10 Watertown, NY Date Night Ideas

(that don’t involve going to a bar.)

Just because I’m a wedding photographer doesn’t mean I don’t help my couples think up amazing experiences for enjoyment. So that got me thinking… I could absolutely help couples explore truly fun Watertown, NY date night ideas! I’m always full of ideas that I want to share with couples. Especially when it comes to helping others enjoy the north country as much as I do.

If you’re looking for a few date night ideas to enjoy the north country with your beau, I’ve gotchu! While the greater Watertown area is remote compared to Syracuse or Albany, there is no shortage of fun. Grab your partner and get ready for exploring the north country. Help support amazing local businesses from restaurants to white water rafting, and exploring the outdoor beauty of the area. (You don’t have to decide to have a date night outside the home—you can always opt for an at-home session like Erica + Chad did!)

Pizza + Games

If you’re not one for going out and about, I don’t blame you! Take a night and play some board games and order in some handmade pizza! (Just not Monopoly, unless of course you’re super competitive like that.) Order your favorite pizza from Carson’s Pizzeria + Bar and play a board game like Settlers of Catan, Wingspan, or even Dark Souls: The Board Game. You may end up making it a weekly event to keep unraveling the story of the game! Consider having a double date night with a couple you’re close friends with and start up a new tradition.

Thrifting + Second Hand Shopping

For fans of sustainability and treasure hunting, make sure to check out all the thrift and second hand shops. Thrifted is known for its amazing clothing selection and vintage décor finds. Whereas the State Street Market is a flea market style hub of all kinds of vintage, rare, and niche finds. You could give each other a budget, and then create the best outfit within that budget. You can also find or create a thrifting bingo card beforehand to make the excursion even more fun.

Breakfast or Brunch at Empire Square

Legit, some of the best avocado toast I’ve had on the East Coast. (Judge me all you want but I love avocado toast.) Empire Square is a new restaurant to open in Watertown, NY and it is absolutely worth checking out. The décor is an interesting mix of vintage and contemporary. The food is described as “southern fusion” where you can get a banging breakfast of chicken and waffles. They also do have a full bar so if you feel like enjoying a cocktail, you absolutely can.

Take a Stroll on a Trail

There are so many walking trails that can be found throughout Watertown, NY. Taking the time to adventure around them is never a bad thing. You’re going to find scenic and tranquil views ranging from the city scape to the Black River that runs through. The trails through Thompson Park are generally well trafficked and there area number of biking trails as well. State curated trails, like the Black River Trail takes you along the river near the northeast side of town.

Help Out the SPCA for a Day

If you and your partner are huge animal lovers, you could always check out helping out the local SPCA for a day. Donate your time to walk the dogs or cuddle the kittehs together. You do have to go through training first to become familiar with the process used by the SPCA. Once that’s complete, you’re on their volunteer list and can help out when you have the time. While this option does require some prerequisite efforts, there’s nothing like that feeling of contributing toward enriching an animal’s life even if it’s only via cuddles.


Yep. I said it. Get yourself one of those galaxy projector lights (I have this exact one), grab your partner, and build the most bougie pillow and blanket fort in your living room. Place the projector inside (a white sheet works best) and vibe with the light show. You can fill it with pillows to create the ultimate lounge space. Spend time reading, scrolling TikTok, or playing Pokémon together. The options are endless, and you’ll be in a super cool fort.

Visit Fibonacci Art Gallery

Located right in the heart of downtown Watertown, NY, the Fibonacci Art Gallery is an excellent place to scope out talented local artists. You should bring home a piece of their work. Their hours are limited and often impacted by inclement weather. So just make sure to double check on their website and their socials for the most accurate hours.

White Water Rafting

Limited to the warmer months, as white water rafting in the winter is not suggested, obviously. For an intense and fun experience, the Black River is a great place to go white water rafting. A few business in the city will set you up with a certified guide to ensure that you have fun safely: Adirondack River Outfitters, Black River Outfitters, and Whitewater Challengers.

Library Book Exchange

Head over to the Flower Memorial Library and browse the selection of books together. You can also set a genre preference for one another and suggest books to check out and read. The library also hosts a slew of events each month that you could potentially participate in for your date night.

Take a Tour of the 1000 Islands

In the summer, venture northeast to find yourself in one of several historic towns such as Cape Vincent, Clayton, and Alexandria Bay. Both Clayton and Alexandria Bay offer tours of the 1000 Islands area, with ferries to Boldt Castle. But you can only visit the Castle during the spring and summer months.

Regardless of the time of year, there’s no shortage of awesome adventures around the Greater Watertown, NY area. From super outdoorsy, to a relaxing time in an aesthetic environment. I hope that this list has helped inspire you to start planning your next adventure with your favorite adventure partner!


Let's adventure