I’m going to make a safe bet that it’s been too long since your last date night.
Between chaotic school nights, weekends filled with soccer games and dance practices, and a sink full of dishes to wash, it can be easy to forget to carve out some time for you and your partner.
But Milwaukee is full of romantic things to do, and date nights can help to keep your connection strong amid life’s craziness.
We asked our readers for the most romantic things to do in Milwaukee, and they delivered! We also added several of our own tried and true ideas.
So, without further ado, here are the best places to go in Milwaukee for romance. Consider this your sign to schedule a date night and do something romantic together.
Go on, call the babysitter.
Featured Date Night Ideas
1. Share a Tiki Love Bowl at At Random.
Money can’t buy you love, as the Beatles sang, but it can buy you a Love Bowl at At Random in Bay View.
Transport yourself back to 1964 with a visit to this iconic cocktail lounge, with its low lights, comfortable seating, and vintage decor.
Snuggle into a dark booth and share a massive “Love Bowl”, or choose from a large menu of mid-century ice cream drinks and classic cocktails. It’s the perfect place for romance.
2. Enjoy the view at the Outsider Rooftop Bar.
For a decidedly more modern experience, head up to the rooftop of the Kimpton Hotel and visit the Outsider Rooftop Bar. This swanky bar is set nine stories above the trendy Historic Third Ward.
Fireplace and patio lights help set the mood, and you can order cocktails, wine, and beer, plus a nice variety of shared plates and a few desserts. It’s also a great place to go for a drink after dinner if you happen to be in the area.
3. Eat dinner in a Lux Dome at Cafe Benelux.
Just down the road on another rooftop, you’ll find warm and cozy Lux Domes (only available in the winter months). The heated domes overlook the Historic Third Ward and the Milwaukee Public Market, and enable diners to have a memorable outdoor dining experience even in the cold Wisconsin winters.
4. Ride the Sky Glider at Summerfest.
Make a date to head to Summerfest or one of the other summer festivals at Henry mater Festival Grounds. Then board the Sky Glider (a glorified ski lift that rides over the festival grounds) and take in the downtown skyline. You might even catch a beautiful sunset.
5. Glide in the Swan Paddle Boats in Veteran’s Park.
Glide under the stars and across the lagoon in Veterans Park in one of new LED-illuminated swan boats. It’s $30 for a one hour rental. Bring a blanket, because this is Wisconsin after all.
6. Stay Overnight at a Boutique Hotel.
The perfect spot to stay after a show at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is the Saint Kate Arts Hotel. Every part of the hotel is inspired by the arts, and there are always pop-up galleries and exhibitions to peruse.
You may also want to check out the iconic Iron Horse, the urban boutique-style Hotel Metro, the quintessentially-Milwaukee County Clare, or the historic Pfister for an overnight romantic getaway close to home.
Here are the 25 Coolest Places to Stay in Milwaukee >>
7. Enjoy Live Music at Blu Bar & Lounge.
The rooftop of the grand Pfister Hotel may as well be a million miles away from diaper changes and school pick-up lines. Pop a chilled bottle of champagne and be swept away with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The view of the city is unbeatable.
8. Get a Spa Treatment Together.
Or head to the lower level of the Pfister for a shared experience at the WELL Spa. They offer a couples massage (the Doubles Relax Me package) and a Doubles Deep Tissue and Yoga Balm package.
9. Share Lobster Rolls at the Harbor House.
The Harbor House is an excellent place for a romantic dinner and date night right on Lake Michigan. The Maine lobster roll is a popular choice, and the view of the lake and the downtown skyline is breathtaking.
10. Take a boat cruise on the Milwaukee River.
You don’t have to own a boat to enjoy cruising on the Milwaukee River. There are ample options to get out on the open water with a local boat rental or tour company.
You’ll get a unique perspective of the city, and see the Historic Third Ward, the Milwaukee Riverwalk, the Hoan Bridge, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Discovery World and the city skyline of Wisconsin’s largest city like never before.
We recommend Edelweiss Cruise and Boat Tours if you want a fancier experience with someone else doing the driving. But you can also kayak or rent a duffy boat.
Check out all your riverboat options here.
11. Make a Candle Together at Glassnote Candle Bar.
From jasmine to lavender, and blue lotus to sandalwood, certain scents play a key role in love and romance.
At Glassnote Candle Bar, you can explore these scents together and incorporate them into a special keepsake candle. The experience lasts for two hours or more, and they also offer a drink menu. It’s a unique date idea for people who like to try new things.
12. Chocolate and Wine Pairing at Indulgence Chocolatiers.
Visit Indulgence Chocolatiers at their shop and chocolate pairing bar in the Walker’s Point neighborhood. You can taste the delectable confections that they thoughtfully pair with wines, craft beers, cheese, and whiskey, while you watch the chocolatiers at work in the kitchen.
13. Ride the Ferris Wheel at State Fair.
When you think romance, the Wisconsin State Fair may not be the first things that comes to mind. But the magnificent Wonderwheel is the largest traveling ferris wheel in North America, and the ten minute ride offers you your own space to take in the beautiful view together. Then share a cream puff, listen to some live music, and head to the midway to win each other a giant stuffed animal.
14. Take a walk by the lake.
No need to spend your hard-earned cash for romance. One of the best things about living in Milwaukee is our sweet spot along the shores of Lake Michigan, and you can enjoy it together anytime.
For a great view, head to Atwater Beach in Shorewood, Klode Park in Whitefish Bay, or St. Mary’s Hill on the east side.
15. Salsa/Bachata dancing at Freight 38.
Put your dancing shoes on, and hit up the best Latin dance spot in Milwaukee – Freight 38. Head there on a Saturday night for free lessons from local instructors.
16. Sneak into the Shanghai Speakeasy.
You’ll have to work a little to find this hidden gem, but it’s worth it. Make your way through Black Cat Alley on the east side of Milwaukee – a colorful space covered in murals by local artists – and ring the buzzer to get into the elusive Shanghai Speakeasy. You’ll enjoy seasonal cocktails and custom drinks, some of which are Delta-8 and CBD infused.
17. Have Brunch at the Plaza Hotel.
The most romantic spot for brunch in Milwaukee is in the Courtyard at Cafe at the Plaza. It’s nestled in the center of their red brick building, covered in ivy, and it screams European vacation. Open-air seating is available for dining and drinks.
18. Catch a Concert in the Colectivo Back Room.
With the scent of freshly brewed coffee lingering in the air, the back room at Colectivo is an intimate space, perfect for sitting close to one another and enjoying an evening out. It’s adorned with string lights and hanging plants, and the live performances range from jazz to indie. Check out the schedule here.
19. Say “Je t’aime” at Lake Park Bistro.
Savor a fancy French meal together at Lake Park Bistro overlooking Lake Michigan. The historic park pavilion is home to award-winning cuisine, and you can enjoy a walk around historic Lake Park after your meal.
20. Book a Couples Packed Picnic.
The Packed Picnic Company packs luxury picnics for couples that include a picnic style or theme, lantern and lights, mat or blanket, low tables, decor, pillows and throw blankets, a letter board, and all the necessities like table settings, drink ware, bottle opener.
21. Reserve a Patio Table at La Dama.
La Dama in Walker’s Point (formerly Crazy Water) is home to a very romantic patio with string lights, foliage aplenty, and a trickling fountain. It’s a beautiful place to go for dinner on a warm summer night. The kitchen offers Mexican cooking with a modern twist.
22. Go Ice Skating at Milwaukee’s “Rockefeller Center”.
The Slice of Ice ice skating rink in Red Arrow Park is in the heart of the city, and the rink is actually bigger than the one at Rockefeller Center in New York City. (That’s a fact!)
The urban surroundings are upbeat and exciting, and the park is decorated with festive holiday lights in the wintertime. Popular music is amplified outside, which makes the environment even more fun and energized.
Warm up together in the Starbuck Warming House, where you can rent and return your skates, sip on hot cocoa, and play footsies by the crackling fireplace.
23. Watch a Broadway Show.
Across the street at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, you can catch a Broadway show like “Les Miserable” or “Six”. Check out the 2022-23 schedule here.
24. Watch a Light Show in the Show Dome.
For a unique Milwaukee experience, keep an eye on the Domes website and social media (also known as the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory). Once or twice a year they offer at Grooving Under Glass event.
This year it’s happening on September 28th with live music, food vendors, drinks, and a light show in the Show Dome choreographed to music. Register here.
25. Catch a Movie at the Starry Avalon Theater.
If you’re love dinner and a movie together, you’ll want to check out the historic Avalon Atmospheric Theater in Bay View for a new twist on your classic date night.
It’s one of only about 75 operating atmospheric theaters in the United States, and it’s located right on Kinnickinic Avenue near some of the best restaurants in the area. You’ll love the starry atmospheric ceiling in the theater.
Enjoy the Symphony: The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra recently renovated the historic Warner Grand Theater on Wisconsin Avenue, and it’s gorgeous. It’s now the Bradly Symphony Center, located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, and you can check out their schedule here.
Early Morning Sweets: Head to North Shore Boulangerie for early morning tea and pastries.
Food & Froth at the Milwaukee Public Museum: If you like the Street of Old Milwaukee when you visit the Milwaukee Public Museum by day, you’ll love it even more by night. Their annual Food and Froth event allows love birds to sample wine and beer from local vendors who set up throughout the museum’s exhibits. There’s also live music in the European Village.
Lakefront Brewery: The iconic 45-minute brewery tour at the Lakefront Brewery is a must-do for any Milwaukee couple, but the romantic part is outside, taking in the Milwaukee river together as you sip on your craft brews.
Milwaukee County Zoo a la Carte: The Zoo is usually where you go to show your kids hippos and giraffes, not for a romantic date night. But for one weekend a year in the summertime, the beautiful grounds come alive at night for the popular Zoo a la Carte event. You can enjoy live music and try foods from local vendors while experiencing the Zoo like never before.
Cheer for your home team: Head to Miller Park for a Milwaukee Brewers game, or the Fiserv Forum to cheer on the world champion Milwaukee Bucks.
Do have more romantic ideas? What are more fun things to do as a couple in Milwaukee? Email us at email@example.com.
In 2013, Calie Herbst, a former teacher with three little ones, saw a need for a “One Stop Shop” for family fun in Milwaukee. So she founded Milwaukee With Kids. Her goal was to find the best this city has to offer families and share it with other parents. In one place.
In 2019, she published “Exploring Milwaukee WIth Kids”, a comprehensive Milwaukee travel guide for families and kids.
She appears regularly on WISN News, Fox 6’s ‘Real Milwaukee’, B93.3, and Wisconsin Morning News. She has been featured in Medium, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NPR, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, and on CBS 58 News.
Calie is available for hosting, moderating and media appearances.