SPONSORED – When Polaris is mentioned, you probably don’t immediately think of date night. You most likely think of shopping or maybe even chain restaurants. However, if you look closely there really is something for everyone. Here’s what you can plan for a Polaris Date Night:
For the active couple…
Star Lanes Polaris isn’t your average bowling alley. It’s like bowling on steroids. You can choose normal bowling, but I’m not sure why you would choose this when you can hyperbowl. What is hyperbowling you say? Hyperbowling combines bowling and gaming along with some fun LED lighting. You can choose different game types and within each game are different levels. While you bowl, you can enjoy food and drinks. And after you bowl you can try out their rides and arcade games.
Topgolf is a guaranteed (see what I did there?!) good time. For more information about how to have the ultimate Top Golf date check out our article Everything You Need to Know for a Date Night at Topgolf Columbus (please note, this article was written pre-pandemic, so some of the policies may have changed)
Other options: Fieldhouse USA – Airhouse Adventure Park, Magic Mountain Polaris
For the beer loving couple…
It has taken some time, but the Polaris area finally has some local breweries! Spires Social Brewing Co. opened in September 2020 by a local home brewer turned professional brewer. Don’t like beer? They also provide wine, liquor, and craft soda! They offer some fun events, like beer pairings, and food trucks. Plus, they are dog friendly! Soon, North High Brewing will be opening their cider focused taproom at CoHatch in the Polaris Fashion Place!
If you are looking for more of a restaurant + beer atmosphere, check out Atlas Tavern or 101 Beer Kitchen. Both are well-known for their food and have a multitude of craft beer on tap.
For the cocktail loving couple…
The Royce is FANCY. It gives you the upscale vibe in a casual setting (aka the mall). But, it also has this rustic, at-home feeling too. Their menu has a lot of affordable options (that you can share while indulging in their cocktails) as well as more expensive ones. But really, let’s talk about their cocktails. I’m not an expert, so I can only say they are tasty and pretty. While they do have some basics on there like a mule and margarita, they add a little something to each to make them different.
I heard through the grapevine that Lewis Center Kitchen and Bar is an unknown gem. And my editor is probably going to be mad that I’ve even mentioned them here. They casually opened up during the pandemic. Cocktails are carefully crafted and the options are endless. You’ll definitely be taking Instagram-worthy photos before you imbibe. Food is varied and tasty. You can’t go wrong with the hamburger options, but give the Burnt Ends a try! The wraparound bar has plenty of room for date night meet-ups.
For the coffee loving couple…
Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea might not be “local,” but it’s still a solid choice for a coffee date. Not only is it spacious, but they have a wide variety of coffees, teas, frozen drinks, pastries, desserts, and even some light snacks! What I love about Sweetwaters is that their drinks are globally influenced.
For the couple who likes a challenge…
If escape rooms are your thing, then All In Adventures are where it’s at. They have five escape rooms for you to choose from and 50 minutes for you to complete it. The catch is they are only open during mall hours, so this means they close rather early. Good luck!
For the crafty couple…
Who doesn’t love a plant shop lately?! Stems & Stone is located inside the Polaris Fashion Place and it is a beauty! They offer plant-themed workshops hosted by local artists and entrepreneurs. The shop’s philosophy is a focus on plant care being a form of self care. Also, after peeping their website they have a subscription plant service. What a way to start your at-home love garden!
There are actually TWO candle pouring locations inside of Polaris. The first one is The Candle Booth, which started out in Old Towne East and is now in their second location! This is actually the fourth location for Tiki Botanicals (German Village, Upper Arlington, and Powell). While they do have candle pouring, this is not the only thing they offer. They also have anything from soaps to dog treats and cosmetics to men’s care.
For the dessert loving couple…
J’s Sweet Treats has been sitting on my list way too long. The first storefront opened on Parsons Ave. and they recently opened this second Polaris location. J’s cake work is incredible, and the bakery has all kinds of baked goods for you to try.
I am stretching the Polaris boundaries a bit for this next recommendation, Coppa Gelato. And the reason why? Gelato Flights. Enough said.
In case you didn’t hear the news, Little Ladies Soft Serve is opening a storefront!! The hype is real with this soft serve, another one I didn’t believe until I tried it. This soft serve just tastes…different. Don’t sleep on the Aggie with crushed puppy chow, mini Buckeyes, hot fudge, and peanut butter sauce!
Other options: Macaron Bar, Gelatolicious, The Cheesecake Factory
For the foodie couple…
If you happened to join the Support Central Ohio Restaurants Facebook group during the pandemic you have probably heard of Kitchen Social. People rave about this place all over that group. Obviously, it’s my job to be in-the-know and check things out, but I have to admit I was skeptical it would live up to the hype. Let me tell you, it totally does! You can’t go wrong with anything you order and according to the Facebook group there are many must-haves, like the cheddar + scallion biscuits, the whipped feta or the Korean BBQ cauliflower. And those are just the appetizers!
I know you are probably thinking, why is a fast food place on your list? Well, like anyone from Northern Ohio will tell you Swensons is worth it. For one, it’s a drive-in diner style, so you order from your car and then can dine in your car. Two, their Galley Boy (Salad Boy for those vegetarians) has two sauces on it! Three, milkshakes. I mean who doesn’t love a milkshake date?
Finally, there’s Carfagna’s Kitchen, derived from the infamous Carfangna’s Market, the kitchen serves up authentic Italian, family recipes to its customers.
Other Options: Benihana, Bru Burger Bar, Marcella’s, Mitchell’s Steakhouse, Molly Woos Asian Bistro
For the live music couple…
LIVE @ Polaris has been happening for at least the last two summers. Every Thursday they feature a different local band in their parking lot. The bands range from country to pop/oldies and have acoustic and electronic representation. If you want other options check out this list on Yelp for venues that offer live music close to Polaris – there are some I have never even heard of!
For the stroll and shop couple…
It goes without saying that you need to go shopping if you are visiting Polaris Fashion Place. Malls may be considered “a thing of the past,” but Polaris is doing a great job staying relevant. They have tons of outdoor games and seating areas, as well as a full food court. The shops are standard, but it still serves a purpose. Plus, for all you 80s and 90s kids it might bring you a sense of nostalgia.
Polaris Night Market is in its inaugural season. Created by the CYP Club, this is an open-air market spotlighting local vendors, live music, food trucks, art, and a charity beer garden. It operates on the second Friday of the month June-September.
Other options: IKEA
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