First date ideas in Dallas-Ft. Worth, according to local matchmakers

The season of romance is upon us, in case you haven’t noticed something heart-shaped inside every location, from the corner gas station to the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Just like Santa Claus, Cupid comes out of hibernation earlier and earlier each year, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if you bought a few boxes of Valentine’s Day-themed chocolate truffles the same day you got caught the old Thanksgiving turkey. But as anyone who shares a bed, living expenses and littering chores with another human being knows, love can happen without the help of greeting card companies and florists looking to earn their annual income in a single month.

Of course, a memorable first date can mean the difference between being happy forever and never being happy again. So we turned to Daphney Poyser, matchmaker and CEO of Fern Connections, dating and relationship coach, and versatile Wing Woman for anyone looking for love in the wrong places.

Poyser specializes in matching for people who may have struggled to find love in society due to their race or sexual orientation. Yet while she focuses on the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, her insights can help anyone with a sense of purpose looking for someone to walk through life alongside.

“In my mind, the new normal is open to people dating someone outside of their race, someone of the same gender, someone who is much younger or older, or even someone who has different points of view, religious beliefs and backgrounds,” she said. said. “No matter what, it’s normal for someone, and we’re here to help create a new social norm for everyone to love who and how they want.”

So if you’re looking for a fun spot for a memorable first date — or 5,000th — Poyser gave us a list of eight favorite places around Dallas-Fort Worth to get to know someone better. Because who knows, a night of ax throwing could also end with Cupid’s arrow in the heart.

Café Momentum dish
Momentum Coffee
| Momentum Coffee

Downtown Dallas
Since opening its doors seven years ago, Café Momentum has taught on-the-job skills to 15-19 year olds coming out of the criminal justice system. During a 12-month paid internship, they learn all aspects of catering, from cooking and other back-of-the-house tasks to waiting tables and interacting with customers. The upscale menu offers creative dishes such as braised rabbit pasta, coffee-rubbed steaks and smoked fried chicken in a stylish, casual setting in the heart of downtown.
What the matchmaker says: “It’s a meeting with a purpose/cause and I love the whole concept of this restaurant.”
How to book: Call 214-303-1234 or reserve a table through Resy.

Ax throwing
Corky’s Game Bistro | Corky’s Game Bistro

East of Dallas; Fort Worth; Vine
Pat Benatar sings that love is a battlefield, so why not adopt the concept and book a romantic evening around a deadly weapon? Bad Ax has a nice beer and wine list to keep the conversation flowing and since it’s bring your own food, you can always surprise your date with a nice little picnic of goodies to snack on in between. throws. At Corky’s, you can extend your evening with an escape room experience, time in the classic arcade, or a full meal of sandwiches, tacos, pizzas, and share dishes that increase the likelihood of your hands touching when reaching for this last mac fried bite of cheese and cheese.
What the matchmaker says: “It’s still a pretty new and very fun date idea. It’s extremely interactive and humbling at the same time, allowing you to see how your date handles various situations. Also allows for friendly competition.
How to book: Enter or reserve lanes in advance at bad ax; Book in advance at Corky’s Game Bistro.

Movie at rooftop cinema
Rooftop movie club | Rooftop movie club

Downtown Fort Worth
Catch a classic movie (perhaps a romantic comedy for good measure) at the brand new Rooftop Cinema Club location, located on the terrace at The Worthington Rennaissance Fort Worth Hotel. Book an Adirondack chair for two, grab some cocktails and food before the show starts, then feed on popcorn as Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock get their hijinxing on the big screen. Best of all, screenings after 4:30 p.m. are for ages 18 and up only, so you don’t have to worry about crying kids spoiling the romantic vibe. And speaking of romantic vibes, if things really click, you’re just an elevator away from a beautifully appointed hotel room. (You can even bet on a positive outcome by pre-booking a special room package, A night of cocktails and movies– but you’ll probably want to wait a few dates before doing so.)
What the matchmaker says: “The rooftop is sexy outdoors and you have your own personal headphones, lounge chairs and awesome food and drink.”
How to book: Buy your tickets in advance online.

Better than sex dessert
Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant
| Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant

Chocolate. Champagne. Menu names full of double meanings. There’s no better icebreaker on a first date than laughing and wondering whether to share treats like Peanut Butter Perversion, Missionary Crisp, or Caress My Carrot. Cocktails follow a similar suit with Love Potion 69, Minty Moaner, and G-Spot among the tantalizing options, along with a nice list of blank options.
What the matchmaker says: “It’s a sexy date idea and it gives you another option than just going out to dinner.”
How to book: Book a table through ZomatoBook.

Inside the putter
putter | putter

The colony
Once the requisite jokes involving balls and holes are eliminated, mini golf remains a perennial date night favorite for people of all ages. Plus, with indoor courses, mini golf becomes a year-round, all-weather option. The Puttery also has three bars on site and you can take your drinks with you from hole to hole. And if all goes well, stick around for appetizers, pizza, and another round of drinks.
What the matchmaker says: “It’s a fairly new place and a great idea for a first date because, like ax throwing, it’s both interactive and humbling, giving great insight into the personality of the person you’re with. “
How to book: Book a game online.

Painting at the Kimbell Art Museum
Kimbell Art Museum
| Kimbell Art Museum

Fort Worth Museum District
Meet after work on Fridays from 5-7 p.m. for live music and discounted drinks at one of Texas’ most renowned museums. The Kimbell also stays open until 8pm every Friday, so even if you spend the 120 minutes of Happy Hour chatting, you’ll still have an hour to explore the incredible works of art, possibly while holding hands. .
What the matchmaker says: “It allows daters to take their time looking at art while casually getting to know each other.”
How to book: The Kimbell Collection is free to all, and special exhibits are $18 per non-member adult and can be purchased online.

Cooking at the central market
Central Market | Central Market

Multiple locations
Whether boiling water is a challenge or mastering the art of culinary creativity during these long days of pandemic lockdown, nothing beats the bond that can grow (or quickly dissolve) between two people when you learn to cook something new. Classes include soufflés, a steak and lobster dinner, a sushi and sake night, and the couples cooking class ideal for dates. Maybe don’t temper fate and ignore the Night Up in Flames option.
What the matchmaker says: “It’s a fun, entertaining and interactive date that allows for creativity and great conversation. And you can actually sit down and have dinner with your date afterwards.
How to book: Reserve your seats online at the nearest central market location.

Haywire Plano
Haywire – Plano – Roof top tents
| Haywire – Plano – Roof top tents

Make a date with Texas’ Wild West past while dining in a tent. Ok, not a real tent where you sit on the ground, but a comfortable cabin inside a real tent. Sup on a chef-prepared appetizer platter of queso blanco, mini elk tacos, fried green tomatoes and onion rings before diving into a huge Tomahawk steak perfect for sharing and chocolate chipotle cake for dessert. If things go well, the tent zips up for complete privacy, while fueling gossip for those seated nearby.
What the matchmaker says: “The tent concept allows for privacy in a unique setting and the food is excellent.”
How to book: Book through open table.

Want more Thrillist? follow us on instagram, TwitterPinterest, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat.

Steven Lindsey is a contributor for Thrillist.