52 Great Dates

Dinner and a movie? Buzz kill. Whether you need to jump-start a new relationship or put some sparks back into an old one, here are 52 ways to fan the flames of romance. Or at least have a little fun.

Dallas Dating Guide

PURE ROMANCE

The VIP Date

Begin your high-rolling evening at the sexy and swank Nick & Sam’s for some luscious lamb chops or melt-in-your mouth Kobe beef for just $14 an ounce (and a 6-ounce minimum). Chase your protein with a sinfully decadent chocolate molten soufflé. The only way to close the night is a spell at Medici, the most exclusive club in town. If you dine at Nick & Sam’s the same night you want to patronize the super-secret boíte, your waiter can call up the limo shuttle and away you two go. But do not try this from home-you can’t get into Medici without a membership, and the club isn’t accepting new members for the time being. But she doesn’t have to know that, now does she? 

Fly Me to the Moon

Photo courtesy of Bass Performance Hall
They say love gives you wings, but in this case, it’s a propeller. Relax and enjoy the view as one of Sky Helicopter’s experienced pilots whisks you and your honey away for a one-hour sunset tour of Dallas. Extend your heavenly experience with a romantic dinner 50 stories high at Antares in Reunion Tower. Though it’s the restaurant that gently rotates, you’ll feel as though the world is revolving around the two of you.

Up, Up, and Away

Let Air Venture take you on a private flight for two just before the sun rises or sets and experience Dallas from on high. The wind will sweep you-and a bottle of bubbly-across the horizon, dipping to kiss the treetops, then lifting until the landscape spreads to incredible dimensions. A mere whisper of wind on your cheek tells you that the balloon has changed direction, moving with the breezes through the crystal blue sky.

Uptown Cowtown

Take your sweetie pie to downtown Fort Worth via the Trinity Railway Express from Union Station in downtown Dallas. The TRE is a real train with real train ambience, and it makes for a romantic little jaunt to our neighbor to the west. Take in an early dinner at Angeluna, then cross the street to the Bass Performance Hall to catch a show. Make reservations at the boutique Ashton Hotel and she’ll wonder when you turned into such a romantic. Trinity Railway Express, www.trinityrailwayexpress.org. Bass Hall, www.basshall.com. Ashton Hotel,  www.theashtonhotel.com.

Good Times in Granbury

Have you had it with the bustle of the big city? Grab your favorite gal and head west of Fort Worth to Granbury, home of the historic, seven-suite Nutt House and the Nutt House Restaurant, where Granbury native and cowboy chef Grady Spears serves up vittles such as beef tenderloin with Tabasco-spiked hollandaise. After dinner, take a spin around the square in a carriage or catch a show at Granbury Opera House. You’ll have so much fun you may suddenly declare yourselves small-town folks. Nutt House, 119 E. Bridge St., Granbury. 888-678-0813 (reservations) or 817-573-5612 (restaurant). www.nutt-hotel.com. Granbury Opera House, 133 E. Pearl St. 817-573-9191. www.granburyoperahouse.org.

Shameless Self-indulgence

Check out of the every-weekend humdrum and into the Four Seasons in Las Colinas for a four-star, in-town escape. After stowing your bags, make your way to the spa, where the two of you can enjoy the Texas Two-Step, a smoothing, blue-corn body polish, followed by a stimulating massage with sagebrush. Restore your strength by the pool, where a cool drink is only an elbow away. After a dinner of crispy, five-spiced duck confit or oven-roasted tandoori marinated rack of lamb at Cafe on the Green, make out like newlyweds in the whirlpool. Why should decadence stop there? Let room service bring you a midnight snack or breakfast in bed the next day. www.fourseasons.com/dallas.

Rough Creek Lodge. Photo courtesy of Rough Creek Lodge

Steamy Weekend Getaway

What’s more romantic than 83 tons of steel chugging through the piney woods of East Texas? The Texas State Railroad makes runs between Palestine and Rusk with a 1917 steam-driven General Pershing locomotive, the only operational train of its kind in the world. From Dallas, make the two-and-a-half hour drive to Palestine on a Friday. Spend the night at a quaint bed-and-breakfast. The next morning, eat at world-famous Eilenberger’s Bakery, then catch the train at 11. The 50-mile round trip takes four hours, including a one-hour layover in Rusk. Call ahead for reservations (pay the $20 for a climate-controlled car) and to ensure that you get the steam train (as opposed to the diesel). The season ended November 22 and begins again March 13, 2004. For B&Bs in Palestine and a link to the Texas State Railroad: www.palestine-online.org.

Spa Therapy

No need to get gussied up for this date because you’ll soon be in the nude. The Romantic Retreat for Two at Elixir Salon & Day Maker promises head-to-toe pampering. Start with a simultaneous one-hour massage, then get to the bottom of things with a foot reflexology treatment, and finally retreat to seclusion for a glass of champagne. You’ll be made-over and ready to make out when you leave this heavenly spa. www.elixirdaymaker.com.

Not so Rough

Gondola ride on the Mandalay Canal. Photo by Lauren Phelps
For him: boar hunting, sporting clays, and fishing (bass or fly). For her: aromatherapy salt glow, Moor mud facial, and Rough Creek stone massage. For both: star-gazing, fine dining, and watching the sun set over Mallard Lake from your private balcony at Rough Creek Lodge near Glen Rose. There is no roughing it here; instead, feast on Gerard Thompson’s inventive Texas cuisine, including sherry maple-glazed Texas quail, porcini mushroom-crusted salmon, or three peppercorn-crusted filet of beef. Relax in the deep-soaking tub of your marble bathroom, and toast your rekindled romance with a bottle of champagne. www.roughcreek.com.

Little Italy in Irving

Picture this: a setting sun, a gentle breeze, a sip of champagne, a bit of chocolate, and soft music. Now throw it in a gondola built for two. This is romance at its finest, and it’s easily attained at Mandalay Canal in Las Colinas. Choose from a basket-lunch cruise, gourmet dinner cruise, or the aforementioned chocolate-and-champagne variety. Remember, couples must kiss under every bridge. www.gondola.com

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