Date Ideas - Couples Counseling Fort Lauderdale Fl - Couple On a Date

13 Fort Lauderdale Date Night Ideas (Couples Therapist Approved)

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

By José Ramirez, LMHC

Welcome back to my blog post series about sex and intimacy. This particular post will hopefully get you fired up to take your lover on a date. Jump to the bottom of the post for 13 date night ideas in the Fort Lauderdale area.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to strengthen a relationship is by going on dates. We know how fundamental dating is in the beginning stages of a relationship and dates are just as important in long-term relationships. In fact, I would argue that dates become even MORE important as the relationship continues. 

Continuing to date your long-term partner not only helps build intimacy and connection, it can also help reignite a lackluster spark. If you’re feeling like your relationship is in a rut, try planning and scheduling a date and see if that helps. If it does, chances are the relationship is lacking in opportunities for meaningful connection. 

Regularly scheduled date nights help increase intimacy and connection, but not all dates are created equal. Research shows that dates that are exciting in nature are more likely to promote closeness. Does that mean you have to take your partner on a skydiving trip? Of course not! (Unless they’re into that) But it does highlight the importance of going on dates that gets your partner excited. Going to a new restaurant might be exciting for one couple whereas going on an outdoor adventure might be exciting for another.

The point of date night is to bond and honor your relationship. It’s common for couples in therapy to talk about how it’s difficult to go on dates due to busy schedules, children/childcare concerns, even financial hurdles. While I empathize with this, spending quality time together is crucial. Do what you can, plan around your responsibilities or children. Maybe you spend intentional time together when the kids are asleep. Being busy is a hurdle, but it’s not an excuse.  

“If you’re too busy for date night, you’re too busy.” 

Drs Julie and John Gottman

Date nights are often the first thing to get cut once a relationship transitions into a long-term commitment (sex following closely behind, check out my other blogs for more information on this by scrolling below). Why? Oftentimes the effort goes out the window. You settle into a routine, and things become comfortable, if you have kids then priorities shift, and that’s normal. 

However, it is really important to still attend to your relationship. If no effort is put in from either party, the relationship will become stagnant. Even worse if the effort is one-sided, partners can begin to feel taken for granted. If your partner is always the one planning date night (even if they love to plan things), it’s important to share the responsibility of putting in the effort. 

Take a second right now to think about the level of effort you are currently putting into your relationship, are you happy with the amount or could it use some work? Intentional time together, date nights, sex – these are all what Drs Julie and John Gottman call rituals of connection, these are crucial to long-term relationship satisfaction. 

Need some inspiration for a date night? Check out this list of our favorite Fort Lauderdale date night ideas!

Whiskey Creek Hideout - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Adventure-Filled Date

Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park | Whiskey Creek Hideout

If your partner is the adventurous, outdoorsy type, consider scheduling a Full Moon or Sunset Kayak Tour at Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, located south of Port Everglades in Dania Beach. Aside from adventure tours, patrons can rent paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. This park is considered a superior paddleboarding location by our very own Jade Gray. “I see a sea turtle and fish every time we paddleboard there,” she says. Jade suggests to paddleboard along the main trail that runs north to south or explore the mangrove trails near the restaurant. There are multiple opportunities to hop off your paddleboard to enjoy the sandy beaches. 

After your paddling adventure, stop at Whiskey Creek Hideout for a bite. Windblown hair and saltwater skin? No worries, the waterfront bar & eatery is a casual and relaxed spot. You’ll take in the ocean breeze along with affordable eats and craft brews. Check out the website for their frequent food & drink specials. Pro tip: Live music on Saturday afternoons.

Casa D'Angelo and Holly Blue - Lunch on the Beach - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Romance-Filled Date

Casa D’Angelo | Holly Blue

Wine and dine your partner at some of Fort Lauderdale’s most romantic eateries; we’re lucky to have many of them. For a classic dining experience, consider longtime staple Casa D’Angelo off US1. Aside from the excellent food, service, and ambiance; vino lovers will take delight in the 40+page wine list. 

If you’re seeking a new spot in town, your date will love the unexpected ambiance of historic-church-turned-eatery of Holly Blue. The crown jewel of the restaurant is the airy outdoor veranda. Protected from the elements under a high-tech awning, dine below a lush tree canopy and twinkling lights. Order the ‘champagne poetry’ and take credit for the romantic poem that’s pinned to the cocktail. Note: If you’re reading this during the months of August/September, Holly Blue is participating in Dine Out Lauderdale.

Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Furbaby-Friendly Date

Barkyard and Brews

Looking for a place to have a date night and include your furbaby? Barkyard and Brews is a great option. It’s basically a dog park and bar mixed into one, how fun is that?! Your pups can play in an enclosed area complete with a splash pad and agility course, while you have a drink and enjoy your date. Worried about having to be a helicopter parent to make sure your rambunctious pup stays out of trouble? No need as they have a wooferee who is there to make sure no pups get too rowdy. 

Prison Pals Brewery - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Kid-Friendly Date

Prison Pals Brewery

Ideally, your date night will be an opportunity to spend quality time together sans kids, but we know that childcare doesn’t grow on trees. Located on Dixie Hwy in Oakland Park, connect with your partner in a relaxed beer garden with plenty of fun games for the kiddos. 

Drynk Bar - Lunch on the Beach - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Meet Me After Work Date 

DrYnk Bar + Lounge

Time is a precious commodity for many couples. When minutes matter, consider a quick happy hour to zest up a typical boring weekday. Located in the heart of Wilton Manors, Drynk Bar and lounge offers daily happy hour from 4-7pm. Handsome bartenders, craft cocktails, and an intimate lounge feel. Not to mention the secret garden vibe they have going on in the back patio if you’re in the mood for some fresh air. What more can a guy want? 

Wine Garden - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Casual Date

Wine and Garden

The intersection of casual and romantic is Wine and Garden. Located on Breakers Ave just steps from the ocean, this wine bar and outdoor eatery checks all the boxes. Think Neapolitan pizza in a lush garden setting with twinkling lights and firepits. 

Lunch on the beach - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

On a Budget Date

Picnic on the beach | El Prado Park

Pack up some food along with a blanket and head to the beach after sunset. Living in Fort Lauderdale sometimes has us take for granted that we live adjacent to world-class beaches. With the exception of parking fees and gas money, dining oceanfront is a virtually free-of-cost Fort Lauderdale date night idea. With parking located just across El Mar Drive, one of our favorite spots is El Prado Beachfront Park in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. Sit in one of the Adirondack chairs under an umbrella or take a few more steps to the sand. 

The Wreck Bar - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Sexy Date

Mermaid/Merman Shows at the Wreck Bar

A Fort Lauderdale staple since the 1950s, the historic Wreck Bar located at B Ocean Resort (originally the Yankee Clipper Hotel) offers a truly unique experience. In an adults-only aqua burlesque show, watch real life mermaids from a porthole view. Book the mermaid burlesque show on Fridays & Saturdays and the Aquamen Boylesque Show on Thursdays. Tickets include dinner and drink. The show promises a live DJ and sexy fun for all!  

Fun fact: The shipwrecked bar has entertained guests such as Marilyn Monroe and was featured in movies ‘Where The Boys Are’ (1960) and ‘Analyze This’ (1999). 

Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist - Wreck It Room

Break the Tension Date

Wreck It Rage Room

There are a few ways to break the tension. Some folx may find it helpful to smash stuff. If so, consider a Fort Lauderdale date night at Wreck It, a rage room off Oakland Park Blvd. Want a personalized theme? The staff at Wreck It will stage the room with personally meaningful, anger-prompting stimuli. Together you and your paramour can rage out on that dumb printer that broke every other time you used it.   

Lips - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Laugh Off the Tension Date


If smashing things isn’t your vibe, how about laughing off some tension at one of Fort Lauderdale’s comedy shows? Book tickets for a world renowned comedian at Hard Rock Live or for a more local flavor, try not-your-grandmother’s bingo at Lips’ Bitchy Bingo on Wednesdays. Lips offers shows nearly every night of the week (excluding Mondays) with a different theme each day such as Dragalicious Sunday Brunch. 

Chops and Hops - Lunch on the Beach - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Group Date

Chops & Hops

For unique and serious fun, go as a group and rent your own bay at ax throwing lodge, Chops + Hops. Invite other couples and make it a friendly competition. Your personal Axpert will guide you throughout the throwing session from proper form to officiating a tournament-style game. Bays can accommodate up to 8 people. Full kitchen and bar to keep you fed and hydrated!

Unit B - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Off the Beaten Path Date 

Speakeasies of Fort Lauderdale

What’s more exciting than a dimly lit, secret cocktail destination? Impress your date with your spontaneity skills by punching in a special code to enter a hidden haunt. Below are some of our favorite speakeasies. 

Tatts and Tacos - Date Ideas Fort Lauderdale Florida from a Couples Therapist

Taco Tuesday Date

Tatts & Tacos

Fort Lauderdale is home to several fantastic Mexican restaurants. Our personal favorite for a Taco Tuesday date night is Tatts & Tacos located in Oakland Park (off Oakland Park Blvd & Dixie Hwy). The Taco Tuesday deal cannot be beaten: all-you-can-eat tacos for $15 plus drink specials. 40+ craft beers and signature cocktails such as the smoke & fire ‘rita. Your date will love the beer garden and relaxed beach theme atmosphere. There are games in the outdoor area and often live music. Check out their specials on other nights of the week (Drag Bingo on Wednesdays, Tequila Thursdays, weekend brunch, etc). 

Stay tuned for part 4 of this multi-part blog post series in which I will describe the different types of sex!

More Interesting Reads on Sex and Intimacy

Fort Lauderdale Therapist Jose Ramirez, LMHC
License: MH17881

José Ramirez is a licensed mental health counselor and is an expert in depressionanxiety, PTSD and trauma-related issues, mood disorders, and LGBTQ+ specific issues. Call 954-488-2933 or email today to discuss how our services can help you.

Servicios disponibles en español.

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