Dating by the Decades in Oklahoma

If you’ve been stuck in the same “dinner and a movie” rut for far too long or just want to bring new excitement to date night, try out these ideas for dating by the decades in Oklahoma.

From '70s themed bowling and '80s bars to '90s coffee bars, you can experience the best dates that the past eight decades can offer - without ever leaving Oklahoma!
Photo Credit: Paige Lough

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Get ready to embark on epic date night adventures in Oklahoma. From live jazz and speakeasies of the 1920s to coffee houses and country bars of the 1990s, you can experience the best dates that these eight decades can offer - without ever leaving Oklahoma!

1920s:

• Visit a speakeasy for cocktails. Enjoy live music and an extensive beer, scotch and whiskey menu at 51st Street Speakeasy in Oklahoma City.

• Try an old-fashioned. What’s now Stag Lounge in Oklahoma City was once a live music hub where OKC’s own electric guitar legend Charlie Christian performed. Today, treat your special someone to one of over 175 whiskeys or 400 spirits, which pair perfectly with one of Stag's cigars.

• Tour a 1920s mansion. The exquisite Marland Mansion & Estate in Ponca City was built between 1925 and 1928. Modeled after an Italian palace, the mansion is known as the “Palace on the Prairie.”

• Take a hand-in-hand art deco walking tour. Tulsa was known as the “Terra Cotta City” in the 1920s because of its numerous examples of art deco buildings. Take an Art Deco Walking Tour to explore the architecture firsthand.

• Catch a live jazz concert. Celebrate the “Jazz Age” with a concert at the popular UCO Jazz Lab.

• Enjoy a first-class dinner at an old-fashioned supper club. The Rusty Barrell Supper Club in Ponca City is designed with speakeasy decor and requires guests to enter through an alley after ringing a doorbell.

1930s:

• Walk along the quaint cobblestone streets of Medicine Park. In the 1930s, Medicine Park was a colorful resort town often visited by celebrities and politicians. Today, this small town is home to cozy cabins, restaurants and quirky shops nestled in the Wichita Mountains. You can’t miss the crowning jewel: a cascading creek that crosses through the center of town.

• Listen to folk songs and trace the footsteps of an Oklahoma legend. Learn about Okemah native Woody Guthrie, legendary folk musician and writer of “This Land Is Your Land,” with our Woody Guthrie Itinerary.

• Go for a romantic drive. Cruise along Oklahoma’s stretch of Route 66 to see a number of roadside oddities. Route 66, also called the Mother Road, was a major thoroughfare in the 1930s.  

• Watch a “moving picture.” In addition to showing movies and productions, many of Oklahoma’s historic theaters also offer tours.

• Sip a hand-crafted martini. Celebrate the end of Prohibition like some did in 1933 at one of these fun Oklahoma martini lounges.

1940s:

• Share a soda. Grab your best guy (or gal) and try out one of these soda fountains where you can sit right at the counter and watch the soda jerk craft beverages by hand.

• Cruise to a classic car show. Car shows in Oklahoma are held every month of the year and are completely free to attend. Take your sweetheart to admire awesome automobiles from every decade.

• Plan a picnic. Load up a picnic basket for a romantic, but simple, outdoor date at one of these prime picnic spots in Oklahoma.

• Attend a throwback hangar dance. Experience the sights and sounds of a bygone area at the Big Band Hangar Dance in Jenks, traditionally held the second Saturday in November.

• Explore a World War II submarine. Tour the U.S.S. Batfish, an actual WWII submarine, in Muskogee. A tank, cannons, missiles and military memorabilia are also located on the grounds.

• Catch a concert at Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. This former car garage and dance hall took on new life as the home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1930s and 1940s.

1950s:

• Dine in mid-century style. Originally built as the First National Auto Bank in the late 1950s, The Vault in Tulsa now serves classic American favorites and craft cocktails amid mid-century modern furniture and decor.

• Take your thirst for adventure to POPs in Arcadia. Located right off historic Route 66, this one-of-a-kind attraction offers over 600 unique flavors of glass-bottled soda, a restaurant, shake shop and the iconic 66-foot-tall LED soda bottle.

• Stay in a skyscraper. Visit Price Tower in Bartlesville, Frank Lloyd Wright’s only fully realized skyscraper. In addition to tours and fine dining, you can make your trip even better with an overnight stay at the Inn in Price Tower. Constructed in 1956, each of the 16 guest rooms and three suites features mid-century designs and sleek modern interiors.

• Have a hamburger from a 1950s-themed classic drive-in or diner. Check out Ann’s Chicken Fry House in Oklahoma City, Classic 50’s Drive-In and Sooner Dairy Lunch in Norman or Angel’s Diner in McAlester. Angel’s is located right next to Happy Days Hotel, where each room is decorated in a 1950s theme. After dinner, take your sweetheart to the bowling alley, located next to the hotel.

• See a double feature at a drive-in movie. Hop in your car and wax nostalgic at one of these drive-in movie theaters across Oklahoma.

1960s:

• Court lady luck. Gamble the night away at one of Oklahoma’s 70+ casinos, reminiscent of the Rat Pack’s glory days.

• Try a tiki drink at the R&J Lounge & Supper Club. Located in Oklahoma City, this unique eatery blends the classic glamour of decades past with a fresh approach to dining.

• Embrace your inner flower child with a unique farm-to-table dinner. Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy near Depew is a sustainable farm that offers small dinner parties using ingredients grown on the farm or from other local farms.

• Re-live the British Invasion. The Colony in Tulsa is a combination music venue and English pub that was once owned by Tulsa native Leon Russell. Another unique Tulsa date night option is Hodges Bend. Get in the spirit of swinging 60s coffee shop culture by relaxing with a French press or one of Bend's carefully crafted cocktails, then sit back and snap along to the live jazz music. 

1970s:

• Get your groove on at Groovy’s Night Club in Oklahoma City. Whether you’re into people watching or dancing the night away to classic dance favorites, you’ll have a good time at this diverse hotspot.

• Bowl a round at Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge in downtown Tulsa’s Blue Dome District. Inspired by the classic bowling alleys of the 1970s, this eight lane bowling alley and lounge is decked out with a retro vibe including green plaid carpeting and orange chairs.

• Don your bell bottoms, favorite Swedish-knit or leisure suit and get your big-collar lounge on at the disco-era inspired Rockford Cocktail Den in Oklahoma City. 

• Welcome back a classic 1970s staple: fondue! At the Melting Pot in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, guests can enjoy a four-course dinner complete with cheese fondue, salad, entree and chocolate fondue.

1980s:

• Play skeeball. Combine all your 80s favorites like skeeball and arcade games with ice cold beer and drink specials at The Max Retropub in Tulsa. Some of the weekday specials even include 80s movie night Mondays and retro trivia Thursdays.

• Laugh the night away at a stand-up comedy club. Comedy clubs and comedians exploded in popularity during the 1980s, and a trip to these stand-up comedy clubs in Oklahoma make a great date night.

• Visit an arcade. Embrace a little friendly competition on a go-kart track, miniature golf course or batting cages.

• Get tickets to Rocklahoma. Celebrate the awesomeness that is 80s hair metal at Rocklahoma, the largest rock festival of its kind in the world. This three-day rock music festival is held annually in Pryor during late May.

• Order a classic 1980s drink. Try B52 shots, tequila sunrise or a pina colada at one of these Oklahoma bars.

1990s:

• Surprise your date with tickets to a rock show. Click here to see upcoming music events and learn about Oklahoma’s hand in the rock scene.

• Share your mutual love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles over pizza. Try this classic favorite at Grateful Head Pizza Oven & Tap Room in Broken Bow or one of these other top pizzerias in Oklahoma.

• Go skating. Find an excuse to get closer to your sweetheart at a roller skating rink. Slide into in-line skates or go for the throwback quads and take a spin around these Oklahoma roller skating rinks.

• Order an espresso. In part thanks to pop culture TV shows like “Friends,” coffee houses made a big debut in the 1990s. Grab a cup of java at one of Oklahoma’s coffee shops and share a pastry while you’re there.

• Crash a honky tonk. Oklahoma natives Garth Brooks and Reba McEntire were heating up the country music scene in the 1990s and country bars were all the rage. Go boot scootin’ at one of Oklahoma’s country bars, like the Gilley's Durant inside the Choctaw Casino Resort or take in the monthly country music showcase at the Backwoods Country Music Show in El Reno.  

• Treat your valley girl (or mall rat) to a shopping excursion at one of Oklahoma’s major shopping malls.

• Sample small plates. Just like the fondue dinners of the 1970s, tapas bars quickly gained popularity in the 1990s. Small plates and shareable appetizers make for an intimate dining experience at these Oklahoma eateries.

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