9 (no food) Date Ideas In the Rochester MN Area


My husband and I don’t go on many dates. However, when we do, we try to find unique activities that aren’t the typical “dinner and a movie.” I’ve compiled a list of our favorite evening and day dates and a few we really want to try soon! These are in no particular or ranked order. 

Machine Shed

I am NOT a video gamer. Never have been, and probably never will be, but my hubby and I checked out Machine Shed LLC, and had an absolute blast. We paid $10 each for both of us to play as long as we wanted to! I played Ms. PacMan until my thumbs were going to fall off. My hubby loved playing video games from his middle school/high school years. There’s nothing like a little old school TMNT video game to get the romance flying!


My husband and I visited Bowlocity for our 5 year anniversary and had so much fun in the laser tag arena! Not into laser tag? You can enjoy some bowling or play in the arcade for a bit too!


My husband and his brothers are avid geocachers. It’s a real live treasure hunt! This spring, we went on a date weekend and found some really neat geocaches! It brought us to some gorgeous sights we would’ve missed had we stayed on the trails. When my husband and I went away for a few days to the Northshore in Northern Minnesota, my husband had a special geocoin made to mark our 9 year wedding anniversary. If that isn’t romantic, I don’t know what is!  A great place to start would be one of the many hiking destinations within Rochester!

Getting artsy

There’s nothing better than relaxing with a paint brush and some paint. Rochester is home to so many wonderful creative businesses. Take your pick, and spend some time creating  together.

A walk or bike along the Rochester Trail System

Aren’t we blessed with such a wonderful trail system here in Rochester? Just the other day, my husband took me on a new route I’ve never been on before. Before I knew it, we were next to the Zumbro River enjoying the peaceful view while still inside the city limits. A great place to start would be at the Soldiers Field Veterans Memorial and following the 2 mile loop around the park!  This handy map outlines several great options.  The Soldiers Field Trail Walk is L11.

Paddle Boating at Silver Lake

If you’re a true Rochester native,  you know all about Silver Lake park right in the heart of the city where flocks of Canadian geese love to congregate. Everyone has been there, haven’t they? Hit up Silver Lake to check out the geese, and while you’re there, hop on the paddle boat and float around with the geese for awhile!

Take-out and go back home and relax in your comfy clothes (only if your kids are gone)

One day, I was desperate for a fun date night idea, so I posted my need out to social media world. One friend responded that she and her husband love getting take out, curling up on the couch in their comfy clothes, and enjoying their own silent house together. Of course, this is only possible if your kiddos are out…but it sure does sound relaxing and almost luxurious!

When restaurants were closed to indoor dining this past winter, my husband and I decided to put a fun twist on take out. We started with appetizers. We did a best of 3 rock, paper, scissors game. The winner chose the location for our apps. We then moved onto the main dish and finally the dessert. It was such a fun way to try new places and each get a chance to choose.

Piano Playing at the Gonda Building

Time to get teary for you all. My first date with my husband was spent listening to him play gorgeous music at one of the pianos in the Gonda building. Then, minutes before he proposed, a year later, he serenaded me again. If you have any sort of musical ability, head down there and play for each other! It’s actually quite romantic, and it makes so many Mayo visitors smile!

Mural Hunting

Rochester, MN has so many wonderful ways to view and experience art in our city including outdoor murals!  It’s so fun to explore and find these different works of art. Rochester Momhas a helpful mural hunt guide to help point the way to our favorites.   Who knew that Rochester had so many beautiful murals?  Bonus** These make GREAT selfie photo-ops!

This post updated in February 2021


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