Date night apps: Don’t head out for a night on the town without them

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the city at night
Written by: Mark Lambert

Video Transcript

Eddy: Trying to have a smooth date night out? There’s an app for that. Let’s check in with Courtney. She’s standing by with our “Nerd on Call.” Ryan’s here to find out more.

Courtney: Yeah, look at him in his nice “Nerds on Call” shirt. He’s ready to go out on the town. Yeah, yeah.

Ryan: I wear this on date nights too. My wife’s like, “Why are you doing that?” I said, “We gotta promote the business.” Gotta keep promoting it.

Courtney: Promotion. Keep it pushing. So you said there’s five apps that you should not go out on the town without using.

Ryan: Yes. And so if you’re like me and you don’t ever plan anything and you’re like, “It’s Wednesday night, let’s go on a date,” right, Eventbrite is your app to have. So, Eventbrite is pretty cool because not only can you search by budget…so like something that’s free, for example.

Courtney: Hello.

Ryan: But you can also do by mood, like what you’re into. And so it’ll show you different things that are happening around town based on those searches. It’s pretty cool, so I would suggest definitely using Eventbrite.

If you’re thinking going to a restaurant, you don’t wanna call around town and make reservations.

Courtney: That’s a good one.

Ryan: So OpenTable works great. You just go there, select the restaurant you want and you can book your date night. It’s pretty cool.

Courtney: Date night. Look at all the ambiance and that food. Fabulous, fabulous.

Ryan: Now if you’re going out with friends, you might wanna split the bill, and that’s kind of a pain, too. Like, everybody gives their credit cards out or you gotta pull out your calculator.

Courtney: Especially when you go out with a bunch of communications majors. None of us are good at math, none of us, none of us.

Eddy: Right.

Ryan: So, Venmo is just an easy way to transfer money among people. Just, you’ve got to make sure everybody signs up for it first because you don’t wanna be in the restaurant going, “Oh, hold…”

Courtney: Hold on, I can’t get in there. What’s the Wi-Fi password? No time for that.

Ryan: So if everybody signs up for it first, split the bill, super easy. You can send money around. And also when people lose bets on sports. Like when Ken, for example, loses his bets, you can pay with your Venmo, right?

Eddy: No, see, what had happened was I left my wallet and my son took my credit card.

Ryan: Now if you’re going out and you have a little too much to drink or you think you might have a little too much to drink, there’s Uber and Lyft. We happen to like Lyft a little bit better than Uber. One, they’re not in the news as much.

Courtney: Well, he can say that.

Ryan: But two, Lyft treats their drivers a little bit better, at least from what we’re hearing from the drivers. And it’s super easy to use. And so with Lyft, all you got to do is make sure you put your home address in there first because you don’t want to, again, be drunk. “How do I…”

Courtney: Right, where do I live? You don’t live at the [inaudible 00:02:18]

Ryan: Who knows where you’re gonna end up, right. So make sure you put your home address in there first. Put a picture of yourself in the app so that way the driver knows who you are in case you’re like, “Are you my Lyft driver?” You don’t wanna get in the wrong car.

Courtney: You don’t know your name.

Ryan: So last but not least, if you wanna go see a movie, go to Fandango. It’s so easy.

Courtney: For the movies.

Ryan: And of course, nowadays, you can reserve your seats. You don’t have to wait in line like we did for “Star Wars” in 1977.

Courtney: I love this whole seat reservation thing.

Ryan: And it’s got all the movies. You can look by theater, you can look by movie. Of course, you can see reviews, so you don’t have to get a stinker and you can watch the good stuff.

Courtney: I dig it. Okay, so where are you taking your wife on your next date night? Pressure, pressure.

Ryan: You know what? Our favorite restaurant in town what is Ruth’s Chris. And so if we’re going somewhere more special, that’s usually where we go. And then we end up at a movie.

Courtney: Well you know what you could do?

Ryan: What’s that?

Courtney: Since you got the thing here…

Ryan: Yeah, go to OpenTable. Check it out.

Courtney: Go here. No, no for real. Go ahead and make your reservation right now.

Ryan: Did she call you and tell you? I don’t know.

Courtney: As a wife, I’m gonna help her out. Thanks, Ryan. Case, back over to you.

Eddy: I tell you what, we need to go ahead and rent this place out. We’re not here at night. You can come here. We got a kitchen, we got a bistro. Everything.

Courtney: It’s true. We could get some good money for this place.

Courtney: It’s true. We do have a kitchen. I’m telling you, I come in every morning and I’m like, “Why does it smell like Sizzler in here?” I think the night crew, they come in, they cook up their dinner, and they clean up nicely. Because there’s never a mess on the kitchen set. But I’m telling you, it smells like Sizzler when I walk in.

Eddy: They got potluck date night happening while we’re gone.

Ryan: Come on, Eddy. We’re going down to the GoodDay set. We’re gonna have a great dinner. It’s gonna be awesome. We’re gonna make bacon because nothing’s easy to clean up like bacon.

Courtney: Exactly.

Eddy: Right? Thanks, Ryan. That was perfect. Thanks, Court. Hey, there…

Going out for a night on the town is cool.

Well, it can be. Is it just me or can it also be kind of hard work?

I mean, it’s all well and dandy to put your fancy shoes on and head out into the big city, but without a plan of attack you could well end up sitting in Taco Bell at 9 pm with nothing more to show for your efforts than a tray of bean burritos and a heart filled with disappointment.

Who needs that?

the city at night

What you need is a plan … and access to transport … and the wherewithal to lift your evening from bean burrito banality into the stuff legends are made of.

You know what helps with that? You guessed it—some killer “night on the town” apps.

Let’s look at a few of the best and brightest.


Do you think of your neighborhood as a boring assortment of houses lined up with tedious regularity along gray, featureless streets? Does your hometown feel like a big, boring jumble of “nothing to see here”?

What if I told you that you may actually be surrounded by a hive-mind of eccentrics, visionaries, and blackguards all playing the same game of “let’s pretend to be normal”.

Guy in grey suit holding banana

Even better, the potential for peculiarity bubbles around every corner. You just have to know where (and how) to look.

From avant-garde theater performances to funky farmer’s markets to weird workshops run by a chap wearing a tinfoil hat—all these things and more are waiting to be unlocked by this amazing app.

Just sign up, search for events near you and you’ll never be left struggling for entertainment ideas again.


Food is important. At some point in your evening, you’ll need to find a place to regroup, grab a drink with an umbrella in it, and eat delicious stuff with cheese in it.

Cheese stuffed food

Sure you could just follow hungry-looking people until you get lucky—or you could download OpenTable and see every cuisine opportunity around you, complete with reviews, pictures and menu breakdowns.

You can even gamify the whole process of dining, earning dining points for reservations you make and keep, trading them in for gift cards and other cool stuff.


Nothing brings a night down quicker than bill-settling awkwardness.

To sidestep all that, get your buddies to sign up to Venmo. This app elevates splitting the check to an art form.

Drinking bottomless mimosas and too “happy” to figure out how to split the bill? Got a sweet deal going with a mate where you alternate who pays for Friday night froyos? Maybe you have one of “those” pals who always forgets to stash his credit card in his sock.

brown shoes and socks

All these problems and more can be settled by this app, which allows you to conveniently shift food money between you and your friends.

Best yet, many vendors now accept payment directly from Venmo, including Uber, Uber Eats and Grubhub.


Lyft is to traveling around town as Encyclopedia Britannica is to kids getting their homework assignment in on time.

It’s simply the easiest way to get a car to pick you up and drop you off where you want to go.

Cars driving

Yes, there are a few similar companies out there, Uber being the main competitor. The reason we recommend Lyft is that it’s often a bit cheaper and they reportedly treat their drivers better, which is always a good thing.

All you need to do is install the app, enter your credit card details and add a photo of yourself so that your driver can more easily find you.

Then you’re locked and loaded to get around town quickly and easily.


In the olden days (like, 2 years ago) finding a movie, deciding on a session time and grabbing tickets was a somewhat convoluted process. It may even have involved *gasp* talking on the phone!

These days, one app can handle the entire process for you. You can use Fandango to see all available movie times and theaters, choose what you want to see and buy tickets all in one place.

movie theater popcorn

Fandango is even set up to let you choose seating where allocation is available.

All you need to do then is stroll into the cinema, show your e-ticket and you and your posse are set to watch that 3 am screening of Milo and Otis.


Mark Lambert writes about technology, modernity, and society. He’s especially interested in exploring how emergent technologies change how people think and what they want.

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