitte National Historic Park requires about a half hour drive outside the city limits, but it's SO worth it. For an excellent 1.8-mile roundtrip hike, take Bayou Coquille Trail to the Marsh Overlook Trail and follow it to the end. Along this mostly boardwalk trail, you and your date will marvel at trees with hanging Spanish Moss, dense mangrove and palmetto forests, lively swamps, lily covered bayous and tranquil marshes. The sheer beauty and diversity of this terrain is bound to make for an unforgettable experience for both of you.

Price: FREE

Note: If you'd like to make your hike longer, start at the visitor center and take the Palmetto Trail to the Bayou Coquille Trail. The Palmetto Trail is 0.9 miles, adding an additional 1.8 miles to your round trip (total of 3.6 miles). More information about the preserve, trail conditions, and the trail map can be found on the National Park Service website  

 

4. Swing dance lessons at nola jitterbugs

Swing dance school in New Orleans.

Swing dance school in New Orleans.

If you and your date are already well versed in swing dancing then you might want to skip this date. But, in case either of you isn't an expert dancer yet, a swing lesson at NOLA Jitterbugs is an exciting way to spend the night together. NOLA Jitterbugs will teach you the basics of a few Swing and Lindy Hop dances and have you practice the steps with your partner. They typically have community swing lessons on Friday nights and another Intro to Swing dance lesson sometime during the week. Check their website for the latest lessons calendar

Price per Lesson: Pay what you want

Idea for after your swing lesson: Since you'll only be about half a mile from Frenchmen Street after your lesson, take an Uber or Lyft to one of the Frenchmen Street music clubs and show off what you've learned on the dance floor. Great bars for swing dancing include The Spotted Cat, Maison, and Blue Nile. If you get tired of dancing, take a walk through the Frenchmen Art Market.  

 

5. Drinks, Food, and music at bacchanal

Bacchanal wine bar in the Bywater of New Orleans.

Bacchanal wine bar in the Bywater of New Orleans.

You may have noticed by now that this article primarily contains pretty active dates...but, we’d feel rather foolish if food and drinks at Bacchanal wasn’t added to the list. This wine bar and restaurant screams “DATE SPOT,” with a tastefully romantic backyard featuring light strung trees and soothing live music. The drinks and gourmet entrees are delicious too and elegantly served.

Though you can order wine or beer by the glass, you can also purchase a bottle of wine in the front store and have it served at your table. 21+ only. 

 

6. Bowling at Fulton alley

Fulton Alley in the warehouse district of New Orleans.

Fulton Alley in the warehouse district of New Orleans.

Fulton Alley brings the word classy to a whole new level. Leather couches, a full service bar, a delicious menu, and excellent servers make the time spent between rolls almost as enjoyable as the bowling itself. Even the lighting in this bowling alley is reminiscent of a date night restaurant.

Plus, there’s nothing like a little competition to spice up the night…

Price: $30/hr for a lane and $4 for shoe rental  

Note: After 8pm, Fulton Alley is 21+. Also, if you find that there is a wait for a lane, you and your date can pass the time by enjoying a drink at the bar and/or engaging in some friendly competition with a variety of other games hosted at the alley, such as foosball or giant chess. 

 

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