Parents’ Night Out

I am a planner. I know about all of the fun events in this city of ours before they happen and I know all of the hot spots… for toddlers. I can plan the best kid’s night out in a heartbeat but one for parents? Well, this required some research. I used to be in the know but then… kids. In an effort to explore all Southwest Ohio has to offer us parents, I excitedly accepted this mission to find the best places for a parents’ night out in Cincinnati AND Dayton (And started calling babysitters!)

As parents, when you finally get a night (or an afternoon!) out, you’ll probably be in the mood for something specific. So, I’ve broken it down for you, depending on what you and your significant other feel like doing. (My last date night with my husband involved buying sheets at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but don’t worry — I didn’t include that in the list!) Hopefully this list inspires you to try something new and get out for some much needed — and deserved — adult only time.

Enjoy a parents’ night out!


If you’re feeling adventurous…  

Perhaps you’d like to feel your heart racing for a reason other than a ruined shirt thanks to spilled grape juice. If so, sign up for a zip-lining course at one of the many locations around Ohio. You can zipline year round, weather permitting, and it’s a great way to take your mind off of the stresses of parenthood!

If you’re feeling outdoorsy

Since our son was born three and a half years ago, my husband and I have talked about a day date of canoeing. It hasn’t happened yet, but there’s still time this year! Morgan’s Canoe Rental still has runs in September and October, just call ahead. It’s peaceful, quiet and will give you plenty of time to talk about your kids!

If you’re feeling artistic

If you haven’t tried the phenomenon that is painting + drinks + socializing, plan a visit to Not Your Average “Paint and Sip” Class (Cincinnati) for your next night out. From the subject matter to be painted to the adult beverage service and playlist, this experience is about your group having a unique and personalized event by focusing on your specifics. For our Dayton parents, check out Sip & Dipity Paint Bar. Their calendar is full of fun themed events all while making sure you have your “Liquid Confidence”.

If you’re feeling hungry

This is a tough one and can be overwhelming! Since most parents have limited days/nights out, I came up with a solution! If you don’t have an entire day, just pick one or two to try! Here we go…

A day of eating in Cincinnati! First, stop at Holtman’s Donut Shop for a fresh donut. Nearby (in OTR) Coffee Emporium has your caffeine fix; just expect lines at both places. If you prefer a sit down breakfast, have a waffle at Taste of Belgium. If you’re already in OTR, head over to Findlay Market for a bit. If you’re in Loveland, walk off that donut on the Loveland Bike Trail.

For lunch with a view, drive west to the Incline Public House. I highly recommend the Short Rib Poutine. Don’t forget to get a selfie of your rare “parent’s day out,” with the Cincy skyline as the backdrop. Next up, head back to OTR for dinner at Salazar. When I asked for recommendations on a new dinner spot, this was the overwhelming winner. For a little romance, check out Sotto for dessert. You may be in a food coma, but it’ll be worth it. End your day with a drink at the Cocktail Terrace at 21C. You can take in the view of our city and start planning your next date night.

A day of eating in Dayton! Start the day off sweet with Duck Donuts for a quick breakfast. If you would rather sit down, try 416 Diner, who serves delicious breakfast foods all day long. Walk off that breakfast on the Canal or head to Riverscape to enjoy an urban retreat.

For lunch, enjoy Carillon Historical Park without the kids at Carillon Brewing Co. You can enjoy the company and a tasty beverage all while taking in the peaceful scenery. Oh, and the food is absolutely amazing! Make dinner a romantic get away and head over to Coco’s Bistro. Their gorgeous covered patio and delicious food is a great way to relax and unwind. Still have room for dessert? Twist Cupcakery can help with that!

If you’re feeling lazy

It’s a rare treat as a parent to enjoy a movie from start to finish! The CMX Liberty 15 (formerly Cobb) in Liberty Township will spoil you with the reclining seats and delicious food.  And you won’t even need to see a “G-rated” movie!

If you’re feeling competitive

Last but not least… a break from Candyland and Go Fish! The Rook in OTR is filled with games that you are free to enjoy. Or head over to DK Effect in Dayton where you can play more than 60 arcade games and enjoy 40 craft veers on tap! Just make sure you order some food and a beverage and spend your day or night out keeping tally of who wins the most of whatever you decide to play! 


No matter what you decide to do on your day or night out, it’s nice to know that southwest Ohio is filled with fun.

Now go call Grandma and plan away!

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