Situated along the east bank of the Missouri River, Council Bluffs is a centrally located city offering plenty of history, natural wonders and a plethora of entertainment opportunities. While many residents can easily venture to the many restaurants, bars and attractions in Omaha, there is so much to do, see and taste in Council Bluffs itself.
Take a look at our list of date ideas in CB! Here, you’ll find a mix of relaxing, adventurous and child-like activities to help spruce up your next date night. And then make sure to tag us on Instagram using #TheDodgeVoice so we can see all the fun you got up to!
For a more unique date idea—we suggest packing a picnic and hitting the road for a while! Council Bluffs just happens to be located near the iconic Loess Hills National Scenic Byway and the Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway. No matter which road you choose, you’ll be surrounded by stunning nature views, interesting historical sites and plenty of things to explore.
Get a Couples Massage
If you’re not feeling dinner and a movie for date night this week—do something a little different! Visit Bayliss Park Massage Therapy for a massage and let all of your troubles melt away. While Bayliss Park Massage doesn’t have a specific couple’s massage special, you can schedule separate appointments at the same time. They have several different types of massages to choose from, including deep tissue, hot stone, sports and more. Click here for a full list of offerings and to schedule your appointments!
In addition to being one of the best restaurants in Council Bluffs, Cellar 19 offers a wide range of wines, beers and cocktails for you to indulge in with your sweetheart. For a special date, stop in for one of their bi-weekly wine tasting events! They host free wine tastings on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Make a Reservation at a Fancy Restaurant
There’s just something about a dimly lit restaurant, great food and beautifully arranged plates that screams “romantic”. So why not lean into the traditional and take your date somewhere fancy? One of our favorite romantic restaurants in CB is the 360 Steakhouse, a New American spot located on the top of Harrah’s Casino on the river. While the food itself is fantastic—we’re talking succulent steaks, lobster, fluffy rolls and whipped potatoes—it’s the breathtaking panoramic view of Omaha and Council Bluffs that is the cherry on top. Looking for somewhere a bit more casual to take your date? Head to Tish’s for burgers, sandwiches and to-die-for ice cream sundaes.
Play Some Mini Golf
Who says miniature golf is just for kids? Pirate Putt is an exciting experience for all ages! The destination features two 18-hole courses that you can choose from. Each hole has its own unique challenge for you to conquer such as warped walls, Plinko, ramps and even a spring-loaded cannon that shoots your ball onto the course.
Engage in a little friendly competition with your loved one on your next date night by bowling a few games at the Thunderbowl! Slip on some of those cool shoes, pick your ball and enjoy food and drinks at McCoy’s, the in-house bar and grill. They’re open until 1 a.m. on weekends, so you can enjoy a late night out, or play a few rounds on a weeknight when games are just $3.49.
Enjoy a romantic evening and support local directors and actors all at the same time! The Chanticleer Community Theater puts on entertaining performances throughout the year—like the upcoming musical performance, “The Music Man” and the classic “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” They’ve now found a permanent home in the brand new Hoff Family Arts and Culture Center, so make sure to take in the new exhibits when you visit!
Go on a Self-Guided Art Walk
Council Bluffs is home to some truly spectacular public art sites, which you and your date can experience on a self-guided tour! Just download the Otocast app to easily locate the Iowa West Public Art Sites and follow the map to Bayliss Park, Big Mo, Circus, Haymarket Rabbits, Interstate and plenty more inspired art installations around the city.
We can’t think of a better bonding activity than an escape room! Puzzle rooms invite you to work together, solve puzzles and (hopefully) escape within 60 minutes. The Cryptic Room in Council Bluffs gives you the chance to put your heads together and hunt for clues. Choose from five different rooms—”Paradise?,” “Great Auth Myrtle Etherington,” “Into the Assassin’s Lair,” “C.O.R.E. Intruders” and “Cave of Lost Souls.” Do you think you’re up for the challenge?
Get Spooked at the Squirrel Jail
For some of us, date night means a romantic dinner, a movie or some other fun activity. For others, it’s an opportunity to get scared! If that’s you, you’re in luck—Council Bluffs just happens to be home to our very own “haunted” attraction: The Historic Squirrel Cage Jail. Couples can book private paranormal investigations at the jail, if they dare. Less committed (and more fearful) folks can tour the jail during daylight hours during the weekend. After your visit, you can decide for yourself: is there really such a thing as ghosts?
We love good beer here in the Omaha/Council Bluffs area, so it’s no surprise that we’re suggesting you head to a brewery for date night! Full Fledged Brewing Company is Council Bluffs first craft brewery, offering up a diverse and delicious selection. Stop by their cozy taproom and sip on a few brews or visit during one of their weekly events (here’s a list of upcoming happenings at the brewery).
Go for a Hike
Council Bluffs is home to stunning sights, trails and parks that are open for you to explore all year long. With Iowa’s prized Loess Hills right in our backyard, we are just steps away from some of the greatest hiking and vistas along the Missouri River. Take advantage of everything Council Bluffs has to offer by taking a hike with your sweetheart! Head to the Wabash Trace Nature Trail, a 63-mile rail-trail perfect for a quick day hike, or the Hitchcock Nature Center, which offers both easy ridgeline walks and difficult climbs along the rugged terrain.
What ideas would you add?
Tell us all about your favorite Council Bluffs date night spots in the comments!