Vintage neon milkshake setup

Tampa Bay has no shortage of options when it comes to date spots. You’ve got some of the best beaches in the world right down the street with award-winning restaurants. Between the Bucs, Lightning, and the Rays, you can catch just about any of these teams playing throughout the year. But, what if you’re looking for something different? Here are a few spots for an ’80s-themed date night in Tampa Bay. 

Picture this: It’s a Friday night and there’s no internet and no cell phones. You just locked in a date night with the chick you’ve been sweet on and the bowling alley is going cosmic. The neon lights are flashing through the cigarette smoke lining the lanes as the synthesizers play the soundtrack to your night like you’re starring in the next John Hughes movie. 

We’ve seen the dating world change tremendously over the last few decades with the addition of dating apps and modern technology. Face-to-face relationships have been traded in for algorithm updates and the not-so-secretive “Netflix & Chill” DMs.

Movie theaters aren’t even exclusively playing most new blockbuster hits (RIP Blockbuster). These days, you can rent the biggest movies right in your own home and watch from your couch. This wins the convenience factor, but it takes away from the experience. 

What activities can you do to throw it back to a time before smart tech took over? We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite date night activities that have stood the test of time. Spend the night cracking the whip under the disco ball at the local roller rink. Or, maybe you want to go head-to-head in Pac-Man in a dim light arcade. Want to catch the next showing at a drive-in theater? Whatever it is, we’ve got you covered.

Here are the spots you can go for an ‘80s theme date night in Tampa Bay.

  • Ten Pin Lanes

    Ten Pin Lanes is a bowling alley that still has traces of the old school days. Wooden benches to sit on, vintage-style carpet, and King Colonial-style dining chairs. They have modernized the scoring technology and ball retrievals for an easy playing experience, but still have the classic bowling alley aesthetic. They’ve got fried pickles, burgers, beers, buffalo tendies, and more.

  • Reboot Arcade & Bar

    If you’re looking for an OG arcade and bar, this is it. Reboot has all of your favorite classic arcade games like Pac-Man, pinball, Buck Hunter, and more for a blast to the past. They’ve got a full bar with craft beers, wines, and other spirits to go with pizza, wings, and more.

  • Roller Rink

    Tampa Bay has no shortage of roller rinks, You’ve got multiple locations of Astro Skate across the Tampa Bay area as well as Skateworld of Tampa and United Skates of America. There are games, food, neon lights, and more.

  • Joe's New York Diner

    Joe’s New York Diner has all the making’s of a throwback night. 24-hour ’50s style diner with fresh food, a jukebox, checkered floor, and big booths that will send you back in time. They’ve got burgers, breakfast, seafood, steaks and more.

  • Drive-In Theater

    Drive-in Theaters might be a thing of the past to some, but there are still a few options left within the Tampa Bay area. There are 4 drive-in theaters close to Tampa Bay and list their showings on Facebook. Joy Lan Drive-In, Ruskin Drive-In, Silver Moon Drive-In & Swap Shop, and Ocala Drive-In are all great options.

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