The Short Version: Newark may be home to a large college — the University of Delaware has over 18,000 undergraduates enrolled — but it has maintained a small-town feel that creates a rich atmosphere for couples going out together. From its community theater to its natural parks, the city has a lot of varied date activities to enjoy with someone special. Wherever you are, you’re sure to find romance. You can share wine and appetizers at an upscale restaurant downtown or picnic on affordable homemade snacks beside a bubbling brook. We’ve highlighted our favorite date spots in Newark to give couples ideas when planning a special night (or day) out on the town.
According to the 2010 US Census, Newark has a total population of 31,454 residents, and the median age is 22. That’s really young for a regular city, but pretty typical for a college town. The University of Delaware ensures that young people continuously flock to Newark — nearly 16,000 undergrads and 3,600 grad students working on their degrees call the city home.
That youthful and diverse atmosphere makes Newark ideal for singles seeking a date. Whether you enjoy picnicking at a public park or enjoying a night at the bar, you have many flirtatious opportunities to make a memory with someone special here.
Megan MeGuriman, who is the Community Affairs Officer in Newark, told us the city is a hub of dating activity, and you don’t have to look very far to find romance.
“There are thousands of young adults in the city,” Megan said, “and they’re always looking for a fun date spot downtown.”
Eateries Downtown Serve Couples Good Food & Good Times
Going out to eat is a pretty standard date activity, and it can start to feel stale if you continually go to the same restaurant again and again. Fortunately, Newark has many different restaurants to choose from, so you can always find a tapas place, ale house, or some other hole-in-the-wall restaurant to mix things up.
“Pretty much anything you’re looking for on a date, we have it,” Megan told us. “Everything from your typical pizzeria to a high-end steakhouse.”
The Olé Tapas Lounge, on Capitol Trail, has a charming atmosphere with dim lighting to set the mood on any date. Since 2008, this family-run restaurant has served steaming-hot paella, spicy chorizo, and other mouth-watering dishes. The authentic Spanish cuisine and live musical performances keep people coming back for more. You can share little plates with your date to make a special memory at a one-of-a-kind restaurant.
Located on Main Street, Caffé Gelato is another classy place to take a date. Whether you’re sitting at the bar or on the patio, you can clink glasses over gourmet Mediterranean and Italian dishes. Just remember to save room for gelato.
On March 25, the city will host a Wine & Dine event for residents who are looking for a tasty night out. The special event will begin at noon and include more than a dozen restaurants in the downtown area. Each participating restaurant has created a special menu featuring its culinary creations and offering fine wines at a discounted price. The first 2,000 attendees will receive a complimentary wine tasting glass. You don’t need to buy tickets ahead of time — just show up with a big appetite.
You can spend all day wandering from wine bars to eateries in Newark and bond with your date while sampling delicious bites and sumptuous wines.
Neighborhood Players & Artsy Groups Add Culture to Date Nights
Operating in the heart of downtown, the Newark Arts Alliance holds ongoing exhibitions to give a voice to talented local artists. The organization’s public events, which include hands-on art classes, would make for a fun date night, and it would be a great way to support the arts. From practicing poetry to jamming out in a drum circle, this creative society has so much to entertain and inspire couples on a date.
On Feb. 10, the Newark Arts Alliance is hosting a not-to-be-missed night of romance. Art of Dessert combines culinary expertise and local artistry to give couples (and singles) a fun and unique way to celebrate together. Attendees will sample a variety of desserts from local restaurants and vote on their favorites.
Couples can use art to start a conversation and learn about each other’s perspectives on life at the Newark Art Alliance’s engaging exhibitions held throughout the year.
If you love the theater, Newark’s thriving thespian community will be right up your alley. The Chapel Street Players, a neighborhood theater company, packs in the crowds on opening nights all year round. These shows are a budget-friendly way to make your nights out more enjoyable and interesting. Ticket prices range from $5 for students to $18 for adults.
“It’s very accessible and very affordable,” said Linda Majewski, Executive Director of the Newark Arts Alliance. “It gives you something to talk about and something to do, and, by attending these events, people are actually supporting the artists themselves.”
Get Active Together at State Parks & Nature Trails
Newark has plenty of green spaces where daters can congregate and have an enjoyable afternoon in the fresh air. You can check out the city’s bicycle routes to find a way to exercise, have fun, and bond with a date at the same time. Cycling as a couple is a fun activity that won’t break the bank — and you’ll definitely work up an appetite so you can cap the day with a picnic lunch.
Rittenhouse Park, a 45.9-acre playground and picnic area, often sees couples hiking, fishing, and laughing together. You can relax by the trout-filled creek and bond over shared interest in the outdoors. During the summer, special outdoor events give residents a reason to come to the picturesque park with their families and create a lasting memory together.
On the outskirts of town, you’ll find White Clay Creek State Park, which includes 37 miles of secluded forest trails. If you’re an outdoorsy person, hiking on a date might be just the thing to reinvigorate your relationship. White Clay Creek is open to the public from 8 a.m. until sunset, so you can explore the wilderness, cook out at a pavilion, and soak in the lush scenery. In the wintertime, you can enjoy sledding and cross-country skiing at this state park.
Whatever time of year it is, getting outside with someone special is always going to be a fantastic way to get your blood pumping and enjoy a romantic atmosphere. Check out the community events calendar to discover celebrations, festivals, and other events taking place in the great outdoors in Newark.
Newark: A Friendly & Diverse College Town Full of Opportunity
Newark is teeming with youth, culture, and flirtatious energy. The compact college town has a lot to offer daters in Delaware. Whether you enjoy dining at a fancy restaurant or roughing it in the great outdoors, you can find plenty of diverting places to suit your dating needs.
We’ve highlighted a few of the entertaining, welcoming, and romance-inducing destinations scattered throughout the city, but you can find other engaging date activities from downtown Newark to the Newark Historic Trail. Wherever you go and whatever you choose, you’re sure to have a good time in this close-knit community of students, couples, and families.
“While we’re called a city, we also have a great small-town feel, so you get the best of both worlds,” Megan said. “We’re just overall a great place to live, work, and play.”