12 Arts And Culture Date Spots In Minneapolis, MN
Impress your date with one of the following locales on our curated list of arts-and-culture date night experiences below. Enjoy art, music, architecture, books, live theater and more, whether you’re nervously anticipating your first date or have been married for 40 years.
1/ Visit the Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind, catch-all contemporary art experience to explore with your date, the Walker Art Center is your downtown destination. This gorgeous building is home to an amazing visual and multimedia art gallery, with a full season of eclectic exhibitions, live artist performances, artist talks, exhibition lectures, panel discussions, workshops and movie screenings—all within walking distance of the Minnesota Sculpture Garden. Some events do require tickets, but gallery admission is free every Thursday night, from 4-8pm, featuring family-friendly activities every first Saturday of the month, from 10am-3pm.
2/ Check out the Soap Factory’s contemporary art gallery
514 2nd St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Located in the former National Purity Soap Company building, this 130-year-old 48,000-square-foot warehouse made of wood and brick features contemporary art as original and expressive as the building itself.
The locale has featured sculpture, installation, performance art and photography from more than 100 artists since its inception 26 years ago, sure to offer you and your date artistic pieces and performances you won’t be able to find anywhere else. The Soap Factory also offers another seasonal favorite: an annual Halloween-themed exhibit called “Haunted Basement X”—the perfect Halloween date for your artsy partner looking for a festive evening.
3/ Experience Button Poetry LIVE
490 N. Robert St., Saint Paul, MN 55101
If you’re looking for some excellent performance poetry, Button Poetry LIVE is just the place. In addition to a poetry slam, this monthly event features a free writing workshop before the show and a performance by an accomplished, nationally recognized performance poet as an added bonus. Past features have included famous names like Sierra DeMulder, Rudy Francisco, Mahogany L. Browne, Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Rachel Wiley and more. Tickets for each show are available at the door and online, but they’ve sold out before, and we recommend you get yours early.
4/ See a performance at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts
528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
Bring your date to one of the many stunning dance performances at the Twin Cities’ newest arts center, The Cowles Dance Center for Dance & Performing Arts. This season’s calendar offers all genres of dance, from ballet and contemporary to hip-hop and improv. While tickets for some of these shows are on the more expensive side, there is a student ticket option in addition to a few free performances throughout the season.
5/ Stop by Open Book
1011 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55415
Open Book is the ideal spot for any couple looking for a quiet, laid-back place to peruse and wander through at their own leisure. This beautiful building features breathtaking architecture, a library-turned-hang-out-spot vibe and is perfect for book-lovers on a date. Home to several of Minneapolis’s notable literary organizations—Open Book, The Loft Literary Center, Milkweed Editions and Minnesota Center for Book Arts—the space also holds occasional exhibitions, readings, lectures and performances. The first floor of Open Book also has a coffee shop and a retail space, offering handcrafted journals, original prints artists books and more.
6/ Explore the Mill City Museum
704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis, MN 55401
This fascinating museum, built in what used to be the world’s largest flour mill, is a National Historic Landmark and will definitely give you and your date plenty to talk about! The remnants of the original building, partially damaged in a fire years ago, have been expertly preserved, giving visitors a truly one-of-a-kind museum experience.
In addition to the museum’s educational and artistic exhibits, the building features a gorgeous 100-square-foot outdoor courtyard and observation deck nine stories high, with views of St. Anthony Falls and the Mississippi River.
7/ Spend an evening at Memory Lanes
2520 26th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Minneapolis’s Memory Lanes offers the ultimate bowling date-night experience, complete with a wide selection of drinks, food, arcade games, live music and, of course, bowling. The 30-lane retro-style bowling alley features a stage in the middle of the lanes for the evening’s live music performances, shows and other events. And when the Minnesota weather warms up a bit, Memory Lanes also has two outdoor sand volleyball courts for visitors to enjoy.
8/ Live jazz music at Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant
1010 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
For a date spot with a more traditional feel that still satisfies your artistic predilections, Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant just could be the perfect place. In addition to great drink specials and a highly reputable food menu, Dakota attracts world renowned jazz musicians from across the country to its Minneapolis stage. Some shows ask for a cover at the door while others require tickets, and a full calendar with upcoming shows and ticket (or cover) information is available on the venue website.
9/ Classic films at the Trylon Microcinema
3258 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55406
The Trylon theatre in downtown Minneapolis has “cinephile” written all over it and is sure to impress any fan of classic indie films. Well-known favorites like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “Pretty in Pink,” or older classics like “Niagara” and “Desert Fury” are listed on their diverse calendar of upcoming screenings. The venue also hosts premieres for independent movies and short films by local filmmakers.
10/ Historic tour of three Hennepin Theatre Trust theatres
910 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55403
Treating your date to any of the fabulous shows at Minneapolis’s most ornate downtown theaters would make a fantastic evening, but taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the venues offers a less traditional date option. The Orpheum Theatre, State Theatre and Pantages Theatre—all located on Hennepin Ave. within walking distance of each other—offer walking tours of their elegant and historic interiors. Each tour is $5.00 per person and lasts approximately an hour.
11/ Enjoy a show at the Minnesota Orchestra
1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Looking for a reason to dress up with your date? An evening of world-class music at the Minnesota Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis is the perfect excuse. The orchestra calendar is full of stunning classical music performances, in addition to a variety of alternative music and performance experiences. And if you’re looking for something a bit more laid back, their “Pint of Music” micro-concert series features collaborative performances with Minnesota Orchestra musicians and local breweries and taprooms around the Twin City area.
12/ Public wine and art party at Bottle and Bottega
1216 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55408
Located in a spacious, colorful studio in Minneapolis’s Uptown neighborhood, Bottle and Bottega’s wine and art parties feature an afternoon or evening of painting and wine for guests. All painting parties are taught by actual artists who give guests step-by-step instructions to painting their own works of art. On select evenings, B&B also offers guests gourmet popcorn, premium wine and specials on locally brewed beer.
Featured image by Alice Donovan Rouse