Great Dates: First Date or 50th, These O.C. Spots are Romance-Approved

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Tiki Tuesday
Tired from walking around Disneyland? End your night with tropical-themed drinks and dishes on Tuesdays at The Fifth! Enjoy a live band with a clear view of Disneyland. Bonus: You’ll still be able to watch the fireworks together. Anaheim, 714-772-0899

Lovers and Fighters
Book two heavy bags at Boxhaus for a group class ($39 per person) or a semiprivate session ($150) and punch your way through a great workout. You’ll both leave feeling empowered, and you can grab a cold brew or kombucha at the front desk on your way out. Newport Beach, 949-752-7778

Champagne and Caviar
Choose from a variety of Champagnes at Topside at Lido House, the only rooftop bar in Newport Beach. Order the caviar service ($69 per person) to pair with your bubbly and enjoy the sunset. Newport Beach, 949-524-8500

Paint and Puff
Follow step-by-step instructions and paint a picture of Joshua Tree, for example, while you smoke cannabis with fellow enthusiasts at Brush Tokes ($40 per person). Located in an auto-repair shop in a business park, this paint class might be unlike any date you’ve been on. Newport Beach, 714-794-9832

Get Cozy with Comfort Food
SeaLegs is known for upscale ambience and fine wines, but every Thursday, this wine bar offers an unconventional deal for its customers. For $20, you and your date can enjoy a bucket of fried chicken as well as $5 craft beers. Huntington Beach, 714-536-5700

Puppy Love
If you and your sweetie are obsessed with your fur baby, book the Paint Your Pet class at Inspired Art Wine. An artist will make a sketch from a photo, so you can paint a custom portrait of your pet while you sip wine ($65 per person). Costa Mesa, 714-813-0730

Amour in the Arboretum
Take a leisurely stroll to check out flora representing various climate zones at the Fullerton Arboretum. Regular events include nature tours and yoga in the garden two Saturdays a month ($13 for members, $15 for nonmembers). Watch for special events such as a Victorian Tea, Summer Solstice Party in the Garden, and Brews and Blues. Fullerton, 657-278-3407

Cruise the Harbor
Spend a few hours on the water with your date in a boat from Duffy Electric Boat Rentals ($199 and up). Bring aboard charcuterie and wine, stop at a harbor-front restaurant such as Sol Cocina, Nobu, or The Winery, or order catering. Newport Beach, 949-645-6812

Hearts & Crafts
Join a creative workshop at The Collab Lab and create your own macramé designs, succulent arrangements, and more ($30 and up per person). Enjoy music, wine, and light snacks in the cozy space. Costa Mesa, 714-679-5612

Quite a Vista
There’s nothing like taking a walk through nature to connect (or reconnect). Three fairly easy hikes with romantic payoffs are Holy Jim Falls Trail in the Cleveland National Forest, Turtle Rock Trail in Irvine, and Aliso Peak Trail in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. For sweeping views without the hike, drive to Top of the World in Laguna Beach.

Play Cupid
Try your hand at the drop-in group lessons Thursday through Saturday at Hi-Tech Archery ($20). Instructors are patient and knowledgeable and equipment is provided—all you have to do is listen, aim, and shoot. Looking for a more intimate setting? Private lessons can be booked to suit your schedule ($80 per couple). Fullerton, 714-449-9744

Love and Laughter
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, ImprovCity offers live comedy shows Thursday through Sunday ($7 to $12). Teams of professional improvisers perform scenes and games in which they make everything up on the spot based on suggestions from the audience. Want to try what you see? Drop-in workshops are offered Monday nights for $10. Irvine, 855-624-6776

Couples Massage
Tailor your relaxation with new services from The Spa at Pelican Hill. With the Massage Tables for Two, you and your beloved can choose to spend 50, 80, or 100 minutes in the couples suite and customize your treatments ($175 and up per person). Newport Beach, 888-507-6427

Ax Nicely
Unleash your primal instincts by hurling axes at a wooden target with all your might. Open for walk-ins starting this month, Axt Throwing is hidden behind an auto shop and can also accommodate private parties (BYOB). You can channel your inner lumberjack for $25 per person per hour. Costa Mesa

In Tandem
Experience Laguna Beach anew with a guided kayak tour by La Vida Laguna. Led by longtime locals, the two of you will encounter marine wildlife, marvel at panoramic views of the coastline stretching from Crystal Cove to Dana Point, and even take away some knowledge about local history, culture, and biodiversity ($95 per person). Laguna Beach, 949-275-7544

Sensory Engagement
Take an all-senses dive into your meal with the immersive dinner at Fleming’s. In a private room, guests are transported to coastal waters, winery courtyards, and farms through 360-degree video. In addition to sight, sound, and taste, diners will engage other senses with tableside touch bars that might include mesquite, coral, or lavender, and periodic aroma mists that permeate the room. “I never imagined we’d be able to do things like this,” operating partner Sanjiv Gupta says. Newport Beach, 949-720-9633

Seaside Shopping
Start a Saturday morning tradition and shop local at the Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market with made-in-O.C. products. Grab some snacks, such as fresh bread from San Clemente-based Bread Gallery and drinks from Laguna Coffee Company, to enjoy while walking around the nearby downtown. Laguna Beach, 949-301-9180

What’s Cookin’
Indulge in a delicious meal prepared by you and your date. Tspoons offers a variety of cooking classes, including Southern Comfort, Sushi 101, and A Taste of Italy. Join a date-night cooking class ($130 per couple) limited to couples only and designed to encourage interaction. Vegetarian substitutions are available upon advance request. San Juan Capistrano, 949-218-5218

Let’s Feast
A historic home sets the stage for the prix fixe dining experience at The Hobbit. Start in the wine cellar for appetizers and Champagne, then get cozy at your table and enjoy six more courses for $92 per person. Typical entrees include Beef Wellington and New York strip steak. Reservations required. Orange, 714-997-1972

It Takes Two to Tango
If you’re interested in private dance lessons but don’t want to commit to a style, try a half-hour sample class at Atomic Ballroom ($25 per person). Once you know whether you and your partner are suited to swing, salsa, ballroom, or another style, continue with private-lesson packages or group classes. Fullerton, 714-525-5155; Irvine, 949-250-3332

Hyper Reality
Nerd out at the multi-sensory, virtual reality experiences by The Void at Downtown Disney. With the help of a VR backpack and interactive stage sets, you and your partner can go undercover as Star Wars stormtroopers or break the internet with Wreck-It Ralph ($33 per person and up). Anaheim, 385-323-0090

Science Tour
Enjoy a romantic cruise on the glowing waters off Dana Point aboard the Ocean Institute’s R/V Sea Explorer. Book a two-hour bioluminescent tour ($45 per person), where passengers can see sea lions, dolphins, fish, and squid in waters illuminated by glowing plankton. See your hands light up in the sparkling water while marine biologists explain the bioluminescent phenomenon. Dana Point, 949-496-2274

Secret Garden
For a chance to wow your sweetie with a quiet picnic or a romantic spot for a special announcement, make your way to the Sacred Garden at Mission San Juan Capistrano. The running fountain, bougainvillea bushes, and historic walls contribute to a lovely atmosphere where your feelings will blossom. San Juan Capistrano, 949-234-1300

 

Sweet Spirits
See if your taste in mixology aligns with your partner’s. red bar and lounge at Hotel Irvine offers cocktail classes every Saturday this month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Couples will learn how to create drinks together while tasting shareable plates ($45 per person). Classes are limited to 12 people and reservations are required. Irvine, 949-225-6780

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