Arts/Entertainment

5 of Kansas City’s Best Bets for Date Night

Turn an ordinary evening out into a true special occasion with these Date Night ideas.

Whether it’s your first date or your first night out without the kids in what seems like forever, Kansas City offers a seemingly endless list of options for making it an evening to remember. From a night on the town with all the stops pulled out to the more laid-back and traditional dinner and a movie, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our fair city. We rounded up a few of our favorites.

Photo by Aaron Lindberg

A Chic City Staycation

If you’re in the mood to roll out the red carpet, check out—or check in to—the Ambassador Hotel in downtown Kansas City. From the moment you step into the hotel’s glamorous grand lobby, you’ll feel you’ve been whisked away to a major metropolis. The hotel is based in a neo-classical 1920s-built bank and enhances its original elegance with modern style and amenities. The Ambassador’s restaurant, The Reserve, sets the perfect ambiance for a romantic evening.

Kick off the evening with a hand-crafted cocktail at the bar or at one of the lobby’s intimate seating areas, then take your place on one of Reserve’s secluded velvet banquettes for an indulgent dinner of mussels, braised short ribs or coq au vin. If you can escape for the entire evening, reserving one of the Ambassador’s amazing suites allows you to take your time and take advantage of all the hotel has to offer. The sumptuous furnishings, marble-tiled bathrooms and plush bathrobes will make you feel like you’ve had a vacation without even leaving town.

Up, Up and Away

Why go out on the town when you can fly over it? For adventure seekers, this date night is a unique and thrilling way to experience Kansas City. KC Copters offers a number of packages centered on romantic and exciting helicopter rides over the city, including a 20-minute flight that affords glimpses of Ward Parkway, Loose Park and the Country Club Plaza, and a longer tour overlooking those attractions plus Liberty Memorial, downtown KC and more. The company also offers a few romance packages that include a flight, plus perks such as a commemorative photo or video and a bottle of champagne, and it is launching a new package that will combine a flight with a tasting at a nearby winery. Prepare for takeoff at kccopters.com.

Photo by Landon Vonderschmidt

All That Jazz

Way back in the day, British explorers discovering the Caribbean islands tasted the local rum and called it “kill devil.” More recently, food writers exploring Kansas City’s Power & Light District discovered the Kill Devil Club and named it one of the best new bars in the country.

Food & Wine magazine awarded the club that title in part because of the inventive cocktail menu, created by consultant Ryan Maybee of Manifesto, but also because of the club’s atmosphere, which features nightly performances by top jazz acts and décor that exudes old-school Hollywood glamour. Thanks to a menu of shareable small plates and “socials,” Kill Devil offers the perfect setting to indulge with a date. Local musicians help to keep the evening lively, and after a few glasses of the club’s signature rum punches, you’ll find it hard to resist hitting the dance floor. Get ready to loosen up on this date night because The Kill Devil Club is bringing the heat.

A Superior Silver Screen

As far as dates go, you don’t get more traditional than dinner and a movie. But Prairie Village’s Standees theater puts a luxe, modern twist on the classic. Billing itself as “the entertaining eatery,” Standees combines cinema and restaurant, so you and your date can arrive early to enjoy a meal before the show, order and take your food and drinks into the theater, or stick around after the movie to discuss the plotlines over drinks and apps in the bar. Though Standees does offer the usual cinema snacks such as popcorn and candy, the menu also features gourmet options, such as filet mignon with au gratin potatoes, and Cape Breton scallops with arugula and fennel salad, that would draw even those who aren’t staying for a show. Each of Standees’ theaters features comfy, oversized recliners, so the two of you can sit back and relax as you sip on your favorite cocktails and enjoy the movie.

An Artful Evening

The city’s best-known art museum, the Nelson-Atkins, offers a great alternative for that low-key, yet romantic, evening. The extended hours on Friday nights—it’s open until 9 p.m.—give visitors a chance to unwind with dinner or drinks in the museum’s maze of historical artifacts. Start the evening off at a table for two in the Nelson’s Rozzelle Court, where you can indulge in something from executive chef Jonathan Pye’s menu, which features exceptionally mastered dishes made with fresh seasonal ingredients, all in an impeccable setting that recreates the romantic atmosphere of a 15th-century Italian courtyard.

The museum itself supplies an endless number of pieces to marvel at, so whether it’s your first date or a rare night out for just the two of you, the conversation will flow easily. General admission is free, allowing everyone the opportunity to enjoy one of Kansas City’s most beautiful attractions.

Story by Sidney Almquist