America has three great fears: heights, public speaking and the first date. You can check the last one off the list though, because we’ve lined up a few favorite local spots to visit to woo your love interest. There’s something for everyone, no matter the hobby – and thankfully, there’s no trace of the dinner-and-a-movie trope here.
For the adventurers:
Salt River Tubing
You’ll have to wake up bright and early to avoid the searing Arizona heat, but it’s worth the fun of drifting around in the Salt River. Enjoy watching wild horses while you ride the waves for a few hours. It’s a great way to get to know your bae while getting the tan of a lifetime.
$17 per person for a tube, 9200 N. Bush Hwy., Mesa, 480-984-3305, saltrivertubing.com
Desert Botanical Garden
Explore the flora and fauna of the Arizona desert on any one of the five trails available at the garden. For some after-hours fun, check out the self-guided flashlight tours – which run until Aug. 31 – to spot the nocturnal animals and nighttime bloomers. Admission is free on the second Tuesday of every month.
$9.95 – $24.95 for non-members, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, 480-941-1225, dbg.org
For the animal lovers:
La Gattara Cat Lounge & Boutique
Apologies to everyone who just sneezed reading this one. If you’re not allergic to felines, you may want to check out this cat café in Scottsdale. Relax, listen to music, play some board games and maybe enjoy some Caturday Yoga. All the cats are adoptable, so keep an eye out for a potential fur-ever friend during your date.
$10 – $25 per session, 1301 E. University Dr., Ste. 136, Tempe, 480-265-8863, lagattaracatcafe.com
Yoga with baby goats, cow cuddling and alpaca hugging. Enough said.
$15-$20 per class, 26601 S. Val Vista Dr., Gilbert, 480-269-4144, goatyoga.com
For the art connoisseurs:
As You Wish
Experience the fun yet stressful experience of trying to paint pottery without ruining your ceramics with an accidental brushstroke. Pick some pottery, paint it to your heart’s desire, and get a shiny piece of dish ware in a few days.
$7.50 per painter, plus the cost of the pottery you choose, locations in Chandler, Phoenix and Glendale, asyouwishpottery.com
Musical Instrument Museum
Grab a pair of headphones and take a tour of the world’s music. Recommended for audiophiles everywhere.
$10-$27 per person, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix, 480-478-6000, mim.org
The Brush Bar
Drink some wine and paint your date anxiety away at this paint and wine bar in Scottsdale. Each studio session lets you walk away with your own desert-themed painting.
$30-$40 per person, 4165 N. Craftsman Ct., Scottsdale, 480-947-8700, thebrushbar.com
For the gaming enthusiasts:
Snakes and Lattes
This café holds every board game you can imagine, from Candyland to Settlers of Catan. Grab a coffee, eat some poutine and find a game – you’ll find something both you and your date can get competitive over.
$5 for unlimited play, 20 W. 6th St., Tempe, 480-361-6644, snakesandlattes.com
Cobra Arcade Bar
A great spot to play some old and new arcade games while indulging in a margarita or two. If you’re waiting for a drink or in line for a game, the weekend DJ has a great playlist to keep you entertained.
25 cents per game, 801 N. 2nd St., Ste. 100, 602-595-5873, cobraarcadebar.com
For the lazy loungers:
Stargazing at Sun Valley Parkway
Formerly known as the “Road to Nowhere,” this 30-mile stretch of open road near Buckeye is a great place to see the stars at night. All you need to do is get there and pull over; no spending required. There’s plenty of other great places to stargaze in the Valley as well – the Estrella Mountain and White Tank Mountain Regional Parks also have stunning nighttime views.