50 Date Night Ideas on I-Drive for Locals
Tourists may come
to mind when you think of International Drive. But reducing this vibrant
district to solely a tourist mecca does it an extreme disservice. Local couples
can take advantage of happy hour deals, diverse dining options, live music,
lazy weekend brunches, playful experiences, unique entertainment venues and
bars, and new additions like a one-of-a-kind beer spa. Dive in to the best
International Drive has to offer locals for date night below!
Special thanks to
our partners at the I-Drive District
for helping us compile this epic list
of date night ideas on International Drive. Check out their I-Drive Living
site for the scoop on the district
with a local spin.
1. Listen to live music
Head to local
restaurants and bars for a full lineup of
performances. Ole Red Orlando boasts live music nearly every night of the week.
Tin Roof Orlando is also a lively spot for local tunes, and on weekends there
are often several acts performing on the main stage throughout the day. Enjoy
the sounds of live acoustic music at The Hampton Social Monday - Friday from
5-7pm and again during weekend brunch. Or, combine nightlife and live music
with a night at Howl at the Moon, I-Drive's
much-loved dueling piano bar.
Credit: Ole Red Orlando
2. Try an I-Drive happy hour
amount of I-Drive restaurants offer amazing happy hour deals for a
budget-friendly date night.
hours at The Pointe (Pointe Orlando):
- Taverna Opa: Daily happy hour 3–6 p.m. in the bar area; 2-for-1 drinks and light Greek meze appetizers
- Marlow’s Tavern: Daily happy hour 4-6:30pm; Beer $3, single pour well cocktails $4 and select wines $5
- The Hampton Social: Monday - Friday 3-6pm; Half off selected rosé and pizzas
- Maggiano's Little Italy: Monday – Friday 3-6pm; Premium drafts $3, classic cocktails $7, Canopy Hill wine $6 and flatbreads $4
- The Pub: Monday – Friday 3-6pm; $2 off all draught beer selections, well cocktails $5, Trinity Oaks House wines $5.50, Pub Favourite Cocktails $7, and sharables $6.50
- Blue Martini: Wednesday – Saturday 6-8pm; Discounts on specialty martinis, craft cocktails and tapas, plus half off Ladies Night drink specials all night on Wednesdays and live music on Thursdays starting at 7pm for Noches Azul
- Tapa Toro: Daily happy hour 3-6pm; 2-for-1 drinks, half off house beer/wine/sangria, half price cocktail pitchers, and discounted appetizers
- Tin Roof Orlando: Monday - Friday 3-6pm; $3-$5 drink specials
- Yard House: Monday-Friday 3-6pm and Monday-Wednesday late night from 10pm-close; Half-priced pizzas and select appetizers, $2 off all draft beer/wine/spirits/cocktails, $3 off 9oz wine, $4 off half yards
Happy hours elsewhere on I-Drive:
- Cafe Tu Tu Tango: Monday-Friday 3-6pm in the bar, lounge and patio; Drink specials including cocktails and sangria, $3.22 food specials or get them all for $18.22
- ICEBAR Orlando: Sunday-Thursday 5-9pm and Friday-Saturday 5-7pm; $6 Jameson, Jack, Tito’s, $7 selection of appetizers, $2 off signature cocktails
- Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant: Monday-Friday 2-5pm; $6.50-$8.50 wine by the glass/wine specialty drinks/select cocktails, plus soup, appetizer and flatbread specials
3. Relax by a resort pool
We're huge fans
of ResortPass, a website that allows you to purchase day passes to
local hotel pools
without spending the night. Several participating hotels are located on
I-Drive, including Hilton Orlando (which has an amazing lazy river) and Hyatt
Credit: Hilton Orlando
4. Attend a Vegas-inspired dinner show
is an adults-only dinner and a show
experience on International Drive featuring dancers, an aerialist, comedians,
and more. There's also an option for just drinks and the show if you want to
grab dinner somewhere else before or after. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays
and Saturdays at 7:30pm. After the show, explore the speakeasy bar, Jewel,
which has dueling pianos and a fun atmosphere.
5. Go Dancing
Cuba Libre at The
Pointe recently reopened for dining plus Cuba Libre Nights
on Fridays and Saturdays. Dance to a
mix of salsa, merengue, bachata, cumbia and more during Tropical Fridays
beginning at 10:30pm. Or, dance the night away during Bailamos Saturdays with a
live DJ and professional dancers. Both events are 21+ only. You're going to
need some serious fuel for all that dancing, so grab dinner before! Cuba Libre
offers a couple of fun menu items for couples, including a Cuban Dinner for Two
(3 apps, entree and two desserts), and several entrees for two (including 2
Dancing is also
back at Mango's Tropical
, where you'll
find themed fun in the nightclub area Thursday - Sunday. Other fun dancing
spots include Blue Martini, ICEBAR, Señor Frogs and Tin Roof Orlando.
6. Feast on global cuisine
tastebuds on a trip by trying a new-to-you cuisine. Sample authentic Ethiopian
fare at Nile Ethiopian Restaurant, or try traditional Japanese sushi, ramen,
hot pot and more at Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant. Share Spanish tapas and
enjoy live flamenco performances at Tapa Toro, or feast on Greek cuisine while
belly dancers swirl around Taverna Opa. You could also plan an English-themed
date night with a visit to The Pub or Gordon Ramsay's Fish & Chips
restaurant (now open).
7. Unwind at a beer spa
Drive has a brand new, one of a kind (if a bit pricey) spa experience you've
got to try at least once. At My Beer Spa
, sink into a relaxing tub for a
blissful beer soak while you treat yourself to self-serve craft beer on tap.
Couples can choose a private room with one tub or two, and the experience lasts
for one hour. Book here
Credit: My Beer Spa
8. Take a Champagne flight on The Wheel
Taking flight on The Wheel at ICON Park
, complete with two glasses of
champagne, has date night written all over it. Just grab a drink of your choice
before your ride at SkyBar, including wine and champagne. Line up your
"flight" with sunset for extra romance.
9. Join a cooking class
Tapa Toro's En La
Cocina cooking classes invite you to gather around the paella pit while
learning to make a multi-course meal. Class also includes two chef's tasting
tapas. These classes are typically held quarterly--check here
for the current schedule and to
reserve your seat.
10. Immerse yourself into a movie at a 4DX
Want to feel like
you're part of the latest blockbuster? The Pointe's movie theater, Regal Pointe
Orlando 4DX & IMAX, happens to be a 4DX theater. Select films are screened
in 2D or 3D and enhanced with motion activated seats and interactive sensory
experiences. I remember seeing The Meg at this theater in 3D/4DX and it
was such a fun movie experience.
11. Visit Bronze Kingdom
strolling through the extensive collection of amazing African statues and art
at the relatively new Bronze Kingdom. Everything is made out of bronze and has
been collected directly from African leaders. Join a guided tour or take your
time on a self-paced walkthrough of the collection.
12. Savor Magical Dining Month menus
We look forward
to the month of August each year, which always kicks off Visit Orlando's
multi-week Magical Dining
program. This annual celebration of
Orlando eateries features dozens of restaurants offering date nighters a
three-course, prix fixe menu for just $37/person. As an added bonus, $1 from
each meal is donated to a worthy local cause each year. Here's the list
of participating I-Drive restaurants
A hot tip for
2021: The Capital Grille is participating this year and for a small time, there
will be an overlap between Magical Dining Month (begins August 27, 2021) and The Generous Pour
(ends September 6, 2021). Feast on
the $37 Magical Dining menu while also sipping wines from seven distinctive
labels for an extra $28.
13. Visit a chocolate museum
Because one isn't
enough, there are TWO chocolate museum experiences on International
Drive: The Chocolate Kingdom and The Chocolate Museum. Both offer guided
chocolate tours, but we love The Chocolate Museum's wine & chocolate
pairing, which also includes museum admission.
Chocolate and wine pairing at Chocolate Kingdom
14. Laugh at Orlando Improv
This comedy club
at The Pointe (Pointe Orlando) hosts big name acts alongside local talent. Here's the lineup
15. Treat yourself to a fancy dinner
Dress in your
date night best for an upscale night out at Del Frisco's, Oceanaire Seafood
Room, A Land Remembered (located inside Rosen Shingle Creek) or The Capital
Grille. The latter offers regular date-worthy promotions like The Generous Pour
(seven wines from distinct labels for $28 with dinner) and Wagyu & Wine (a
Wagyu burger and wine pairing under $30).
16. Dive into Weekend brunch
Spend a lazy
Saturday or Sunday brunching at one of I-Drive's best brunch spots
. Here are a few we love:
- The Hampton Social: Saturday - Sunday 10am-3pm; Featuring the Fried Chicken Stack and the Frosé Bellini plus live music 11:30am-1:30pm and 2-4pm
- Mia's Italian Kitchen: Saturday-Sunday 11am-3pm; Bottomless mimosa deals, plus bottomless brunch dining for $26/person
- Cafe Tu Tu Tango: Saturday - Sunday 10am-3pm; Bottomless mimosa and Bloody Mary deals, plus bottomless brunch dining for $26/person
- Rodizio Grill: Saturday - Sunday noon-3pm; Full Rodizio with unlimited Brazilian sides, gourmet salads and rotisserie grilled meats
- The Pub: Saturday - Sunday 10:30am-3pm; Featuring Traditional British Breakfast, pub favourites and mimosas by the glass or carafe
- Bronze Kingdom: Sundays 12-5pm; Bottomless mimosas plus live DJs
- Tapa Toro: Sundays 11am-3pm; A la carte specials, all-you-can-eat paella + unlimited sangria and mimosas, DJ & flamenco dancing entertainment
Mia's Italian Kitchen | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson
17. Get your game on
Game is a new out of the ordinary arcade where you can partake in
immersive gaming experiences. You can also get in touch with your inner child
at Main Event Entertainment, which offers dining options, VR experiences, laser
tag, bowling, games and more all under one roof. Both are great spots to spend
a rainy afternoon!
18. Hang out at a local brewery and craft beer
Did you know the I-Drive district
is home to a local
brewpub? Half Barrel Beer Project
offers their own brews on tap
alongside those from other Florida craft breweries. The food menu comprised of
pizzas, cheese & charcuterie is the perfect compliment to your libations.
Not a fan of beer? A variety of seltzers plus wine from Quantum Leap Winery are
also available. Find this spot near International Drive on Universal
Image credit: Half Barrel Beer Project
19. Snuggle up in fur coats at ICEBAR Orlando
Don your cozy
winter jacket (provided with your ticket package), and sip an ice-cold
concoction with your date when visiting ICEBAR Orlando
on International Drive. It's the
perfect antidote to steamy summer temperatures! Start off in the Fire Lounge
with cocktails and light bites before heading into the frosty bar complete with
aquatic themed ice sculptures. Florida residents can take advantage of
the Florida Freeze package, which includes jacket and gloves rental, a premium
drink and one appetizer of choice in the Fire Lounge.
20. Chill out at a sports bar
Bistreaux is a relatively new addition to I-Drive perfect for sports fans. The
restaurant chain was founded by Brandon Landry, a former walk-on basketball
player at LSU. Immerse yourself in the game-day fun while noshing on Cajun
cuisine and game-day favorites with a twist. Other spots to catch a game on
I-Drive include Miller's Ale House and Cheers Sports
21. Pretend you're tourists at Fun Spot
Why not fully
embrace date night in a tourist district? Dress in your best tourist-inspired
outfits and then explore Fun Spot together. Sneak a kiss on the Ferris Wheel,
zip around in go-karts, have a Midway games competition, and fill up on fair
food. Lean ALL the way in!
22. Swim with dolphins
Escape to a
tropical island during an all-inclusive day at Discovery Cove
. Breakfast, lunch, snacks, beverages
(including beer and wine), masks and a take-home snorkel, sunscreen, day-use
towels and wet suits are all part of your admission. You've also got full use
of the lazy river, Grand Reef, aviary, dolphin encounters and so much more.
Florida residents can enjoy 20% off tickets.
23. Make fluid or resin art at Abstract
Create your own
fluid art or resin art masterpieces side by side at Abstract Orlando
. This artsy studio will guide you in
creating your own abstract creation and features fun options like canvases,
cheeseboards, coasters and cake stands. Beer and wine are available for
purchase if you need a little help channeling the muse. FYI: You will need to
return to the studio at a later date to pick up your finished piece.
Image credit: Abstract Orlando
adventurous, but not quite ready to jump out of an airplane? Indoor skydiving
is the perfect date for you. iFLY Orlando offers this unique 2-hour
experience on International Drive.
25. Plan an Overnight staycation
I-Drive date with an overnight stay. A few of our top picks on I-Drive include
Hilton Orlando (unwind in the lazy river and with a spa treatment), Rosen
Shingle Creek, Avanti Resorts, Hyatt Regency Orlando, and CoCo Key Hotel &
Water Resort. Hilton Orlando is currently offering a fun overnight escape room experience
in which the entire resort has been
transformed into an escape room. Here's the experience description: "From
moment of check-in, you are thrusted into the inner workings of a global spy
operation, and we have it on good authority that the Head Spy has set up her
lair at Hilton Orlando."
26. Break out of an Escape Room together
escape rooms...there are several notable ones along I-Drive including
Escapology, America's Escape Game, and The Escape Game Orlando. Put your
problem solving skills to the test and enhance your bond.
27. Savor something sweet
dessert-only date night for a fun twist on your usual routine. Over the top
desserts on I-Drive include the chocolate piñata at Uncle Julio's and pretty
much everything on the menu at Sugar Factory. Find more ideas
Uncle Julio's Chocolate Pinata
28. Attend special events
29. Take advantage of Florida resident
Locals in the
know can take advantage of Florida resident
hotels, attractions and restaurants. A few of our favorites are discounted
dining at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, the Florida Freeze package at ICEBAR, and 20% off
at Discovery Cove.
30. Play Mini Golf
When we asked our
readers about their favorite first date
, several recalled a memorable first
date outing at Pirate's Cove mini golf on I-Drive. It's one of my favorite mini
golf courses in Orlando, with a fun theme and challenging holes. In fact,
you'll find most of Orlando's best mini golf courses along I-Drive, including a
glow in the dark course.
31. Go indoor go karting
go-kart racing options are available to Orlando locals including K1 Speed and
Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, which has an arcade bar, ropes/zipline
course, laser tag, bowling and more in addition to karting.
32. Have your own bowling tournament
Enjoy a little
friendly competition with your own bowling tournament. You can reserve a lane
at King's Dining and Entertainment or Main Event Entertainment, which both have
bowling alleys. This would also be a fun idea for a double date night.
33. Sip craft brews at a sci-fi themed
Vault 5421 is a
small themed bar located within the local comic book store Gods & Monsters.
This in-house lounge has a nice drink menu and a delightfully nerdy
Image credit: VAULT 2451
34. Practice your swing at Topgolf
Golf lovers will
want to check out Topgolf
, a sprawling, multi-level 65,000
square foot golf entertainment complex located near I-Drive. The Orlando
location features Toptracer technology, creating an instant playback of your
golf ball hit. Each hitting bay is climate-controlled, so no need to wait for
cooler temperatures. Go on a Tuesday for half-priced game play.
35. Hitch a ride on the I-Drive Trolley
Did you know
there's a trolley that runs along I-Drive, stopping at all of the best attractions?
The I-RIDE Trolley
makes 30+ stops and a day pass is
just $5/person. Park the car at a free garage and then hop on the trolley to explore
the full district at your leisure.
36. Stroll through a quirky museum
It or Not! is known as the weirdest place in Orlando, highlighting unusual
relics and rare treasures throughout 16 galleries. And you can't miss I-Drive's
iconic upside down building--aka WonderWorks--where you can immerse yourself in
mind-bending experiences. It's like an amusement park for your brain. Museum of
Illusions is another oddball spot to explore with a childlike sense of
wonder. And don't forget the world famous Madame Tussauds Orlando
- where you can get up close and
personal with the hottest celebs!
37. Enjoy a spa day together
Here are a few
International Drive spas with special treatment options just for couples:
38. Play glow in the dark mini golf
Putting Edge has
a fun glow in the dark mini golf course. While it may be a bit cheesy, the
course is surprisingly challenging and a fun way to pass an hour. It's also a
unique activity for a rainy day, or for escaping steamy summer temperatures.
39. Wander through SEA Life Aquarium
Located in the
same complex as The Wheel, SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium
is surprisingly enjoyable and larger
in size than it appears from the outside. Walk through an ocean tunnel, spot
sharks and sea turtles, and more.
40. Spend the day at a theme park
Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Volcano Bay, SeaWorld
Orlando, Discovery Cove,
Aquatica Orlando all call the I-Drive district home. Splurge on tickets to
experience the magic of one (or several) of the area theme parks. Pro tip: If
you're visiting CityWalk, you can utilize the free water taxi to visit some of
the theme park hotels, too.
41. Snap silly selfies at Museum of
this mind-bending museum for an assortment of quirky photo-ops. Interact with
optical illusions, explore playful exhibits, and expand your perception. This
is a great spot to bring along the kids, too!
42. Have a diner date
Fill up on diner
food for a nostalgic date. A few of our favorite options on I-Drive include
B-Line Diner at Hyatt Regency Orlando and @ The Diner, the latter of which has
some seriously decadent breakfast options like Nutella and strawberry stuffed
43. Splash around a water park
Where to go when
you need to beat the summer heat? Head to one of I-Drive's numerous water
parks. Splash your way around CoCo Key, Aquatica Orlando, and Volcano Bay
44. Explore Dezerland Park
We still mourn
the loss of Artegon Marketplace. But the space has transformed into Dezerland
Park, a huge indoor space with go-karting, bowling, arcade games, axe throwing,
and glow-in-the-dark putt putt at Putting Edge.
45. Check out dinner + a show
Sure, they can
get a little cheesy at times, but dinner shows are such a fun date night idea!
Check out Teatro Martini, a dinner show that's adults-only. Or, test your
detective skills as you laugh your way through the murderous dinner show at
Sleuths. There's also a special cocktail party + dinner gala at the Titanic
Artifact Museum, Velvet Sessions (complete with cocktails and light bites) at
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando, and comedy shows at Improv Orlando.
Image credit: Teatro Martini
46. Experience new attractions
Head to Universal
to check out the brand new Jurassic World VelociCoaster, or save the date for
the debut of SeaWorld Orlando's new Ice Breaker coaster which is scheduled to
open later in 2021. At ICON Park, 2021 welcomes to arrival of two new
attractions: the 430-foot tall ICON Park Drop Tower and the 450-foot tall ICON
47. Step into the Titanic
Promenade Deck, walk down the Grand Staircase and more at Titanic: The Artifact
Exhibition. This I-Drive attraction features 300+ artifacts, room recreations,
guided tours and more. For an extra immersive experience, get tickets to the dinner gala
on Friday and Saturday nights
including a multi-course meal, cocktail party and historical reenactments.
48. Take a helicopter tour
While not located
directly on I-Drive, MaxFlight
offers helicopter tours which will
take you on a flight over area theme parks and I-Drive attractions, including
The Wheel. Schedule a sunset, nighttime, or theme park fireworks tour for a
more romantic experience.
49. Shop 'til you drop at the outlet malls
for some spiffy new date night digs
at Orlando International Premium Outlets and Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets,
both located on International Drive. The I-Ride Trolley also makes stops at
both destinations if you don't want to deal with trying to score a good parking
spot at the outlets.
50. Relax on the lawn at ICON Park
Looking for a
budget-friendly idea? Bring along your favorite book, grab an ice cream
(from nearby Shack Shake or Ben & Jerry's) and get some Vitamin D while
relaxing on the lawn at ICON Park. The Wheel is the perfect backdrop for a
image credit: Pointe Orlando