1. Classic romance
Some things are classic for a reason. Go old school with a nice dinner at a romantic restaurant. Share a bottle of wine, a great meal and an amazing view at the Twisted Olive (5430 Massillon Road, Green). Or, head to Minerva for an intimate dinner at the historic Hart Mansion (411 N. Main St.) followed by a walk through downtown to check out the new arts and history district, including H&H Distillery (108 N. Market Street, Minerva).
2. Casual conversation
Ease some of the first-date jitters with a casual outing focused more on conversation. Meet at a local coffee house such as Muggswigz (two locations, at 137 Walnut Ave. NE, Canton, and 5854 Fulton Drive NW, Jackson Twp.) or Cultured Coffee (309 Cleveland Ave. NW, Canton) where you can get to know each other over lattes and biscotti and create some friendly competition with a board game. If things are going well, keep the conversation going with a late dinner and drinks.
3. Simple and sweet
Skip straight to dessert with a date focused on the sweet stuff. Gaze into each others eyes as you split a famous Bittner Special sundae at Taggart’s Ice Cream (1401 Fulton Rd., Canton, and 107 S. Main St., Magnolia). Or, head to Maize Valley Winery (6193 Edison St. NE, Marlboro Twp.) to sample locally made wines and craft beer and split a decadent dessert in the Tasting Room Cafe.
4. Creative endeavor
Tap into your date’s creative side with a trip to the Massillon Museum of Art (121 Lincoln Way E, Massillon) where you can explore the museum’s changing exhibits and pick out your favorite pieces. Or, explore the downtown Canton Arts District, starting at the Canton Museum of Art (1001 Market Ave. N, Canton), working your way through the district’s numerous shops and galleries and finding plenty of public art along the way. End the evening with a drink and great local music at George’s Lounge (229 Cleveland Ave. NW) or Buzzbin Art & Music Shop (339 Cleveland Ave. NW).
5. Out and about
You may have to wait until spring to take full advantage of Stark’s many parks and trails, but you still can have a date with plenty of action. Check out an open skate at the Center Ice Sports Complex (8319 Port Jackson Ave. NW, Jackson Twp.) where, depending on your ice skating skills, you can playfully race your date around the rink or clasp his or her arm for support. Not a fan of slipping and sliding? Try bowling instead at AMF Hall of Fame Lanes (5155 Tuscarawas St. W, Perry Twp.).