Sure, Valentine’s gets its own special day, but why not come up with cute things to do with your sweetheart on other days where it doesn’t feel forced?  We have just the list of 10 ideas for dates, so call the babysitter and pencil some time for just the two of you!

1. Food Tour

Doesn’t everyone find food romantic?  If you’re not so good at planning and would like a guide, we’ve got a solution.  Knoxville has two food tours – East TN Tours and Knoxville Food Tours.  Both are great experiences to try some new nibbles and learn some history along the way.  Our biggest piece of advice?  Go HUNGRY!

2. Knoxville Museum of Art

The Knoxville Museum of Art is a great way to spend the afternoon any time of the year.  In the winter, stay inside out of the cold, and in the summer, find a respite from the heat.  The KMA has rotating exhibits, permanent exhibits, and a special exhibit dedicated to artists from/on East Tennessee.  Take a stroll and see what your partner gravitates to and how the art makes them feel.  It’s a built-in conversation starter, and oh yeah – it’s free!

3. Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

Did you know Knoxville is home to the only facility in the world dedicated to the sport of women’s basketball?  Check this one off your bucket list with this unique museum.  Take a look at historic uniforms and learn about the women who paved the way for those who play the sport today.  Burn off some energy with a hoops competition on the lower level – whoever wins buys the other a sweet treat!

4. Cooking Class

Dinner and a movie is always a classic, but why not learn to make a new meal together?  Get slicin’ and dicin’ and sippin’ and stirrin’ with your sweetie at The Cutting Edge.   They have all the supplies – just bring yourself and your honey muffin (your partner, not actual muffins please).  You can choose between starters like Intro to Knife Skills or get fancy by learning the Secrets of Paella.  There’s a class for every palate - sushi, macarons, gnocchi and more – yum!

Shrimp Dish at Kitchen 919

5. Tasting /Chef’s Table

Maybe you’ve decided you’d rather let someone else do the cooking.  Try a chef’s table!  Several Knoxville restaurants have private dining options, select tasting menus, or the opportunity to watch the chef do their thing.  J.C. Holdway has an open kitchen design, enjoy seeing the middle part of farm to table.  Lonesome Dove has a chef’s table, and Kitchen 919 has a small speakeasy - perfect if you want to bring some friends along for some double or triple dates.

6. Knoxville Opera

Since you’re going out for dinner, you have to have some entertainment as well.  Might we suggest the opera?  The dramatic affair of Romeo & Juliet just so happens to be playing this year!  It’s the perfect opportunity to get dolled up and have an elegant evening out.  But no need to be too fancy, here are some tips about the opera if you haven’t been.

Knoxville Opera Woman Looking at Man Through Bannister

7. Jazz & Wine {or beer}

There’s something about the loungy sounds of jazz with a drink in hand to swirl around.  Casual, yet sophisticated, this romantic idea will transport you to an enchanted evening where the music does the talking.  For the wine aficionados give Double S Wine Bar on Thursdays, and for the beer enthusiasts head to Elkmont on Fridays to hear Frog & Toad.  If an evening out doesn’t work with your schedule but you’d like to hear some tunes, check out this page; several restaurants in Knoxville do a delicious jazz brunch.

8. Coffee Cupping

You’ll need some energy for the next two suggestions – so get caffeinated with a coffee cupping!  What is a coffee cupping you might ask?  A coffee cupping is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee.  Here’s a video of what it looks like, and a few of Knoxville’s local coffee houses host these events including Vienna Coffee Co. and K Brew.

9. Hike House Mountain

Maybe you would prefer a bit more action on a date.  In the winter it’s too cold to have a cute picnic lunch at the botanical garden, but you can still the blood flowing with a brisk hike up House Mountain.  Inhale crisp air as you find yourselves likely solo on the trail.  This idea really works anytime of year and is another freebie!

Dancing Laurel Theatre People Dancing

10. Dancing at the Laurel Theater

If you + winter/cold weather don’t get along but still want to move, how about some dancing at Laurel Theater?  They host several kinds of open dance nights, including Cajun, Contra, Swing, and even Scandinavian.  No experience necessary, so get out there and shake your groove thing!

Hope you’re feeling the love in the air, something for every type of romantic out there!