CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — If you’re looking for unique and exciting party ideas, the cities of Charleston and Huntington have plenty to offer. From an arcade to a theme park to a rose garden and more, here are 10 date ideas in the Charleston-Huntington area of West Virginia!
1. Axes and beers
“Eat, drink, play…repeat” is the motto of Axes & Ales in downtown Charleston. At Axes & Ales, there are five rental courts where you can throw axes down the bullseye and sample craft beer, wine, and canned and bottled beer. Pitchers can also order from the Lucky Dill Deli and eat while playing Axes & Ales.
Each rental is $50 for one hour. The courts can accommodate up to four people, so you can even plan a double date with friends.
Axes & Ales and The Lucky Dill Deli are located at 122 Capitol St. in the heart of downtown Charleston. Pitchers must be 18 years of age or older. For more information, visit the Axes & Ales FAQ webpage.
2. Old north arcade
You can enjoy games, booze, and food at the Old North Arcade in Huntington. Old North Arcade offers a selection of retro arcade and console games, as well as pinball, air hockey, Dance Dance Revolution, skeeball, bubble hockey, life-size Jenga and cornhole. You can play for free if you drink, and deep pizza is available at Square Slice Pizzeria.
The Old North Arcade is a great place to go if you and your date are on the competitive side. Challenge your partner to a game, and whoever loses buys the other person a drink.
Old North Arcade is located at 16 Pullman Square in Huntington. The place is reserved for people aged 21 and over (ID required). Children are allowed under adult supervision until 8 p.m. For more information, visit the About Old North Arcade webpage.
3. Mountain stage
Mountain Stage is recorded in front of a live audience with performances from legends and up-and-coming artists. Genres include folk, blues, country, indie rock, synth-pop, alternative and more. The weekly two-hour show is hosted by Kathy Mattea, produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and distributed by NPR Music.
If you and your date are looking for an evening full of local entertainment, southern charm, and Appalachian culture, then Mountain Stage is a great choice.
Mountain Stage is most often held at the Culture Center Theater at 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East in Charleston, but is occasionally performed in other locations. To learn more about upcoming shows or to purchase tickets, click here.
4. Camden Park
Camden Park in Huntington is a West Virginia classic and a fun and exciting place for you and your date to enjoy attractions, rides, games and food. Swan Lake paddle boats are a great option for sitting and chatting with your partner as you both paddle around the pond. Other fun options for a date include mini golf, the Skyliner zip line, train rides, the haunted house, and the Big Dipper roller coaster.
You can end your date in Camden Park with traditional carnival food at the Midway or a sit-down meal at the West Virginia Grille.
Camden Park is located at 5000 Waverly Road in Huntington. To avoid queues at the box office, you can pre-purchase tickets here.
5. Live on the Levee (summer only)
Live on the Levee is a free summer concert series featuring West Virginia musicians and sometimes nationally known entertainers. From late May to early September, the concert takes place every Friday on the Schoenbaum Stage at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston. The city is closing part of Kanawha Boulevard in front of the park to ensure pedestrian safety. There are plenty of food and drink vendors to choose from in the closed part of the boulevard during the concert.
Live on the Levee can be a fun date, with food, music, dancing and more! The place also accepts pets.
Haddad Riverfront Park in downtown Charleston is located in the 600 block of Kanawha Boulevard, directly across from the Four Points by Sheraton hotel. To learn more about Live on the Levee, click here to view the FAQ page.
6. Strike Zone Bowling Center
Strike Zone Bowling in Huntington calls itself the “original home of intergalactic bowling”. The installation transforms into a glow-in-the-dark experience with music, colorful flashing lights and large screens playing music videos. On Fridays and Saturdays, the center is open until midnight! The snack bar offers dishes such as fries, pizza, nachos, burgers, etc.
If you want a late night bowling date, then Strike Zone Bowling Center might be the place for you!
Strike Zone Bowling is located at 141 Eastern Heights Shopping Center in Huntington. Click here for prices, schedules and contact details of the centre.
7. Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream
Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream is a downtown Charleston treasure that’s been open for over 20 years. In addition to ice cream, Ellen’s offers pastries, tea, coffee, and lunch items.
Located on Capitol Street, Ellen’s is the perfect place for you and your date to grab some dessert after eating at one of the many nearby restaurants. Since ice cream is a portable dessert, you and your date can enjoy the frozen treat on a nice evening stroll through downtown. Or head to the nearby Slack Plaza where there is a wall of flowers, swings, chairs and tables, all lit up with fairy lights in the evening.
Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream is located at 225 Capitol St. in Charleston. Click on the following links to see the menu or the 14 flavors of ice cream offered by Ellen’s.
8. Landing stage of the first quay
Dinner, drinks, music and great views… over the river! Pier One Landing is a floating restaurant and bar moored just off the shore of the Ohio River. Pier One serves appetizers, fish, pasta dishes, soups, salads and more. They offer outdoor seating where you can see the East Huntington Bridge that crosses Proctorville, Ohio.
You can chat with your date while dining along the flowing waters of the Ohio River. Pier One also hosts concerts and a Murder Mystery dinner theater. For more event information, visit the Pier One Landing Facebook page.
Pier One Landing is located at 92 Buffington St. in Huntington.
9. Sunrise Carriage Trail
In 1905, West Virginia Governor William A. MacCorkle led the construction of his estate, the Sunrise Mansion, on a 16-acre wooded property in the South Hills of Charleston. The Sunrise Carriage Trail was built next to the mansion. Throughout the year, the Governor frequently traveled the Carriage Trail to Charleston. Today, the Carriage Trail is maintained by the City of Charleston.
The 15-foot-wide trail zigzags for 0.65 miles through a forest of wildflowers, towering trees, ornamental plants, and historic stonework. The history, beauty and tranquility of the Carriage Trail are the perfect elements for an evening stroll.
The trail can be accessed at the lower end from a point just past the south side bridge end and under Bridge Road. The trail can also be entered at the upper end of Sunrise Mansion, located at 746 Myrtle Road in Charleston. The trail entrance is on the left side of the mansion. See a map here.
10. Ritter Park Rose Garden
The Ritter Park Rose Garden in Huntington has been repeatedly voted one of the best rose gardens in the country. It features more than 3000 roses. The flowers usually reach their full bloom from late May to mid-June.
With the beauty of the rose garden, it is the perfect place for a romantic walk or a picnic among the flowers.
Ritter Park is located at 1340 Eighth St. in Huntington. The rose garden is open until nightfall. For more information, visit the Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District website.
Bonus: artistic walk in the city center
ArtWalk in Charleston is a free, self-guided tour of downtown shops, galleries, and businesses showcasing local art and performances. The event is filled with art, fashion, crafts and antiques. Shops on Quarrier, Lee, Capitol, Summers and Hale streets host concerts and display paintings, sculptures and photographs.
You and your date can walk around, in and out of shops, and stop to eat at one of the many great restaurants in downtown Charleston.
ArtWalk takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month from March to December. During the event, participating businesses extend their opening hours for shopping and mingling. For more information, visit the ArtWalk website.