20 Fun Date Ideas in Riverside, CA

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A view over a city with grass, buildings, and greenery-covered hills
Riverside has many fun places to go on a date with your loved one

Riverside is a Californian city located in the Inland Empire region. It's a unique and exciting but often overlooked destination, with many things to do for all visitors, including couples.

Couples visiting the city, or living there, can discover many date activities to enjoy. Just a few fun date ideas in Riverside, CA, include hiking in Mount Rubidoux Park, dining at Le Chat Noir, and relaxing at Mission Inn Hotel & Spa. To learn more about all the things for couples to do in and around Riverside, keep reading!

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20 Riverside Date Ideas

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Things to Do in Riverside for Couples

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A small building with a sign that says "California Citrus State Historic Park"
California Citrus State Historic Park covers the history of CA's citrus industry

Visit California Citrus State Historic Park

California Citrus State Historic Park is an Inland Empire landmark and an interesting place to visit with your date. This open-air museum covers the history of the citrus fruit industry in the area and California as a whole.

You can wander around on your own or opt for an informative guided tour. You'll also get to walk through citrus fruit groves, and there's an indoor center with exhibits.

Hike in Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

You can discover a lot of green space around Riverside, like Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park. Couples that like exploring the outdoors must visit the outdoor attraction at least once to hike trails and take in the views.

You'll also get to spot wildlife, including many bird species. If you want to learn more about the plants and wildlife in the area, you can join a guided nature hike, generally held on the first Saturday of the month.

Play miniature golf at GLO Mini Golf

Do you want to plan a fun but laid-back date? Then going to GLO Mini Golf is a great idea! This indoor venue has a glow-in-the-dark miniature golf course with 27 holes. You can even play wearing IMAX glasses for a 3D experience.

Mini golf isn't the only activity to enjoy here, though. You and your partner can also play arcade or virtual reality games and try to break free from an escape room. To avoid crowds, planning an evening date here is recommended; however, the venue opens late in the morning if you want to go during the day.

A wall with a "March Field Air Museum" sign next to a rocket, helicopter, and flags
March Field Air Museum is a fascinating place to go on a date in Riverside

Look around March Field Air Museum

One of the interesting attractions to visit together in Riverside is the March Field Air Museum. The museum sits next to March Air Reserve Base and has exhibits on aviation history.

You can also see restored airplanes, including many military airplanes. So whether you're interested in aviation or are just looking for different places to visit, you're sure to learn new things while looking around the March Field Air Museum.

Bike along the Santa Ana River Trail

The Santa Ana River Trail is a 30-mile trail in Southern California that stretches from Huntington Beach to the Orange–Riverside county line. You can access the trail from various places in Riverside to bike or walk along it with your date. You can follow as much or as little of the trail as you want and will be rewarded with fantastic views no matter how far you go.

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A section of a mini golf course next to grass and palm trees
Castle Park has many fun amusements, like a mini golf course

Have a fun day out at Castle Park

If you and your partner want to feel like kids again, plan a date at Castle Park! The amusement park has lots of fun rides and rollercoasters to enjoy.

There's also an arcade and a mini golf course. Between checking out the amusements, you can grab funfair snacks, like soft pretzels and funnel cake. You may even get to see Kevin, the park's resident peacock!

Admire artwork at the Riverside Art Museum

Riverside has some excellent museums to visit with your partner, like the Riverside Art Museum. Located in Downtown Riverside, the museum has a collection of around 2,000 works, with temporary exhibits also on display.

Many of the artworks are not only amazing in style but also address social issues. If you and your date get inspired, you can even take art classes at Riverside Art Museum.

A path leading to a mountain peak with a US flag on it and greenery below
Mount Rubidoux Park offers stunning views over Riverside

Enjoy the outdoors at Mount Rubidoux Park

Mount Rubidoux Park is one of the best places to enjoy the fresh air with your date. You could go for a jog together here or just take a leisurely stroll around the mountainside park, taking in the views. As you explore, you'll get to see some landmarks, like the park's large cross at the mountain summit and the Peace Bridge.

Watch a movie at the Van Buren Drive-In Theater

The Van-Buren Drive-In Theater is a much-loved Riverside location, having been in the city since 1964. It's also the ideal place for a cute movie date night! You can catch all the new releases at the drive-in, as well as some independent films.

There's also a swap meet held here most days of the week, including on the weekend, during the morning and afternoon. It's a cool place to shop around with your partner before your film begins.

Go to Riverside Metropolitan Museum

The Riverside Museum is another attraction to visit if you want to learn more about the city. It has various exhibits relating to the history and culture of the area.

Topics covered range from natural history and the culture and history of Indigenous tribes to significant Riverside events in the last century. Along with visiting the main museum, you can tour two historical houses, Heritage House and Harada House.

Romantic Things to Do in Riverside, CA

Walking around UCR Botanical Gardens is one of many date ideas in Riverside, CA
Going to UCR Botanical Gardens is one of the best date ideas in Riverside, CA

Wander around the UCR Botanical Gardens

The UC Riverside Botanic Gardens are definitely one of the most romantic places in Riverside, CA, to go on a daytime date. At the 40-acre garden, you can wander along various trails that will take you past beautiful plants and flowers.

Themed gardens to explore include a butterfly garden with flowers that the insects love, a rose garden, and a subtropical fruit orchard, among many other areas. There's even a turtle pond, and you can attend events together at the gardens, like art classes and bird-watching walks.

🏨 Accommodation nearby UC Riverside Botanic Gardens

Share brunch at Lobby

Lobby is a stylish bar and restaurant that has creative drinks and great happy hour offers. While just stopping by for drinks is fun, having a romantic brunch at the eatery is also a great idea.

Brunch dishes include French toast with caramelized bananas, avocado toast, or a vegan brunch burger. You can't miss trying a brunch cocktail either, with options like a mimosa flight or cinnamon toast crunch cereal cocktail available.

🏨 Accommodations near The Lobby

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The front of a hotel with a "Mission Inn Hotel & Spa" sign next to plants and a path
Mission Inn Hotel & Spa is the ideal place to go for a romantic couples getaway

Have a relaxing stay at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa

Are you visiting the city? If so, one of the most romantic things to do in Riverside for couples is booking a stay at the Mission Inn Hotel & Spa.

The beautiful four-star hotel has impressive architecture and design elements and opulent rooms. Amenities to enjoy include multiple bars and restaurants, plus an outdoor dining terrace and a swimming pool.

As the name suggests, there's also an on-site spa. You and your other half can unwind with treatments like massages, facials, and body scrubs. A couples spa package is also available.

Dine at Le Chat Noir

If you're planning a dinner date, there are many excellent eateries to choose from in the city. One of the best options for a romantic dinner is Le Chat Noir.

The restaurant serves high-end classic French dishes and has an extensive wine list. To finish your meal, you can indulge in desserts like mousse au chocolat or crème brûlée.

A large tree on the shore next to a lake
Fairmount Park is a beautiful place for a romantic walk and a picnic

Have a picnic at Fairmount Park

Fairmount Park is one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces in Riverside and the ideal place for a romantic picnic. Covering 250 acres, the attraction has lots of grassy areas to relax on and enjoy a picnic with your partner. You can then go for a walk along trails and wander around the tranquil lake.

You can also find some paths that go along the Santa Ana River, and you can take pedal boats out on the lake. Interestingly, this park was designed by Olmsted and Olmstead, which was owned by the sons of Central Park's designer, Frederick Law Olmsted.

Riverside Date Night Ideas

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A white stone building with a tower and a sign that says "Riverside" next to a road
You can see concerts, comedy shows, and more at the Fox Performing Arts Center

See a concert at the Fox Performing Arts Center

One of the best date night ideas in Riverside, CA, for couples that love music, is going to a concert at the Fox Performing Arts Center. Opened in 1929, the venue remains a popular place for a great night out in the city and hosts various musical acts.

If you don't want to go to a concert, no problem! Fox Performing Arts Center also has comedy shows and theater productions.

🏨 Stay nearby the Fox Performing Arts Center

Sip local wine at Canyon Crest Winery

California is known for its wine production, and a great place to try some of these wines with your date is at Canyon Crest Winery. You can start by doing a tasting of three or five wines before ordering a glass of your favorite or a bottle to share.

Events are sometimes held at the winery as well, like paint-n-sip sessions, and be sure to purchase a bottle or two of wine to take with you and enjoy on your next at-home date night!

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A sign that says "Food Lab" next to a white building with a "Monty's" sign
Food Lab houses vendors selling many types of dishes and cuisines

Check out Riverside Food Lab

Riverside Food Lab is an ideal spot for a date night in Riverside, CA. At the indoor food market, you'll find an array of vendors serving ready-to-eat dishes. Things on offer include gourmet burgers, sushi, ramen, and much more. After sharing savory dishes, you can also pick up dessert, and there are bars on-site as well.

Things to Do Near Riverside, California, for Couples

A water fountain next to a building with a tall tower and palm trees
Los Angeles is one of the best weekend getaway destinations near Riverside

Plan a trip to Los Angeles

Los Angeles is only about an hour and a half from Riverside. So if you and your partner want to do something outside the city, planning a trip to the world-renowned destination is a must.

You'll find an array of fun things for couples to do in LA, from getting flowers at the Original Los Angeles Flower Market to visiting The Getty or seeing a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, such as a show by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. You could also go on one of many Los Angeles tours and excursions.

🏨 Place to stay close to Los Angeles

Spend some time in Long Beach

If you're looking for another weekend trip destination from Riverside, add Long Beach to your must-visit list! Located an hour and a half to two hours away, the coastal city has many attractions.

Couples activities in Long Beach include shopping at the Long Beach Antique Market, going to Rainbow Lagoon Park, and strolling around the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Gardens. You could also book a unique Long Beach tour, like taking a helicopter tour over the city and nearby Los Angeles.

🏨 Nearest accommodations to Long Beach

In Conclusion

If you've been looking for fun date activities in Riverside, this list should have given you lots of ideas. There are even great couples trip destinations near the city to check out, like Los Angeles and Long Beach. No matter what you do in and around Riverside, you and your partner are guranteed to have a great time!

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Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell FORMER WRITER Currently based in Canada, Alli has also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and traveled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. She loves finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever she goes.

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