5 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas for Couples Living and Loving in Iowa City

Iowa City is—in my humble opinion—the best place to love. If you are a couple celebrating your relationship in Iowa City this Valentine’s Day, look no further than your own backyard for a few fun Valentine’s Day date night ideas.

Valentine's Day Date Ideas in Iowa City, a couple enjoying a date.

For the Classic Romantics

There is no better place than downtown Iowa City to wine and dine the one you love for a date on Valentine’s Day. Peruse the vast selection of locally owned restaurants and bars, serving up savory suppers, decadent desserts, and unique libations.

A few local recommendations:

For the DIY Types

Even though the restaurants in the Iowa City area will have your mouth watering, don’t take for-granted some of the local grocers who sell products that are sure to make your do-it-yourself (DIY) Valentine’s date dinner at home delicious. Check out New Pioneer Co-Op and Bread Garden Market for groceries for a special night at home, offering fresh baked breads (and desserts!), and a homemade hot bar if grab-and-go end up being your best bet.

For the Nature Lovers

Bundle up and enjoy the lakeside views while you walk (or cross-country ski!) along the trails at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area. If the weather allows, bring your ice skates and enjoy a glide, hand-and-hand around the frozen water. Grab a cup of cocoa or coffee at a local coffee shop on your way back!

For the Beer Lovers

The Iowa City area has certainly embraced the craft beer trend. If you and yours have a hankering for a cold, frothy brew on Valentine’s Day, don’t miss local watering-holes like Big Grove Brewery, Backpocket Brewing, and ReUnion Brewery.

For the Book Lovers

This really wouldn’t be an Iowa City date guide without a nod to Iowa City’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature. If you are looking for a cozy day or date night idea for Valentine’s Day, consider browsing for books together at downtown’s iconic Prairie Lights Bookstore, or the north side’s Haunted Bookshop.


How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day with the one you love?

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Katie is a spouse, mother, and professional communicator. She became acquainted with Iowa City as a student at the University of Iowa, earning degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and most recently her MA in Strategic Communication. Katie and her husband met and fell in love in Iowa City, deciding to never leave. Their family can often be found eating their way through downtown, walking their dog in City Park, or cheering on their beloved Hawkeyes at live sporting events.

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