Staying in can get dull. So spice up your evenings with these innovative date ideas, tailored to your interests.
FOR BEER LOVERS: Compare notes at Great Lakes Brewing Co.'s Beer School, which includes a tour, instruction on the fermentation and packaging processes, and a flight of the Ohio City brewery's finest beers. greatlakesbrewing.com
FOR ADVENTURE SEEKERS: Century Cycles offers free, guided night rides along a 15-mile stretch of the unlit Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. The Peninsula-based shop requires you to bring your own gear and transportation — we recommend a bicycle built for two. centurycycles.com
FOR BRAINIACS: There's only one place where your knowledge of Capt. JeanLuc Picard's favorite beverage (it's Earl Grey tea, for you non-Trekkies) will make you more attractive to your date, and that's at trivia night. So challenge your sweetheart to a game of wits over cocktails at Happy Dog's Monday night challenge. happydogcleveland.com
FOR ZEN MASTERS: Fine tune your downward dog beside your partner during a private session at Cleveland Yoga, which offers instruction for both novice and experienced Baptiste and Vinyasa practitioners at its Beachwood location or in your home. clevelandyoga.com
Take the random out of romance with these three Cleveland-based dating services.
KICKSTARTLOVE: Elana Averbach, a clinical mental health counselor, offers one-on-one dating coaching, including advice on fashion and body language (eye contact and genuine smiles are vital). "If people have deeper issues — whether that's a self-esteem issue or realizing why past relationships failed — that's something we can also work on," she says. Averbach also hosts themed mixers (think gatherings of only travel enthusiasts) for her clients and the public. 28790 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 260, Pepper Pike, 707-939-5425, kickstartlove.com
PROGRESSIVE DATERS: Three minutes. That's how much time you'll have to exchange information with other eligible singles at monthly speed dating events hosted by Progressive Daters, which boasts 175 marriages over its 12-year existence. "It's a numbers game," explains owner Tracy Corpus. "One person could meet up to 30 other singles in their age range, in their city, in a single night. You may not meet the love of your life, but sometimes it's nice to just meet another person you could go out with on a Friday night." progressivedaters.com
LUNCH DATE: Tell Mike Green your dating desires, and the matchmaker will search his nearly 450-member client database for a compatible lunch companion. "Our clients don't want to spend two hours on the computer. They want us to do the work for them," says Green, owner of the 18-year-old business. "Online things are fleeting, superficial, based only on photos. We don't just focus on the photo. We focus on the person and all their attributes." 13940 Cedar Road, Suite 118, University Heights, 216-3757706, lunchdate.com
Has the singles pool at your local bar gone stale? Here are three fresh ways to look for love.
Michelle DeLozier launched WH2 five years ago after ending a long-term relationship. Now nearly 200 lesbian and gay singles mingle at happy hours hosted by the social group and its male counterpart, G2H2. "We have a few people who are getting married because of it," says DeLozier. Held at a rotating roster of local bars and restaurants such as Lago and Shamrock Tavern, the monthly events include free food and drink specials, and benefit charitable causes such as canned food drives and domestic violence shelters. thewh2.com; g2h2.com
It's written in Booker T. Cleveland Society for the Learned's rules: You must talk to three people and exchange digits with one before leaving its monthly book-swapping events, encouraging a call from a like-minded man or woman. Society president Akhil Kejriwal estimates up to 50 people — a mix of regulars and drop-ins — attend meetings at various restaurants. "You can meet new people, make friends and hang out outside of the group," says Kejriwal. "That was my thought process when I joined." facebook.com/thebookertclevelandsocietyforthelearned
Strut your stuff across Shooters' wooden dance floor the first Saturday of each month at the West Bank mainstay's Hot Latin dance parties, which begin with hourlong salsa, merengue and bachata lessons — a chance to tango with other rhythmic singles. "Our dance instructors find partners for you to dance with through the lesson," explains Adriana Matos, co-owner of Tropical Cleveland, which produces the events. "The beautiful Latin music draws single people out of all ages and races." shootersflats.com