Tampa Bay

Date Ideas in Downtown Tampa You’ll Want to Try

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Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa You'Ll Want To Try 2022

You can consider us experts on different things to do in Downtown Tampa–but what if you’re planning for a date? No worries! We’ve assembled some of our favorite things to do in Downtown Tampa, Channelside, and the up-and-coming Water Street area for an amazing date night.

Check out our master guide below and let us know which you are going to head to first! If there’s a specific area of the neighborhood you want to explore, tap the link below to jump to that section.

Let's Jump Into Fun Date Ideas in Channelside!

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Parc N Rec In Channelside

Enjoy Game Night with Drinks at Park & Rec Tampa

Monday | Closed
Tuesday–Friday | 5:00pm–3:00am
Saturday–Sunday | 12:00pm–3:00am
📍 290 S Meridian Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

This one’s for game lovers and late-night enthusiasts–for a date night full of endless entertainment, enjoy drinks and various games at Park & Rec! This arcade and bar provides adults with a fun flashback playground with odes to the ’90s.

Sip on sweet party pouches as you play retro arcade games, play a game or two of table hockey, shoot your shot at garbage pong, and challenge yourself at giant Jenga!

Park & Rec Tampa offers so many fun activities to explore with your date that it’ll be hard to find a way to end the night. But if you’re not ready to end the date just yet, stop by Hampton Chocolate Factory in Sparkman Wharf for some luxurious and seriously tasty treats. 

Try a Margarita Flight at Jotoro

Monday | 4:00pm–10:00pm
Tuesday–Thursday | 4:00pm–11:00pm
Friday | 12:00pm–12:00am
Saturday | 11:00am–12:00am
Sunday | 11:00am–10:00pm
📍 615 Channelside Dr, Suite 114, Tampa, FL 33602

Jotoro serves mouthwatering foods and thirst-quenching cocktails! Their menu includes treats like wood-fired tacos, fresh flour tortilla burritos, and various enchiladas, among many more selections.

Take your date on an exploration through various tequila concoctions with one of Jotoro’s signature margarita flights, and let your tastebuds traverse an array of flavors! Each flight offers a mix of sweet, fruity, and fresh tastes, presented in a photo-worthy drink display.

To top it all off, Jotoro has a romantic and cute outdoor patio! Twinkling lights and colorful murals adorn their patio, making it a picture-perfect date night spot.

Date Ideas In Channelside: Dinner At Jotoro
Date Ideas In Channelside: Grab Dinner And Drinks At Sparkman Wharf, Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa

Grab a Bite and Drinks at Sparkman Wharf

Monday | Closed
Tuesday–Thursday | 12:00pm–9:00pm
Friday–Saturday | 11:00am–11:00pm
Saturday | 11:00am–11:00pm
Sunday | 11:00am–9:00pm
📍 615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Can’t decide on a restaurant to pick for date night? Head on over to Sparkman Wharf! This amazing Channelside attraction houses numerous restaurants and food options on-site! They serve a diverse collection of delicious delights, ranging from ice cream to bbq. They even have plenty of drink possibilities to explore as well.

For a date during the day, grab a light bite to eat paired with a coffee from Sparkman’s newest edition coming soon, Shortwave Coffee. To combat the heat and refresh with a frozen dessert from Jeni’s for a sweet treat. Cheers to good company and happy hours from Sparkman’s beer garden for date night!

Try a Sangria Flight at La La's Sangria Bar

Monday–Tuesday | Closed
Wednesday–Thursday | 7:00pm–2:00am
Friday–Saturday | 7:00pm–3:00am
Sunday | 5:00pm–12:00am
📍 203 N. Meridian Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

Soar through sensational sangria flights from La La’s Sangria Bar! This vibrant bar specializes in this famous wine-based libation, serving both white and red mixtures. Choose up to 3 flavors of their selection of 7, and curate a delicious row of drinks to share!   

Pair your drinks with one of the many yummy bites served, ranging from air-fried chicken tenders to flatbreads. La La’s also offers hookah hookups, cigars, and vapes. Plus, you can enjoy live DJ performances as you sip and share your dream flight of sangrias with your special someone!

Date Ideas In Channelside: Try A Flight At La La'S Sangria Bar
Date Ideas In Channelside: Diner From Poke Company At Grand Central, Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa

Eat a Bowl from Poké Company then Grab Dessert from Gelato-Go

Poké Company
Monday–Saturday | 11:00am–10:00pm
Sunday | 11:00am–9:00pm
📍 1208 E Kennedy Blvd Suite 116, Tampa, FL 33602
Monday–Sunday | 10:00am–10:00p
📍 1208 E Kennedy Blvd UNIT 115, Tampa, FL 33602

Speaking of various businesses sharing the Grand Central Courtyard, our next idea on our list of date ideas in Channelside includes eating a bowl from The Poké Company and grabbing dessert from Gelato-Go! The Poke Co. serves customizable poke bowls and burritos. Select from a large selection of fresh finds and create a filling delight. Eating at Poké makes for a fantastic date dining spot because it caters to different diets and allows you to choose your ingredients.

After filling up on tasty fuel, end your date on a sweet note with dessert from Gelato-Go! Choose from a selection of gelato flavors, ranging from chocolate to wild berries, for a frozen treat, or split a decadent tiramisu.

Catch a Game at Maloney's

Monday–Sunday | 11:00am–12:00am
📍 1120 E. Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33602

If you and your date love to keep track of sports, catch a game at Maloney’s! This casual and lively bar serves delicious drinks and classic pub fare! Maloney’s offers inside and outdoor seating. Both seating options come equipped with numerous TVs showcasing the latest games.

At the bar, Maloney’s serves classic favorite drinks and a range of flavors on tap. For some game viewing snacks, they serve wings, burgers, and chicken strips! During happy hours, you can score stellar deals on select drinks, and, depending on the day, you can make use of their daily special!

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa

Go Bowling at Splitsville

Monday | Closed
Tuesday–Thursday | 4:00pm–9:00pm
Friday–Saturday | 12:00pm–11:00pm
Sunday | 12:00pm–9:00pm
📍 615 Channelside Dr, Suite 120, Tampa, FL 33602

A little friendly competition never hurts! So, why not challenge your date to a bowling showdown at Splitsville? This date hot spot offers a fun location to visit filled with food, drinks, and, of course, bowling! After a couple of rounds of scoring strikes, you can take the competition to Splitsville’s ping pong table, pool table, skee ball machines, and tabletop shuffleboard.

Refuel with a delicious treat from Splitsville’s menu and refresh with a drink from their bar! Splitsville has got you covered on all your date-out necessities, ranging from food to entertainment.

Enjoy a Dinner Cruise on Yacht StarShip

Monday–Sunday | 8:00am–8:00pm
📍 615 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Set sail on a romantic trip aboard Yacht StarShip! As you glide through shimmering waters, dance, dine and unwind with your date by your side. Yacht StarShip offers public and private charters and provide brunch, dinner, and cocktail hour cruises.

Sailing with StarShip definitely leans more towards one of our more expensive date ideas in Channelside. But, for a single price, you can make the most of an open bar, stellar views, the fresh ocean breeze, and a 2-hour cruise on a lavish yacht!   

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Yacht Starship
Date Ideas In Channelside: Explore The Florida Aquarium, Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa

Explore the Florida Aquarium

Monday–Sunday | 9:30am–5:00pm
📍 701 Channelside Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Get up close and personal with some adorable aquatic creatures by exploring the Florida Aquarium! Like many of our date ideas in Channelside, visiting the Florida Aquarium entails a long list of fun things to do!

Walk through an underwater tunnel and experience what it’s like to explore the world below the sea (and river). Pet stingrays and squishy starfish at the touch tank, and witness countless adorable animals that soar, swim, and slither! You can also relish a bite to eat at the Aquarium’s cafeteria and sign up for special experiences like their dolphin cruise (another great date idea to enjoy).

Save money on tickets when you purchase through UNATION.

Sit by the Fire at Grand Central Channelside

As the stars begin to paint the sky with speckles of light as the cool evening breeze settles in, unwind with your date by the fire at Grand Central Channelside! This romantic and casual date night spot comes with cozy seating, drinks, and outdoor TVs. The Grand Central courtyard houses a couple of bars and restaurants within this collaborative space, offering plenty of tasty selections to explore.

Cozy up by the fire and melt into each other’s arms while enjoying drinks at hand and entertainment on the screens! This also makes for a fun and inexpensive date idea to experience!

Date Ideas In Channelside: Enjoy An Evening By The Fire At Grand Central, Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa
Date Ideas In Channelside: Snap A Picture At Murals Around Channelside, Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa

Take Mural Pics

📍 Channelside, Florida

Go on an adventure through Channelside and discover all the beautiful murals around the neighborhood during your date! Make memories and capture them as you search and find the numerous colorful murals adorning the area. Some spots sporting dazzling murals around Channelside includes Bell Channelside’s guest parking entrance, Sparkman Wharf, in front of Milkin’ It, and all along down Franklin Street!

Explore Unique Date Ideas in Downtown Tampa

Cozy Up at Gin Joint

Monday | Closed
Tuesday–Wednesday | 5:00pm-11:00pm
Thursday | 5:00pm–12:00am
Friday–Sunday | 5:00pm–2:00am

📍633 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

If you’re looking for an intimate spot to take a date, look no further than CW’s Gin Joint. This restaurant and cocktail bar is one of our favorite spots in Tampa Bay. They have an ornate bar, delicious drinks, and amazing service. You can even catch a live band on weekends!

This is one spot that we definitely recommend making a reservation for, as it is extremely popular and worth the extra effort.

Induldge at Malio's Prime Steakhouse

Sunday–Monday | Closed
Tuesday | 12:00pm–9:30pm
Wednesday–Thursday | 12:00pm–10:00pm
Friday | 12:00pm–10:30pm
Saturday | 5:00pm–10:30pm
📍400 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602

Are you looking for a more formal experience? Go for a luxurious date at Malio’s, a local Downtown Tampa steakhouse. Their elegant setting is the perfect spot to order a steak and other American-style steakhouse eats.

It’s also perfect for the wine lover in your life! They have a huge wine list and educated staff.

Grab a Drink and See the Sunset at Remedy

Monday–Tuesday | Closed
Wednesday–Thursday | 5:00pm–11:00pm
Thursday | 5:00pm-11:00pm
Friday | 5:00pm–12:00am
Saturday | 3:00pm–12:00am
Sunday | 3:00pm–10:00pm
📍400 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 3360

There’s something so romantic about watching the sunset. One of the most gorgeous sunset views is at Remedy, near the Tampa Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Park.

Remedy is an open-air patio bar, full of modern elegance. Grab one of their signature cocktails and sit at their high-top tables overlooking the river and The University of Tampa. As the sun sets, the sky turns all sorts of beautiful colors and you have a front-row seat.

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Ride The Pirate Water Taxi

Hop on Pirate Water Taxi

Monday–Sunday | 11:30am–9:30pm
📍 333 S. Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Hop on Pirate Water Taxi and travel to the hottest spots in Downtown Tampa by traveling through the Hillsborough River! Pirate Water Taxi offers stops at various locations worth exploring on your date, including the Riverwalk, Straz Theatre, Tampa Museum of Art, and Armature Works, among other fantastic destinations!

While chugging along the river, listen to tales about Tampa’s history and uncover the best spots to visit in the area! Pirate Water Taxi also offers private charters and happy hour specials! All-day tickets cost $25, and annual passes cost $99.95.

Pedal into the Sunset with Kraken Cycle Boats

Monday–Friday | 12:00pm–5:00pm
Saturday | 11:00am–6:00pm
Sunday | 11:00am–2:00pm
📍 333 S. Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Drink, pedal, and coast along the river with Kraken Cycle Boats! Get active and party-it-up on your date with this fun boating experience as you view Tampa from the waters! Starting at the Tampa Convention Center, cruise down the river passing Tampa staples such as the University of Tampa, Curtis Hixon Park, and the Riverwalk!

At the end of the line, you’ll hop off at Armature Works, grab a bite to eat, and take in picturesque views from the land. When you return to your trusty boat, you’ll drink and drift back to the start as you jam to tunes!

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Pedal Into The Sunset With Kraken Cycle Boats
Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Go Paddle Boarding

Paddleboard Down the Hillsborough River

Staying on the theme of outdoor activities, paddleboarding is super popular in the Downtown Tampa area!  Launch from one of the many paddleboard rental spots and enjoy the fresh air of paddling down the Hillsborough River. Paddleboarding welcomes people of all skill levels, as you can kneel on the board or stand for a more expert level. 

It’s a great way to spend the weekend and after working up a sweat, you can grab a bite at Armature Works for some rest!  

Cruise Around Downtown with eBoats Tampa

Monday–Sunday | 10:00am–10:00pm
📍333 S Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Show off your boat captain skills on your date!  No worries, you won’t need a boating license for these. The electric boats by eBoats Tampa are super easy to navigate.  We recommend enjoying a boat during the night to enjoy Downtown Tampa’s lights along the Hillsborough River. It’s also a great option for a double date, as their boats hold up to 10 passengers!  

Pro-Tip: Check out their website for different deals and packages!

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Eboats
Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Pirate Tiki

Enjoy a Floating Tiki Bar with Pirate Tiki

Monday–Sunday | 9:00am–9:00pm
📍1910 N Ola Ave, Tampa, FL 33602

Only in Downtown Tampa can you find a floating tiki bar to host your dream date. From day to night, Pirate Tiki launches from Armature Works to slowly make your way down the Hillsborough River.

They’ll provide the captain, a cooler with ice, and a Bluetooth sound system–you provide the drinks and tunes! Together you’ll create a scenic party where you can sit back, relax or dance on the water.

Public cruises pick up and drop off at Armature Works.

Ride Around the City on a Scooter

Available 24 Hours
📍Available throughout the greater Downtown Tampa Area

Electric scooters are a great way to get around Downtown Tampa! Beat the traffic and get through the city at your own speed; find new restaurants, coffee, shops, and bars as you wander around.

You can find scooters all around the city, from Armature Works and all the way to Amalie Arena. You and your date will have so much fun while zooming around!  

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Ride A Scooter Around The City

Explore Downtown Tampa from Above with a Helicopter Tour

Monday–Sunday | 9:00am–7:00pm
📍825 Severn Ave, Tampa, FL 33606

Located at the Peter O. Knight Airport in Davis Island is flyVENTURE; Tampa’s take on helicopter tours. As one of the largest and most reputable helicopter companies in the nation, you can have a smooth flight with one of their experienced pilots. 

Catch a Show at the Straz Center

Check out their schedule for showtimes.
📍1010 N Macinnes Pl, Tampa, FL 33602

Get all dressed up and go to a show at the theatre! The Straz Center is the perfect place to start when looking for shows in Tampa. From musicals, concerts, to interesting speakers, check out their online schedule to see when your favorites come into town!

Not only do they plan amazing entertainment, but the theatre is beautiful as well with tiered seating and an ornate atmosphere.

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Tampa Museum Of Art

Get Artsy at the Tampa Museum of Art

Monday–Sunday | 10:00am–5:00pm
📍120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602

For a lowkey and artsy date, the Tampa Museum of Art is the perfect option. With visiting exhibits and amazing collections, you and your date will love to peruse through historical art, photography, modern paintings, and huge installations. Check out their website for schedules on new exhibits!  

If you want a more hands-on experience, they even offer creative classes where you can try out new art-making techniques. After, visit their in-house Riverwalk Cafe where you get delicious handcrafted meals, coffee, and gelato!

Watch a Film at the Tampa Theatre

Check out their website for movie times.
📍 711 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602

Built in the 1920s, The Tampa Theatre is a city landmark in Tampa Bay!  This old-school-style movie theater is a gorgeous spin on the classic dinner and a movie. You’ll love to watch a movie in their ornate digs. 

Check out their schedule for movie selections and times, highlighting indie movies that are perfect for the film buff in your life!

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Watch A Movie At The Tampa Theater

Smile for the Camera at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

Sunday–Thursday, Saturday | 12:00pm–5:00pm
Friday | 12:00pm–7:00pm
📍400 North Ashley Drive Cube 200, Tampa, FL 33602

Are you a photography buff? Get some new inspiration for you and your date at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts! 

Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, this museum is dedicated to historical and contemporary photographic artists. Not only is the collection amazing, but the atmosphere is beautiful with tons of windows for natural light. Definitely go during the day!

Take a Romantic Stroll on the Riverwalk

Sometimes the simplest dates are the best. Walk, talk, and enjoy the view of the Tampa Riverwalk! Stretching from Armature Works to Sparkman Wharf, the Tampa Riverwalk takes you through all of the city’s greatest spots. 

In the daytime, the stroll is beautiful as you get to have a bright waterfront view. At night though, the Tampa Riverwalk lights up with multicolored lighting to add a mood to your stroll! Take a look at our Riverwalk guide for some fun ideas along the way.

Things To Do In Downtown Tampa: Take A Romantic Stroll On The Riverwalk

Get Cozy with These Date Ideas Around Water Street

Date Ideas In Water Street: Cheer On The Tampa Bay Lightning At Amalie Arena, Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa

Cheer on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena

There’s no better date night than a Lightning Game–go Bolts! You can keep it casual by grabbing a drink and a quick bite at The Sail or Sparkman and enjoying the 300 section.

If you’re feeling a little more upscale, buy tickets to the Chase Club and enjoy unlimited food and drinks complimentary of that section… either way it’s a win-win!

Step Back in Time at the Tampa Bay History Center

Monday–Sunday | 10:00am–5:00pm
📍 801 Water St, Tampa, FL 33602

Did you know that Tampa has a super-rich history? From its first Native American inhabitants to the creation of Ybor City’s cigar industry, learn about it all at the Tampa Bay History Center! Learn more about our amazing city through the different exhibits and historical features.

They even have a reproduction of a 1920s cigar store. After learning about Tampa Bay, visit their gorgeous outdoor restaurant; The Columbia, for authentic Cuban eats.

Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Tampa History Museum
Date Ideas In Downtown Tampa: Jw Marriott

Grab Drinks and Unwind at the JW Marriott

The JW Marriott is one of the most elegant destinations in the Downtown Tampa area, plus there is so much to do! Whether you’re starting off a night on the town or just want to sit back and chill, there’s something for you at the JW. 

Before heading off to a game or concert, check out their lobby bar, The Driftlight Lounge–a beautiful space surrounded by four stories of windows for natural light. 

Or you can chill out for dinner at SIX, their pool-front bistro that serves up delicious modern American eats!

Find More Things to Do Around Downtown Tampa, Channelside, Water Street, and More

We hope you enjoy these date ideas in Downtown Tampa, Channelside, and Water Street. For more things to do around the area check out more guides!

Contributing Authors

Aimee Pacchiarotti

Aimee Pacchiarotti

Aimee is a UNATION team member and author of the Stuff to Do City Guide. For more insight on the best events and things to do near you, subscribe to our text and email, and follow us on social!

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