Date Night Activities Around Fort Riley

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There's a lot to be said for dinner and a movie. I myself am a huge fan when I manage to stay awake past 2100 (9 pm for you non-military folk), which let's be honest, is rare. I'm the most exciting boring person you know. But I digress...if you're looking for a fun date night that will make him/her think...whoa, my date's not as boring as I thought he was...then please, keep reading.

1. Locked Manhattan

And here you were thinking that Ft. Riley is boring and in the middle of nowhere. Boom! You were wrong. Locked Manhattan is an escape room...oh, what's an escape room? Pretty much the coolest idea ever where you and your date (I recommend this one for a group date) are locked in a room for 1 hour and have to solve puzzles and riddles and put together clues in order to break out of said room.  Not only is Locked perfect for a date night, but it's also great for team-building events. I brought my section here on multiple occasions to different rooms (they set up different escape rooms with different themes every couple of months) and it is hands down the most fun we've had since being at Ft. Riley.

Right and Up Tip: Grab a martini (or two) at Della Voce around the corner before going. Always good to get those brain juices flowing for puzzle solving.

2. Manhattan Arts Center

After a nice meal, whip out those tickets you bought to one of the MAC's many main-stage or second-stage performances ...whoa, my date's really got it together...You will be pleasantly surprised with the level of performance and overall theatrics of their productions, and your date will be pleasantly surprised that you aren't the big bag of rocks they thought you were at the beginning of the date.

Right and Up Tip: Tickets sell out quickly, so plan ahead!

3. B&B Theaters in Junction City

For all you old school date-nighters out there who refuse to change it up, I'm throwing in this movie theater option. Don't say I never did anything for you. If you're gonna go for a movie, you must, I repeat, MUST, go to this theater. Let me break it down for you: reserve your seats ahead of time...your leather....reclining....love seats. Oh yea people, I did not stutter. They're amazing! A little on the pricey side for tickets, but every bit of it is worth it, if only because those meddling kids (Scooby Doo reference!) who throw wet gummy bears at the screen and kick your seat incessantly can't afford to go there with their meddling-kid friends! But seriously, the service is great and the theater is clean and you get to snuggle up to your date on a reclining leather loveseat that you reserved ahead of time cuz you planned....cuz you're a grown up...whoa, my date's really got it together.

Right and Up Tip: Make sure when you reserve your seat that you're not reserving the right side of a loveseat and a single-seat chair next to it. Did this a few times and almost had to snuggle with some random middle-aged dude who chose the left side of the loveseat. Who does that?

4. Straight Upp Creative Studio

So this one will make the old lady smile. Straight Upp Creative Studio holds a weekly Cork & Canvas event on Wednesday evenings. Bring that bottle of wine you picked up on your way home from work (cuz you planned ahead, remember?), the one with the name you can't pronounce cuz you're Infantry. OMG! JK! You're right, that joke is so old. Anyways, jeez, bring that wine and yer old lady and have a grand old time painting and drinking. Don't forget to take an Uber there and back...whoa, did she say Uber?...why yes, yes I did. The Ft. Riley area has Uber!

Right and Up Tip: Don't forget Varsity Donuts is right around the corner! Grab something sweet on your way home :)

5. Liquid Art Winery

Ok, now this one will blow the socks off your date! Liquid Art Winery is located in Manhattan and is a full service vineyard and estate. Their tasting room is now open to the public where you can bring your date and do either a wine or hard cider tasting...not sure why I said "or" because I definitely meant "and". Not only is wine tasting fun but it's classy! And the good Lord knows you need a dose of that...

Right and Up Tip: At the time of this article's publication, the winery's tasting hours are from noon-8 pm on Friday and Saturday (typical date night days) but they are open on other days as well. Go wine tasting in the early evening, watch the sunset at the vineyard and then take your date to a nice restaurant! Check out our Best Restaurants article for suggestions.

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about the author

Riley is an active duty US Army Captain and the Founder of Right and Up. She’s currently stationed in Washington, DC, with previous assignments at Fort Huachuca, Fort Bliss, Fort Riley and Fort Benning. You can typically find her eating embarrassingly large amounts of food in local restaurants, or exploring her military town with her husband, Sean and her dog, Gus. Connect with her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!