There aren’t a lot of places that offer a date night option from pricey to darn near free all in one location, but we discovered that the Domain is pretty much on target for both.
For those of you who don’t know, the Domain is a large outdoor shopping area in North Austin. It’s part of a multi-use community that includes the shops, several residence options, a couple of hotels and even a boutique-sized Fiat dealer.
We wandered around the shop area, stopping at the Apple Store to play with their newest toys, checking out shops for clothes we liked (and clothes that made us both laugh!) A quick stop at Starbucks or the Steeping Room for a snack, and then some time spent sitting in the rocking chairs outside talking and enjoying the evening breeze. (When the weather is cooler, there’s even an outdoor fireplace to add another bit of romance to the evening. )
Of course, we had to take our turn climbing on the giant armadillo — hey, the kids were all gone, so we had it to ourselves! Then some more window shopping, this time looking at things for our house (or a house of dreams.) There’s also a Dick’s Sporting Goods, so you can wander in there and plan your next outdoor adventure together.
If dinner is part of the plan, the evening at the Domain could get expensive. There are so many yummy restaurants there, all a short stroll away, including California Pizza Kitchen, Kona Grill, Maggiano and Cru. The hard part isn’t finding a place to eat here….it’s choosing just one!
If the budget is even more generous, there is a iPic movie theatre there too. But this isn’t just any old movie theatre — the tickets range from $19 to $29 per person. The theatre pampers movie-goers with blankets and pillows, personal wait staff, a cocktail lounge and access to a gourmet menu if you want to dine while you watch. Yes, this is where the Domain date night can add up!
Most stores are open until about 8 or 9 pm every night except Sunday, but the restaurants stay open later and the area is very well lit, so it’s fun to wander around even after the shops close.
There was only one thing missing from the Domain — music. In the city that bills itself as the “Music Capitol”, it was strange that not a guitar or violin or anything was heard. This would be a perfect place for some live music! Add that into the mix, and this would be an even better date night choice.
The Domain, like so much of Austin is pet-friendly. And they mean it here. Water bowls were in front of most shops, and some welcomed well-behaved pets inside to shop. Looking back, I think more people had dogs with them than did not! (It’s also kid-friendly, but hey, this is about date night!) Parking is free and is easy to find in and around the shopping area.