Ah, Valentine’s Day. Can’t you just smell the vaguely rose-scented corporate stink in the air? Despite our general cynical outlook on this “holiday,” let’s not forget that going out on a date with somebody you enjoy being around is a genuinely nice experience. And by “going out on a date,” I don’t mean scanning for his or her full naan sandwich at the Marketplace. There are countless fun, inexpensive romantic activities for you to do right here in Binghamton. Here are some of our top date night ideas:
What can be a finer combination than wine and art? This cool art loft studio on 205 State St. puts a creative spin on an evening out. Even if you and your date have never painted before, the local artists at Uncorked Creations guide each evening class with easy-to-follow instructions on how to create the featured piece. And the best part is? You can bring your favorite wine to sip on as your paint! Romantic and classy. Adult classes start at $35 per person with all art supplies included. Seating is limited, so make sure to reserve seats in advance.
Galaxy Brewery Co. and Roberson Museum and Science Center
Is your date a science major or just a major science nerd? Why not take him or her to Galaxy Brewery Co., an “out of this world” craft brewery/restaurant on Court Street? You can talk astrology over Andromeda IPAs and geek out over the galactic decor. Afterward, you can head over to 30 Front St. and visit the Roberson Museum and Science Center to check out their Digital Planetarium. Admission is only $4 for students.
River Walk Trail and Brewed Awakenings Cafe
There are some beautiful views from the River Walk Trail Downtown, which follows along the Chenango and Susquehanna Rivers. The trail starts at Conklin Avenue and travels over the Susquehanna River via an iron pedestrian bridge. Head left to Confluence Park, which offers a scenic view of the merging rivers and the mountains. Follow the promenade north along the Chenango River all the way up to Court Street. After the scenic walk, head down Hawley Street to Brewed Awakenings to warm up with hot chocolate and split one of their gigantic chocolate chip muffins.
The Forum Theatre
For lovers of drama, opera, classical music and the performing arts, the historic Broome County Forum Theatre is the ideal date night destination. The theater, located at 236 Washington St., is home to Broadway in Binghamton, the Tri-Cities Opera and the Binghamton Philharmonic.
Laveggio Roasteria and Phelps Mansion Museum
If your date is a serious coffee fanatic, Laveggio Roasteria on 101 Court St. is the perfect place to grab a cup. Each “ethically sourced” batch is hand-roasted in the artisan tradition, right in front of you. This is the furthest thing from Starbucks, and the coffee is downright incredible. Your date will thank you. After coffee, head down to 191 Court St. and visit the Phelps Mansion Museum, where you can get a walking tour through the gorgeous three-story Victorian mansion for only $5.
Ice hockey at the Broome County Arena
For a more casual, sporty date night, you can purchase tickets to a Binghamton Senators ice hockey game for around $20 a pop. The arena is directly across from the Downtown Center if you don’t have a car. Sometimes there’s nothing more fun and romantic than sitting back with your date, a cold beer and some greasy French fries and watching hockey players beat the crap out of each other.
Cyber Cafe West and The Bundy Museum
If your date is an alternative-type dude/chick, you have to take them to Cyber Cafe West. The artsy coffeehouse at 176 Main St. is known for its great food, quirky decor, huge drink selection and live music on weekends. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu, so there’s no stress if you and your date have different dietary habits. Their famed giant chocolate chip cookies make for a great shared dessert. Within walking distance of Cyber Cafe is the Bundy Museum on 129 Main St., which has a number of weird and interesting exhibits, including a “Picasso Meets Africa” gallery and a complete antique barbershop. Admission is just $5 for students.
So get out there and get dating! Don’t let us catch you having a romantic dinner over Sodexo. It’s just sad.