Distinct Downtown Dating

Never Suffer Through a Boring Date Again

Little Italy's Extraordinary Desserts

Photo by Extraordinary Desserts

The nights are light, warm and teeming with the sound of people leaving work half an hour early to enjoy the beautiful weather. One thing is in the air: romance. All across the city, budding couples are pairing up for that initial spark: the knee-knocking, heart-thudding first date. Everyone knows first dates are crucial; they’re your first chance to impress the potential love of your life... so no pressure. Fortunately, we’ve assembled a few ideas that are bound to impress. 

Red Spade Theater

Ready to be dazzled? At the Red Spade Theater, both you and your date will have your minds blown by Sebastian (his last name is a magician’s secret) in the Theater’s premier show Intimate Miracles. A master of sleight of hand and other illusions, this magician will have you gasping in your seat and whispering “How did he do that?!” And all from the cozy distance of a mere ten feet away. With you and your date as two in an audience of only thirty, there will be plenty of chances to try and spot how Sebastian works his magic––if you can. Magic shows have a childish reputation, but Intimate Miracles has an age requirement and a modest dress code to ensure your experience is as mature and unimpeded as possible. If the idea of a night of laughs, gasps and amazement sounds appealing, check out Sebastian at the Red Spade Theater. Shows are Friday and Saturday evenings. 

Extraordinary Desserts Little Italy

If your date has a bit of a sweet tooth, you might want to check out Little Italy’s Extraordinary Desserts. This adorable café boasts some of the finest, most elegant desserts in the world. Hand-crafted cakes, individually made pastries topped with fruit, exquisite ice cream and so much more fill the glass cases of Extraordinary Desserts. This charming restaurant, located in the heart of downtown, is the perfect place to treat any date. Sit down with a cup of organic coffee or exotic tea and get to know each other over a panini and a plate of artisan cheese. Squeal with delight as the main event, a delicious artisanal dessert, arrives at your intimate table. With decadent chocolate, moist cake and sweet fruit tarts, you’ll want to come back for seconds... which may be the best way to score date number two! 

National Comedy Theater

If you believe making your partner laugh is the key to a happy relationship, look no further than the National Comedy Theater. The theater offers a wide array of shows, but the main feature is the MainStage Show, presented every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 and 9:45 pm. Grab a charming dinner downtown and be ready for the curtain to rise. Don’t expect to be a passive patron; this improv troop relies entirely on audience suggestions for the evening’s entertainment, which ensures that no show is ever the same. You’ll be rolling around with laughter each time you go. With adult tickets only costing $17, a date at the National Comedy Theater is bound to start a relationship with laughter—in a good way, of course. 

San Diego Air & Space Museum

If history is more to your date’s taste, perhaps the San Diego Air & Space Museum would be a hit. Full of everything from da Vinci’s sketches about the first flying machines to glimpses into the future of space travel, the museum is perfect for engendering intelligent conversation, strolling through the exhibits and even hand-holding. A date here will be spent arm in arm, gazing up at all that humanity has accomplished in our quest to conquer the skies themselves. Located on the southwest side of Balboa Park, visiting the San Diego Air & Space Museum is the perfect way to spend an afternoon for any bookish or intellectual couple. If it’s going well, you can come out with your date and still have all of Balboa Park to explore—if you can drag yourself away from the wind tunnel! 

Balboa Park

If all of these options seem a little ambitious, you can always fall back on a classic San Diego date: a lovely early morning stroll through Balboa Park. This iconic spot includes 12,000 acres of lovely walking paths, gardens blooming with flowers of every color of the rainbow and a chance to see the rich Spanish architecture of El Prado. Despite what your individual tastes may be, there’s something for everyone at Balboa Park. Take a trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, peek into the Museum of Art or stroll though the Botanical Building. Feeling adventurous? Climb the California Tower. Built in 1914, the California Tower has been closed to climbers since 1935. In the last few months, however, the Tower has officially opened to the public. Enjoy sprawling views of San Diego from the top of this iconic building. Years from now, you’ll be talking about that wonderfully romantic first date, all in the heart of one of the most beautiful cities in the country.