Date Nights

The best spots to spend a well-deserved evening out and about.
A group of adults cheer outside in the summer.
Photo courtesy Hamilton County Tourism

Movies in the Park
The 17th year of this outdoor movie night will see filmgoers gathering at dusk at Noblesville’s Federal Hill Commons. This year’s dates are August 9, 16, and 23 and September 6 and 13; titles will be announced on the Noblesville Parks Department’s website. 175 Logan St., 317-776-6350

As if downtown Carmel’s Palladium concert hall weren’t monumental enough, the 156,000-square-foot centerpiece of the Center for the Performing Arts projects a nightly 3-D light show onto its limestone facade. The 12-minute show, which repeats every half hour between nightfall and 11 p.m., is pure cinema, transforming every corner of the building into illuminated art. Catch an after-dinner show, or spread a blanket and make a night of it. 1 Carter Green, Carmel, 317-843-3800

Daniel’s Family Vineyard & Winery
Don’t let the word family in the name vanquish date-night dreams. After 6 p.m.—they’re open until 8 p.m. Wednesday–Thursday and 10 p.m. Friday–Saturday—it transforms into an ideal summer spot for couples. With its Napa feel, sunsets over the vineyards, and chill live music, you can reconnect with your partner just sitting outside with a bottle of Lakeside Sangria and a pear-goat cheese brick oven pizza. If you like more active together time, head out for the country line dancing night on July 19. 9061 N. 700 W, McCordsville, 317-248-5222

Four people sit at a table inside a cafe.
Photography by Tony Valainis/Indianapolis Monthly

Rick’s Cafe Boatyard
The sunsets are especially fiery over this westside hidden gem’s little slice of Eagle Creek. Opened in 1986, it has been a summer night magnet since the days of deck shoes and popped Izod collars. Live music on the patio and a solid seafood menu (grilled octopus, shrimp-stuffed flounder, chipotle butter–basted trout) secure its place in the date-night canon. 4050 Dandy Trail, 317-290-9300

The Suds
Since 1957, Greenwood’s carhop-style drive-in, The Suds, has been the site of countless dates, engagements, and family outings. You can still order and eat from the car or take a seat at one of their picnic tables. The dogs, burgers, fries, and shakes are just as delicious either way. 350 Market Plz., Greenwood, 463-444-6052

A walking path in front of the Indianapolis skyline.
Photography by Tony Valainis/Indianapolis Monthly

Downtown Canal
This loop from 11th Street to White River State Park is open all night, making it a perfect stroll at the end of a romantic evening. Its water-adjacent stretch can be cooler than the streets above, so a spontaneous embrace might even be a bit more welcome. 801 W. Washington St., 317-327-5823

Indianapolis Propylaeum Porch Concert Series
The historic brick-and-limestone building that houses one of the city’s first cultural headquarters (established in 1923 as “a center for cultivation for the public, and particularly the women of Indianapolis”) does the founders proud with its summer concert series on the lawn. The grand front porch sets the stage for free performances that feature a jazz ensemble on June 7, singer Bashiri Asad on July 12, and Sarah Grain & the Billions of Stars on August 9. Guests claim a spot on the lawn at 6 p.m. and settle in for an evening of entertainment with refreshments from a cash bar. 1410 N. Delaware St., 317-638-7881

Various dishes of food sit on a table.

If you struggle to pry your person off the couch, the site of your usual Netflix-and-carryout date nights, Birdies could be the ideal low-pressure enticement. No getting dressed up, just 18 holes of putt-putt at your own pace, followed by local brews at the bar. Take your hot honey wings and pulled pork nachos onto the rooftop deck strung with twinkly lights. 632 E. State Rd. 32, Westfield, 317-706-4906