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    Date Ideas That Don’t Suck: A Three-Peat in Columbus, OH #thereigndates

     Columbus, Oh

    Columbus, Oh

    So you’ve made it to summer and bagged that cutie you’ve spotted every morning as you ordered your grossly overpriced extra-large coffee drink with skim milk (no judgement, honestly). Last week #TheReignDates was born and lucky you, you need some date ideas. I personally get so tired of the standard “dinner and movie” routine and I’ve always bragged to my friends about planning a date better than any guy. Plus, I’m frugal/broke/swimming in student loan debt, so I definitely know how to plan for a good time on a small budget. This week’s date plan is brought to you by my favorite city of Columbus, Ohio and for two people won’t run your pockets dry. Plus, we’re bringing you minimal distractions, tons of talk time and exploring. Enjoy and bask in the glory of knowing that you planned a lit date (even if you let him take the credit). 

    Location 1: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

    If you’re obsessed with flowers, gardens, warm-winds (a subtle ode for you SZA fans), Franklin Park Conservatory is the perfect first spot on your date. Located near Old Town East, the conservatory has both indoor and outdoor attractions, multiple pathways, ponds (with koi fish!), and timed butterfly exhibitions. It’s consistently ranked as a top place to visit in the city and on any given Saturday, you can find wedding parties in special areas. With tickets running $14 for adults, and free admission on the first Sunday of the month, the conservatory is a great starting place for you date.

    Why I Like It: This is a great opportunity for you and your date to enjoy nature and the quiet that comes with it. It’s calm and scenic which is a perfect backdrop for conversation that isn’t awkward and there’s a lot of spots for you to sit and enjoy your time together. 

    Check out http://www.fpconservatory.org for more details. 

    Location 2: Press Grill

    Show me a person who doesn’t like bar food and I will give you my first-born child. Like, seriously. Press Grill, located in the Short North Arts District (about a 10 minute drive from the conservatory), is one of my favorite lowkey spots for food. I’m a huge fan of intimate bar settings where I can truly get to know someone while wearing shorts and a tank top. For the beer lovers, they have a solid array of tap and craft options that aren’t intimidating. Plus, my favorite part, is that there are two tables right in the front windows so you and potential bae can people watch as you get to know one another. 

    Why I Like It: One, cheap food. Two, if you can’t break bread over good eats and better drinks, what can you do? No, but really. Food brings people together, especially comfort food loaded with calories. You should be able to eat around any person you spend time with and this place is unassuming and perfect for that. 

    Visit http://pressgrill.net for more info on menu selection and hours of operation. 

    Location 3: Short North Arts District

    Okay so I kind of cheated; once you get to Press Grill, you actually are at location 3 for this date. But do not be fooled, there’s much to see and do in this area. Nestled between the university district and downtown, the Short North Arts District is home to over 300 local businesses and operations. With tons of dainty shops, thrift stores, bars, clothing and shoe boutiques, the area is where you want to be during the summer. When I leave Press Grill, I usually head across the street for ice cream at Jeni’s (try their Brambleberry Crisp, https://jenis.com) and then stroll up and down the street popping in and out of shops.

    If your date happens to be on the first Saturday of the month, you’ll notice the live music, street vendors, and gallery exhibitions going on around you. Ask any passerby and they will quickly tell you why “Gallery Hop” is a summer favorite in the city; Columbus literally comes alive with a pulse that is sure to impress you and your date. 

    Why I Like It: By going to a place that covers every interest imaginable, you’re bound to bond with your date over something you like AND something he/she likes. That is the best part of dates for me- getting to know someone’s interest and this location allows for that in an interactive way. 

    Visit http://shortnorth.org for monthly updates on Gallery Hop exhibits, a list of stores, restaurants, and general events in the area. 

    So there you have it, a three-peat in Columbus that won’t make you regret leaving the house, provides ample talk time for you and bae, and isn’t the run of the mill date. Prosper, Queen and stay tuned for where #TheReignDates goes next!

    Image Source: Giphy, Flickr 

    Ashley Johnson
    Ashley Johnson

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