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Date night ideas in Syracuse that’s more than dinner or a movie

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Although grabbing a bite and a few drinks with your honey never fails, why not switch it up?

There are plenty of local businesses that you could be supporting on top of area restaurants. These days, crafty workshops and candle-making is all the craze.

Not to mention, all opportunities could double as fun ideas to bust out during girls night, mother-daughter duos, platonic hang outs, and so on.

Camp Candle Bar

Camp Candle Bar Owners Ashley (left) and Lauren (right) Naum.

Camp Candle Bar, a make your own candle experience, has only been in Armory Square since July.

Located at 191 Walton St. in Syracuse, they offer seasonal and non-seasonal scents, allowing endless combos for each customer who’s working towards making their perfect candle. NewsChannel 9 talked to the sisters, and co-owners of the bar back in September.

“This is my birthday candle, or this is my memory candle. Whatever the nostalgic moment is, or whatever you imagine the candle to be, is up to you,” said Ashley Naum.

She added that everything is customized for the customer from the moment they walk in.

They are open Sunday through Wednesday, and you can book your workshop time online.

The class takes about 45 minutes. Once your candle is finished, it must cure for about three hours, but the sisters don’t hang you out to dry. On their website, they list a handful of local businesses nearby that could keep you busy in the meantime. The list includes restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, breweries, wine bars, and more fun destinations.

Candles are $45, plus tax.

You can check them out at their website or on Instagram.

Metal Morphosis Jewelry Studio

Metal Morphosis offers a variety of metalsmithing classes that range from beginner to intermediate levels. This includes soldering, stone setting, sawing, enameling, and precious metal clay classes.

Kelly Diemond, owner of Metal Morphosis, explained that although the business is in its sixth year, she thinks they are one of the best kept secrets in the area.

She also adds that couples seem to enjoy the Silver Ring Making class where they make a silver ring from sterling silver sheet metal.

“They can hammer it (good stress relief!) or stamp a message inside before soldering and polishing it,” said Diemond.

The business has been open since 2018. It was originally on East Genesee Street, but is currently in the Gere Block building that is being renovated at 1970 West Fayette Street.

On a more romantic note, Diemond says that grooms and brides to-be will come in and make their own wedding bands for each other.

“Much more fun and meaningful than picking one out from the jewelry store,” explained Diemond. “The groom makes the brides ring and she makes his. Very romantic!”

Another hit at the studio are the stacking ring making classes. Diemond says students have the opportunity to work in both silver and gold and make three rings between the two of them.

If you take the class as a couple, you work together to learn a multitude of new skills. Not everyday are you measuring, cutting, filing, soldering and polishing rings together.

“We get lots of newbies who have never made jewelry or used a torch before, and I like watching them get more confident right before my very eyes,” said Diemond.

The studio also allows private parties from four to ten people who can make jewelry together. Mathematically, this could be a large group or several couples.

You can learn more by checking out Metal Morphosis’ website or Facebook.

Vince’s Gourmet Imports

Looking to impress in the kitchen? First, dust off your skills alongside your partner at a cooking class. A useful and romantic night out, what more could you ask for?

Located at 440 South Main Street in North Syracuse, Vince’s offers a massive variety of cooking classes.

During one, you will not only view a demonstration, but also get to indulge in hands-on learning.

From each class you will be able to take away, printed recipes for each dish prepared, the dish to bring home and enjoy a 10% discount for in-store purchases, according to their website.

You could choose from making a local classic, like chicken riggies, handmade pasta, stuffed meatloaf, and more.

To register for a class, click here.

The Curd Nerd

Cheese and wine is always nice. Over at The Curd Nerd, located at 2800 James St. in Syracuse, they offer classes about all things cheese.

They’ve been open since 2022 and will be celebrating their two year anniversary on March 23 (hint: there will be a party at the shop!)

“We offer a variety of classes from Cheese 101 to Cheese Board Building to Pairing Events. The ones that are generally the most popular are our Board Building Classes (we’re offering one on the 2/25 in collaboration with the Kitchen Literacy Project!) and our pairing events,” said Sarah Simiele, owner of the specialty cheese and produce store.

Beer and cheese, wine and cheese, and cheese and honey are the most requested from guests.

Miele says she finds most couples at pairing events.

“If I had to guess, I would say it’s because they’re so interactive. You can really have a conversation with your partner about what you’re tasting with each pairing & it’s a cool thing to see how your partner interprets flavors,” she explained.

But you know what might really make you swoon? Fondue.

The Curd Nerd offers a fondue kit, and Miele says it is one of her favorite suggestions to couples.

However, some people like to play the risk vs. reward game.

“We also have a couple that comes in and asks for $25 total of 4 random cheeses and they go home & taste them together and talk about their favorites over a glass of wine,” said Miele.

You can find The Curd Nerd on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

CLICK HERE to check out their website!

Right Mind

When you entertain creative, you work the right side of your brain, which is where this business got their name.

With no formal address, Right Mind takes their one-session workshop to local venues and gives couples and friends an opportunity to bond and create.

They offer chunky knit blanket making, wire-wrapped crystal ring workshop, melt and pour soap, mosaic, winter sign making, polymer clay, succulents, candle making, resin jewelry, pillow making, and more!

Courtesy of Claire McKenney.

Right Mind Owner, Claire McKenney says Cocktails & Crafts is the most popular for couples.

“We host them at Gilded Club one Thursday per month.  During these workshops, we feature a cocktail and a craft.  The guests start at the bar where the host, Eliza, discusses the history of the drink, goes over bar tools and techniques, and each guests makes their own cocktail.  Then while guests are sipping on their cocktails, we move over to the cozy booths where we make something creative,” explained McKenney.

This workshop is usually a shorted version of one of the previously mentioned classes.

McKenney says there’s a couple that comes in monthly to the workshop, then buys the ingredients used for that month’s Cocktails & Crafts. They will then bring it home and make said cocktail for their friends.

Right Mind has been open for almost four and a half years. They held their first workshop in Sept. of 2019. McKenney says they hosted a live nude model figure painting workshop on a rooftop in downtown Syracuse.

The owner’s favorite activity for couples is painting.

“People really connect when they’re creating any of the projects we offer – the conversation around the artwork brings them together in laughter, after successes, during struggles, and in teamwork,” explained McKenney. “My first ‘love’ in the art world was painting, so I do have a sweet spot for that, and couples do seem to love it.”

She expressed her enjoyment over hosting.

“As adults we don’t get as many opportunities presented to us to get creative, and it’s really fun to be able to help ignite that creative spark, flex that right side of the brain with people (hence the name, Right Mind Syracuse), all while supporting other local businesses and local artists,” said McKenney.

You can check out their website, Instagram, and Facebook.

The McCarthy Mercantile

Although it’s not a scheduled activity, you’d be supporting multiple vendors by heading down to McCarthy Mercantile.

Located at 217 S. Salina Street in downtown Syracuse, the “Indie underground shopping destination” is a hub for local vendors to be able to show off and sell their goods and products.

There’s vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, hair accessories, candles, vinyl, wood workings, custom designs, and even a working barbershop.

Click here for their roster of businesses.

Depending on the day, there are performances of events that take place inside the underground location as well.

You can check out their Facebook and Instagram here.

Salt City Market

Courtesy of Salt City Market.

A place known for their local food made by local hands, hosts other events that might make you want to swing by other than during your lunch or for dinner.

Marketing and Communications Manager for the market, CJ Butler says they have upcoming cooking demos and classes inside of their Teaching Kitchen for a date night or girls night.

Located at 484 S Salina St., in downtown Syracuse, the market gets a carousel of vendors and businesses.

One of their new vendors, She Fancy, is hosting a charcuterie board building event on Feb.1 and a Galentine’s Day event on Feb. 13. 

Butler says that, surprisingly, the market sees a lot of couples during the lunch hour.

For him, he thinks the market is a perfect date spot.

“If you know your partner well and are just looking to be social together, our main forum is bustling with energy; if you’re looking for a more intimate, romantic atmosphere, you can head to the bar and get just that,” said Butler.

Courtesy of Salt City Market.

Currently, the market has over a dozen vendors for you to choose from. Some are food, some drinks, and others are shopping, the perfect trifecta for a date night.

You can check out their website, or you can find them on  Facebook or Instagram.

Did we miss your favorite date night spot? Let us know!

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