CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — If you are looking for unique and exciting date night ideas, the cities of Charleston and Huntington have plenty to offer. Ranging from an arcade, to a theme park, to a rose garden and more, here are 10 date night ideas in the Charleston-Huntington area!
1. Axes & Ales
“Eat, drink, play … repeat,” is the motto of Axes & Ales in downtown Charleston. At Axes & Ales, there are five rentable courts where you can throw axes at a bullseye and enjoy craft beer, wine, and canned and bottled beer. Throwers can also order from The Lucky Dill Deli and eat while playing at Axes & Ales.
Each rental is $50 for one hour. Courts can hold up to four people, so you can even plan a double date with some friends.
Axes & Ales and The Lucky Dill Deli are located at 122 Capitol St. in the heart of downtown Charleston. Throwers must be 18 years or older. For more information, visit the Axes & Ales FAQ webpage.
2. Old North Arcade
You can enjoy games, alcoholic beverages and food at the Old North Arcade in Huntington. Old North Arcade offers a selection of retro arcade games and consoles plus pinball, air hockey, Dance Dance Revolution, skeeball, bubble hockey, lifesize Jenga and cornhole. You can play for free if drinking, and deep-dish pizza is available from Square Slice Pizzeria.
The Old North Arcade is a great place to go if you and your date are on the competitive side. Challenge your partner to a game, and whoever loses buys the other person a drink.
Old North Arcade is located at 16 Pullman Square in Huntington. The venue is for ages 21 and over (ID required). Children are allowed under adult supervision until 8 p.m. For more information, visit the about webpage for Old North Arcade.
3. Mountain Stage
Mountain Stage is recorded in front of a live audience with performances from legends and emerging artists. Genres include folk, blues, country, indie rock, synth-pop, alternative and more. The two-hour show each week is hosted by Kathy Mattea, produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and distributed by NPR Music.
If you and your date are looking for a night packed full of local entertainment, southern charm and Appalachian culture, then Mountain Stage is a great choice.
Mountain Stage is most often held at the Culture Center Theater at 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East in Charleston, but it is sometimes performed in other locations. To learn more about upcoming performances or to buy tickets, click here.
4. Camden Park
Camden Park in Huntington is a West Virginia classic and a fun, exciting place for you and your date to enjoy attractions, rides, games and food. The Swan Lake Paddleboats are a great option to sit and chat with your partner as you both paddle around the pond. Other fun options for a date include miniature golf, the Skyliner zip cable, train rides, the Haunted House and the Big Dipper roller coaster.
You can finish off your Camden Park date with some traditional carnival food at the Midway or a sit-down meal at the West Virginia Grille.
Camden Park is located at 5000 Waverly Road in Huntington. To avoid lines at the front booth, you can pre-purchase tickets here.
5. Live on the Levee (summer only)
Live on the Levee is a free summer concert series featuring West Virginia musicians and sometimes nationally known artists. From late May to early September, the concert is every Friday on the Schoenbaum Stage at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston. The city closes a portion of Kanawha Boulevard in front of the park to ensure pedestrian safety. There are plenty of food and beverage vendors to choose from that line the closed portion of the boulevard during the concert.
Live on the Levee can be an all-around fun date, with food, music, dancing, and more! The venue is also pet friendly.
Haddad Riverfront Park in downtown Charleston is located in the 600 block of Kanawha Boulevard, directly across from the Four Points by Sheraton hotel. To learn more about Live on the Levee, click here to view the FAQ page.
6. Strike Zone Bowling Center
Strike Zone Bowling in Huntington calls itself the “original home of intergalactic bowling.” The facility transforms into a glow-in-the-dark experience featuring music, colorful flashing lights and large screens showing music videos. On Fridays and Saturdays, the center is open until midnight! The snack bar offers food such as fries, pizza, nachos, burgers and more.
If you want a late-night bowling date, then Strike Zone Bowling Center may be the place for you!
Strike Zone Bowling is located at 141 Eastern Heights Shopping Center in Huntington. Click here for the center’s pricing, hours and contact information.
7. Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream
Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream is a downtown Charleston treasure that has been open for over 20 years. In addition to ice cream, Ellen’s offers baked goods, tea, coffee and lunch items.
Located on Capitol Street, Ellen’s is the perfect place for you and your date to get dessert after eating at one of the many nearby restaurants. Since ice cream is a portable dessert, you and your date can enjoy the frozen treat during a beautiful evening stroll around downtown. Or head over to nearby Slack Plaza where there is a flower wall, swings, and chairs and tables, all illuminated by overhead string lights in the evenings.
8. Pier One Landing
Dinner, drinks, music and great views … while ON the river! Pier One Landing is a floating restaurant and bar docked just off the bank of the Ohio River. Pier One serves appetizers, fish, pasta dishes, soups, salads and more. They offer outdoor seating where you can see the East Huntington Bridge that crosses into Proctorville, Ohio.
You can chat with your date while dining along the flowing waters of the Ohio River. Pier One also hosts live music and a Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre. For more information on events, visit Pier One Landing’s Facebook page.
Pier One Landing is located at 92 Buffington St. in Huntington.
9. Sunrise Carriage Trail
In 1905, West Virginia’s Gov. William A. MacCorkle directed the construction of his estate, the Sunrise Mansion on a 16-acre woodland property in Charleston’s South Hills. The Sunrise Carriage Trail was built adjacent to the mansion. Throughout the year, the governor frequently traveled down the Carriage Trail into Charleston. Today, the Carriage Trail is maintained by the City of Charleston.
The 15-foot-wide trail zigzags for 0.65 miles through a forest of wildflowers, towering trees, ornamental plants and historic masonry. The Carriage Trail’s history, beauty and peacefulness are the perfect elements for an evening stroll date.
The trail can be accessed at the lower end from a point just past the end of the South Side Bridge and below Bridge Road. The trail can also be entered at the upper end of Sunrise Mansion, located at 746 Myrtle Road in Charleston. The trail entrance is on the left side of the mansion. View a map here.
10. Ritter Park Rose Garden
The Ritter Park Rose Garden in Huntington was voted numerous times as one of the best rose gardens in the country. It features over 3000 roses. The flowers usually reach full bloom in late May to mid-June.
With the rose garden’s beauty, it makes the perfect place for a romantic stroll or picnic among the flowers.
Ritter Park is located at 1340 Eighth St. in Huntington. The rose garden grounds are open until dark. For more information, visit the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District’s website.
Bonus: Downtown ArtWalk
ArtWalk in Charleston is a free, self-guided tour of downtown shops, galleries and businesses featuring local art and performances. The event is filled with fine art, fashion, crafts and antiques. Shops along Quarrier, Lee, Capitol, Summers and Hale streets host live music and display paintings, sculptures, and photography.
You and your date can stroll around, dip in and out of shops, and stop for some food at one of the many great downtown Charleston restaurants.
ArtWalk takes place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from March to December. During the event, participating businesses extend their hours for shopping and mingling. For more information, visit the ArtWalk website.