Best Irvine Date Ideas
Credit: Sharon Williams

10 Unique Things to Do in Irvine With Your Date

From Pottery Classes to Picnics, These Date Ideas Are Anything But Basic

Welcome to Irvine! It’s Newport’s inland cousin, Santa Ana’s sister town and Lake Forest’s long lost relative. Irvine is the perfect blend of urban and rural. There’s plenty of rolling landscapes and nature to explore, but this nearly 66-square-mile city also has a booming metropolitan side for the girlies who aren’t trying to method act “outdoorsy” anymore. This makes it an ideal destination for a date day or night. From adrenaline-pumping balloon rides to a seriously flirty ceramics sesh, this city has it all. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the mood for a culinary adventure, a creative journey or a dose of laughter, this list of things to do in Irvine will have both of you swooning!

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Enjoy an Elegant Date at The Goldfinch

Best Irvine Date Ideas
Credit: The Goldfinch Restaurant

Located over by the airport near Hangar 24, The Goldfinch is one of our favorite newer restaurants serving up elevated California cuisine like furikake-crusted sea bass and French dips. It’s good eats with a side of elevated vibes. Their ethos is all about creating memorable dining experiences through exceptional food in an inviting atmosphere. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner, as well as a boozy brunch on the weekends. The menu showcases seasonal delights and locally sourced proteins and produce that are sure to tantalize the taste buds. If you find yourself with a case of ordering anxiety, you can’t go wrong with one of their burgers. They also have a super fun cocktail menu if you want to get a little boozy with your boo. Don’t miss happy hour from 3-6 p.m. during the week, which includes food and drink deals like $4 off all appetizers and specialty cocktails. 

Local Insight: The Goldfinch takes pride in its farm-to-table approach and partners with local farms to offer a selection of seasonal dishes that rotate with the seasons. This local outpost is easily one of the best restaurants in Irvine!


Goodbye Boring Dates, Hello Pottery!

Best Irvine Date Ideas
Credit: @Hellopotteryocial

Hello Pottery is a haven for creative souls and open-minded individuals alike. Located in the Diamond Jamboree Shopping Center, this ceramics studio gives couples the chance to get hands-on and create unique pottery pieces together. You can explore your artistic side while enjoying each other’s company in a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. With helpful instructors guiding you through the clay-throwing process, it’s a fantastic opportunity to get a little flirty over clay and reenact that scene from “Ghost”—you know the one. Plus, you’ll leave with personalized keepsakes from your Irvine date. It’s a win-win.


Get Scenic With a Surrey Bike at Irvine Regional Park

Best Irvine Date Ideas
Credit: Irvine Park Rentals

Irvine Regional Park is an idyllic setting for a leisurely date. Rent a Surrey bike and explore the park’s lush greenery, serene lakes and charming bridges. These multi-person bikes are perfect for couples looking to stay active and explore. You can pedal along winding trails, enjoy a picnic by the water or simply soak in the natural beauty around you. You’ll kill two birds with one stone by logging some miles while spending some quality time together in a tranquil setting. Keep your eyes peeled for peacocks, and make a pit stop at the Orange County Zoo—a $2 detour that’ll breakup your ride and allow you to see some local wild animals. Parking for Irvine Regional Park costs $3 during the week and $5 on the weekends.



Take Your Love to New Heights in the Great Park Balloon

For an unforgettable and thrilling experience, take your date for an evening ride on the Great Park Balloon. Soar 400 feet high above Irvine and enjoy breathtaking views of the city landscapes below. This adrenaline-inducing adventure is one of the best things to do in Irvine with your date and is bound to become a new core memory. Open Thursday through Sunday, flights are FREE (you read that right), but due to popularity, waitlists fill up quickly and are first come, first served. Check-in 30 minutes prior to your session to try to secure your flight time. You can also mosey over to Great Park Ice & Fivepoint Arena and see if they are offering free skating or grab a drink and a snack at one of their on-site eateries. Parking is free.

Local Insight: The Great Park Balloon is currently grounded due to maintenance, but reopening updates will be shared here and on social media, so be sure to check back soon!


Take Your Talents to Tanaka Farms

Tanaka Farms offers couples a unique and hands-on date experience with their U-Pick Farm Tours, where you can handpick fresh fruits and veggies together. We love an activity that includes instant gratification. Get ready to pick produce and each other’s brains. This is a wholesome outing where you can learn about Tanaka’s farming practices and score some healthy produce while you’re at it. Take a tractor ride around the property to see what’s in season and check out the farm animals they have on-site. The U-pick costs $20 during the week and $24 on the weekends. Be sure to scope out their farm stand and support our local merchants!


Take a Tufting Workshop at Soft Land Studio

Soft Land Studio is a place where creating and dating collide. For $168 per person, you and your boo can join a tufting workshop where you’ll create your very own medium-sized rug—a beautiful souvenir from a memorable day date. With expert guidance, you’ll learn the art of tufting, a type of textile manufacturing in which short U-shaped loops of yarn are essentially knit through a piece of fabric from the outside so that their ends point inwards. It’s a hands-on experience that encourages collaboration and creativity, making it an excellent choice for couples looking to strengthen their bond. Be sure to set aside enough time for this adventure as a workshop lasts five hours.


Live, Laugh, Love at Irvine Improv

Irvine Improv is the go-to spot for lovers looking to laugh. Enjoy a night of comedy with your date as talented comedians take the stage at this intimate venue. The cozy setting and energetic atmosphere make it a perfect place to unwind, share a good laugh and create a few lasting inside jokes together. It’s an excellent choice for couples looking to add some humor to their date night. Irvine Improv offers a full menu of everything from snacks to entrees and, of course, a full bar since humor is a dish best served with booze. Check out their calendar to see what comedians are in the lineup for the rest of the year! 


Stock Up on Snacks at GoGoSonic + Picnic at Mason Park

Start your date with a visit to GoGoSonic, where you can stock up on a variety of snacks and treats. This spot is a fun take on your neighborhood bodega with a wide-range of products and the ability to shop in store, pickup or delivery. After you secure the goods from GoGoSonic, head over to Mason Park for a romantic picnic by the lake. Spread out a blanket, savor your snacks and enjoy the serene surroundings. It’s a simple yet charming way to spend quality time together while dining on delicious food and enjoying each other’s company.


Get Flirty at the Irvine Farmers Market

Credit: Irvine Farmers Market

Every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon next to Mariners Church, Irvine Farmers Market takes place. Discover a variety of fresh, locally sourced produce, artisanal goods and delicious treats. Stroll hand-in-hand as you sample flavorful foods, enjoy live music and connect with local vendors. It’s a delightful way to support the community while experiencing the rich tapestry of Irvine’s culinary offerings. We recommend checking out the Meet The Source tent for one of their famous balls or no-bake cinnamon rolls. There is also a doughnut vendor that redefines the idea of having a hole-y experience. Keep your eyes peeled for all of the local influencers who frequent this farmers market weekly!


Belt It Out at Plush Karaoke Lounge

Calling all crooners! Plush Karaoke Lounge offers a lively and entertaining experience that is great for a group date. Sing your hearts out to your favorite tunes in a private karaoke room, complete with state-of-the-art audio and visual systems. It’s a fantastic way to showcase your musical talents (or lack thereof) and sing some of your favorite songs with friends. We highly recommend making a reservation in advance for a large party. Small- and medium-size parties are first come, first served for private rooms. Rooms range from $42 per hour up to $94 per hour for the VIP room. They do have a happy hour on Saturday and Sunday from 3 to 8 p.m., which is 50% off room rates. They offer food and drinks so you can properly replenish after your epic ballad. For more information on pricing and to see why this is one of our favorite things to do in Irvine, check out their website!

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Jane Adler is a marketing and branding consultant by trade, but a writer by preference. She shares a name with Meryl Streep's iconic character from It's Complicated and is presently trying to manifest that life (particularly that Santa Barbara house) for herself. Jane is an avid consumer of content and carbs and often used the latter to write on the former.




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