By Molly Kerrigan

(AP file image)

Guys, listen up. This whole “dinner and a movie” date idea? It’s not working. It’s been done. If you really want to woo a potential significant other, you have to put some thought into the event. The truly modern gentleman takes his special friend on creative and fun date nights that will spark conversation and chemistry. Need help? Here are some ideas.

Liquid Courage

Photo Credit: Molly Kerrigan

Sam Adams Brewery Tour and Tasting

30 Germania St
Boston, MA 02130
(617) 368-5080
Hours: Mon to Thurs 10am-3pm; Fri 10am-5:30pm; Sat 10am-3pm
Tours starting every 45 minutes
Reviews & Website

Rather than trying to get to know one another in a loud, dark bar, enjoy some cold ones at the source. The Samuel Adams Brewery offers tours of their facilities along with a taste testing of a selection of brews. The tour guides are witty and entertaining, and the tasting is practically free. The company suggests a $2 donation that will go to a local charity. The tours and tastings last about an hour. Arrive early, they fill up.

Photo Credit: Harpoon Brewery

Harpoon Brewery Tour and Tasting

306 Northern Ave
Boston, MA 02210
(617) 574-0019
Hours: Sat 10:30am-5pm; Sun 11:30am-3pm
Tours starting every half hour
Website & Reviews

Another option for a brewery tour and tasting. $5 will also get you a souvenir tasting glass so you’ll always remember your special date. As with Sam Adams, the tours last about an hour and you should arrive early.

Photo Credit: The Wine Bottega

Wine Tasting at The Wine Bottega

341 Hanover Street
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-6607
Hours: Sun to Mon 12pm-8pm; Tues to Wed 11am-9pm; Thurs 11am-10pm; Fri to Sat 10am-10pm
Free tasting every Friday 5pm-8pm
Reviews & Website

For the budding sommeliers, there are a number of wine tastings around the city. This shop in the North End offers a free tasting every Friday evening. You’ll be offered six wines pertaining to a different theme each week. Discounts are offered on all the wines tasted if one (or more) hits the spot. Tastings are free and no reservation is necessary.

Under The Stars

Photo Credit: Museum of Science

Gilliland Observatory at the Museum of Science

1 Science Park
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 723-2500
Hours: Fri 8:30pm-10pm
March through November, Weather Permitting

Make your date starry-eyed with the Celestron CGE 1100 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope! To avoid any snafus on your special night, call the Gilliland Observatory hotline at (617) 589-0267, which is updated at 5:30 pm on Friday nights to make sure the observatory is open. The hotline also provides information on what objects can be observed in the current sky so you’re sure to impress. The best part? Admission to the Gilliland Observatory is free!

Arts and Crafts

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Ceramics Painting at Clayroom

1408 Beacon St
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 566-7575
Hours: Mon to Wed 10am-10pm; Thurs to Sun 10am-6pm
Reviews & Website

Impress your date with your artistic abilities and make a memento of your time together at this paint-your-own-pottery studio. Choose from a variety of ceramics (there’s really something for everyone), grab a table, and get to painting. The studio fee is $8 per person and the pieces range from $1-$24. Feel free to bring a bottle of wine to get the creative juices flowing and spend as much time as you need. Since the pieces need to be fired and finished, which takes a couple days, this will set you up for the perfect second date excuse.

Photo Credit: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

280 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115
(617) 566-1401
Hours: Tues to Sun 11am-5pm
Reviews & Website

For those who would rather enjoy someone else’s art, try out this beautiful and unique museum featuring an inner courtyard. The building itself is a work of art and provides plenty of cozy spaces to chat. Admission is $12 unless your date happens to be named Isabella – then her ticket is free.

Get Physical

Photo Credit: Molly Kerrigan

Fenway Tour

4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215
(617) 226-6666
Hours on Non-Game Days: 9am – 4pm
Hours on Game Days: 9am – three and a half hours prior to game time
Tours run every hour on the hour
Reviews & Website

If your date is a proud member of Red Sox Nation, there’s no better place to visit than Fenway Park. And if you can’t manage to get game tickets, the next best thing is a behind the scenes tour of the park. For $12 you’ll be treated to 50 minutes of Red Sox history, with visits to the Press Box, State Street Pavillion (where the high rollers watch the game), and Green Monster. Be aware that you may not be able to go on the field, and Yankees fans will be subject so some good natured ribbing.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Lucky Strike Lanes

145 Ipswich St
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 437-0300
Hours: Mon to Sat 11am-2am; Sun 12pm-2am
Reviews & Website

These ain’t your grandpa’s bowling lanes. Lucky Strike has the atmosphere of a hip bar where you’ll just happen to hear the crash of bowling pins. With lounge seating, low lights and a full menu, this place almost makes bowling sexy.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Dancing at Mojitos

48 Winter St #2
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 988-8123
Hours: Thurs 10pm-2am; Fri to Sat 9pm-2am
Free Salsa lesson Friday and Saturday at 9pm
Reviews & Website

No matter how many left feet you have, you’ll be shaking your hips by the end of the night at Mojitos. Start the night off with a free salsa lesson, then show off your new skills. Take a lady’s word on this one – no matter how silly you may feel dancing, it’s charming when you try.

Aren’t You Fancy

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Boston Ballet at The Boston Opera House

539 Washington St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 880-2442
See Schedule for times
Reviews & Website

Each season, the Boston Ballet offers a variety of top notch classic ballet (tutus included) and more modern pieces. If you’ve never been to a ballet, you may be surprised at the pure athleticism and grace.

Photo Credit: Gondola di Venezia

Gondola Di Venezia

PO Box 540416
Winthrop, MA 02152
Board the gondolas in front of the Hatch Shell on The Esplanade
(617) 876-2800
Hours: Fri to Sun 2pm-11pm (by reservation only)
Reviews & Website

Want to really impress your date? How about a gondola ride on the Charles inspired by the romantic rides on Venetian canals? Enjoy the view (of Boston and your special friend) while being serenaded in one of these authentic boats. Packages range from $99 to $229 for up to an hour tour and can include an accordion player, roses, and fresh strawberries. Major swooning guaranteed.

Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

Molly Kerrigan is a Boston blogger who’s always in search of free food or a good deal.  Read her blog at Wicked Cheap in Boston and “like” her on Facebook.