Tired of dinner and a movie? Innovate your date (night) with one of these suggestions (don’t worry, I didn’t even put a single movie theater on my list). Some of these ideas are better suited for specific seasons and times, so make sure to check each place’s business hours, and *ALWAYS* check Groupon and LivingSocial for discounts. You might even find something on those sites that we haven’t found out about yet! Also, check out We Still Date for some other great ideas.
If you are catching this full list before Valentine’s Day be sure to check out Volunteer Princess Cruises and their Valentine Starlight Dinner!
“Our Starlight Dinner Cruise is the ultimate in romance! We welcome you aboard with Champagne and a perfect Long Stemmed Rose before showing you to your private table. Enjoy our excellent service and an assortment of passed appetizers before your four course dinner. As always, window tables and other cruise enhancements are available to make the evening exceptionally memorable!”
KMB Contributors’ Favorite Date Night Restaurants
- “We love the speakeasy (Peter Kern Library) at the Oliver. I’m a huge literary nerd and all the drinks are named after authors or novels. Plus you sneak in through the back alley under a red light.” – Ashley G.
- “We love Northshore Brassiere, Echo, Season’s, Emilia, Knox Mason, and J.C. Holdway.” – Natalie
- “Emilia and Knox Mason are our favorites. They both offer locally sourced foods and Emilia is very authentic (and delicious) Italian food.” – Francesca
- “We love Knox Mason because we can go grab a seat at the bar and order as we go. We get to watch them cook in the open air kitchen, talk with the bartenders about the drinks, and get a longer dinner experience. We also love to go to Peter Kern Library – the fact that it’s ‘secret’ makes it feel like you’re on vacation even if you’re not.” – Erika
- “Definitely Phoenix Pharmacy and Fountain for dessert! And we love Chez Guevera for dinner.” – Mary Beth
- “Emilia is our current fave. We like to go Five and the Oliver Royale. Sometimes you can see football recruiting at Five and my husband loves that.” – Jenny P.
- “Peter Kern Library is always a favorite. I think my husband’s favorite place is Stock and Barrel, but our very favorite place to go eat if we are going some place nice is Foothills Milling Company in Maryville. I think it is the best food in all of Knoxville or Maryville. We love to go have a drink at the bar and then have dinner. Their Moscow mules and old fashions are amazing and their food is some of the best I’ve ever had! I also love Northshore Brasserie. And for a casual date night it’s hard to beat Casual Pint and Soccer Taco!” – Ashley H.
- “We love King Tuts because the food is amazing, we share everything we order there, it’s a fun, cozy atmosphere, and the sweetest couple on the planet own it!” – Lindsay
- “I would have to go with Northshore Brasserie or Foothills Milling Company…but we’re lucky to get Bonefish or Wasabi now.” – Brooke
- “We frequent Parkside Grill just because it’s close to our house and their pasta dishes are terrific!” – Caitland
Knoxville Date Night Ideas
- Go bowling (and have a drink) at Maple Hall
- Go on a romantic cruise aboard Volunteer Princess Cruises
- Learn to Letterpress @ Striped Light
- Check out some galleries on a First Friday downtown
- Have fun doing an Urban Scavenger Hunt
- Take in a gallery at the Knoxville Museum of Art
- Enjoy an in-town getaway at The Oliver Hotel and have drinks at the Peter Kern Library
- Take a $3 swing dance lesson with Knoxville Swing Dance Association
- Throw and paint some pottery at Mighty Mud
- Go on a train ride on Three Rivers Rambler
- Paint it up at Painting with a Twist
- UT Football Game anyone?
- Catch a puck at an Ice Bears game
- Go on a food tour of Knoxville
- Tasting room or a tour of Knox Whiskey Works
- Take a cooking or dancing class together at UT
- Go indoor rock climbing at The Climbing Center on Sutherland
- Enjoy the show, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Bijou, Clarence Brown Theatre, Tennessee Theatre.
- High gravity beer AND an arcade? Say no more and head to Suttree’s High Gravity Tavern.
- Go hiking at Ijams Nature Center
- Zipline under the stars at the Navitat Canopy Adventure
- Rent a SUP/kayak/canoe at Ijams
- Go antiquing
- Have a blast at a nearby trampoline park Max Air Trampoline Park
- Take an aerial silks and trapeze class at Dragonfly Aerial Arts Studio
- The new tiger exhibit will be opening soon at Zoo Knoxville
- Have a roller skating throwback date night at Skatetown
- Couple’s massage; there are endless places to have a couple’s massage but Tennessee School of Therapeutic Massage is half the cost at $80
- Go indoor rock climbing at Onsight Rock Gym
- Rent a SUP/kayak/canoe at the Cove at Concord from River Sports Outfitters
- Have a blast at Jump Jam
- Make it a double date and see how great your escape skills are Escape Game Knoxville or Breakout Knoxville
- Paint some pottery at Liza Moz Pottery Painting
- Challenge your love to a duel at Laser Tag
- Ice skating at the Ice Chalet or Cool Sports
- Mini golf at Putt Putt Golf & Games or Sir Gooney’s
- Paint it up at Painting with a Twist
- Ready to take a trip down memory lane? Head to Token Game Tavern.
- Shout your love from the rooftops (or the ropes course) at Main Event. While you’re there, you can also bowl, play laser tag, or goof off in the arcade area. It’s a blast!
- Rent a pedal boat in Oak Ridge on Melton Lake at Adventures Outdoors
- Go skiing or snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg
- Go tubing in Townsend or white water rafting in the Smokies
- Ride down the mountain on the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster or The Coaster and then dine with Goats on the Roof
- From camels to kangaroos, enjoy the wildlife at Smoky Mountain Deer Farm & Exotic Petting Zoo
- Zipline in Pigeon Forge
- Horseback riding
- Visit the Forbidden Caverns
- Take a tour of the Lost Sea
- Watch the Hard Knox Roller Derby Girls in action
- Take in a Smokies Baseball game
- Ripley’s Aquarium, or if you don’t mind a little bit extra of a drive, try the Tennessee Aquarium and spend the day in Chattanooga
- Picnic at one of the local parks
- Go to a bed and breakfast, have a picnic, and enjoy the scenery at Whitestone Country Inn
- Book one of many special and romantic packages at Mountain Harbor Inn and rent a jetski or pontoon boat while you are there